Regulation of the breathing has proved to be an important aspect in Qigong therapy. One aims, through practice, to change from breathing in the chest to abdominal breathing, thus developing one's respiration from the shallow to the deep. This deepening of the breathing has the effect of expanding lung capacity, promoting circulation of oxygen in theblood, massaging the internal abdominal organs, and helping digestion and assimilation of food. Styles emphasizing the practice of breathing usually distinguish four major types or methods:
- Natural Breathing:This is one's innate way of respiration, normal to everyone, without any interference or control by the mind. Although it may well be soft and even, it has the disadvantage of not being very deep.
· Complementary Breathing: In this form one expands the abdomen outwards as one inhales and contracts it as one exhales. As the movement of the abdomen develops, one gradually achieves abdominal breathing.