Christians believe that the literal breath of God gave life to humanity. Buddhists use breathing techniques during meditation to go deeper than normal meditation. Fitness gurus use breathing patterns help the body to recuperate after intense activities. Other spiritual people believe there is a life force, or energy, in people that can be manipulated through breathing. The common denominator amongst these various viewpoints is that their is something unseen and spiritual about our breath.
Many studies have been performed surrounding faith healing, energy healing, meditation, yoga, pranic breathing, and other non-conventional healing techniques. Science has shown there are benefits to many of these alternative medicines. Some cases show dramatic results, but overall these techniques are recognized for how they can jump start the body to engage in self healing.
Stress, for example, can cause headaches, raise blood pressure, upset your stomach, cause heart attacks, and even worsen symptoms of certain diseases. Mental stress creates chaos in the body. Breathing exercises can mitigate the symptoms of stress and other bodily ailments. While scientists are not ready to say that breathing a certain way is the cure for cancer, they will not deny the benefits.
As someone in treatment you know the importance of a balanced lifestyle to help you avoid the things that trigger addiction cravings. Not everyone can stop and do a yoga routine, get a massage, or go get acupuncture when cravings arise. Breathing and meditation, however, can offer some immediate relief.
Some treatment centers teach breathing and meditation techniques to promote mindfulness when facing an urge to use. One such practice is called pranic breathing. The steps for this technique are as follows:
- Sit down, close your eyes, and keep your back straight. Place both hands on your belly allowing your thumbs to rest on the naval.
- Keep your tongue on your palate throughout the exercise.
- Exhale until your lungs are comfortably empty, but do not force it out.
- Keeping your mouth closed, breathe in through your nose focusing on how the oxygen is filling your lungs. The goal is to allow your diaphragm to move your belly while keeping your chest still. Repeat the cycle for about ten breaths and then pause for a minute.
This is just a cursory look at pranic breathing. There are other breathing techniques designed to accomplish specific things. When people talk about “the breath” they are talking about tapping into the energy that can help you in your journey towards recovery.
The Lakehouse Treatment Center understands the worlds of active addiction and active recovery. Years of comprehensive experience have helped us build a unique program focused on changing lives and rebuilding families. From detox to sober living, The Lakehouse program focuses on learning how to live and have fun again- a treatment experience like no other. Call us anytime: 877.762.3707