© Heidi Bosch Romano
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Breathing and Cleanliness

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Oxygen and the Lymphatic System

Effective deep breathing carries oxygen to all parts of the body and removes its carbon dioxide waste. Athletes needs oxygen so that their muscles will work properly. Scholars need oxygen to be able to concentrate and think. The best way to get plenty of oxygen is through deep, diaphragmatic breathing (taught in Yoga or by doing aerobic exercise). Shallow breathing may cause drowsiness, lethargy, clouded thinking and restlessness.

Many people are aware of the benefits of breathing correctly, but are not aware of breathing's relationship to the lymphatic system. Unlike the bloodstream which circulates by the pumping of the heart, the lymphatic system is stimulated by the muscles and through deep breathing. The lymphatic system maintains tissue fluid balance, defends the body against disease, and absorbs fats from the small intestine and transports them to the bloodstream.

Cleanliness: Stopping the Spread of Disease

In olden times, surgeons would go straight from performing autopsies to delivering babies, without washing their hands, unaware of the presence of bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms now known to cause disease. Due to this practice, many women in died in childbirth from those germs. Now it is common knowledge that washing your hands can prevent many infections and viruses from being spread. Many supermarkets have hand wipes by their shopping cart stations so that people can cleanse the handles of their carts before shopping, and all restaurants require their employees wash their hands or to wear gloves before handling food.

People in offices used to regularly lick their fingertips before turning pages of reports. Now, to prevent the spread of germs, rubber fingertips and finger moisteners are used. Since the most common way for viruses to be spread is from people touching their mouth, nose, or eyes, then touching a common area, this has helped cut down on the spread of the "common" cold.

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