The world and our lives continue to change at a rate unheard of just a short while ago and while certainty is never guaranteed, our ability to navigate those changes starts with how well we connect to ourselves.
If we stay disconnected from our own body and look to the outside world to bring us a sense of peace, relaxation or certainty we quickly learn these feelings are fleeting - at best. Uncertainty is the new name of the game but the brain doesn't like this - it doesn't like not knowing the outcome. To the brain, uncertainty can be seen as a threat it can't manage. This causes stress, anxiety and fear to prevail.
So how can we connect more deeply to ourselves? There is one staple that has persevered across cultures and time from the Taoists, Chinese, Tibetans, Mystics, Yogis and many many more - the breath. Much has been written on the subject so I'll keep it brief:
Change your breath and you change your life.
This includes the physical, mental, emotional and even spiritual aspects of ourselves.
Breathe in deeply to bring your mind home to your body
-Thich Nhat Hanh-
Breathing gently calms the mind by letting it know the body is safe
-Corey Allen -
As a society, we are really bad breathers!
Breathing to survive is easy and automatic. Breathing to thrive is an art that takes conscious practice.
Not just because our minds have run wild and we are over stimulated with screens, media and seeming mayhem but because we never learnt how to breath properly. No one taught us how to use the diaphragm muscle.
Breathing is just something you did - everyone did, otherwise you'd be dead, right?!
After decades of poor breathing and posture, the diaphragm is just kind of there, unconsciously going about it's business to keep us alive. If we don't tap into it's full power we never access those deeper parts of ourselves, where we feel that sense of connection and safety.
The more stressed we feel, the shallower our breath becomes. The more we access the diaphragm, the deeper our breath and the deeper our sense of certainty.
When we start to breathe better:
We ground in the body. We become more present, connected to our internal environment. Our muscles relax, tension subsides, pain decreases, energy and vitality return, digestion resumes, heart rate slows, detoxication kicks in, lymphatic flow picks up and immune functions takes a huge leap forward. You can thank your new connection with your ventral vagus nerve for a lot of these benefits.
We quiet the mind as we come to realize - I am ok here and now. We no longer focus on what could be, what may happen at some point in the future or what may go wrong. We get a sense of relief from our incessant thinking and the fears that can accompany them.
We sense there is a new way forward. We start to feel lighter and a sense of ease comes back to our life. It may not happen overnight but we rest a little easier knowing we've found a path that is headed in the right direction.
So why don't more people do this?
If you try sustaining a pattern of deep breathing you may notice it takes more effort than expected. Your belly may feel tight, almost restricted in its movement. A part of this is due to lack of practice and a weakened diaphragm muscle, but a large part may be something you've never considered.
If you're like most people, a lifetime of unconscious breathing and posture has caused your rib cage to collapse down and forward - right on top of your diaphragm.
Worse yet, your ribs have now sealed in this collapsed posture - frozen in place by fascia that grips to bone and doesn't want to let go.
Practicing deep breathing, yoga, stretching, meditation all help to some extent but until you release the fascia and brings your rib cage back into proper alignment you're facing an uphill battle with proper breathing.
Why Block Therapy?
Block Therapy releases the restrictions holding us out of alignment and creates space in the core to allow full use of the diaphragm. It helps strengthen and support this now free muscle so that deep breathing takes less effort and feels more natural.
We are finally free to explore the the world of deep, unobstructed breathing and feel what it's like to come home to our bodies. You begin to release not only the physical restrictions of the body - but the mental and emotional aspects of what you have stored in that tissue. This is why so many people including myself feel calmer, lighter, centered and free while practicing this unique form of selfcare.
We always knew deep breathing was important - now we know how to do it better.
"The Block has been a godsend for me when it comes to anxiety and stress" Dawn Ziemanski
"I'm fairly new also, but using the block to learn how to properly breathe diaphragmatically has helped my peak moments of anxiety so so much!" Dawn Johnson
"I know I have a long way to go...but a quick update...my anxiety has gone way down and when my heart races at times, it is manageable! I feel lighter and younger, I don't remember EVER feeling this good" Karen
"As a side bar, it's been amazing for keeping my mental health in general on an even keel. I reversed my bipolar disorder 33 months ago and Block helps me manage the symptoms." Wende Fahey
"Just blocked my back. Got to my back ribs and adrenals and after laying on my block for about three minutes was hit with the most glorious sense of calm and sleepiness. I think I did fall asleep for a few minutes. Was hard to get through the rest of the session because I was SO relaxed. I think I just let go of a crazy amount of anxiety, fear, sadness. Feels so good. THANK YOU" Gilly