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Learn breathing techniques to promote self-healing

Cokeitha Gaddist Healthy Lifestyles Columnist

Cokeitha Gaddist
Healthy Lifestyles Columnist

We all know that breathing is an essential and vital part of sustaining life. But what most people don’t know is that certain breathing techniques can help heal the body to enhance your life. This particular breathing technique is linked to the practice of yoga breathing called Yogic Breathing. Don’t fret, you don’t have to do yoga or get into any fancy yoga poses. All you need is a bit of time and a moment for yourself. Active research shows that Yogic Breathing benefits the whole person encompassing the mind, body and spirit.
Recently I had the privilege to talk with Dr. Sundar Balasubramanian a biochemist research Assistant Professor at MUSC in the Department of Radiation Oncology and a practicing yoga instructor/researcher. Dr. Sundar has committed the bulk of his career to the research of Yogic Breathing and its healing principles.
Dr. Sundar shared that he grew up in Karambakkudi a small village in the southern part of India and that yoga was a way of life for him and his family. He said, “I come from a family where yoga was a daily practice and a part of our overall health and wellbeing”. His dedication to the practice of yoga fueled his education, studies and career goals to help heal others using the secrets of his ancestors and cultural enlightenment.
I asked Dr. Sundar to explain some of the benefits of Yogic Breathing. He stated, “Yogic Breathing has many healing properties; it can reduce high blood pressure, prevent and manage Alzheimer’s, help with pain management, reduce stress-related illnesses like anxiety and depression, improve lung health, and promote overall mental and emotional health”. He explained that his evidence-based research shows that yogic breathing also suppresses the growth of tumors (cancer). Because of this, he teaches weekly Yogic Breathing to cancer patients at the American Cancer Society Hope Lodge. The Hope Lodge is a place where cancer patients and their caregivers can stay when they must be away from home for treatment.
The more I talked with Dr. Sundar the more fascinating his research appeared. I was amazed by the overwhelming benefits the body receives from doing simple breathing techniques. It was astonishing how easy the practice of Yogic Breathing seemed to be yet it offers tremendous benefits for very complex illness and disease management. We are privileged to benefit from Dr. Sundar’s groundbreaking research taking place so close to home in South Carolina. He shared that he has established an application partnership between MUSC and South Carolina State University for a research project to delve deeper into the benefits Yogic Breathing has on cancer in patients at various stages.
If you would like to experience and learn Yogic Breathing techniques, you are in luck. Dr. Sundar will be in Walterboro this Sunday, October 11, 3:00 pm at St. Antony’s Church hosting a free Yogic Breathing Workshop/Class. Please come and bring your friends and/or family members to participate and learn the power of your breathing.
For more information about Dr. Sundar and his research, check out his TEDx Talk in Charleston, SC, titled The Science of Yogic Breathing at https://www.youtube.com/tch?v=aIfwbEvXtwo&index=19&list=PLsRNoUx8w3rNRSzbPthIfXujQDamkHt3Z

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