Breathwork is a term used to describe any type of therapy that utilises breathing exercises to improve mental, physical, and spiritual wellbeing.
There are many forms of breathwork commonly practiced today. Each type has its own unique methods of using breath for healing purposes.
According to breathwork specialist and practitioner, John Stamoulos, the process of breathwork itself, “uses very simple techniques to activate the natural healing process within each participant.” He says, “By combining a specific pattern of accelerated breathing with evocative relaxing music in a safe and comfortable setting, each person is gracefully supported to enter a non-ordinary relaxed state of consciousness. With the inner healing intelligence guiding the process, the quality and content of the experience is unique to each person’s intentions, needs and their particular life situation.”
The Healing Power of the Breath, by doctors Richard P. Brown and Patricia L. Gerbarg explore the benefits of healing:
“Studies are revealing that, by changing the patterns of breathing, it is possible to restore balance to the stress response systems, calm an agitated mind, relieve symptoms of anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), improve physical health and endurance, elevate performance, and enhance relationships.”
Breathwork can be a powerful tool and can be particularly supportive if you are working to manage;
• Stress and anxiety
• Mood swings
• Lack of creativity and mind fog
• Energy levels
• Nervous system inbalance
• Gut issues
Whilst this therapy should be facilitated by a certified practitioner, there are some simple breathing exercises you can try at home, in the car or even at work.
Below we share a simple “belly breathing” exercise you can learn. This method is easy and is a good place to start if you haven’t done breathwork before. You will find this belly breathing exercise can help you relax and relieve stress.
Belly breathing guide:
1. Sit or lie flat in a comfortable position.
2. Put one hand on your belly just below your ribs and the other hand on your chest.
3. Take a deep breath in through your nose and let your belly push your hand out. Your chest should not move.
4. Breathe out through pursed lips as if you were whistling. Feel the hand on your belly go in, and use it to push all the air out.
5. Do this breathing 3 to 10 times. Take your time with each breath.
6. Notice how you feel at the end of the exercise.
Exercise guide sourced from https://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/uz2255