Breathing comes naturally to us, but research shows that most people only use 1/6 of their lung’s capacity.The ancient Chinese discovered Tai Chi, Acupuncture, and many other techniques to help relieve stress, improve breathing, and become stronger. Born in Shanghai, China, Master James Lu was only seven during the time his country was occupied by Japan. The Japanese soldiers expected everyone to bow to them, but since Lu kept playing, he was almost killed for his insolence. Influenced by his culture, Lu realized that he had to learn how to protect himself. Since there were no martial arts schools at that time, Lu became a private student. His teacher said, “Before you take lessons, make your body ready for it. You need good speed and lots of a strength. All martial arts are good but your body must be ready for that type of training. You have to make your inner body stronger.” Lu questioned his master and always wanted to know “why” they were performing each movement.
Throughout the years Lu studied martial arts, acupuncture, and massage. He understood the body and how it functions. Lu excelled in these techniques and practiced, “Until he knew which part was good, and took the good part of each discipline.” At the age of 35, Lu developed his “Five Elements Breathing Method” to help improve people’s physical and mental health capabilities,“I am not a doctor. I do not cure your disease, I just put your body back to the time of your best condition.” In 1984, Lu’s fame started after demonstrating his techniques on a television program. Mohammed Ali’s manager hired him to train their amateur boxing team. Lu took the worst athlete of the group and after his training Marty Malone became a top 10 contender being paid $400,000 each fight. One success after another kept building Lu’s reputation. He trained members of the NY Jets, LA Rams, Olympic champions, and traveled around the world on lecture tours. Lu explains, “Breathing is the source of our life. No one can live without breathing. If you learn how to breathe better it will help you do many things we do not even think about. Not only keep you alive, but you can live better. An athlete thinks he is a hero because he has broken bones in several places. Ridiculous! Why doesn’t he make his bones tough enough to take that type of punishment? What makes my bones so strong? Breathing! You have to know how to use the air that goes into the body. A person’s arm does not move by itself, but by support of their inner body. Increasing the air you breathe gives a person more energy. Oxygen enters the lungs and is transferred into the blood supplying, supporting, and sustaining all of our vital organs and tissues. Because most people do not know how to breathe properly, it causes many problems in the body.”
Master Lu’s strength, balance, flexibility, concentration, and endurance has been tested by many athletes, weightlifters, and others who were much younger, bigger men. Although Lu is thin and only weighs 170 pounds, he can still perform incredible feat’s of physical conditioning today at 70. Standing still while men punch his stomach, he does not show pain or seem affected, “It does not matter how much muscle they have.” Master Lu’s “Five Elements Breathing Method” is easy to learn and when compared to yoga, not as difficult. I like his simple movements. Lu demonstrates how to inhale and exhale properly, but it is more then just exercises for the lungs. This breathing method is for the pancreas, heart, kidneys, and liver as well. “Breathing supports a person’s body for energy, expanding their lungs, and brings oxygen into the other organs.” How could breathing makes such a big difference? If a person only uses 1/6 of his lung capacity the remaining 5/6 of his lungs are either deflated or holding stagnant air. This greatly reduces the oxygenation of the blood required for supporting all of the organs. Clinical studies indicate that an average persons lung capacity begins to diminish shortly after puberty. That is if you do not do anything to maintain or increase your active lung capacity. Doctors continually test the lung capacity of asthma and other patients. By measuring lung function with a spirometer, we could trace their loss up to 25% of air intake capacity every 10 years. This could explain why people take more breaths per minute as they get older. Do longer breaths to give you a longer life? Animals taking shorter breaths have a shorter life. The turtle’s respiratory rate could be as low as one to two a minute, a dog takes up to 30 breaths per minute, while an adult human only takes 15 to 20 breaths. The estimated lifespan of the turtle is a hundred years, humans 75 years, and 20 years for dogs. So it seems the quality and depth of the breath is more important than the number of breaths taken. Are some people too old to learn to breathe right? Master Lu says, “Are they still breathing? The minute you take these exercises it changes your body.”
The actual practice of the method is very simple, but the breaths and movements are distinct. When mastered, the breaths and movements will naturally become one. Lu prefers to perform his breathing method in a Pine forest or park, but you can also exercise in your home as long as there is as much fresh air circulation as possible. He advises people to try to exercise at sunrise or, if that is not possible, during the day, but not at night. The five movements should be practiced separately at first until they are learned. “Practicing daily will allow your body to adapt a balanced flow of the movements and breaths.” In the first exercise for your lungs, he tells us to relax our arms and shoulders during the movements, and inhale as we raise our arms. Rotate our shoulders back to allow more air into our lungs. Then we open our arms all the way in a semi circle pointing to the sky. Exhale as you slowly bend your knees and arch your back. These exercises should be performed more than once a day. It only take three minutes for the entire exercise. There are no rules. Twice a day is better. You have opened up all the channels in your body.” Master Lu’s “Five Elements Breathing Methods” are demonstrated on a 30 minute CD with explanations and suggestions to help people understand his techniques and improve their breathing. For information about Master Lu’s “Five Elements Breathing Method” CD, his seminars, or to arrange for Lu’s appearance at your group,
E-mail: i email@example.com www.masterlu.com
Check with your doctor before beginning any new exercises, breathing techniques, or health programs.
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