Introducing Breath Psychotherapy
Life begins with an inhalation and ends with a final exhalation. Breathing for wellness teaches us the profound art of keeping things simple in terms of growth and enlightenment. The breath reminds us that the best of life is always kept simple, and available to all. Our lives are inevitably connected to this rhythm on levels physiological and emotional. Breath psychology holds that conscious breathing is a key to solving many forms of distress as well as the way to return to the ‘Breath’ beyond breathing, a euphemistic way of recognising a greater ‘Breath’ breathing us, which has been called many names, Spirit, God, Almighty, Absolute, Allah, Tao, Brahmin, etc.
Conscious breathing or breathing for wellness may be practiced in many different ways, and is an ultimate method for balancing energy, preventing illness, promoting health and spiritual realisation. It is profoundly good for depression treatment, and for most treatments to be honest. It helps build the essential new neural pathways. Such an approach has been extolled for millennia in the form of various spiritual, wisdom and healing traditions, including ancestor reverence, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Christianity, and Islam which have holistically equated breath, consciousness, energy and spirit, as well as viewing breath as the vital link between body and mind.
Breathing for wellness
Breathing is not confined only to the unconscious functions of human physiology. It dually functions both instinctively and with conscious control. This elective control over an otherwise autonomic system illuminates the dynamic connection between the mind and the body. This connection is highlighted in breathing for wellness by the pronounced role breathing plays in our emotional experience.
The unconscious rhythm of our breathing fluctuates considerably alongside our physical activities and our emotional states. Typically, when we become relaxed our breathing slows and deepens. The opposite is true in that when we feel upset, angry or scared, the breath increases or becomes shallow. Breathing for wellness treatment makes us conscious of this.
- When depressed and anxious, we tend to hold our breath and speak at the end of the in-breath in a high-pitched voice.
- Depressed people tend to sigh and speak at the end of expiration in a low-toned voice.
- A child having a temper-tantrum might hold his or her breath until blue in the face.
A phenomenology of breathing reveals that:
- Anger is associated with huffing and puffing mouth breathing;
- Grief causes very short, shallow sighs;
- Fear may cause a withholding or retention of breath; and
- Worry brings very shallow breathing.
Like a mirror, breathing constantly reflects our mental state and our somatic experience, offering a telling glimpse into the mind, the body, and our fundamental emotional experience (Edwards, 2010). Reflect on your current breathing…NOW
In general in breathing for wellness, all forms of tension are associated with shallow or inhibited breathing. If such breathing patterns become habituated, they lead to various forms of psychosomatic illnesses, neuroses, character disorders and psychoses.
Conversely, as modern, experimental research shows, deep breathing breaks the cycle of stress. Regulation of the motion of the lungs through conscious observation and control of breathing leads to regulation of heart function via the vagus nerve, with its direct links to the autonomic nervous system.
With breathing for wellness practice, involuntary systems become progressively more open to voluntary conscious control. In an internal cybernetic biofeedback loop, such control in turn influences brainwave activity, from production of neurochemicals such as endorphins to transcendent levels of consciousness experienced in alpha conditioning and meditation (Loehr & Migdow, 1999; Reid, 1998; Taub-Bynum, 1984).
If negative heightened arousal in the form of bodily anxiety is experienced, one may overcome this by breathing in to the count of three heartbeats and out to the count of six heartbeats. If low arousal in the form of apathy is experienced, one may overcome this by breathing in to the count of six heartbeats or seconds and out to the count of three heartbeats. Experiential practice may result in the practitioner lengthening their breathing phases to say, in for five and out for ten or in for ten and out for five, dependant on energy needs, personal preference and performance.
Peoples breathing when they come into depression or healing treatment is always palpable. Rapid, uneasy and a little chaotic at first. You can feel the anxiety. With time and work on breathing for wellness you see a rapid change in this. From wild animal, to centered and calm. It is wonderful to see. When we open our eyes to how we really treat ourselves in life we just may get a shock. Put yourself first. From breathe to all else. Namaste.
For more help with Breathing for wellness contact us on 0824424779