In his landmark book The Divided Mind - Regan/Harper Collins, John Sarno MD brilliantly clarifies a whole new world of mind-body healing/medicine that many call psychosomatic. He expands upon detecting ways our emotions and unconscious actions and reactions cause harm to our health and well being.
I have learned while working with the breathing for over 30 years that Dr. Sarno's insights about lowered oxygen being the primary basis for psychosomatic disorder is right on target with one exception, breathing pattern disorder.
Both Dr. Sarno and I independently of one another have observed that faulty or suboptimal breathing is related to hundreds of health conditions that he says are not being addressed in the traditional physician community.
Breathing balance and sequencing will support or distort every aspect of nervous system function. Oxygen is key but also the way we take the oxygen in, how it stimulates the nervous system and how it is accessed by the cells.
Our breathing tests statistics show that poor skills in breathing are correlated with allergies, anxiety and panic attacks, asthma, attention issues, depression, high blood pressure, obesity, spelling problems and much much more.
Quite often the breathing is so set in its muscular patterning that even the most appropriate breathing exercises will not change it fast or well enough to give any lasting results. To unlock a breathing based glitch in a dysfunctional mind-body relationship the breathing must receive a great deal of accurate and repeated attention and not necessarily by the breather, as the breathing person most often has no clue as to what to look for or how it should feel.
Most people who present with them have no clue what good breathing feels like and no-one can tell them. Just like chocolate must be tasted, good breathing must be felt, inside, by the breather.
MIND BODY LINKING
To me the breath is the doorway to the mind-body relationship. For example one of our breathing school axioms is "any negative emotion you can breathe through properly and for long enough will eventually lose its grip on you".
"The body, through the autonomic nervous system, the vagus nerve and endocrine variations, is set into movement which can manifest itself in alterations of the blood circulation, of the secretions, of the muscle tonus, and of almost all the organs?" Alfred Adler
The above Adler quote is taken from Sarno's book and again reminds us that the autonomic nervous system, relaxation response, cell oxygenation, digestion and detoxification, muscle tension, blood vessel vaso-dilation or vaso-constriction, are GREATLY influenced by the way we breathe. This is HUGE.
It is also one reason why I have chosen massage therapists as being an excellent group of health [professionals for making lasting improvement in what Dr. Sarno labels tension/oxygen deficiencies called TMS or tension myositis syndrome.
If you are not a health professional, may want to be one some day or just know your breathing could be improved please see our school curriculum, consider our one-on-one private sessions or begin with our self help program Optimal Breathing Kit.