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Therapy Breathing Exercises
Breathing is natural process we all do daily, mostly without even giving it a second thought, so by learning an easy routine of breathing differently is said to be more beneficial to our health and particularly for people with respiratory problems such as asthma. It is estimated that breathing the wrong way can be a important factor contributing to over 50% of all diseases.
The way you breathe affects your whole body. Breathing exercises are a good way to relax, reduce tension, and relieve stress and breathing exercises are easy to learn plus you can do them whenever you want, and you don't need any special tools or equipment to do them.

What is Breath Therapy

Breath Therapy Breathing Exercises

Types of Breathing

What Is the Buteyko Method of Breath Therapy

Breathing Exercises - the right attitude

Books on Alternative Therapy Breathing Exercises

 


 

What is Breath Therapy
Breath Therapy is an ancient complementary healing art based on ancient Eastern disciplines, as well as modern Western methods. It represents a unique approach to health in spirit, mind and body. Further development has taken place over the last 20 years, and it now accepted as an effective alternative therapy for many illnesses, and as potent force in the worldwide human potential movement.
The therapy is based on two main ideas. Firstly the concept that the average person is well below their breathing potential on a daily basis. Your normal breathing mechanism can be damaged or altered by a number of life factors - including family influences or physical and emotional trauma. When this happens your breathing system must be restored to its greatest potential, the way nature intended it to be.
Secondly, is that when a person learns how to achieve their full breathing potential, many other parts of the body begin to function better alsol. The correct breathing technique can have relaxing powers, and can also help to heal the body, mind and soul. “Conscious breathing” can become a useful tool for the self healing process. Breath therapy teaches you how breathing can become a therapeutic tool for healing, growth and change, with the bonus of creating healthier you.
Breath Therapy involves learning the technique of breathing correctly and creating breath awareness. This therapy can be used for a variety of purposes - such as for achieving maximum athletic performance, substance abuse prevention, and spiritual awakening.

Breath Therapy has two central concepts

  • Firstly - It is usual in the average person, for the breathing mechanism to be functioning at only a fraction of its true potential. The "normal" breathing system has been damaged or inhibited, by a number of possible conditions and events, often beginning at birth, or as a result of family and cultural influences, as well as every physical and emotional trauma you have experienced. Your breathing system needs to be "healed," brought back to the level that nature intended.
  • Secondly - When full free breathing becomes restored, every system in the body begins to function in a better way. We find that the breath itself naturally heals and renews the body, mind and spirit. "Conscious Breathing" becomes a very powerful self-directed healing process. The breath reveals itself to be an untapped natural resource, a valuable therapeutic tool, resulting in better health, growth and change.

Using Breath Therapy Techniques
Breath Therapy techniques offer quick, effective ways to clear your head, relax your body and eliminate stress
Breath Therapy is always presented and practiced in a "heart-centered" atmosphere, with certain goals or parameters in mind: Wholeness and Oneness, Freedom and Safety, Energy and Aliveness, Peace and Power, Health and Happiness, Love and Light.

 

Breathing Therapy will have the greatest results for those who actually believe in the therapy. If you approach Breath Therapy positively then the results should be positive as well.

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Breathing Exercises
The initial exercises are designed to allow one to discover, explore, and develop the power and potential of new breath and breathing techniques.
Many of the health benefits attributed to natural therapies are actually brought about by re-establishing practices that should come naturally to the body and mind and there is nothing more basic and essential than breathing.
The concepts of "breathing to live" and "breathing with the goal of improving and maintaining good health" are vastly different. The difference between these practices mainly involve two factors:

  • Expanding the conscious act of breathing properly and how deeply air is inhaled and exhaled via the diaphragm and lungs.
  • By improving the way we breathe we can dramatically impact both physical and psychological well being. Some effort will be required, but like most other exercises, regular practice will result in beneficial gains in our daily respiratory process, leading to profound benefits for a wide range of health conditions.

Some Breathing Therapy Exercises

1: Making yourself aware of your own breathing pattern:

  • Lie prone on the floor with your legs straight and slightly apart, your arms at your sides and not touching your body, palms up, and eyes closed.
  • Now focus your attention on your breathing
  • Place your hand on your body where you can feel it rising and falling. If this spot is on your chest, your breathing is too shallow and you are not fully using your lungs.
  • Now place your hands on your abdomen and feel how it rises and falls. Is your chest moving with your abdomen? If it is not, then focus on allowing them to rise and fall together.
  • Concentrate on breathing deeply through your nose, filling your entire lungs so that your chest and abdomen rise and fall with each breath.
  • As you breathe, check all parts of your body for tension. When you discover any part of your body under tension, concentrate on those tight or rigid muscles and let the tension flow away.

2: An exercise to deepen your breathing pattern.
Once you have become comfortable with this technique, you can practie the exercise for longer periods up to twenty minutes at a time. Use them whenever you feel the need to relax, de-stress and focus your energy.

  • Lie down on the floor with your knees bent and feet apart. Your back should be flat on the floor.
  • Mentally examine each part of your body. Is there any tension in any part of your body? If yes, let it flow away.
  • Rest one hand on your stomach and the other hand on your chest.
  • Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose, taking the breath into your stomach so that your hand feels it rise. Your chest should move slightly along with your abdomen.
  • Repeat the above step until it feels comfortable to be breathing air into your abdomen. Once you achieve this comfort, inhale deeply and then blow the air out gently through your mouth.
  • Deep-breathe for five to ten minutes once or twice each day.

3: A simple, basic exercise to combat mild depression

  • A simple, effective technique for combating mild depression is to increase the depth of your breathing.
  • Close your eyes and focus your full attention on breathing deeply. This relaxes your body and will open your mind to experience positive thoughts and creative images.
  • By increasing the depth of your breath so you are taking no more than four breaths a minute, you will notice that within five minutes this exercise changes the way you feel.

4: An exercise to get rid of more severe depressive feelings and feel energised.

  • Sit on a chair with your back straight and feet flat on the floor.
  • Reach straight up with both hands.
  • Now inhale deeply. Hold your breath and while you hold your breath, squeeze your fists so that the muscles in your arms tighten.
  • Exhale slowly. Keeping your arms tense, lower your fists to your chest, as if you're pulling down on rubber bands.
  • Repeat the two steps above few times.
  • On the final repetition, cross your arms over your chest. Rest your fingers on the upper outside spots of your chest, with your wrists crossed in the middle.
  • Drop your chin to your chest.
  • Inhale four short breaths without exhaling.
  • Hold your breath.
  • Exhale slowly through your mouth.
  • Repeat the last three steps for a few minutes, concentrating on the rhythm of your breath.

 

Some benefits resulting from Breathing Exercises

  • The way in which we breathe affects our whole body. Breathing exercises he;ps us to relax, reduces tension, and relieves stress.
  • Breathing exercises are easy to learn. You can do them whenever you want, and you don't need any special tools or equipment to do them.
  • You can do different exercises to see which work best for you.

 

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Types of Breathing

Negative Breathing
For negative breathing, inhale from the nose, as deeply as you can without straining yourself. Immediately start exhaling from the mouth. Apply pressure with the tongue and mouth, so that you can hear and regulate the air coming out, between your teeth and pursed lips.
Exhale for about 3-5 seconds and while you exhale, try to visualise all the negative energy departing from your body with the air.
Now with your lungs completely empty, try waiting for as long as you feel comfortable (5-20 sec) and then repeat the cycle.
Negative breathing focuses on emptying the lungs and blood from oxygen, and often causes sleepiness which can be useful in cases of insomnia.

Positive Breathing
To achieve positive breathing, inhale deeply, as if you are in the countryside and want to fill your lungs with fresh air. Visualise the positive energy flowing into your body . Hold the breath as long as you feel comfortable (15-30 sec) then exhale normally and immediately repeat the cycle.
Positive breathing will fill the lungs and blood with oxygen increasing the vital energy in your body.

Deep Breathing.
Often called abdominal breathing or belly breathing. Instead of flexing only the upper chest, use the abdomen to deepen the breath. The abdomen expands and pulls down the diaphragm during inhalation. The stomach area contracts and pushes the diaphragm up during exhalation. Deep breathing exercises are extremely healthy and train the body to breathe correctly.
Deep breathing is one of the best ways to lower stress in the body. This is because when you breathe deeply it sends a message to your brain to calm down and relax. The brain then sends this message to your body. Those things that happen when you are stressed, such as increased heart rate, hyperventilating, and high blood pressure, will all decrease as you breathe deeply.

Most people usually do "shallow breathing", which is exactly the oppositeof the above.This technique involves sucking in the stomach and raising the shoulders as they breathe

 

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What Is the Buteyko Method?
The Buteyko method of breathing was devised by Doctor Buteyko from Russia. The basic principal behind it involves reducing the amount of ventilation or breathing air with reduced oxygen pressure. This system has been said to have been successfully used in the treatments of Asthma, sleep problems, allergies, and some of the problems affecting the immune system, angina and hyper tension.

How The Buteyko System Works
Most of us if we even stop to think about out breathing consider deep diaphragm based breathing as what we do naturalyl, but the Buteyko method is completely different in that it encourages people to develop an improved capacity to utilise oxygen thus maintaining homeostasis.

Who Is The Buteyko Method Aimed At
It is suitable for anyone whatever their age and is very easy to learn; usually it will take about 10 hours of tuition to fully understand the method and to begin to re train our brain into breathing this way automatically. To gain full benefit from the technique you will need to carry out the breathing exercises two to four times a day everyday.

Buteyko being non-invasive can be used even if your particular condition is severe it is a proven and accepted method of health improvement. Therapists and courses are readily available

Hyperventilation is thought to have a high percentage rate in many people with chronic illness but the Buteyko breathing method corrects chronic hyperventilation thus said to ease symptoms and often make an improvement in the illness by re training the brain pattern in how to breathe in a more beneficial manner.


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Some aids to using Breath Therapy Techniques

1. The Technique
Breath Therapy makes use of a number of specific breathing techniques and exercises. Each of these exercises designed to have a certain effect. Some of the techniques are designed to detect breathing flaws, inhibiting patterns, etc. Some are used to trigger relaxation and remove stress, others are used to activate, control or direct vital energy, and some will awaken, expand, or refine internal awareness.

2. Creating the right atmosphere
The environment (both physical and emotional) in which the techniques are learned and practiced is crucial to success. Results will differ depending on using a comfortable setting with gentle loving people, rather than a hostile crowd, or an uncomfortable space.

3. A Breathing Therapy Teacher
Any teacher should be understanding and receptive, preferably having personal experience of the benefits of the Breathe Therapy Exercises.

4. The required attitude for Breathing Therapy
Your beliefs, attitudes, expectations, etc. will directly influence the effects and the outcome of the breathing practice. Your purpose, your intention, in applying the techniques will to a great extent determine your results.

 

Breathing Therapy will have the greatest results for those who actually believe in the therapy. If you approach Breath Therapy positively then the results should be positive as well.

 

 

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Books on Alternative Therapy Breathing Exercises

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