Squeeze and Breathe
The Optimal Squeeze and Breathe tm
© 1997-2016 Michael Grant White. Breathing.com
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Firstly see the lungs below and notice how they are mostly in the sides and back and not very much in the front.
This means that it is mostly pointless to breathe into the high chest because there is by comparison to the lower lobes very little lung volume there.
The mid chest and lower rear lobes are where the major volume is. The back of the trunk from mid back to waist is where the lower lobes most often allow for the most expansion. But tensions in the low back restrict expansion so we must both access and challenge the area in one of the following ways. (More ways re included in the Optimal Breathing Kit.
The Optimal Squeeze and Breathe. Included in the Optimal Breathing Mastery kit
A clear focused mind, creativity, lateral thinking processes, logic, concentration.
This can only occur if blood flow to brain is optimized and energy is flowing freely from the lungs and heart to the brain. However, often what occurs is that even though the mind is engaged (narrow external focus) there’s a disconnection to the tension that the body might be holding.
The back of the neck, jaw and shoulders are the common areas where unconscious tension becomes locked. Backache is also a common phenomenon due to lack of awareness of the appropriate posture, and as a result the breathing is shallow or erratic. The neck should be soft and the breaths open and flowing. When the breathing is re-patterned back to its natural state, oxygenation to the tissues is optimized, facilitating maintenance of natural energy levels or what I call an energetic calm.
Optimal Calming Breathing allows more awareness of posture; the back softens up and the diaphragm moves with less effort. Energy flows through meridians and balances the chakras more easily, supporting and nourishing all the organ and endocrine systems better.
Open flowing breaths reminds the body that ‘adrenalized’ energy (think energetic calm) is not required and essential functions such as digestive processes and immune support can occur according to natural unstressed rhythms and cycles.
This is not a high demand, charged experience, and the body and breathing should support a state of calming focus.
Supported by a small round pillow from Relax the Back Stores Nationwide or a “No Chair” www.breathing.com/no-chair.htm out near the edge of a fairly hard surfaced chair, stool or arm of a couch with feet flat on the floor, or stand.
Both of these positions need an erect but not stiff posture.Be "tallest" with your chin slightly above the horizon. If you stand, bend your knees slightly so as to unlock them.
Let your tongue lightly touch the roof or your mouth and your jaw relax. Relax your belly. Let it hang down. Let go of any fear of having a "pot belly" or not having "washboard abs".
Standing tall and relaxed, put your hands on the sides of your waist just above your hip bones and below your ribs, thumbs in back and fingers toward belly button. Squeeze your fingers and thumbs together then nose breathe in against their will forcing them apart with your breathing in your belly back and sides against their will for a 4 second count. Then release your grip and VERY SLOWLY release the breathing for a 6 count making sure you stil have passive exhale left. Add a number when you are still able to have some passive exhale left. See if over time you can reach 18. This technique will train you to learn to feel better and even less anxious and where the breathing should begin to be felt and to help develop stronger abdominal breathing.
Make sure the exhale is at least twice as long as the inhale and that there is some passive exhale left at the end of each exhale count. It may work better for you to use silent number counting (one thousand one, one thousand two, etc.) to gauge that, again just make sure the exhale is at least twice as long up to five times as long than the inhale and passive exhale left at the end of each exhale count. NEVER tighten the belly to extend the exhale. Simply slow the speed of the out-breath like letting air out of an over-filled tire. ALWAYS keep the belly relaxed.
Practice this breathing hourly. Use a sigh as a way to release tension that may be building up at the back of the neck, in the jaw and shoulders and eyes as you look away from the screen. Use the breaths to become more mindful of your posture. When finished let your breathing guide you from the inside out.
Use this video to guide you https://youtu.be/45D-UETVWr8
1. How did that feel? Relaxing. Energizing? Relaxing AND energizing? Good? If it did then do it five more times in a row.
Dizziness, feeling spacey or otherwise confused means you should stop and continue your day or stop and recommence in a minute or two after the energy has subsided or integrated within you. OR get our Breathing Kit because your breathing is so out of balance it is too difficult to follow this instruction.
2. A little anxiety (or a lot)?
If you felt anxious it was probably too fast for you or you did not squeeze in the right place or strongly enough and then breathe into the squeezed thumb and fingers to separate them against their will.
Try it again. Remember to place your thumbs over your kidneys (below your back ribs and above your pelvis). Wrap your fingers around your sides, towards your belly button.
Squeeze gently then practicing long slow deep breaths into your squeezed fingers forcing them apart against their will with your in-breath into your belly, back and sides.
Feel better? Calmer? Energized? Calm and energized at the same time?
Remember to coordinate by first squeezing. Squeeze gently then breathe in through the nose, long slow deep breaths, breathing into your squeezed fingers and thumbs, widening them with your breathing and slightly against their tension. Do it 5 times more.
Try it again. Slower is usually better. Do 5 in and out breaths at least. Your grip may get fatigued. Come back later.
Now, just observe what is happening in your mind, your feelings, your emotions and your body sensations. Look at your thoughts, feelings, emotions and body sensations that are passing by as you would observe clouds in the sky. Just observe what is happening. Meanwhile you are breathing deeper and slower.
The ability to listen to the essence of what is being communicated; the ability to respond rather than react; a way to manage anger, frustration, expectation, and to avoid taking things personally.
As you begin to wake up to the power of Optimal Breathing and cultivate more mindfulness in your working day, you will notice an improvement in concentration, energy, productivity, communication skills and overall wellbeing.
There are better exercises for increasing energy, calming as well as developing breathing but this one may help a great deal.
To go deeper into your breathing get this program
I just wanted to give you some feedback.
I purchased the basic optimal breathing kit because I had struggled with anxiety for two years. I had talked with a psychologist about it, and although he was wonderful, he could not help me with this. I tried to just forget about it and keep my mind occupied, but this rarely worked (I was successful maybe two days every year when I was on vacation). I tried meditation and that didn't help with this either (sometimes it felt like it made it worse).
I was beginning to get pretty desperate, because this was greatly ruining my quality of life and I was so scared it would never go away. But I also had a feeling that I was looking for solutions in the wrong places, because my anxiety felt very physical (a CONSTANT 24/7 pressure in the chest area). After purchasing and receiving the optimal breathing package, I tried the strapping technique, and it was so incredible effective, I could hardly believe it. The pressure in my chest lessened dramatically right away. I chose a few other techniques I felt drawn to as well, and I picked a few that were helpful and easy to do. In the beginning I had to do the exercises for a few minutes (10-15) everyday to keep the anxiety feeling in my chest at bay, but after maybe two weeks or less I could get away with skipping more and more days and also doing less repetitions.
After a while I just stopped doing them, because I didn't have to anymore. I know I would still benefit greatly from doing breathing exercises regularly, but I have just gotten lazy since I don't have the anxiety problem anymore. Occasionally I'll feel some pressure in the chest (everyone gets anxious now and then and I know I have too much stress, both internal and external, in my life at the moment, so I don't consider this a relapse at all), but I know that if I just do a few of the techniques for maybe 5 minutes or less it will be fine. I'm so grateful!
I would recommend for people who are overwhelmed (like I was) to just start with the basic kit, and choose maybe just two or three exercises you feel drawn to and focus on them. You can always build on and mix it up later if you wish. If you have any questions, email Mike and ask, he's very helpful!
Maria (mid twenties at the time of writing) Our recommended program
What are you to do if you have a heart attack while you are alone?
This could save your life!
Let's say it's 6:15 p.m. you're driving home alone.. Suddenly you start experiencing severe pain in your chest that starts to radiate out into your arm and up into your jaw.
Without help, the person whose heart is beating improperly and who begins to feel faint, has only about 10 seconds left before losing consciousness. However, these victims can help themselves by coughing repeatedly and very vigorously.
A deep but quick Squeeze and Breathe type (to help calm you down) breath should be taken before each cough, and the cough must be deep and prolonged, as when producing sputum from deep inside the chest.
A breath and a cough must be repeated about every two seconds without let up until help arrives, or until the heart is felt to be beating normally again.
Deep breaths get oxygen into the lungs and coughing movements squeeze the heart and keep the blood circulating. The squeezing pressure on the heart also helps it regain normal rhythm. In this way, heart attack victims can get to a hospital.
Tell as many other people as possible about this, it could save their lives!