Stress reduction through breathwork has long used by meditators as a way to “inner peace”, health, and vitality, intentional breathing can be used as a calming technique and is also an excellent way to release stress and long held tension which may have been stored in the body as a result of mental, emotional or physical trauma. Conscious use of the breath is known by many names, “conscious Breath”, “intentional breathing”, “transformational breath” to name just a few… but essentially they are the same thing; the conscious use of breathing to develop a very deep and revealing state of inner consciousness.
Why Use Breathwork for Stress Reduction
Andrew Weil MD (author of 8 Weeks to Optimal Health) states that :”conscious breathing is the most important thing we can do for our health, regardless of exercise and diet”. We all have our own reality, what we believe about life, our role and how others will treat or respond to us. This is based on past experience. As a result of life events there can be times when we feel under threat (mentally, emotionally or physically), we may have experienced other peoples anger and fear as we grew up. This can change our natural breathing pattern – we can unconsciously start to suppress or hold our breath especially when we believe something bad is about to happen. At the same time as we are limiting our breathing we may be making a limiting decision about life or ourselves e.g “I am not worth loving”…”people hurt you if they love you”…..”I can’t do anything right”. These decisions keep us safe to ensure the same event will not happen again. Unfortunately, these personal laws, often made as a child without full understanding of what is going on, do not always create harmony in our lives. If we fail to resolve these traumatic events at the time, they can remain in the form of contracted energy (cellular memory). This in turn can result in stress, illness, depression, lack of joy, or aches and pains in the body. This is where breathwork can be particularly helpful in releasing this contracted energy.
Incorporated into the breathing session will be powerful positive affirmations to support you in the changes you wish to bring about and to aid the release. Follow this link to find out about the next Breath Workshop. If you are interested you can read about my own first breathwork experience.
Is Breathwork Rebirthing?
No, although it is possible to have a re-birthing experience during this kind of Breathwork. Some years ago “Re-birthing” became very popular and fashionable as a therapy with the work of Leonard Orr. Since then many others have developed various techniques and it is no longer necessary to go through the re-birthing experience to enjoy the benefits from working on your breathing. Techniques like Healing or Conscious Breathwork allow an individual to choose issues they would like to work on and to take it at their own pace with the guidance of a practitioner. They have also brought in an element of spirituality for those wishing to work on this aspect of their lives.
Is there something I can try by myself? Even without attending workshops or Breath sessions you can become aware of your breathing patterns and how they change under differing circumstances. As a simple example; a friend of mine discovered that he holds his breath when concentrating on computer work. He had never really noticed this or the stress that it caused his body, now that he is aware of it, when he notices it coming on he just breathes steadily throughout his work, continuing to feed the body/brain with the oxygen it needs to operate effectively and in a more relaxed mode.
If you are used to meditating then you will be aware of how the breathing quietens and slows down when you are relaxed and meditating and the wonderful feeling of calm that comes from that. Just take the time right now to notice how your body is feeling, are there areas of tension? Are you breathing fully i.e down into the abdomen or just in your upper chest?
Use a guided meditation CD like the “Life Healing” chants & meditations, or “Heartfelt” CDs. Check out the health page for possible issues. If you are someone who enjoys instructional DVDs then there is a DVD entitled “Breathe” available form my online shop. Want to try a quick and simple exercises now click here.