Life is about change, even when it appears to be static. Our bodies, and our emotional and mental states, change from moment to moment. While this constant change happens on so many levels, our brains and subtle energy centers monitor what is happening, how we are changing. Moment by moment, processes are put in place to maintain our physical and subtle balance.
Change is normal and essential to life, its evolution and transformation. But instead of enhancing life, some changes can inhibit or diminish it. There are always times when we are so out of balance that our body, our thoughts, our feelings, or all three, signal to us that we have to do something conscious to restore balance.
When we stray from our path of soul expression, or the reason why we came to planet Earth, our soul finds ways to let us know. Our souls communicate to us through the language of feelings, not our emotions, which is why it is so important for us to keep in touch with our feelings. The subtle difference between feelings and emotions is that feelings originate in the heart center, the place of the soul, while emotions are created by the mind’s interactions with what we are presented with in life.
When we choose not to listen to our feelings, our soul prompts the mind to speak to us. We know that something is wrong, somewhere. If we do little to investigate, the message passes to the body. Our body is our friend, but it has to make us aware of the message that something is out of balance. We may then develop physical conditions ranging from the minor to the severe.
Throughout this whole period, our breathing will have undergone changes according to the rhythms of our state of imbalance (another reason to remain mindful of our breath). Specific breathing exercises can work on the causes of our stress, illness, unhappiness, or discontent in order to restore balance in our lives.
Instead of letting it continue as an automatic process, conscious breathing is your decision to take temporary control of your breathing. Conscious breathing is also used to empower a person to play an active role in their healing, rather than remain a passive patient. This brings feelings of safety and openness to healing.
This breathing exercise reveals the power of the breath of unity to heal. The heart center drives the breathing process and it is the open heart center that creates the channel for healing energies to flow. Through the initiation into the healing breath, we receive practical evidence of the life force, or the divine presence, within the breath. The life force in the breath makes it possible to breathe in healing energies during any form of traditional or complementary therapy. Furthermore, this intention greatly enhances the effectiveness of those forms of healing.
The exercise is addressed to you, the self-healer, or the person who is to receive healing. You should either be sitting, or lying on your back on a couch or a clean surface on the ground.
Initiation into the healing breath prepares the energy field to receive healing energies. It may also be used to build upon your own body’s potential to self-heal through relaxation. If you are working with a partner, talk each other through the exercise in turn, or you could record it, leaving pauses where necessary. If you are a healer, quietly and gently talk your patient through the exercise.
• Make yourself comfortable, relax, and breathe normally. Close your eyes and focus on your breath and your breathing. Breathe in, breathe out.
• Feel your body breathing. Be aware of your breath entering and leaving your body. Enjoy the feeling of your body breathing. Feel your body moving in time with your breathing. Feel your chest and abdomen responding to your breathing.
• As you breathe in and breathe out, easily and gently, realize that this breath comes from a place where everything is safe, welcoming, and loving.
• Imagine now that, as you inhale, you are taking in all the healing energy you need. And as you breathe out, your body is finding a way of letting go, releasing any stored energy you no longer need. Breathe in to nourish and heal yourself. Breathe out to let go of physical, mental, and emotional problems.
• Feel yourself continually relaxing with every out-breath. Open yourself to the welcoming and loving space between each breath.
• There is nothing else to do now but breathing and being, resting and receiving. There is nothing else to think about.
• Allow yourself to enjoy this realization.
• Your body will continue to take in all the healing energy it needs and to release what it does not need on the out-breath. Spend a few moments in this healing state.
Because of its calming effect on the body, mind, and emotions, this exercise usually leads to a deeply relaxed state. In a healing situation, the more calm and relaxed the person is, the more they are able to access the healing energy that is available. This happens because healing is the natural by-product of conscious union with the Source of healing.
When the exercise is carried out as a self-healing breathing activity, repeat the phrases above used by the healer. If you are working with a partner, change roles and then compare notes together.
The exercise above effectively creates the energetic environment in which the person can experience their true spiritual nature. When this occurs, the realization follows that all healing is a spiritual, rather than a physical, event.
©2010, 2012 by Jack Angelo. All Rights Reserved.
Reprinted with permission of the publisher, Healing Arts Press,
a division of Inner Traditions International. www.HealingArtsPress.com
This article was adapted with permission from the book:
Self-Healing with Breathwork: Using the Power of Breath to Increase Energy and Attain Optimal Wellness -- by Jack Angelo.
Providing 57 conscious breathing and visualization practices, Jack Angelo shows how breathwork can relieve stress and anxiety, improve sleep and digestion, increase creativity and mental focus, promote emotional calm, boost energy levels, enhance meditation, clear negative energy, and provide support for physical healing. He shows how, through conscious breathing, we can harness the healing life force available in each breath for energetic balance, heightened consciousness, and overall wellness as well as a deeper connection to the sacred source of all life.
Jack Angelo is a well-known healer and teacher of subtle energy medicine and natural spirituality who has worked with individuals and groups for more than 25 years. He lectures and gives workshops on breathwork and healing internationally and is the author of several books, including Hands-on Healing and Spiritual Healing: Energy Medicine for Today. He is also a national trainer for the National Federation of Spiritual Healers. He has a healing and counseling practice in Gwent, South Wales.