Why Breathwork Matters

Uploaded by drweil on 22.03.2012

The theory of breath work is that breathing is the only thing you can do completely consciously
or completely unconsciously. It is run by two different sets of nerves and muscles by
the voluntary system and by the involuntary system. And as a result, it offers the only
chance to get at and influence the involuntary nervous system. Disturbances in the involuntary
nervous system are responsible for a great deal of chronic disease. The involuntary nervous
system has two divisions: the sympathetic system which revs things up and prepares us
for emergencies for fight or flight responses and the parasympathetic system which has the
opposite effect. Both of these have to be in balance. In most people in our culture,
the tone of the sympathetic is much too high - there are all sorts of reasons for that.
All the stimulation in the environment, stress, all of it but most of us go through life with
things tilted in that direction and that is responsible for a lot of high blood pressure,
circulatory problems, digestive problems and so forth. Of all the methods that I have seen
of relaxation, the most time-effective and cost-effective are breathing techniques - I
will go over this one breathing exercise with you. This is an example of the kind of thing
that integrative medicine can find out there that is not even on the radar screen of conventional
medicine. When I try to talk to most doctors about breathing, breath work, they lose interest
- it's not taken seriously because it is too simple. It literally makes use of something
you have right under your nose, uses no equipment, it's free, how possibly could it do anything?
That is the attitude that prevails in our medical system and this is a prime example.
If you think of just this one thing was brought into mainstream medicine, how much this would
cut costs, cut adverse outcomes, improve medical effectiveness, just one kind of thing integrative
medicine can bring into the mainstream. The basic principle of breathing practice is to
make your breath deeper, slower, quieter and more regular. Those are the qualities of breathing
you want to develop. So whenever you think about it, if you are in a supermarket line
or driving, try to make your breathing deeper, slower, quieter and more regular.