- The Lower Abdomen is Not Receiving Breath.
The abdomen contains all 3 of our lower chakras and houses our organs. Due to the high volume of information processing that goes on in these lower systems, if can be a common pattern to find individuals not breathing into portions of their abdomen due to not wanting to feel what is being processed. Guilt, fear, shame, and many other discomforting emotions are present in the low abdomen. The lower energy centers are related to embodiment and being present, individuals who lack a low belly breath are typically found to be less present in their body, and may have a hard time finding stillness and a quiet mind. Especially during the session, when emotions become heightened, it can be hard for an individual to stay present. This may also relate to a lack of self-confidence and a diminished self-esteem, and various forms of self-judgement. Further, due to our cultural beauty standards it is common for both men and women to suck in their belly rather than relaxing their belly, which can lead to all kinds of imbalances.
• Mindfully place your palm in the sacral center, which is above the pubic bone and around 2 inches below the navel. Invite the breather to breath into your hand and stay present in the physical body.
• Place a stone, sandbag, or heating pad on the sacral center.
• Use leg compressions, move the limbs, get them to kick, wiggle, or tantrum.
• Get the breather to place their soles of feedt on the ground, which will help the lower abdomen receive more breath. Additionally, get the breather to gently bounce on their sacrum (you may want to place a blanket underneath).
• Have the Breather lie face down.
• Affirmations: I choose life. It is safe to be in my physical body. I am safe.
- Reverse Breathing
One healthy way to breath naturally is to inhale and have the abdomen expand, while the exhale involves the abdomen moving in towards the spine…this expansion and contraction helps to bring breath, blood, and a massage to all the internal organs and glands. Reverse breathing denotes a pattern of breathing wherein the abdomen pulls in on the inhale and relaxes on the exhale. Though this breathing pattern has benefits and is taught in Qigong for example, it is only used for short durations; when the pattern becomes unconscious and chronic it is linked to imbalances. It is possible for the reverse breather to feel out of tune with their body if the breath is reversed, because our breathing pattern is a metaphor for how we are living, one may feel that they are doing things backwards or out of order in life.
• Begin the breath session by guiding the breathing slowly, and using your hand to facilitate the proper movement and pumping action that goes along with proper breathing.
• Pranayama – uddiyana bandha
• Have the breather lie belly down.
• Have the breather exhale all the way and hold, then relax the belly, then pull the belly in and out rapidly while still keeping the belly relaxed. When the breath is ready to inhale, have them push the belly out then inhale, then sigh on the exhale (1-3 sets).
- The Mid-Section (solar plexus) is Not Receiving Breath
The solar plexus region lies below the rib cage and is where the primary breathing diaphragm is. In and around the mid-section is the liver, stomach, adrenals, pancreas, and spleen. With a plethora of organs which all hold different energies and emotions, this area can become stuck and corrections can be difficult. Metaphysically, this area holds many fears, especially one’s capacity to surrender to the will of the heart and higher centers. Further, inflammation of the gut and Gi tract can cause sensitivity when touching the area of the solar plexus.
• Pranayama – before the session to help the breather develop the mindbody awareness to control the diaphragm muscles.
• Reverse breathing – sets of 21, 1-3 times. Then, assure that the reverse breathing pattern is not sustained.
• Steady firm pressure under the ribs or into the organ spaces. There is a sensitivity required when pressurizing the organs and diaphragm, move in too fast with too much pressure and the physic armouring will guard the area and not give the breather access to the blockage that is stored in the cells. Move in without enough pressure and the breather is likely to not activate and release the blockage. In any area you as a facilitator bring awareness to there is a possibility for discomfort, this area especially can house discomfort, especially near the stomach and solar plexus, which is literally a bundle of nerves. This is one of those areas where you may want to coach the breather that discomfort is common here, and to work with them if they are open to moving into the sensation to that the blockage may be cleared.
• Cold water therapy.
• Affirmations: my will and the heart’s will are one. I surrender. I am in my power.
End of part 3
For those interested in learning more, I offer breath pattern diagnosis as part of my 1-on-1 sessions. I have a mentoring program for individuals who are breathworkers, or would like to become facilitators. And I have 2 upcoming trainings to become a facilitator.
Dm if interested.