The Role of Breath and Breathing in Healing

Our breath and breathing is the dominant indicator that separates the living from the dead. Breathing is a fundamental process whose impact is critical to both the health of the body and the mind. Most of us are unaware of our own breathing and simply take it for granted. Most of us would be surprised to realise that we simply do not breathe fully or properly for optimal health.

If one notices a new born baby whose pregnancy and birth were trouble free, will notice a deep and organic breathing pattern in the baby. If you were to look now at your own breathing you may be surprised to find that your breathing is restricted and shallow.

In most of us as adults we have lost our full organic breathing due to emotional and physical wounding and traumas since childhood. Typically an adult will breathe only from one of 3 chambers of the chest that are potentially available to assist the breathing process.

We all potentially can breathe in a rhythmic way from the chamber of the belly, the diaphragm, and the upper chest. Each section or chamber plays a part in the breathing process. Breathing actually works from a place of the solar plexus muscles opening up and acting like a bellows that sucks in air to a vacuum like state in the belly.

We do not forcefully suck in air at all. When we are relaxed and well, all three chambers work in unison to produce full organic breathing. When we are in a state of dis-ease, either one or two breathing chambers will be seen to be restricted or closed down, and the remaining chambers labouring to compensate for the others.

NSA Chiropractic and Breathwork modalities both understand the human bodymind system from this perspective, and each work with the client to restore full organic breathing in order to allow our innate human healing systems imbedded in our Autonomic Nervous Systems(ANS), to activate and restore us to optimal health.

Neuroscience and the Sensorimotor researchers note that states of trauma create a restricted breathing capability in people. As part of the Sympathetic state of the ANS, the activation of the “flight” and “freeze” responses causes our ANS to signal the temporary holding in of the breath to still the body.

Shallow breathing will create tension for creating an alert and hyper-vigilance in the bodymind system. Repeated activation of the “fight or flight” response, or from being traumatised, will result in the affected person living more or less in this state, and having a permanently impacted breathing response in their bodymind system.

At IBMP we also recognise the primacy of the breath and breathing in psychological and emotional states of unease in clients. We regularly promote a range of bioenergetic exercises that promote the restoration of full organic breathing, the creation of a full charge and discharge capability to our clients ANS and their energy system, and the resolution of muscular and emotional tensions via releasing their accompanying blocks and tensions in the body.

We use breathwork to make conscious and release disowned and unhealed states of hurt and trauma such as fear, grief, anger, and heal physical blocks and pain in the body. We also use breathwork for grounding and resourcing a client in present time.

Once a person enters into a sustained practice of breathwork you will find yourself becoming more sensitive to what is going on deep inside your heart, your mind, and make contact with your emotions, and your unconscious life.

Research by Louis Hughes, who authored the book “The Art of Allowing – The Breath in Meditation and in Life”, reveals the following benefits of developing a full organic breath:

  • Reduces stress.
  • Increased relaxation and sense of peace.
  • Activate the relaxed Parasympathetic state of the ANS.
  • Reduced anxiety.
  • Reduced symptoms of Depression.
  • Cessation of panic attacks.
  • Interrupt and shutdown a panic attack in progress.
  • Eases physical pain in the body.
  • Releases stuck emotional pain held in the body.
  • Less reactive to events and triggers.

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