Living life on the move leaves us constantly straining for breath. So we act on our gut or hit the ground running without pause for thought. Unexpected circumstances leave us winded or struggling to digest. We long for a moment to breathe deep when the water is up to our chin.
In many examples our language shows how tightly physical and mental wellbeing are tied to each other. This interplay is what breathing therapy works with. With a wide range of working techniques, the resilience of the whole person is being bolstered. Physical exercises and work on the massage bench are used accordingly. The breath accompanies the different aspects of this work in a unique way. It reflects every change in us and therefore shows us how we can proceed.
What is breathing therapy?
Breathing therapy is a body therapy and can also be seen as a body-centered psychotherapy. It is all about the connection between body and soul. The breath connects them both.
A healthy body allows us to manage crises better. Just like that, a healthy psyche does have a proven positive effect on the healing process of physical illnesses.
The interplay of mind, body and soul
The deep connection of mind, body and soul can, if disturbed, form a vicious cycle. If stress of any type grows beyond our capacities, we quickly develop mental or physical symptoms. An ill body does affect our mood negatively; just so, a mental problem will lead to physical illness over time. This is why the number of diseases being considered «psychosomatic» is growing constantly. Psycho-somatic means, they have physical-mental origins. This vicious cycle can be stopped with breathing therapy.
Communicating through breath
Our breathing is a unique function of our body. It is vital and it can be observed at any time. Moreover, we can influence it without special training. These unique properties are used in breathing therapy to access the intersection between mind, body and soul. The breath basically is a language through which we can communicate with our bodies. But communication should always go both ways.
This is why – unlike breathwork methods like Pranayama – breathing therapy does work very little with breathing techniques. The focus lies on a mindful observation of the changes in breath and body in a given situation. By doing this it becomes possible to learn the language of our body and to listen to it. The breath becomes the key to understanding formerly unconscious processes. With growing understanding of and respect towards our needs, the vicious cycle can be turned into a healing cycle.
The breath as a gateway to our nervous system
The special properties of our breath create a unique gateway to our autonomous nervous system. This complex system regulates activity and rest as well as a great number of processes in our bodies. If out of balance, it can lead to numerous symptoms. Through breathing therapy we can influence our autonomous nervous system. Therefore, this method can help with many problems either as standalone or as complementary therapy.
Breathing therapy is recognized by EMR and ASCA and is (partially) covered by certain insurance plans.
Limitations of breathing therapy
The method « ganzheitlich-integrative Atemtherapie IKP » being taught by the Institute for body-centered psychotherapy is not meant to be a replacement for your doctor or psychiatrist. Acute physical symptoms or psychotic conditions need to be supervised by a medical specialist.
There is no contraindication to the method itself but there are limitations depending on the knowledge of the therapist. Please contact me to see if and to which extent I can help you.
More about the training (in German):