Firstly let me apologise for the gaps in the blogs, as you all know this should be a weekly slot and it’s slipped over the last few weeks so massive apologises for that. This is due mainly to the success of the launch of my Kefir, loads of new sign up’s and a significant increase in production. So apologise again but now back on track.
I also wanted just to share a few of my thoughts with you. I get a lot of feedback to my e mails, which is fantastic and so very much appreciated, part of that feedback is in the way of questions. So just a few of my thoughts before we crack on with the next few weeks and a new subject.
As many of you will know and will have experienced, I am not like a lot of Practitioners, I use a blend of Western techniques but an even bigger chunk of Eastern techniques, Acupressure, Tui Na, Cupping, Acupuncture etc. and it works. I get very frustrated by Western medicine and the way that patients are treated. I’ve just been treating a lady recently who has been in the system for over a year and in three sessions I have her 80% pain free, restored movement and got her back driving again. Her comments on how she has been treated by the system are pretty typical, “no one cares, no one listens, they just pump me full of pills, no one has got to the root cause of the issue” and so on. I wouldn’t be concerned if this was an isolated case but I hear this sort of thing pretty much on a daily basis.
So where is this heading I hear you ask? Well it all fits together, just bear with.
I make no apologise for how I work and the content of my e mails, I firmly believe that how I work and the subjects I write about are how we should be behaving and treating. But here’s the thing, pretty much what I do and write about has been around for thousands of years, just think about that for a moment.
Eastern manual therapy and acupuncture – 4,000 years.
Kefir – 2,000 years.
Breathwork (the new subject and started below) – 3,000 years.
Meditation – 3,000 years.
Don’t take my word for it, look on Google, millions of search returns that verify what I do and what I talk about. The base line is: modern Western Society has designed, implemented and is still expanding a lifestyle that is not conducive to having good health, physical or mental. The best medicine has already been discovered, thousands of years ago, this coupled with some basic changes to lifestyle can and will cure a lot of issues and will ensure good health for the future.
This isn’t a rant or me having a go at some people, it’s just my viewpoint and the way that I try and live my life and work professionally. Try it, try some of them, read my e mails / blogs, verify on google, speak to me, come for treatment. It all works, nothing new just good basic techniques, skills and ingredients time tested over thousands of years.
So onto my new topic for a series of Blogs.
More and more people are turning to breathwork as a way to improve their physical and mental health. However, those unfamiliar with it might have a lot of questions, especially around why they should practice it and may even think: I can breathe, what’s the big issue?
As it turns out, there are a lot of powerful breathwork benefits that can help change your life for the better. If you’re someone who’s wondering “I’ve heard of Breathwork but what does it do?”, read on and all will be revealed.
What is breathwork and why is it important?
Breathwork refers to a variety of breathing techniques and exercises that can be used to improve one’s physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual health. It exists in a variety of forms; there are ancient practices, such as Pranayama, and modern techniques developed by doctors and other practitioners. While more complex practices exist, many easy, quick exercises can be worked into your daily routine.
So why is breathwork important? In addition to being a popular relaxation method, breathwork has also proven to offer a wide variety of health benefits. This makes it one of the most natural methods of treating a variety of issues. Let’s explore the scientific benefits of breathwork to better understand how it can improve your life.
Proven scientific benefits of breathwork:
Reduces stress and anxiety:
One of the top benefits of practicing breathwork is decreased levels of stress and anxiety. Breathwork can be used to help people complete their stress cycle, helping to manage their fight, flight or freeze response. Being a big component of mindfulness, it also helps those feeling anxious ground themselves in the present moment while informing their nervous system that they’re safe.
Many studies have been done over the years to determine how breathwork can affect the body’s stress response. A 1979 study from The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology proved that controlled breathing exercises could be used as an effective coping strategy in stressful situations. A more recent study introduced a diaphragmatic breathing program to participants with anxiety, who demonstrated a reduction in anxiety scores after practicing the technique daily.
Increases energy and boosts immunity:
Regular breathwork practice increases your energy levels and boost your immune system. Your immune system contributes greatly to your overall health (including your energy), and the way you breathe has more of an effect on it than we may realize. Practicing breathwork exercises allows our bodies to bring in more oxygen, which fuels the cells that keep us healthy and energized.
Improper breathing will lead to a weakened immune system due to the incorrect intake of oxygen and the poor expulsion of carbon dioxide. Shallow breathing can result in the presence of stress, which triggers the sympathetic nervous system and increases our level of systemic inflammation. This all has a negative impact on our immune system and will also send unfiltered air directly into our throat and lungs. This can allow dust, bacteria, and other foreign substances to track into our respiratory system.
Lowers blood pressure and improves circulation:
The correct application, practicing and regular breathwork has also been proven to greatly improve your blood pressure. It also can help improve your blood circulation throughout your body, and even help in the treatment of hypertension (high blood pressure). This suggests that practicing breathing exercises regularly is a great natural method for helping to prevent heart disease.
A number of blood and heart issues are caused by frequent activation of the sympathetic nervous system (the trigger for fight, flight or freeze). Practicing slow, deep breathing exercises helps activate your parasympathetic nervous system, which will help decrease your heart rate and dilate your blood vessels. This helps to reduce your blood pressure, as your body has now been put into relaxation mode.
Helps manage pain:
Deep, structured and specific breathing has also been credited as a popular method of pain management (including chronic pain). This is because many breathing techniques help trigger the feeling of relaxation in stressful or uncomfortable situations, and following the instructions for these techniques also provides a method of distraction. This makes breathwork contribute to a whole host of physiological and neurological changes in the body.
A very recent study into breathwork found that participants with chronic pain syndromes that practiced relaxing breathing techniques saw an increased ability to process pain. The study also found that their stress levels were reduced, and they experienced a decrease in negative emotions.
Medical Practitioners often recommend breathwork for those wanting to improve their lung health. Everyone from athletes to the elderly can integrate these exercises into their daily routines and see improvements in their breathing capabilities. Those with chronic lung conditions, like COPD and asthma, will greatly benefit from practicing breathwork.
Further to this it has been proven that the bigger, stronger and more efficient your lungs are, the longer you will live. The problem is that size and efficiency of lungs degenerate with age and at the age of seventy your lungs will have shrunk to the size you were when you were ten / eleven years old. Regular breathwork practice can reverse this process strengthening and increasing your lung capacity.
Older people, smokers, those with certain health conditions and those with a reduced chest diameter were able to strengthen their respiratory muscles and improve their oxygen intake. This suggests that breathing exercises, especially those focusing on the diaphragm, can help gain back strength that might have been lost due to health conditions and other factors.
Improves mood, self-esteem and performance:
Many use breathwork as a way to improve their mood and / or build their confidence, self-esteem, self-image, and self-love. Those struggling with negative thoughts and feelings, especially self-directed ones, can use breathing techniques to help ground them in the present moment. In addition, the relaxing sensations helps to build a sense of peace. Breathing can help us feel happiness, joy, and gratitude, while also helping us to feel better about the way we see ourselves.
Peter Crone and James Nestor both renown breathwork experts explained that breathing exercises are ideal for helping people build confidence and gain control before competing, performing, public speaking and any other important or potentially stressful event. They explain that when under stress, our bodies will release increased levels of cortisol. This can contribute to poor mood and anxiety if our stress cycles are not completed. Improving our breathing allows us to bring in more oxygen, which helps to reduce our cortisol levels and help us feel better.
Another major health benefit of breathwork is its ability to help you release toxins in your body. As we breathe throughout the day, we tend to breathe in everything bad that’s in the air: dust, bacteria, and various pollutants. Learning how to breathe properly allows us to help new toxins leave, while also alkalizing our blood’s pH level and helping us avoid a variety of health problems.
According to a 2020 article from Frequency, about 50% of the toxins we inhale are meant to be released when we exhale. Deep breathing allows us to strengthen our diaphragm, allowing us to breathe in more oxygen and clear out more carbon dioxide. It also helps improve our lymphatic system and generate more oxygen-rich blood, which assists in our body’s circulation.
One of the other massive reasons many are turning to breathwork is to help improve their sleep. Regularly practicing breathing exercises can help regulate your energy levels so you can properly fall asleep. Many exercises can also help you settle down for the night, or quickly fall asleep, on nights when you’re having difficulty doing so. Breathwork is one of the top recommended natural sleep aids, and can also be helpful for those struggling with insomnia.
A 2021 Sleep Study determined that self-regulated breathing was successful in helping participants with insomnia relax and fall asleep. It also suggested that breathing exercises proved to be a better method of treating insomnia than other pharmaceutical methods. This helps to suggest that breathwork is a powerful tool for helping users achieve a peaceful night’s sleep, naturally and simply.
So that’s it for this week, this is a massive subject and one that I am absolutely passionate about. I feel that this subject is so important that I don’t want to overload you with information and so will be spreading this over the next few weeks or so.