BreathWork: one tool, five benefits.

This superb, informative article by Milena Screm, director of Insight school – Milan Italy, appeared on Gunnel Minett’s website in November 2020 : https://breathwork-science.org   

Hosted and managed by Gunnel Minett, she is a psychologist and author of books on Breathwork and Health/Wellbeing with over 35 years experience of Breathwork. She has mentored and supported my work since the early 90’s.

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BreathWork: one tool, five benefits.

by Milena Screm, Counselor Supervisor Trainer, director of Insight school – Milan Italy

Inhale deeply, then exhale slowly …

With this simple action you have made contact with a thousand-year-old practice, conscious breathing,  known as BreathWork in western countries.

Although we all breathe continuously since the day we were born, most of the time we do not even realize it, it happens automatically. Involuntary breathing is important to keep us alive, distracted as we are by a thousand stimuli, we may forget about it. However, survival is different than well-being. Well-being needs a conscious and intentional practice of breathing. Yoga and meditation, with their millenary knowledge, educate to this attention making many people familiar with their breath. In recent decades, also scientific research is validating the powerful benefits to mind and body that can be obtained by breathing with intention and presence.

According to Google, searches with the keyword “breath” have increased sixfold in the last five years. Many yoga and meditation teachers report an increase in client requests for breathing techniques in the last three years. The widespread use of mindfulness also encourages the diffusion of a breath culture, made up of simple, portable, versatile and effective practices. Whatever the person’s motivation, from well-being to awareness to increased vitality, breathing practices are a valuable resource and help.

It is also interesting to note that the diffusion of these approaches is no longer limited, as in the past, to circles of people sensitive to Eastern philosophies or introspection; a growing interest in breath is now evident and widespread even in the corporate world, where, more and more, the attitude of considering professionals first of all people is developing.

When companies take into account the needs and provide experiences and tools that foster the well-being of individuals, they have a return result in terms of improving performance at work.

Ongoing scientific research has clearly defined the impact that something as simple and accessible as conscious breathing can have on health and well-being; here are some of them.

1. Provides quick stress relief

Conscious breathing is one of the fastest and most effective practices for preventing and managing the tensions/stress of everyday life. A 2017 study, published in “Frontiers in Psychology”, showed that people who had completed a series of twenty sessions of conscious breathing, each lasting forty-five minutes, in eight weeks, had significantly lower levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, than those who did not. Cortisol is responsible for the body reaction to stress, at first to counteract it, but if the tensions remain, entering into a paradoxical effect that aggravates the pre-existing situation; high levels of cortisol can cause chronic inflammation and alter the functioning of the thyroid and pituitary gland.

These are the results of one of my business projects for stress management, carried out in Milan, a course of two full days, plus two hours every two weeks for three months; the data were collected three months after the end of the course:

– 44% of participants said they had achieved significant results just by practicing conscious breathing;

– 45% of the participants declared to have obtained significant results with the practice of mindfulness, which also includes conscious breathing;

– 11% of the participants declared to have obtained significant results by paying more attention to the body and trying to manage perceived physical tension with some body relaxation.

2. Breathing more slowly and deeply affects blood pressure.

A 2001 American scientific study showed that practicing conscious breathing for ten minutes a day, preferably with background music, is an effective way to reduce blood pressure without medication. Based on these findings, another study, conducted in 2015, found that patients with hypertension had a sharp drop in blood pressure after slow, deep breathing ten minutes a day for three months. People who underwent this research also followed a controlled diet and a program of physical activity.

3. It can improve the mood.

Twelve weeks of conscious breathing, for ten minutes a day, promote mood improvement. The scientific research that is still underway on this subject, indicates that an element that comes into play is the acid-basic balance of the blood. A constantly shallow breathing, in addition to reducing the supply of oxygen circulating in the blood, promotes the development of a greater tendency to the acidic component of the blood, compared to the basic one. Obviously, also the diet and a sedentary lifestyle have considerable weight in this aspect of organic chemistry. When the acid percentage of the blood is constantly higher than the salty one, there are cascading effects on organs and apparatuses: for example the body is more prone to inflammation; moreover the amygdala, a part of the brain that detects fear and triggers the fight/flight response, becomes more susceptible to stimuli, causing a tendency towards a state of tension and alert, which affects the mood.

4. Promotes greater attention and mental clarity

People who practice yoga and are trained to focus on breathing, notice an increased ability to stay alert and mentally focused. In fact, consciously regulated and rhythmic breathing can balance the amount of noradrenaline produced by the brain; this is a natural chemical messenger that affects attention and some emotions.

5. It can help in pain management.

In hospital, chronic and terminal pain is managed by administering opioid drugs; but beside serious illness and death, there are many other situations in life in which people are confronted with physical and emotional pain management. Conscious breathing has potential in this area as well.

Already in the forties and fifties, a lot of research was conducted in Russia over the possibility of managing pain, in particular childbirth pain, through conscious breathing techniques; in 1953, the obstetrician F.Lamaze introduced these Russian techniques in France and perfected them. Scientific research on pain management began in the 1970s, especially in the United States, through the approach now called mindfulness, whose practice also includes conscious breathing. Several studies have found that slow and deep breathing, accompanied by muscle relaxation and mental presence and acceptance, can reduce the perception of chronic pain and help patients cope with physical discomfort.

The potentials of conscious breathing/breathwork are many, they affect physical and physiological aspects that influence health; they have a role in managing emotions and moods; they can be effective tools of mental awareness. They are not “magic wands” that make difficulties disappear, but rather portable tools, always available, simple and effective, natural and precious resources.

Keywords; breathing, stress relief, pain management, blood pressure control, mental clarity

© Milena Screm 2020
About the author:
http://www.insightformazione.it/chi-siamo/docenti-counselor-interni/milena-screm    

Supervisor Counselor & BreathWorker
Founder and president INSIGHT School of BreathWork Counseling – Milan (Italy)

Author of fourteen books in psychology, published in Italy, France and Spain, among which we denote:  “BreathWork”  (1998), “Autogenic Training” (1989,2012), “Rebirthing & Water” (1994), “The history of Rebirthing” ( 1992 ), “Rebirthing, breathe for renewal”, the first book published in Italy on rebirthing (1989, 1993, 2011)www.insightformazione.it 

Experienced Accredited Coaching & Breathwork still operating despite COVID

EXPERIENCED DIRECTION is what peeps want now in COACHING for these difficult times. I came out queer in 1967. After years of active addictions, I had my last drink, drug and puff of nicotine on October 25 1982 and remain 38 years clean & sober in 2020.

I’ve lived through Thatcher, AIDS losses, homelessness, survived bankruptcy in 1984, and started my practice in 1991 after a 3 year Loving Relationship Training ( LRT ) training in Somatic Breathwork and Relationship Coaching and have led Codependency & Addiction Seminars on all 5 continents. 

As I had COVID in March 2020, I’m highly unlikely to pass it on, plus 3 negative tests spread through summer. We can discuss various safe options. Wear masks, one wear mask, always 2 metres apart etc. It’s an adult decision for you and me to make. 

I do not support One hour ONLINE Breathwork, as physical support is vital, but 121 Breathwork is available with me F2F, in London Euston / Kings Cross area under current Government COVID guidelines.

All Groupwork is lockdown suspended.

At 73 I’m still working and in demand for all ages, genders and sexualities but especially those over 45 stuck like toffee.

 This no filter pic was my last social lunch before November Lockdown 2020 and can’t wait to get back to a full social life. In the late 70’s Rebirthing Breathwork was often referred to as technique for YOUTHING.

I appear to have passed the test.

ZOOM/SKYPE ONLINE COACHING available.

National restrictions from 5 November

Applies to: England (see guidance for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland)

COVID-19 case numbers are rising rapidly across the whole of the UK and in other countries. We must act now to control the spread of the virus. The single most important action we can all take to fight coronavirus is to stay at home, to protect the NHS and save lives.

When we reduce our day-to-day contact with other people, we reduce the spread of the infection. That is why, from Thursday 5 November until Wednesday 2 December, you must:

  1. Stay at home, except for specific purposes.
  2. Avoid meeting people you do not live with, except for specific purposes.
  3. Close certain businesses and venues.

UK Government Guidelines : Due to rising mental health issues, people in drug and alcohol recovery, people caring for those with long-term or terminal illnesses, or who are vulnerable, people facing issues relating to their sexuality or gender, those who have suffered bereavement, and vulnerable young people, ARE EXEMPT from restrictions under specific purpose.

Contact me David Parker for more detailed information 

https://rebirthyourlife.me/contact/

November Covid Lockdown Tips.

Covid Lockdown bounces into England once again November 5th for a minimum of a month – so what can be improved around our mental health, compared to the 4 month Lockdown from March, what daily actions can help us along?

Here are some actions I put into place last time that seemed to work to improve clarity and motivation. I feel a bit like Beverley in ‘Abigail’s Party’ giving lipstick advice to Ange but here goes . . . 

Always make your bed by 11am at the latest, limiting visual mess. Mess is the cocaine of lockdown. It breeds unbalanced chaotic thinking. Clean house even if no one is visiting. You deserve it.

Try to avoid wearing yesterdays clothes from the floor. It’s slovenly and the last thing Beverley would do. Standards kept, a daily shave ( legs or otherwise ) and a decent lipstick please. Gender neutral naturally.

Wearing yesterdays clothes can keep you in a lackadaisical mood. Challenging your emotional energy on a daily basis is paramount for mental well-being. Freshen up. Change clothes colours, we know black is functional but it’s not a good lockdown look every day. Enliven your wardrobe.

Avoid the dishwasher if you have one. Washing up by hand is therapeutic, meditative and offers time to think. Think potters wheel for concentration. Think it as achievement, avoiding procrastination. A good ‘job done’ energy can be carried to your next task.

Call someone every day. This is essential for emotional balance, connection and release. You can also have a laugh which as we know is best medicine. They may need YOUR call and thank you for it. Don’t lose purpose.

Connect with someone on your social media friends list you have never met. See how they are. Deepen your social media friendships. Or message them. Contact helps avoiding lockdown isolation. Don’t forget to check in with yourself. Don’t bottle stuff up. Call someone who understands your stuff. 

In 12 Step Recovery we use the mantra H.A.L.T ( Hungry. Angry. Lonely. Tired. ) These are danger points for anxiety, unbalance and acting out unhealthy emotional outbursts that can destroy the day.

Remember to check in with yourself that you have food in, have eaten and given yourself mediative moments like breathing 20 Connected Breaths when needed to rebalance if anxiety or future negative projection beckons.

If you have trouble remembering how to do the 20 Breaths exercise CALL ME.

 

 

Recovery. 38 years clean.

38 years ago on October 26 1982, I woke to the reality of a relapse weekend. I was one of 10 on the first ‘Human Interferon Drug Trial’ in the UK to cure incurable chronic active Hepatitis B virus. The other 20 on the trial were on another drug on low hopes or a placebo. We drew straws to find which we would be on. I had been 14 months sober in a 12 Step Programme for alcoholism ( as I had cirrhosis of the liver I attended – but ironically not caused by alcohol abuse ) but not clean of recreational drugs and on that last weekend of that arduous, unforgiving, 3 month intense trial I relapsed on alcohol, recreational drugs  and resentment.

 

Acting out my unknown sabotage pattern.

They pumped me and 9 others with the maximum dose my body could stand for 3 months every other day. A nightmare. It didn’t work, cirrhosis continued and the other 9 died within 18 months. I didn’t and left standing but monitored for 14 years as the liver worsened. The good news is after a past life breakthrough I released the virus and cirrhosis myself using Conscious Connected Breathwork in 1996. NEVER GIVE UP.

Fuelled with shame, anger, yet relief that I had accepted finally I was an addict, I never went to rehab, and with the unbridled support, love, experience, strength and hope within another 12 Step Programme centring on addiction – I am still clean today without a relapse. NEVER GIVE UP.

 

I didn’t t hold a 5 year plan, I didn’t aim for 38 years, just the next 24 hours clean of alcohol, narcotics and other unprescribed prescription drugs. I had a valium habit for 17 years using 3 doctors that never knew about the other two. You couldn’t buy them off the internet in those days. I trembled, shook and barely slept well for 5 weeks in withdrawal but I made it. NEVER GIVE UP. Very important to seek medical advice on giving up or cutting down though.

Reach out. This year and next will bring untold issues and pressure’s in our lives, do check out many facilities for mental health and addictions recovery, 12 steps is just one, many other options are available. I offer recovery coaching for alcohol & drug issues I call ‘purposeful using’ part of a harm reduction process. Throw shame and pride to the wall, ask for help and NEVER GIVE UP asking for it. Sometimes it’s just about timing or talking about the problem to someone who has been there and come out the other side.

Autumn 2020 Update

Just as I was about to return to 121 Breathwork Sessions –

“London Covid-19 outbreak sees 12 boroughs breach key infection threshold of 100 cases per 100,000 people as London Mayor Sadiq Khan warns Tier 2 restrictions for capital are ‘inevitable’ ” screams the media on October 14th.

This has not happened yet but Tier 2 indicates :

Tier 2: High alert level :

‘Restrictions will prevent interactions between households in indoor venues.’ 

If anyone wishes to take Face 2 face Breathwork 121 sessions or start the process, contact me to arrange details, including covid measures, as they stand now or during expectant Tier 2.

I don’t offer any standard 1 hour ‘conscious connected breathwork’ sessions on ZOOM as I see it as unethical without immediate physical support, but I have already started Addiction Recovery & Relationship Coaching ( without breathwork ) Face2Face or ZOOM. Contact for details. 

https://rebirthyourlife.me/contact/

All Groupwork is lockdown suspended.

London Lockdown. COVID Update #breathe

As many know, I had a sudden triple heart bypass last August 2019, followed by 4 months recovery and aftercare needed, so no breathwork or coaching from me. I was recovering as expected early 2020, energy back, in fact I spent 2 weeks in Athens over Xmas & New Year to recuperate.

Then mid-March with weakened immune system from surgery, went down with potent first wave COVID, knocking me for six, unable to work, then 3 months recovery with post-viral fatigue, so it’s been quite a year! But I’m bouncing back. Safely ready for work.

3 weeks ago my 3rd COVID test came back negative for the third time and hopefully with immunity gained. Energy is back, body is more receptive and experience gained. 

Pubs are open for a pint from today but you can’t do Breathwork 121 according to Government guidelines. Once this government ludicracy passes we can get back to release LOCKDOWN tensions with #breathwork121

It’s been a difficult challenging time for all of us in LOCKDOWN wherever you live. Everything is UP. Finance, relationships, working from home, and many realising being trapped in a job they hate. Pubs in UK have been shut until today – but alcohol consumption has shot up by 45%. Go figure.

If alcohol, chems, puff, or any other escape routes you use ( packets of Jamie Dodgers? ) are causing problems an avenue of recovery can be placed. My programme of ‘purposeful using’, cutting back or partial abstention has been successful for many over the past 30 years of practice. Expect no judgement from me as I gave up booze, drugs and fags in October 1982, ( more to the point they gave ME up ) and not touched one of either since.

I REBIRTHED MY LIFE.

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IBF – The International Breathwork Foundation

“After careful consideration we recommend that you cancel ALL in person one-to-one and group breathwork sessions during the outbreak of COVID-19 while social distancing recommendations remain in place in your country.”

“We recognise that there may be exceptional circumstances where a breathwork practitioner decides that is is appropriate and necessary to work in person with a client.” 

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If we wish to have a breathwork session, ( discussed together first ) masked up, 1+ metres apart or NOT, contact me to arrange.

I am already ONLINE COACHING, and 2 coaching clients, after discussions and agreement choose to visit me in person. STAY SAFE but we are adults not children making choices. London has very low transmission rate now. Hence pubs can open with distancing measures in place.

Remember : 3 weeks ago my 3rd COVID test came back negative for third time and hopefully with immunity gained.

#breathe

Mad March London Breathwork Groups

To be as “mad as a March hare” is an English idiomatic phrase derived from the observed antics, said to occur only in the March breeding season of the European  hare, Lepus europaeus. The phrase is an allusion that can be used to refer to any other animal or HUMAN WHO BEHAVES in the EXCITABLE and UNPREDICTABLE manner of a “March hare”. – WIKI

Unbalanced thinking and spontaneous acting out habits can lead to chaos living, bonkers behaviours and stress. Even without focusing on the Coronavirus.

So REGULAR Self-Care UPDATES is where URBAN LIFECLASS BREATHWORK comes into play. Sharing stuff in a small tutorial group ONCE A MONTH before a RELAXING experiential Breathwork Group session balances the mind, brings you back into your body and is often described as “meditation for those who can’t meditate”. All in all it balances out the pressure we put upon ourselves and the controls we allow placed upon us.

TUESDAY MARCH 10, THURSDAY MARCH 12 : 7- 9.30 pm £30 Euston Venue

SATURDAY MARCH 14 12 noon – 4pm £50 Euston Venue 

Spontaneity is good and refreshing, so is risk-taking, but in the right place, right time. Maybe the time is NOW to consider regular MONTHLY Self-Care for the price of an evening out.  From £30 – 50 a month. 

CLICK link below for APRIL and MAY dates ( which are already half full so be quick to book ) and MORE INFO on Groupwork. 

https://rebirthyourlife.me/2020/01/22/boss-into-2020-with-a-coaching-breathwork-group-in-central-london-extra-monthly-thursday-group-added-in-february-as-well-as-monthly-tuesday-and-saturday/

February could be the month you actually do it.

Change your stance, patterns and face procrastination.

Any Personal Development Programme like Coaching, Bodywork or weekly conventional 50 min Psychotherapy, costs time and money, and in these trying austere BREXIT times, time and money can be high on scarcity and low on action. Getting through the month in London is a miracle in itself for many. 

Not everyone can afford £240 a month for weekly visits to a therapist, so a new wellness vehicle is ready to ride here if you keep reading, combining COACHING & emotional releasing SOMATIC BREATHWORK from £150 a month. That’s one individual two hour Coaching Session, ( with or without Breathwork once a month), and one monthly 2.5 hour group evening session, both close to Euston Zone 1 station. So you get to work on yourself twice a month, with no charge support in-between.

Work out what you spend £150 on per month getting nowhere fast. You will be surprised how it adds up. Pubs, Clubs, dining out, taxis, retail and common outlets, booze and chems. They are not always friendly companions.

A FREE 2 hour Intro Session with David is always available. There are no signups, or obligation to continue anything after, but it gives you a chance to try breathwork or detail the issues that require attention. If you do consider MAKING CHANGES here are your options for CHANGE.

You can pick & mix where you start, do 121 or groupwork separately, both together or the MONTHLY Saturday 4 hour Group is a good entrance point.

Here are FEBRUARY GROUPWORK dates :  

MAX 5 participants in group for individual attention :

TUESDAY EVENING February 11 : 7 – 9.30 pm £30  . . . NOW FULL! 

THURSDAY EVENING February 13th : 7 – 9.30 pm £30  . . . Spaces

SATURDAY AFTERNOON February 15 : 12 noon – 4pm £50 . . . Spaces

( Each group contains a 1 hour Somatic Breathwork Experience )

   

Payment : Cash, PAYPAL or Bank Transfer. It’s your choice.

Further info, on the £150 per month deal, details and questions answered can be found here :

https://rebirthyourlife.me/contact/ 

“I CANNOT recommend David Parker and his sessions more. I attend a monthly group and I get SO much – support, love, release and awareness and friendship. David is an amazing coach and just a wonderful person. Seek out his story and you will be astonished and humbled.” – Wendy, Berkshire

Boss into 2020 with a Coaching & Breathwork Group in Central London. *Extra Monthly Thursday Group added in FEBRUARY as well as Monthly Tuesday and Saturday.

It’s going to be a tough year ahead so get prepared for its impact.

On January 31st we leave the EU, and although BREXIT is the name of the game, no BIG BEN BONGS will take away austerity and the uncertainty of 3 years of political shenanigans just passed.

We are leaving with a new right-wing majority government in place, expert predicted low economic growth, job losses, affected industries and aborted currency exchange issues for trade and travel.

It will also be the right time for everyone to view, check-in with, wake up to and deal with personal debt. Work out what you spend on the usual escape routes, booze, drugs, food, retail and secure £30 – £50 per month to enter a Personal Development Process to turn a corner in small tutorial groups once a month.

Each group focusses on a discussion period, covering codependency, compulsive patterns, work relationships, adopting healthy communications and addressing next moves into wellness.

Followed by a 1 hour Conscious Connected Breathwork Session laying flat on the floor fully clothed, on a supplied yoga mat for comfort, taking you into a space of body meditation and an altered state of consciousness, getting you HIGH naturally, shifting energy blocks and negative thoughts. Reading blogs and pages on this site will fill you in.

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THREE Breathwork Groups are available each month to choose from / Venue : Euston or Mornington Crescent tubes

NEW BREATHERS & REGULAR BREATHERS:

Each Saturday Group 12 noon – 4pm gives those who travel from afar a chance to attend. This group involves a Group Discussion before a I hour GROUP BREATHE.  Perfect for those new and interested or curious about benefits of Breathwork, Relationship and Codependency Recovery plus those already practiced over 5 sessions in group or 121.

Fee £50.  5 participants max for individual personal attention.

SATURDAY FEBRUARY 15th, MARCH 14th, APRIL 18th & MAY 9th

The MONTHLY EVENING BREATHES are from 7.00 – 9.30 pm, giving time to get home in in a reasonable time. This 2.5 hour group will include a discussion period before Breathing. Perfect for those who need a TOP-UP BREATHE once a month. After introductions the 1 hour Breathwork session will start @ 8pm and finish one hour later, leaving 30 mins to share, eat fruit and leave for home.

Fee £30.  5 participants max for individual personal attention

TUESDAY EVENINGS : FEBRUARY 11th, MARCH 10th, APRIL 14th, MAY 12th

THURSDAY EVENINGS : FEBRUARY 13th, MARCH 12th, APRIL 16th, MAY 14th

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Contact us on urbanlifeclass@gmail.com or call David on 07483 287470 to secure your place on this session. 

Paypal, Cash on the day or Bank transfer

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As standard with a small group, if you have confirmed attendance and you cannot attend for any reason PAYMENT must be paid, if you or we cannot fill the place.