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Asthma Symptoms

BreathWorks: Singing, Breathing, and Healing

Carl Stough, a conductor and musician, turned his interest and knowledge of singing and breathing into a breathing therapy for people with lung conditions: Stough taught Flanigan to think and breathe differently. “Life begins and ends on the exhalation,” Stough says. Though many of us may find this surprising, Stough is right. It’s the exhalation that is the key to life’s beginning, just as it is the exhalation that ends it. He teaches his clients to stop holding their breath, to cease “confining” it, and he tells them it’s all in the letting go. This refocusing of thought and breath helps the bodily organs and systems (the lungs, the diaphragm, the nervous and hormonal systems) to release and expand in ways that cannot be experienced otherwise. Quite naturally, the voice becomes stronger and more resonant. Under Stough’s guidance, Flanigan learned to Focus on fully releasing her breath; in doing this, she began releasing her attachment to grief as well. This gave Flanigan the space she needed to rise to a new level in her singing and in her life. Where before she sang of grief, she now sang of joy.

Where and when do you hold your breath, hold on to grief, refuse to let go? The Breathometer exercise gives you the chance to make some potent observations regarding these issues.

The Breathometer

A barometer is a scientific instrument that measures atmospheric pressure. But we also use the term as an indicator of other kinds of fluctuations that are not necessarily scientific. For example, opinion polls serve as a barometer of public likes and dislikes, or the tone of someone’s voice may act as a barometer of his or her mood. The Breathometer is an indicator, as well. But, instead of attending to atmospheric pressures related to weather conditions, it indicates another kind of pressure in the atmosphere — the kind generated by the people, places, and situations in your life that provoke breath holding and induce asthma symptoms. The Breathometer shows how the changes in the atmosphere of your mental and emotional life affect how you breathe — and beyond this, how they can trigger an asthma attack or prevent one from coming

The simple Focusing exercise that follows gives you the opportunity to become aware of those times when you are breath holding, which is the first step toward breaking this unhealthy and damaging habit. It’s not only asthmatics who hold their breath. All of us refuse to let go of things, including anger, resentment, grief over losses, stories about the past, youth, beauty, material possessions of every kind, and one another. Naturally (or unnaturally), we attach our anxiety, depression Dapoxetine in Canada sadness, fear, anger, tension, excitement to our breath, and we hold it. We do this whether we expect good news or are afraid of hearing the worst, and we do it even while we’re asleep.