Breath in, Breath out, this sounds simple, or is it?
We all know breathing is pretty important in order to stay alive, but do any of us do it? No, not really. Well, okay we might do a bit, just the bare essentials but we do not breathe enough or easily.
Watch yourself during your day and notice how many times you hold your breath. Every time we do an action we tend to hold our breath. When we are scared we hold our breath. We hold all our fear in our breath. What on earth does that mean? The body stores memory in every cell. If we are often frightened or angry we could store that emotion in our body, in the actual cell memory. Truthfully we store all our emotions in our cells, but it is the fearful and angry emotions that become toxic for us to hang onto.
Let’s briefly go back to the beginning. Fredrick Leboyer was a French Obstetrician who was the first to write about the gentle birth process. He advised mothers to give birth in dimly lit rooms and have gentle music playing. From reading his book one can ascertain that he understood that the transition from being an amphibian to an air breathing human was traumatic. He suggested that the baby be placed on the mother’s belly directly after birth while the cord was still attached. This gave the infant a chance to take small sips of air while still being supported by the umbilical cord. This allowed the infant not to be scared of the burning sensation that the new air made into the virgin lungs. Thus the baby was able to take it’s time and grow accustomed to the sensation of breathing air. Only then was the cord cut and the baby was breathing independently.
However, how many of us were born and instantly given a smack on the bottom, to the thrill of all around, hearing the new born howling. We humans……Anyway, this traumatic entrance into air breathing is so frightening, that the infant registers that breathing burns, It is not good and so will do as little of it as possible.
As a result many of us have to relearn how to breathe and to release the fear that is stored in the breath. This all sounds very odd I am sure, but many studies have been done and much research has gone into our breathing or lack thereof. I often remind my clients to breathe and they laugh realising that they were holding their breath without them being aware of it.
My teacher used to say: Breathe at least 3 times a day, we would all laugh but it was not until I became a teacher that I found the relevance to this joke.
The issue to take into consideration is that we are very brittle when we are tense. We know that when a drunken person gets hit by a car they have an uncanny ability to survive. When we are relaxed we are less likely to get injured. When we are breathing we are relaxed. As we get older we tend to be more prone to injury of one kind or another, so it is all the more reason to pay attention to ones breathing.
Take time to smell the roses, be in the moment, and BREATHE, BREATHE, BREATHE.
Noeline qualified as an Alexander Technique teacher in 1990. She has been in private practice ever since. Why not call and ask what she can do for you?