Healing Breath

The other day I happened to be in a room with a reiki master when I experienced a tightening of my chest. It was uncomfortable but it was not unexpected. I had just eaten a bagle with lox and cream cheese and raw onion, I had not slept well the night before and I was stressed. A lot of bread does not agree with me and raw onions never do. I should have known better on such a day! So I commented that I was going to excuse myself for a glass of water. Instead I was offered a treatment. Her comment was, “you should not be in that much pain from some onions”. This is a great example of how, as a healer, it is often most difficult to heal oneself!

Even if you know how to heal it is often difficult to focus on healing when you are focused on your own pain or discomfort.

After a few moments in the chair, she commented that I was not breathing. She noticed that my breath was so shallow that I was not getting enough oxygen to my heart and chest and entire body. I had not noticed at all until she said something. However, it was not surprising. It had been a stressful day and the event I was at was one I felt “forced” to attend – I was eager to get back to my own world and was not feeling very comfortable.

She lead me through a simple exercise:

Breathe as deeply as you can in through your nose.

Hold the oxygen there in your lungs.

Breathe out.

Repeat 10 times or as needed.

After this I was completely pain free.

One thing that is important to note is that she did not simply tell me, “calm down and breathe”. This is what people commonly do to relax someone but it usually has the opposite effect. If you truly want to calm someone and help them with their breathing  then you need to lead them, step-by-step through the process above. Leading them gently will take their mind off of their current issue. Directly them to do it themselves without instruction will re-focus them on their issue and perhaps cause additional stress.

It is amazing how we can so often forget the most basic things of life.

So next time you have pain or are feeling anxious or unwell – try to breathe and see if it helps you. It is free and only takes a few moments so it is worth a try!


If that does not work, try my other favorite free remedy – drink a large glass of water. Many issues in our life are also caused by slight dehydration (Reference: Your Body’s Many Cries for Water by F. Batmanghelidj, M.D.).

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