Utilizing the Power of the Breath

The first key to vibrant health and inner peace is to understand and apply the
POWER OF THE BREATH.  Breathing is essential to sustaining life and controls the
condition of your mind and body. It profoundly affects the bloodstream, lymph flow,
immune system, muscle tension, and body emotions.

Breathing techniques are extremely helpful. Simply paying attention to the breath is a
wonderful and effective way of calming and centering. Not only do breathing
techniques assist in relaxing the body, but they facilitate the body's healing process
also.  Four simple  methods which you may find both healthful and helpful during day-
to-day living are:
    1. Body Breathing
    2. The Golden Breath
    3. Cleansing the Body
    4. The Full Breath

While receiving massage and bodywork it is very important to remember to breathe
slow and deep. Utilizing breathing methods will help you to be more receptive to the
massage, thus making it a more enjoyable and beneficial experience. Sometimes we
hold on to our stress and tension so tightly that we seemingly forget how to relax,
resulting in shallow breathing. If you are having difficulty breathing, relaxing or
releasing an area, simply try one of the techniques below. Your therapist will gladly
assist or "coach" you during your massage session if you so desire.

1.  Body Breathing
"Body breathing" is a simple technique you can practice and use anywhere. It is
helpful in calming and relaxing the body, and in managing and letting go of tension.
  • Pay close attention to your breath, following the air in and out.  Imagine that
    you are filling your entire body with your breath as you inhale. Exhale slow and
    deeply.
  • Start by taking slow, deep breaths to your arms and fingertips, then to your
    legs and the tips of your toes as you further and further relax your body.
  • First try to recognize any areas that feel "loose".  Enjoy breathing through
    these open areas as you continue your slow, deep breaths.
  • Next recognize areas where your breath feels "blocked". Inhale deeply,
    allowing your breath to penetrate through. As you exhale, feel the tension
    letting go and releasing from your body with the breath. Continue with
    subsequent breaths to these areas until you feel the air flowing through freely.
  • Now focus your attention on any specific areas of your body that feel sore or
    tight. Imagine your breath flowing to them, and then relaxing those areas
    further as healing takes place.
  • Feel your whole body breathing all at once. Feel each breath as it flows freely
    through every area of your body.
  • Revisit specific areas as you feel necessary. Close off the breathing exercise
    with two or three full body breaths.

2.  The Golden Breath
The "Golden Breath" is another breathing technique which uses "imagine
breathing", a powerful healing and rejuvenating force.
  • Inhale slow and deep, as in the body breathing technique.
  • As you inhale, see (in your mind) and feel yourself being filled with a powerful
    golden light that penetrates, soothes and rejuvenates every cell in your body.
  • Focus this golden light into any area that needs soothing or healing.

3. Cleansing the Body
The following is a simple and effective way of breathing in order to help cleanse your
system:
  • Inhale through your nose for a count of one.
  • Hold for a count of four.
  • Exhale through your mouth for two counts.

4.  The Full Breath
Any time the breathing is shallow the vitality of the body, mind and emotions is
blocked. The "Full Breath" will assist you in opening up your body to allow for a
deep cleansing breath.  
  • The inhalation breath consists of three stages. Inhale deep and slow, focusing
    each breath to the following three areas:
    1.  First draw your inhaled breath into your belly,puffing it out.
    2.  Continue your breath into the diaphragm area, expanding it.
    3.  End the inhalation by expanding the breath into your chest.
  • Exhale deeply, emptying the air from each area and squeezing out some of the
    air left in the lungs.
  • Repeat this process until your breathing no longer feels shallow, and your are
    able to take a deep cleansing breath with ease.
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