We all take a breath, mostly without noticing it – from the first to the last breath. But researchers are becoming more and more aware of what an amazing process is taking place and how we can control it.
By Diana Laarz and Sebastian Witte
The breath is our life companion. From the first cry in the delivery room to the last breath, it marks the beginning and end of life. We can survive for some time without food, water and light – but only a few minutes without air. Because the human body needs nothing more than oxygen (O2) – the elixir of life without which no cell can function. And nothing needs to be delivered to the body as evenly and continuously as O2. Therefore, the stomach and chest move regularly without wanting to or consciously controlling the movement.
At rest, the chest swells and swells about twelve to fifteen times a minute – we breathe without realizing it. Like the beating of the heart, breathing is automatic.
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