Breathing Mastery Kit
I’ve had it several weeks and have been taking my time to learn the exercises and to feel the breath and breathing. I am really amazed at the reflex breath. It really works and is much better than just taking a deep breath. I have been able to incorporate this into my daily activities and it really helps. I do the other exercises also but have not set up a daily routine to do everything. The diaphragm exerciser with the strapping techniques has been an immediate help to my breathing. I did a set of reflex breaths and one set with the diaphragm exerciser/strapping this morning before attending church and I could observe much easier breathing all morning. You were right – breath is something you have to experience. Thank you very much for a great service to me.
Chest Pains Aloha Mike! I am ordering your CDs and DVDs because my Dad has had great improvement in his health with them. He was having chest pains (after two bypass surgeries) and high blood pressure, both of which subsided/went down, after practicing the Strapping Technique and Better Breathing Exercises #2 for a month. He is 73yrs. and sounded very pleased and enthusiastic – the best I’ve heard him in years!
I bought the “Better Breathing Exercise #1” CD and have been listening to it for about a week and a half now. First of all, it is a very soothing, calming sound and is neither too overwhelming nor too vague. The background music is not complicated at all, and doesn’t force you to listen to it (as opposed to listening to a classical music CD, where the music can be so complex that you can’t listen to your inner world — you’re too busy listening to the music!). The bells sound soft and clean, yet not bothersome or annoying. On the contrary, when I breathe with the bowls and bells and your voice I find myself slipping into a tranquil, relaxed state within one or two minutes. I just concentrate on the bowls and am not only relaxed, I am truly meditating, because I am AWARE of my breathing. This is a very unique and absolutely thrilling thing about this CD.
Most meditation CDs are great and relaxing, but they all put me to sleep within 15 minutes, no more. The “Better Breathing Exercise #1″ CD keeps me aware of my breathing, which is essential to truly meditating and not simply relaxing or falling asleep (although, like I’d already mentioned, it does relax me quite deeply)
My wife and I have both found even the three basic exercises at the beginning of the video make a big difference. I felt more clear-headed and relaxed, I had more energy and could breathe easier. We’re looking forward to continuing to work with the exercises. I tried a lot of different things EFT, TAT, Healing codes. I have had the aha moment more then once with these techniques. When I tried the first 3 exercises it was an aha moment. I have a heart mummer caused by a missing flap in the aortic valve. I believe your breathing program along with exercise, proper nutrition, vitamins & energy work will greatly help the murmur. I have a heart Doctor appointment in 6 months. I will work on your breathing program & I bet it is the missing part of my recovery. Thank you again Jade Bergum
Michael – I just want to give you a “good report”!!! Around 10 years ago, a Pulmonary Function Test concluded that I “probably” had mild Emphysema. Around 6-8 years ago, with some shortness of breath, I asked my doctor to order another test. This time, I was diagnosed with Asthma and the MD gave me an Advair inhaler, which came with instructions to immediately rinse my mouth after using it. My question was, “What about my lungs? If it will harm my mouth, why do I want it in my lungs?” I threw it away and learned about your breathing exercises. I ordered the full set, because I was also diagnosed with Central Apnea and the doctor wanted me to wear one of those terrible face masks when I slept. That is another goofy story. The important thing is that last week I finally went to an Asthma specialist because a bout with sinusitis and bronchitis left me with a worrisome cough.
The good news: My breathing is so powerful and good and my lungs so absolutely clear that the technician questioned whether I had Asthma at all!!!!!!!!! I told her about your breathing exercises and how my good sleep and daily activities without shortness of breath began 6 months or so after I began the breathing routine!!!! I am 76 years old, a singer, and living an active, enjoyable, and productive life. THANK YOU! The DVDs and CDs were worth every dollar I paid for them
“Non Reversible Airway Disease” I am a 69 year old MD Ear Nose Throat specialist who developed adult onset asthma and “non reversible airway disease”. I could not get any real help except inhalers. I came across breathing.com from Stephen Sinatra’s Newsletter. I ordered the kit and have had tremendous improvement. I do not get winded doing simple tasks. My wife and I do Tai Chi at 5 AM everyday. I also agree with Mike regarding the raw food diet and drinking a lot of water. I believe that chronic dehydration is another key to aging and in my case lung disease. I plan to take the breathing school this year and become involved in helping people help themselves. That proper breathing is the first step in wellness seems so logical but is most frequently overlooked.
Personal Experience The techniques For a long time, I had the experience as if my body was split in two, my upper and my lower halves. All the energy seemed to be in my upper half and it was almost as if I was floating everywhere. For a long time I had been looking for a way of carrying myself and being that was more relaxed, picking up bits of information up every now and then, but not quite getting the complete picture. Then I met the capacity of my lungs! The first technique involving a strap seemed so simple, but it was not. Breathing low down in my body was difficult, I was not used to it, just how could I relax my abdomen? Particular areas felt rigid and almost as if they were stretched to full capacity so they just couldn’t release anymore. I also noticed some fear of letting go. Then the amazing thing happened, it happened.
Awareness and focus, the relaxation came, like a release. As my belly relaxed I was observing the next inhale, but there again my stomach was locked. Awareness and focus again, then release. This was obviously an ingrained habit. When the strap was gone it felt like my lungs expanded on and on, like I was taking up more space behind me. Next was the prone encouraged exhalation. I really enjoyed the space between the exhale and inhale, is there any air left in there? It was freeing to empty out. The inhale was pretty amazing after I had got over the assisting part. It rushed in like a wave. That is one of the things that interests me about breathing, the control part, the giving up part and the in between. Breathing against applied pressure was wonderful, in that it really gave me a focus, I could visualize where the air was going. What surprised me was how I felt like the breath moved into bits of my body where there were no lungs. The Muscles in my lower back, particularly the right side felt as though they expanded then relaxed. The next technique was forward bending sitting on a chair with legs to the sides. To have someone place their hands gently on the back to encourage areas to open was powerful. It required such focus, a concentration of mind and body to wake up certain areas. The right side of my body in particular felt more stuck, so again the process of gentle awakening begun. After this technique my center of gravity had noticeably changed as I seemed to be in the back of my body more.
There was also a feeling of peace along with a sense of grounding that I had not experienced before. I felt my center, the energy in my body had descended, comfortably, I had firm roots. This feeling was centered more about my belly than my feet, which was a first for me. I also felt much lighter. The Following Week The first night after the session I slept so peacefully. I woke up feeling energized too. My clothes didn’t fit like they used to, my stomach had released from years of holding probably due to an operation that I had. There was a real sense of being myself, which felt like coming home. I felt rested and I had more confidence. On a more physical note, when I went for a run I found my breathing to be much more even and the softness in my belly allowed me to run more upright than I used to. My yoga practice was also different, there was a softness in my joints, particularly my jaw. My back and shoulders felt relaxed, like I didn’t need to hold them by grasping, I could just let go.
Cranial – Sacral Perspective The first link with the Optimal Breathing and the cranial-sacral system that I noticed, was when I went into still point, at the end of the prone assisted exhalation. My whole being was in that place of complete stillness. In cranial-sacral work, the still point can come about in different ways, some are intended and some just happen. The still point is when the cranial-sacral rhythm has paused, it seems that after this event, the rhythm resets, then returns having the chance to adopt a healthier pattern. The second link I experienced was nervous system discharge during my second session of prone assisted exhalation. The cranial-sacral system was moving into balance by releasing unnecessary tension, as my hands twitched to let go. Throughout the whole cranial-sacral process, the breath is a key indicator as to what is going on with the client. Often sighs arise and these are usually accompanied by a visible discharge (nervous system release). As the client balances their own cranial-sacral system with the assistance of the practitioner, the nervous system balances, the body chemistry balances and the breath often takes a new shape. Some techniques in cranial-sacral work involve diaphragm releases and unwinding. These often produce the most visible breathing shifts. Through awareness of touch, bought about by the practitioner, the breath can be directed lower for more grounding. This is often useful at the end of a session to enable the client to return comfortably to their day. I am intrigued by the wave-like nature of the breath and the wave like nature of the cranial-sacral system. It is said that the cranial rhythm and breath can synchronize and that this can be a profoundly relaxing experience. I have tried to match my breath to the clients cranial sacral rhythm and when I achieved this for a brief moment it was an eye-opening experience. I am thinking that Optimal Breathing would go very well with cranial sacral work as they both facilitate the body’s own natural balance. They both allow the client to release and trust the body to get on with what it knows how to do, but what life sometimes.
Dear Mike, Just wanted to express my deep appreciation for your great help in improving both my health and singing ability. As a young woman I had had a professional career in both opera and concert. Although I had had excellent teachers and coaches in New York, Vienna, Austria and Milan, Italy, I had never been completely happy with my breath support. After marriage and having two sons, I settled back into singing in church and more local jobs. Then, about three years ago I discovered your web site and ordered your Better Breathing Exercises 1 & 2, as well as the manual. Well, they are truly marvelous! They’ve made me more aware of my posture, for every time I think of breathing deeply, it reminds me to stand more erectly. I had given up public singing except at family parties, or other such joyous occasions, but, as I began to practice in the shower with my new breath support, the voice was much steadier, and with a lovely tone. So-o-o, the next time I was asked to sing in church, I did, and they really liked it. Since then, I’ve been singing solos and duets quite frequently, and it gives me enormous pleasure. Why is this so amazing? Well, though only my family and close friends know (because I look about 60),1 confess that I’m 75 years old. Just married my childhood sweetheart 20 months ago. (We hadn’t seen or even heard from each other in over 50 years), but he is the love of my life. Your CDs and DVDs have also helped improve my health. Although I’ve always been into holistic health, eating nutritiously, exercising, and the power of prayer, positive thinking and gratitude, your help with better posture and deeper breathing has been the added fillip that I needed.
I especially love your “Better Breathing Exercise 1“. It’s so relaxing…marvelous before meditation, or before any possibly stressful situation. In fact I sometimes work with it when I wake up in the middle of the night, and have difficulty returning to sleep. I just turn it down low so that I can just hear your voice, and pay no attention when you tell me to keep my eyes open (if! tend to fall asleep.) Usually I am off to dreamland before the Tibetan singing bowls begin their chimes. Then, when I know there’s an especially busy day ahead, I love your “Breathing Exercise #2” to get the energy flowing. One of these days I hope to be able to take one of your classes.
Hi Mike, I have been sick all of my life with anxiety, shallow breathing, I actually felt, for lack of a better example, when you drink too much you have a hangover and I felt like that every day, I could never feel really rested. I read in one of Prevention articles that how you breathe effects how you feel and I tried it back then but didn’t get great results, so I had it in the back of my mind and when I put breathing in the search engine and found your website I was excited because I thought maybe I hadn’t done it right. I got your DVD 176 and I tried some of it but my breathing felt choppy like I was forcing it in a way then I read about letting go of the muscles and when I did that I would breathe longer and a lot easier, not quite as deep though, but I remind myself all the time because it’s made such a difference in me, I just turned 60 and had suffered all my life. I am now benefiting from my sleep, and can rest in between, so Thank you so much for the information http://www.breathing.com/deepest-calm.htm. I’m sure that it saved my life.
Internist Our modern medical paradigm bases pulmonary function on factors that relate to the anatomy and physiology of the lungs. At times, the mechanical relationships of the chest cavity and of the diaphragm are considered important, but for the most part, they are rarely considered in the ordinary management of most pulmonary diseases such as emphysema, asthma, and restrictive lung disorders. The bulk of our management of these kinds of disorders is aimed at pharmacological intervention. While this is a reasonable approach that often is quite valuable, it fails to appreciate the potential role of posture, rib flexibility or diaphragmatic excursion as independent factors that can improve lung function. This can be life saving to people with severe pulmonary insufficiency. It would be unheard of in the development of opera singing, powerful public speaking, or world class athletics to ignore the importance of respiratory faults, accessory breathing muscles, and breathing coordination. When the pulmonary reserves of these highly trained specialists are examined, they are clearly superior to that of the average, untrained population. There have been but few clinical studies undertaken to explore the seemingly obvious benefits of this kind of training.. It seems prudent to me to explore this safe, non-invasive, and easily taught approach, to patients who are willing to invest a minimum of money and time especially when the potential for a negative effect with selected exercises is zero. When conventional therapies have little or nothing to offer, searching for additional possibilities becomes our responsibility.