Can You Breathe Your Pain Away?
Jan 17, 2022
Recently, my business friend and I conducted an in-service for a lovely group of people on a relaxing business retreat - they were on a retreat at a spa resort to help them relax and learn how to relax. One of their activities was attending a breathing session with us.
We greeted the would-be master breathers when they walked in the door to our conference room. To be honest, they didn’t look too relaxed. I get it though. If someone told me, “Tim, you’re attending a breathing seminar and you’re going to feel better” I may feel a little uneasy too.
Anyway, one of the attendees had a noticeable limp that was accompanied with pain when she walked, it was an angry hip flexor. It had been bothering this person for a while. Until she found her breath.
And that’s the magic of breath. It can help restore the body back to “good,” many times in an instant, at the speed of the nervous system. The look of joy/surprise/awe on the attendee’s face was awesome. And hopeful.
So what happened? How does letting your body breathe the way it was designed to breathe, remove pain?
I don’t know.
But what I do know is that every single breath you take sends your brain one of two messages: “I’m safe,” or “I’m not safe.”
When the brain feels safe, it releases the body and allows it to fully flow and express itself with ease and beauty. When the brain doesn’t feel safe, it governs what it allows the body to do. Sometimes it governs through stiffness, weakness, or even pain. Stiffness and weakness may not really get your attention - you could have those for years and never know your brain doesn’t feel safe. But pain, pain often gets your attention and it isn’t hard to fathom that something just isn’t right somewhere. Yet, even with pain, you may not think that your brain doesn’t feel safe. You may just think, “Something is wrong with my hip flexor.”
To be open, I am grossly oversimplifying the message, or the story, that your breath tells your brain. I know I can’t capture the depth of all that happens in a single breath. But I do know the theme of the story and its wholeness. Breath is the foundation of who we are, it upholds every possible thing about our being. And it does tell the brain whether we are safe or not safe, but it also tells the brain whether we are connected or disconnected, whether we are strong or weak, whether we are happy or sad, or whether we are whole or broken.
Your breath does all of that and so much more. And when you find your breath, when you start breathing the story of connectedness and wholeness, the brakes and restraints come off the body; pain goes away, strength returns, mobility increases, and hope abounds.
When I was new to the idea of Pressing RESET on the body, crawling was the miracle movement to me. I absolutely loved it and with good reason. But now, knowing what I know, and seeing the true power and wonder in our design, I have found that one of the best feelings in the world is a true, whole breath. It literally feels amazing and its power potential is immeasurable.
Do yourself a favor and find your breath. Let your breath happen, let your lungs be filled from the bottom to the top, let your diaphragm descend on top of your organs, then let go. Don’t hold it, don’t short change it, don’t force it. Relax and let it go, like a sigh of relief. Then when you’ve let it go, let it come back. Be curious and spend five minutes a day exploring how to let your breath happen. See if you can discover your wholeness.