Breathing for Life

October 6, 2020  |  by Sheryl Rapée-Adams  |  Comments are off  | 

Massage Vermont is expanding our work. We will offer pandemic-safe virtual sessions to help clients relax, find calm in body and mind, and more skillfully abide in what is—whatever that turns out to be.

Chris and I are training to teach the Buteyko Method. This breathing system returns your breathing to the way it might have been in babyhood, to the way our furry family members breathe—slowly, softly, silently, and through the nose.

The Buteyko Clinic is conducting clinical trials for its effects on various health conditions, and while the asthma studies are promising, others are inconclusive. But Massage Vermont’s scope of practice is not curative, it’s palliative. We offer comfort care to increase mindfulness, stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, promote general relaxation, and increase well-being.

Specific health conditions might improve with palliative care. The point of comfort care, though, is to reduce resistance to, and abide more comfortably in, what is. This puts you in a better position to take action and make changes when possible.

Changing old habits takes patience: I’ve had respiratory allergies since childhood. I hadn’t realized I was sniffing frequently, even when I didn’t need to clear congestion. It’s the same with sighing when stressed, tired, or discontent. Awareness of the habit is the first step; replacing it with new habits takes take longer. So start now.

How do we know the Buteyko Method works?

Every day, Chris and I use the Buteyko Method. We observe our breathing. We breathe more slowly, quietly, and regularly (not sighing or deep breathing), and always through the nose. With guidance, we practice several techniques daily. Our teacher-training workshops begin at the end of the month.

Since starting daily Buteyko practices, Chris and I feel calmer. Our breathing is improving according to a Buteyko self-assessment technique. Chris’s asthma has eased. And we have safe, simple practices we can do anywhere, anytime, regardless of how we’re feeling.

Breathing methods and other palliative techniques are not cures. It’s not like taking antibiotics for an infection or steroids for inflammation. Instead, these practices offer ways to support our inner and outer environment.

You might be suffering with what is. Your circumstances might have changed in undesirable ways. Even if your basic needs are being met, it is normal to feel unsettled and upset with all that’s going on. So what can you do?

As long as you are conscious and breathing, techniques like the Buteyko Method are available as beneficial alternatives to doing nothing or to doing things that distract you from the moment but have unwanted consequences, such as eating or drinking too much or diving into a social media maelstrom.

We’re not even saying don’t do those things: that’s up to you.

It’s just, here’s something else you can do to help soothe your nerves and ease your body and mind. We look forward to sharing it with you.

We’ll announce when our new services are available. Meanwhile, we recommend the book that started us on this path—Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art by James Nestor. (Photo by Nikola Jovanovic on Unsplash)