Are you focusing on taking deep belly breaths during treatment? Have you heard your therapist ask you to bring your awareness into an area? The way we breathe during our treatment can have a significant effect on how our body releases during that treatment. This article will help you understand the different types of breathing and how to get the most out of your treatment by using your breath.

I have found that many of our clients concentrate on deep belly breathing (diaphragmatic breathing) during a treatment. Diaphragmatic breathing is performed by imagining a beach ball being filled inside our belly when we are taking a breath in. This form of breathing has a soothing effect on the body and is an excellent breathing technique that should be incorporated with activities throughout your day. For example, practice this form of breathing while driving a car and before you fall asleep at night. However, I have found this form of breathing can limit the body’s ability to release during a session, especially when someone may be experiencing pain or discomfort.

Over the years, most of us have learned to tune out the pain or uncomfortable sensations. We had to do this to handle life and just function day-to-day. As MFR therapists we have found that to really get the most benefit from our JFB-MFR treatments we need to do the opposite and allow ourselves to feel the sensations even if they are unpleasant. When a sensation comes into your awareness don’t judge it as “good” or “bad”, just acknowledge it and let it be what it is. When you feel the sensation, instead of trying to avoid it, let yourself feel it as fully as possible. Breathwork can help you bring your awareness into the areas of discomfort and fully feel them.

Breathe into the area of pain or the area being treated. Visualize a tube going right into that area and breathe through the tube into the pain or area of discomfort. When your breath enters this area, keep it localized and don’t allow it to expand like diaphragmatic breathing. Almost as if you are filling the area, but the area isn’t able to expand (like filling a small glass jar). Allow it to fill that area easily and without a lot of effort. This type of breathing puts you in touch with your body and thereby enhances your body awareness.

By enhancing your body awareness you may feel increased sensations. This is ok. Remember not to judge it. Let yourself really feel the sensation and see if you can now allow it to soften. When you notice the area softening it is releasing. If you continue to feel resistance, then you may be putting too much pressure into the area or working too hard. See if it can be easier.

This takes practice and you may notice yourself getting frustrated. This is common and you may need more guidance from your therapist, but continue to give it a try during your next session or self-treatment. If you are getting frustrated or struggling with the technique, ask your therapist to guide you and help you during your next session.

At Natural Balance Therapy, Amy guides her clients on ways to enhance their treatments using visualizations and breathwork. If you are interested in learning more, please call 262-746-9090.