Science and Focus 

Breathing practices have been around for a long time! Over the years, the west has mainly used them as ‘medical’ interventions to help with respiratory ailments, while the Eastern traditional practices were often shunned for being ‘spiritual’ or ‘alternative medicine’. 

 

Fortunately, the Western World is beginning to catch up and bridge the gap between science, traditional medicine and spirituality. It is my hope that this leads to greater respect and recognition for all approaches and disciplines, as each has value, merit and may complement the other. 

‘One may begin with philosophy but end up in medicine, or start with medicine and find oneself in philosophy’ Aristotle 

   Breathing to reduce Stress

Breathing forms an essential link between the mind and body. 

The way we breathe, provides messages between the mind and the body about our environment.

 

Stress is the term we use for our state of arousal. 

When we breath into our chest we are activating the Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) and this prepares the body for 'fight or flight'. Attention is heightened, heart rate and blood pressure are elevated, while blood flow is diverted from any non-essential organs such as the stomach, to our muscles  as we prepare to meet our 'stressors'. The problem is our modern day stressors are chronic, including work, keeping up with multiple tech, family commitments and the striving to survive the pace of life. Our breathing patterns become chronically out of sync and before we know it, chest breathing is our 'new normal'. 

Diaphragmatic breathing is the route to our Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS).  when activated, it helps to reduce our heart rate and blood pressure, while blood flows to the organs and the stomach, facilitating 'rest and digest'. Here we are in a place for the mind to find peace and relaxation, while the body is able to repair and regenerate.

 

Here's the issue... 

When the mind perceives stress it will change the breathing pattern. However, once this become a habit, the body via the breathing pattern will tell the mind that the stress is still present. This will then stimulate the thoughts, emotions and behaviours as the mind becomes hyper-vigilant for potential stresses. This is when stress hormones such as  adrenaline and cortisol can overwhelm the system and lead to anxiety,  depression and chronic systemic inflammation.

A 2017 study published in the journal frontiers in psychology reported participants completing 20 BreathWork sessions over eight weeks, experienced relaxation and significantly reduced their levels of the stress hormones, adrenaline and cortisol, compared to those who did no breathing sessions. 

 

Contact Steve to find out how BreathWork can help to correct unhelpful breathing patterns and restore harmony in the Nervous System. 

Chronic Pain

We tend to assume that our body is separate from us , particularly in the west. We can abuse it, neglect it and basically take it for granted that it will ‘do as its told’. Then when our body begins to ask questions of us, by producing uncomfortable sensations like ‘pain’, it can be annoying and frustrating. We start to have an attitude toward our body as if it is ‘the enemy. 

 

This can increase the release of stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline, leading to further tension in the muscles, creating more discomfort and increasing our perception of the ‘problem’ through greater sensation, such as pain. Does this sound familiar? A review in 2017, identified the same areas of the brain are active weather someone is experiencing emotional stress or physical pain and are literally ‘Two sides of the same coin’. 

 

 

A 2017 literature review described how slow, deep breathing had therapeutic effects on those with chronic low back pain. Changing their perception of the symptoms, helped to reduce their physical discomfort creating improved management of the pain. By reducing cortisol and adrenaline, its possible to mediate the neurotransmitter and neural pathways that influence inflammation and pain. 

BreathWork plus expert Physiotherapy techniques, helps calm your nervous system and move efficiently.  

Max Strom gives an inspirational Ted talk on breathing awareness helping resolve

emotional problems related to modern life.

 

BreathWork creates awareness, helping correct faulty breathing patterns.

 

This helps to alleviate anxiety, depression and sleep disorders.

 

...And also improve your immune system. 

        'Breathe to Heal'
   Breathing, Movement and PAIN

Breathing patterns affect movement patterns. 

 

My expert knowledge of the body and breathing dysfunction, has helped clients not only regulate their stress levels but also resolve painful joint and muscle problems, through correcting their breathing patterns. It was no surprise when a study in 2011 found poor breathing patterns linked to low back pain. 

The diaphragm is connected to the shoulder and scapula via the rib cage, while the diaphragm is also connected to the pelvic floor muscle complex via the pelvis. If the diaphragm is not working correctly through optimal breathing, then painful soft tissue and joint problems can occur throughout the body, due to poor movement patterns.   

     Weight Loss

Ruben Meerman presents some fascinating evidence about breathing and weight loss.

 

Breathing removes 70% of body toxins.

 

Every exhale expels more molecules than each breath in...regardless of what diet your on!  

 

BreathWork techniques can help you to utilise your full breath capacity.

Helping speed up your metabolism.

 

It may also help uncover any emotional factors that influence unhelpful eating habits.