Alive and Well… and Breathing

Sometimes healing starts with the basics—like taking a deep breath.

Inhale, exhale, inhale and exhale. We are breathing constantly, yet rarely give it any thought. But the way we breathe has a profound effect not only on our physiology but also on our thought processes, our emotional and spiritual life, and on every action we take.

In today’s hectic and anxiety-provoking world, many people have voluntarily or involuntarily reacted to their surroundings by forming unnatural breathing patterns. Breathing too shallowly, too rapidly or too infrequently, for example, may become habits that can keep someone from achieving their best possible health, and their best possible selves.

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The first tool a physician uses to assess a patient’s health is a stethoscope. Likewise, spa professionals can glean a lot of information about their clients by observing and inquiring about their breath patterns. There are important connections between breath and emotional pain, muscular tension, skin conditions, and even the health of hair and nails.

There is one way of breathing that is shameful and constricted. Then, there’s another way: a breath of love that takes you all the way to infinity.” —Rumi

By learning how to help clients breathe properly, and even control their breath (when this is warranted), you can give them the most powerful tools they’ll ever have to enhance their well-being.