Get closer to lovers and loved ones with our guide to sex and relationships
It seems Oasis were right – regretting the past is bad for you. Research suggests that people who look back at their past experiences full of regrets about missed opportunities or with bitterness about how they have been treated are more likely to fail and generally have a poorer quality of life. Scientists at the University of Granada found that the happiest and healthiest people are those who manage to enjoy the here and now, while making time to learn from the past and plan for the future.
A whopping 34 percent of us are lacking passion in our lives according to research from the publishing company Xcite. When asked the question, ‘What would you like to have more of?’ passion comes a definite top,with 34 percent wanting more of this. Wealth scores a much lower 19 percent and romance is even further down the priority list, with only 13 percent ticking the box. The survey also found that we’re lusting after more sexual excitement with 49 percent choosing a threesome as their favourite fantasy!
Women shift their focus of intimacy from their husbands to their adult daughters according to a study in the Journal of Scientific Reports. While women in their late twenties put their husbands first, when they reach their forties, they shift their attention away from their spouse and onto their daughter. On the other hand, the survey found that husbands continue to retain their wives as their closest confidantes.
It’s possible to die from heart failure after an intense emotional event according to a recent study. The condition, called stress cardiomyopathy, is triggered when emotional events such as death or divorce cause adrenaline levels in the body to rise to such high levels for days on end that the heart is stunned into failure. Research published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that the high amounts of continuous adrenaline, orepinephrine, from emotional events can lead to chest pain, fluid in the lungs, shortness of breath and even heart failure.
Natural Health’s love guru Mike Lousada on why you’ve got to breathe into it
We live in a society which has subtly taught us to disconnect from our bodies. Consider a child. A healthy child doesn’t sit still for long; it’s constantly moving and exploring new things. A child is in touch with its body. When we go to school however, we learn to sit still and be quiet. This is training for when most of us are to spend ten to twelve hours a day sitting behind a desk staring at a computer screen.
So what can we do to get back in touch with our bodies? The first, and perhaps most important step, is to learn to breathe properly. Surprisingly most people don’t know how to breathe. Most people breathe into the chest. This means that we only fill a small proportion of our lungs with air. In order to breathe fully and freely we need to breathe much deeper; down into our bellies. If you watch babies breathe, they do this naturally, allowing their tummies to fill with air, inflating like a balloon, then exhaling,releasing and softening the body. This is the natural way to breathe. As adults we tend to forget the natural rhythm of our bodies, and we create constriction.
When we breathe into our chest we are effectively ignoring the lower part of our body. This shallow breathing has a number of effects which are bad for our relationship with our bodies and our sexuality. When we breathe into the belly we push down the diaphragm. This deeper breathing creates a connection with the lower half of the body. When we breathe into our bellies we can connect again with our emotions and begin to release them.
Breathing only into the chest cuts off this connection with the guts and genitals. I believe that it is no coincidence that it was the Victorians, keen as they were to suppress female sexuality, who developed such tight corsets for women to wear. Abdominal breathing is familiar to most practitioners of yoga but rarely to others. When we breathe into the abdomen, this in turn pushes on the internal organs of the gut and has a direct impact on the pelvic floor muscles, the group muscles which supply blood to the genitals. Breathing into the belly therefore increases blood flow to the genitals, which also creates arousal, making you more ready for sex and increasing the likelihood of orgasm.
So how can you tell if you’re breathing into the chest or into the belly? Place one hand on your shoulder and the other on your belly. If the hand on your shoulder moves up and down, you are breathing into the chest. If the hand on your belly moves, you are breathing more deeply.
In yoga, tantra and other spiritual sexual practices, breath is used as a means of bringing about orgasm. By breathing through different ‘energy’ points in the body, we can stimulate our sexual energy and bring it up through the body and experience orgasmic sensations, not only in our genitals but throughout our whole body.
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