My new website has given me some “food for thought” on what I am doing as a Hypnotherapist and this was something that ran through my mind the other day, which I decided to share.
Stress and Anxiety are amongst the most common reasons people call and ask me for help. Everyone thinks that it will be so difficult to relax and get to grips with managing their stress or anxiety. However, they never fail to be surprised when I show then something we do automatically that will become their greatest ally. Its simply breathing!
Taking back control and managing their stress or anxiety starts with learning to breathe using a proper, abdominal, relaxing breath. So many times we are instructed to just “take a deep breath and relax”. Hypnotherapists often use this phrase when we start our sessions with clients. However, when I have asked people to do this I have observed several things. Firstly they throw out their chest, suck in lots of air, clench their jaw and tighten up the muscles in the neck and shoulders and suddenly their shoulders become best friends with their ears. This is definitely anything but a relaxing breath.
When we take a breath like that, it automatically makes us push out our chest, tighten up our stomach muscles and this then tightens our neck and shoulder muscles.
Breathing like this causes our diaphragm (the sheet of muscle separating your chest cavity from your stomach cavity) to be pushed upward into our chest cavity and squeezes our lungs. This means that the size of the two lower lobes of the lungs get smaller as the upper lobes of the lungs expand. ( see the ear connection? )
The problem with this is that less oxygen can enter the lower lobes of the lungs and that causes a deficit of oxygen. That’s because the two lower lobes of the lungs are actually the larger part of the lungs and have many more blood vessels and more alveoli (little air sacks) than the upper lobes. Therefore, less healing and relaxing oxygen is getting into our lungs and from there into the bloodstream and our body.
This type of breathing therefore causes more tension to develop in the neck, shoulders and the jaw, less oxygen to circulate and results in more overall tension and stress. So the first thing we usually do together is to learn how to breathe, easily and deeply.
Simple things are often the most effective!