Why consider breathwork?
Intense emotional and physical responses to grief and trauma may cause rapid, shallow breathing, which takes place high in the chest. This can heighten physiological reactions of anxiety, panic, and feelings of suffocation. In contrast, deep, slow, regulated breathing from the abdomen (“belly breathing” or “diaphragmatic breathing”) can help calm the mind and relax the body. Experts in meditation, instructors at yoga studios, nurses in birthing centers, and therapists in session all incorporate breathwork to regulate the body. Any time of day or night, breath is a natural healing tool accessible to all.
How does breathwork promote healing?
• By reducing blood pressure and heart rate
• By relieving symptoms of post-traumatic stress
• By improving physical and emotional health
• By calming an anxious and ruminating mind
• By promoting more restful sleep
Bi·o·feed·back [bahy-oh-feed-bak] noun 1. Biofeedback is a mind-body technique that teaches how to bring the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) under conscious control. The ANS manages many bodily functions that we generally do not think about (heart rate, blood pressure, muscle tension, breathing). During a Biofeedback session, the therapist attaches electrical sensors to various parts of the body to track heart rate and breathing, while a computer gives feedback on the ANS. Biofeedback sessions are non-invasive and covered by some health insurance providers.
Audio and CD
- The Breathing Box by Dr. Gay Hendricks – Set includes CD, DVD, photo cards, and study guide on effective breathing techniques.
Breathing: The Master Key to Self-Healing by Dr. Andrew Weil – 8 different breathing exercises to reduce anxiety and promote overall wellness.
- The Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback (AAPB) – General facts and information about biofeedback, including how to locate a practitioner.
- The Breathing Book: Good Health and Vitality Through Essential Breath Work by Donna Farhi
- The Healing Power of the Breath: Simple Techniques to Reduce Stress and Anxiety, Enhance Concentration, and Balance Your Emotions (CD included) by Richard Brown and Patricia Gerbarg
- Health Journeys – Find a variety of resources on breathwork and healing
Apple Mobile Applications
- BioBreathing (free)
- MyCalmBeat (free)