So why the importance of ‘correct breathing’, you may ask, just suck up some air and blow it out, right? Well, the more people I treat the more I focus on ‘correct breathing’. In an everyday scenario, our breath may change to the extent of such shallow breathing by the end of the day. Pain, stress, tiredness all contribute to us becoming more unfocused or even numb to our bodies needs.
By simply bringing our focus back to being present and in the body, we have the ability to really change how we sit, stand, work or play, but on a deeper level than that, we have the power to change any pain or holding patterns we may have developed over time. Interestingly enough, Electromyographs show that as we breath in our muscles slightly tense up, breath out, there is a release of the tension. One’s mental state is therefor greatly influenced by our physical state – hence post treatment euphoria. Our adrenal glands and associated hormones are very much affected by how stressed we are and they in return affect us, but by practising the correct slow breath in and exhale, with the focus on the whole body, section by section, can greatly change the tension of a muscle group. So to re-educate yourself on breath work try this little exercise: Lying flat on your back, place one hand on your navel and one hand on your chest. Many people breath in the upper lung area, which in turn engages the scalene muscles and rib muscles which is great for running or recovering from a flight situation, but not for relaxation. Our breath also corresponds with a memory of a past situation and emotions. So the breath in is felt as the tummy expands, but the chest remains much less inflated. Exhale out by allowing tummy to flatten. Now tune into this breath work, imagine a deep flowing into the abdomen, but try and feel it too. It really is a matter of bringing your awareness into play. By simply making breathing a focused exercise as part of your day, muscle groups in tight holding patterns relax, but the chemical balance of oxygen to carbon dioxide changes too. By becoming aware of ‘breath’ one becomes more in tune with our stress points and thought patterns that change as we become more stressed throughout the day.