Breathing  

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"Behold me then safely ensconced in my private boudoir, a fearful instance of the ill consequences attending upon irascibility—alive, with the qualifications of the dead—dead, with the propensities of the living—an anomaly on the face of the earth—being very calm, yet breathless."--"Loss of Breath" (1832) by Edgar Allan Poe

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Breathing transports oxygen into the body and carbon dioxide out of the body. Aerobic organisms require oxygen to create energy via respiration, in the form of energy-rich molecules such as glucose. The medical term for normal relaxed breathing is eupnoea. Organisms breathe to avoid death from asphyxiation.

Cultural significance

Ancients commonly linked the breath to a life force. The Hebrew Bible refers to God breathing the breath of life into clay to make Adam a living soul (nephesh). It also refers to the breath as returning to God when a mortal dies. The terms "spirit," "qi," "prana" and "psyche" are related to the concept of breath. Also cognate are Polynesian Mana and Hebrew ruach.

In t'ai chi ch'uan, aerobic training is combined with breathing to exercise the diaphragm muscles and to train effective posture, which both make better use of the body's energy. In music, breath is used to play wind instruments and many aerophones. Laughter, physically, is simply repeated sharp breaths. Hiccups, yawns, and sneezes are other breath-related phenomena.

Common phrases in English relate to breathing e.g. "catch my breath", "took my breath away".

Namesakes

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Breathing" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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