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Sessions to help you breathe more easily

By Staff | Dec 17, 2010

As a licensed massage therapist for over 10 years I became aware of the empowering benefits of breathwork when practicing it with my clients.

Since ancient times the breath has been a central theme in many spiritual and religious traditions, both literally and figuratively. In ancient India, the Sanskrit word “prana” signified breath, wind and air, the vital life force; in ancient Greece, “pneuma” meant breath, soul and the spirit of life; and in Hebrew, “ruach” referred to both the breath and the creative spirit. The link between breath and spirit is expressed in Genesis 2:7: “And God formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul.”

Modern scientific research demonstrates what Eastern traditions have known for centuries. When we breathe effectively, we create optimum conditions for restoring overall health and vitality. Breathwork has been known to have remarkable results including: relieving stress and anxiety, balancing blood pressure, pain management, headaches, managing asthma, improving sleep patterns, enhancing athletic performance and enhancing self-awareness to name a few of the benefits.

If we have any doubts about the breath’s profound effect on our physical and psychological functioning, all we have to do is remember experiences that we have had inhaling aromas of cooking or baking, the fragrance of flowers or the smell of burning leaves on a crisp fall day and notice how our memories are triggered, followed by emotional feelings. Think about the many everyday expressions surrounding the breath, “We need a breath of fresh air; It was simply breathtaking! It took my breath away; I couldn’t catch my breath; Stop breathing down my neck; I need room to breathe.”

Like any other muscle in the body, the diaphragm and other primary respiratory muscles can become weak and tight. When we do breathwork we are retraining our muscles to become strong and flexible and to move smoothly. We are also resetting the rhythm and rate of our breathing. As we change the way we breathe, the carbon dioxide content of our blood changes and our neurological responses shift. While are bodies are being breathed automatically day and night by our respiratory and central nervous systems, we generally ignore our breath.

Barratt Breathworks is a progressive sequence of sessions designed to identify and dismantle poor breathing habits. When we breathe effectively, we create optimum conditions for restoring overall health and well-being. The goal is to learn how to engage in natural diaphragmatic breathing as a means of restoring health and vitality. By engaging in breath awareness and developing an understanding of how the major and minor muscles of our respiratory system work, we can facilitate a life-transforming relationship with our breath. One’s willingness to practice on their own helps to facilitate the process.

Along with the restorative aspect of breathwork there is also the transpersonal one that may come into play. Once we begin to open up to the natural breath, we begin to release blocked patterns of energy thereby releasing emotions that have been suppressed. By learning to engage in full body breathing in the moment, we begin to empower ourselves, and alter our responses to the emotional triggers in our lives thereby allowing us to break free of our habitual patterns of response.

For more information you may contact Linda O’Brien at 304-876-6071 or lindaobrien@frontiernet.net.