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breathwork
 

John Ruskan's
Emotional Clearing

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In our work, we use breath techniques to help integrate and release suppressed material. In addition to supplying oxygen for respiration, the breath simultaneously draws in another quality, known as prana. Prana is the universal life force, the basic energy that sustains all living things. With proper techniques, the amount of prana that is taken in can be increased and directed to perform specific functions. Prana has an electrical quality and interacts with the energy body and the aura; the conscious direction of prana is effective in clearing energy blocks in the body.

Scientists have recognized the connection between breathing and the psychological condition. Fritz Perls, the founder of Gestalt therapy, stated, “Anxiety is the experience of breathing difficulty during any blocked excitement.” Meaning, we can turn our anxiety into excitement if we started breathing properly.

Inhibition of breath can be observed in ourselves. We encounter a challenging situation and respond by holding the breath, which is exactly what should not be done. You can learn to overcome the unconscious tendency to hold the breath simply by watching yourself and reminding yourself to breathe fully whenever you feel stressed.

Breathe into stress

“Breathing into” means the conscious and deliberate focusing of prana, the life energy, into whatever stressful condition is present. The type of condition could be “negative,” such as an event that brings up fear, or “positive,” such as being close to a loved one, because both negative and positive can be stressful and in need of integration. Stress may be defined as the inability to be in the feeling center with whatever is happening, regardless of the nature of the event; the feeling center is blocked. Thrown out of the feeling center, we fall into the mind, becoming separated from what is before us.

Breathing into the blocked center activates it, allowing the energy to rebalance.
You breathe into the blocked center by breathing deeply as you hold the feelings or event in your consciousness. The prana that is taken in with the breath has an intelligence of its own, much like the cells of the body do, and will find and stabilize the energy imbalance. The stressful condition may be physical or emotional pain, confrontation with another person, essentially anything that you encounter and must contend with, including joy. When you don’t breathe into an event – or worse, if you hold your breath – anxiety is created, and you inhibit the ability to respond creatively.

The unblocking of trapped energy is essentially a suppression-releasing function. Breath can be effective in performing this function, yet, as with bodywork, breath techniques by themselves cannot do the whole job. When the breath is incorporated with bodywork and a conscious psychological method for working on ourselves, satisfying progress with self-integration can be achieved.

 
 

© 2004 John Ruskan / The Institute for Integrative Processing