Health – Are You Breathing?

One can live for many days without food and for several days without any liquid, but within a few minutes without air and you run out of life.

We do not stop to think very often about the first thing Adam did when the Lord breathed into his nostrils. Of course, he breathed! What a most wonderful thing. The first thing we do when we come bouncing into this world is to catch that first breath of air. God gives us the breath of life. Unfortunately, the majority of us take the gift of breathing for granted and forget that we belong to God and that our breath belongs to Him, the One who created us.

Sometimes we bind ourselves up so tight in our clothes that we cannot inhale. “When the waist is compressed, the circulation of the blood is impeded, and the internal organs, cramped and crowded out of place, cannot perform their work properly. It is impossible, under such circumstances, to take a full inspiration. Thus the pernicious habit of breathing only with the upper part of the lungs is formed, and feebleness and disease are often the result.” Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 88.

Some years ago suspenders came in “style” for a little while. I rushed down to get a couple of them to use with my skirts. I thought they really looked cool. One of the best things about them was that I could breathe easily and they were also fashionable. But then, as suddenly as they came in, they went right back out. Fashion took preeminence and most of us wanted to look smart instead of being able to breathe more comfortably. So we all went back to belts and our breathing again began to be suffocated. A few years ago Ellen White wrote the following:

“But the teacher should impress upon his pupils the importance of deep breathing. Show how the healthy action of the respiratory organs, assisting the circulation of the blood, invigorates the whole system, excites the appetite, promotes digestion, and induces sound, sweet sleep, thus not only refreshing the body, but soothing and tranquilizing the mind. And while the importance of deep breathing is shown, the practice should be insisted upon. Let exercises be given which will promote this, and see that the habit becomes established. ” Child Guidance 365.

Let’s perform a little experiment. Fasten a candle to the end of a wire and light it and then lower it to the bottom of a wide mouth quart jar. Place the cover on the top of the jar and wait to see the result. Soon the candle will burn dimly and in a short time the light will completely go out. This is similar to what happens to our breathing when our lungs are suffocated by tight clothing. Our bodies need lots of fresh air to function properly just the same as the candle needs fresh air to burn.

If you put a little animal into a jar and cover it, its life would go out just as the light of the candle. A child shut up in a close place would die from the same cause in a very little time. In fact, many children are dying every day for want of a sufficient supply of pure air.

Air contains oxygen, and it is the oxygen in the air which is necessary for the candle or wood to burn and produce heat. So it is the oxygen that burns in our bodies and keeps us warm. When wood is burned, heat is produced; but some parts of the fuel are not made into heat. While the fire burns, smoke escapes through the pipe or chimney and a part of the fuel remains in the stove in the form of ashes. Smoke and ashes are the waste parts of the fuel.

The burning which takes place in our bodies produces something similar to the smoke and ashes produced by the fire in a stove. The smoke is called carbonic acid gas, an invisible vapor, and escapes through the lungs. The ashes are various waste and poisonous matters which are formed in all parts of the body. These waste matters are carried out of the body though the skin, the kidneys, the liver, and other organs.

We cannot see the gas escape from our lungs, but we must breathe to get rid of the carbonic acid gas, which is brought to the lungs by the blood to be exchanged for oxygen. Breathing has two functions: to obtain oxygen, and to get rid of carbonic acid gas.

If you were to watch a frog breathe you will notice that the frog has a very curious way of breathing. He comes to the top of the water, puts his nose out a little, and then drinks the air. You can watch his throat and see him swallowing the air, one mouthful at a time just as you would drink water.

We do not drink air as the frog does, but like the frog, we have an air bag in our bodies. Our air bag has to be emptied and filled so often that we cannot live under water as long as a frog does. We call this air bag, lungs. We need so much air and have to change the air in our lungs so often that we would not have time to swallow it as a frog does.

So how do we use these lungs? When we are about to take a long breath, the muscles pull upon the sides of the chest in such a way as to draw them apart. At the same time the diaphragm draws itself downward. By these means, the cavity of the chest is made larger and air rushes in through the nose or mouth to fill the space. When the muscles stop pulling, the walls of the chest fall back again to their usual position, and the diaphragm rises. The cavity of the chest then becomes smaller and the air is forced out through the nose or mouth. This process is repeated every time we breathe.

We breathe once for every four heart beats and this is about eighteen to twenty times each minute. Every time we breathe we take into our lungs about two-thirds pint of air and breathe out the same. Our lungs can hold much more. After he has taken a full breath, a man can breathe out a gallon of air, or more than ten times the usual amount. After he has breathed out all he can there is still almost half a gallon of air in his lungs which he cannot breathe out. Our lungs hold almost one and a half gallons of air.

Why has God given us so much room in our lungs? Try running up and down the stairs three or four times and you will see why we need extra lung room. It is because when we exercise vigorously the heart works very much faster and beats harder, causing us to breathe much faster and fuller to enable the lungs to purify the blood as fast as the heart pumps it into them.

Besides carbonic acid gas, the air which we breathe out also contains other invisible poisons. These poisons make the air of a crowded or unventilated room smell very unpleasant to one who just comes in from the fresh air. This air is unfit to breathe.

“The effects produced by living in close, ill-ventilated rooms are these: The system becomes weak and unhealthy, the circulation is depressed, the blood moves sluggishly through the system because it is not purified and vitalized by the pure, invigorating air of heaven. The mind becomes depressed and gloomy, while the whole system is enervated; and fevers and other acute diseases are liable to be generated. … The system is peculiarly sensitive to the influence of cold. A slight exposure produces serious diseases.” Healthful Living, 61.

Did you know that the carbonic acid gas which is so poisonous to us is one of the most necessary foods for plants? Plants take in carbonic acid gas through their leaves, and send the oxygen back into the air ready for us to use again.

All of this shows how fearfully and wonderfully we are made. So we need to breathe deeply and breathe fresh air for air is also God’s medicine for us, just as much as food is. The lungs should be allowed the greatest freedom possible.

Loosen up and breathe! Open your windows and breathe! Stand up straight and breathe. Sit up straight and breathe. Walk and breathe. Breathe deep and let your body live. Superficial breathing does not give life. Stomach, liver, lungs, and brain are suffering for want of deep, full inspirations of air.

“The whole body is designed for action; and unless the physical powers are kept in health by active exercise, the mental powers cannot long be used to their highest capacity. The physical inaction which seems almost inevitable in the schoolroom—together with other unhealthful conditions—makes it a trying place for children, especially for those of feeble constitution. Often the ventilation is insufficient. Ill-formed seats encourage unnatural positions, thus cramping the action of the lungs and the heart. Here little children have to spend from three to five hours a day, breathing air that is laden with impurity and perhaps infected with the germs of disease. No wonder that in the schoolroom the foundation of lifelong illness is so often laid. The brain, the most delicate of all the physical organs, and that from which the nervous energy of the whole system is derived, suffers the greatest injury. By being forced into premature or excessive activity, and this under unhealthful conditions, it is enfeebled, and often the evil results are permanent.” Education, 207, 208.

Food for Life — Nature Is The Place For Mankind

“May has come, with all her beauties of the sunshine, clothing nature with a glorious dress. Mother earth has laid off her brown mantle, and wears her cheerful robes of green. The trees and shrubs upon the lawn are decorated with their opening buds and flowers of varied tints. The peach and cherry are covered with blossoms of pink and white, and the pure music from a thousand of nature’s happy and cheering songsters, unite to awaken joy and thankfulness in our hearts.

“May is indeed here, to cheer and bless us, Let us, all who can, go out of doors, and be cheerful, happy, and healthy, as we behold the charming beauties of nature. We may look up through the attractive glories of nature, to nature’s glorious God, and, as we read his love to man in nature, we may become cheerful, thankful, pure, and holy.

“The feeble ones should press out into the sunshine as earnestly and naturally as do the shaded plants and vines. The pale and sickly grain-blade that has struggled up out of the earth in the cold of early spring, puts on the natural and healthy deep green after enjoying for a few days the health-and-life-giving rays of the sun. Go out into the light and warmth of the glorious sun, you pale and sickly ones, and share with vegetation its life-giving, healing power. Let what your ears hear of the music of the birds, and what your eyes see of the green grass, and shrubs, and trees, beautified with their fragrant blossoms, and God’s precious flowers of every hue, lift that leaden weight off your spirits, and cheer that sad heart, and smooth that troubled brow.

“Mothers, encourage the children to go out into the air and sunshine. What if they do tan, and exchange the pale, sallow complexion for the healthful brown? Let them have health and happiness, which are the only foundation of real beauty. Lovely May is here. Enjoy her, all you who can, while she is with us.” The Health Reformer, May 1, 1871.

“In the building of houses it is especially important to secure thorough ventilation and plenty of sunlight. Let there be a current of air and an abundance of light in every room in the house. Sleeping rooms should be so arranged as to have a free circulation of air day and night. No room is fit to be occupied as a sleeping room unless it can be thrown open daily to the air and sunshine . . .

“Whoever sleeps in a sunless room, or occupies a bed that has not been thoroughly dried and aired, does so at the risk of health, and often of life.

“In building, many make careful provision for their plants and flowers. The greenhouse or window devoted to their use is warm and sunny; for without warmth, air, and sunshine, plants would not live and flourish. If these conditions are necessary to the life of plants, how much more necessary are they for our own health and that of our families and guests!

“If we would have our homes the abiding place of health and happiness we must place them above the miasma and fog of the lowlands, and give free entrance to heaven’s life-giving agencies. Dispense with heavy curtains, open the windows and the blinds, allow no vines, however beautiful, to shade the windows, and permit no trees to stand so near the house as to shut out the sunshine. The sunlight may fade the drapery and the carpets, and tarnish the picture frames; but it will bring a healthy glow to the cheeks of the children.” The Ministry of Healing, 274, 275.

Millet Burgers

2 Cups cooked Millet

1 large Onion sauteed

¾ Cup Grapenuts

1 Cup Tofu, mashed

½ Cup chopped Walnuts

2 Tbsps. Rice Flour

1 tsp. Garlic Powder

1 Tbsp. Vegex Broth

Cook millet overnight in a small crock-pot (1 cup Millet to 4 cups Water.) Mix all ingredients thoroughly and drop by dipper onto non-stick baking sheet and flatten with a fork. Bake at 350º for 20 to 30 minutes.