Home Winsights No. 28 (April 1999)
"Breathing as a Way of Life — 1"

Page 2 of 2

A calm-breathing pattern we have named noise-removal breathing is an easy way to get comfortable with any pain, discomfort or distress, present or past. Scripts instructing in "noise-removal breathing" will follow, and can also be found in various other readily available Psychegenic publications, presenting step-by-step the ways we have thus far found best for enabling two totally inexperienced individuals to train each other in the skill.

In the form of the procedure given later, one totally inexperienced individual, working wholly alone, can readily train hirnself in the skill. Once "noise removal breathing" has been made so practiced in experience that it is virtually reflex, it can serve as a very superior form of anaesthetic (or, if chemical anaesthesia has been used, this breathing pattern can very rapidly clean up the resultant damage and after-effects).

Cleaning up emotionally involved difficulties (and sometimes physical ills created by those difficulties) is a broader experience common among various graduates of our earlier workshops of the 1970s and 1980s, in which we were training such patterns.

Repeat orders for the book, Beyond O.K., which contains the most detailed published scripts of instructions for such breathing patterns, have come from some therapists and clinics, and from various groups of their patients. One reason why: the breath is part of the "automatic" response system of your body. You've been breathing all this time since you started reading these pages, for example, without your consciously having to "make it go." Yet, your breathing is also part of your "voluntary" response system in that you can deliberately, intentionally, breathe high, low, front, back, left. right, fast, slow, or whatever. In other words,

Your breath is a bridge connecting across to the automatic response system of your body, through which you may communicate with and direct the various "automatic" response systems of your body.

Several interesting hypotheses suggest themselves at this point:

o Could a major part of the reward and comfort of smoking, for cigarette smokers, merely be the breathing pattern induced by that act? After all, millions of non-smokers are constantly exposed to smokers' nicotine clouds without becoming addicted thereby. One wonders if certain select patterns of breathing might contribute to a more effective way of stopping a habit not as chemically addictive as we had been led to believe?

o Could bakery aromas, vanilla, mint, and other pleasing smells, piped in close-order succession over and over again through a hospital's ventilation system, improve chances and speed recovery in patients through the changes those aromas would induce in patients' breathing patterns?

o Could the main stress of air pollution be not so much the chemical insult to the system as the breathing patterns which the foul air induces? —Short, high, shallow breathing is physiologically almost identical to that of chronic tension, anxiety, discomfort, repulsion and constant relentlessly restless activity.

Not only do mind and brain run every process of the body; the processes of the body affect brain and mind. A good example of how body processes run brain and mind is in the instance of extreme stage fright—an anxiety so pervasive that consciousness narrows down to pre-occupation with minutiae and scant awareness is available to the victim with which to deal with the vast remainder of the situation.

At the other extreme is the experience and response-repertoire of the person who, unlike most people, has gotten "beyond O.K.," who has gotten comfortable with most of the matters which previously, unconsciously, had been bothering him. This excellent-feeling, highly competent, zestful and creative state of being is easy and swift to attain through use of the breath.

If one is agoraphobic, for example, afraid of open spaces, he can hold to a calm breathing pattern while dealing directly with (or even just thinking directly about) being out-in-the-open! We have found that no matter what is going on (with the occasional possible exception of bronchitis and/or other such respiratory difficulties, of course), one can keep one's breathing slow, calm, deep and deliberate and rewarding (or in whatever other pattern, for that matter).

Panic, pain or other distress or undesirable emotion simply cannot co-exist for long in the same psychological space, or frame of reference, with such calm breathing. The breathing can be kept going. The distress has to go away. And it does!

Once one has developed several of these calm-breathing patterns to the point where these are sheer reflex, one can "go in after" anything and everything which had been a source of distress, face each such present or past distress directly for several minutes while continuing this calm-breathing—and apparently free oneself entirely and permanently of discomfort in relation to each such confronted experience. For this purpose the best two thus far known are the patterns, presented in this column next month, which we call noise-removal breathing and satisfaction breathing.

Behaviorists will contend that such breathing simply reconditions the responses of the system relative to the once-distressing stimulus. NLPers may recognize an especially powerful form of "anchoring."

Other branches of therapy and psychology may contend that there are other reasons why such simple breathing patterns can be used for such profound effects. Discharge therapies such as "Primalling," for example, may find (if they can surmount their conviction that one must really re-suffer in order to get well!) that this "noise-removal breathing" literally removes distresses as if such distress were a form of noxious substance clogging up the system.

In information systems—and the human organism itself is an information system—"noise" acts in ways precisely, mathematically, structurally identical to such an interfering substance. And in our own thinking, as in information science, distress is a major form of "noise."

Analytic and/or insight-based therapies will contend that the calm breathing is a way to bridge gaps in internal communications without the customary emotional pyrotechnics, and that in any case it is the bridging of those gaps with insights which enables the system to normalize its flows and functions and levels of development.

O


(Editorial prefix, added 2009:)
"We breathe the way we feel, and we feel the way we breathe!"
The way we breathe, builds the associated state. Continuing that and maintaining or building that state while focusing on a situation, re-conditions that situation to fit that felt state. A third thing that breathing does is to enable you to redirect the autonomic processes of your system, an interesting point of leverage from which to clear away obstacles to clear and vivid perception, understanding, optimal health or optimal outcomes - by the physical metaphors I've suggested for such purpose, later in this article, in the next winsights article following this one, and in winsights articles #s 69, 82, 98, and 106 later in this column. Each of these points bears a lot of major consequences, once you think things through....


O

Next month: The conclusion of this special two-part series on use of the Calm-Breathing Patterns. We will present here the special step-by-step directions for each of the several key patterns, free for you and anyone anywhere to make effective use of—to make better and more productive your own immediate experience, and your entire lifetime!

O

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