This book covers the three pathways of awareness that are built into our bodies, and that can help us to improve the beneficial aspects of our breathing. It is suitable for all body workers, yoga teachers, other movement facilitators and anyone who works with chronic pain. The scientific literature on attachment, Polyvagal Theory, interoception, autonomic feedback loops and heart rate variability, point to the crucial importance of the breath.
These pathways can be characterized as 1) the Breathing Bodymap of the Fingers; 2) the Breathing Interrelationships of our Functional Diaphragms; and 3) Skin Breathing, or bringing blood to our capillary beds in precise locations throughout the body.
The benefits of learning these approaches are as follows:
Accessing these pathways can greatly increase our options as we work to improve the functioning of our bodies.
These approaches also deepen our understanding of the inherent wisdom of ancient body awareness systems such as mudras, yoga and chi kung, and how these systems can have such profound affects on our physiologies.
They offer immediate solutions to inefficient and dysfunctional movement patterns and can be immediately brought into use by professional musicians and athletes as they perform.
By breathing deliberately, we can;
interrupt the upsurge of our sympathetic nervous systems;
interact with our parasympathetic nervous systems to take ourselves out of a state of “runaway mind” to relax or put ourselves to sleep;
re-route or repattern pre-existing breathing patterns and fixations in the respiratory diaphragm itself that have not served us well;
bring extra blood to areas of chronic discomfort, helping us to endure adverse circumstances.
This book includes links to voice recordings of three meditations on the three pathways, as well as a video on breathing and the autonomic nervous system.
Table of Contents:
Introduction: Breathing: The Bridge to Embodiment
Chapter One: Breathing Bodymaps and Breathing
Chapter Two: Breathing Specifics for the Diaphragm,
Chapter Three: Breathing and Self-Regulation
Chapter Four: Skin Breathing, Organ Breathing and Interoception
Chapter Five: Breathing and Self-Care
About the Author:
Bill Harvey has been a Certified Rolfer since 1984, Certified Advanced Rolfer since 1990, Rolf Movement Practitioner since 1999, and Biodynamic Craniosacral practitioner since 1984. His interest in combining these three approaches while working with clients led to the development of his training in Biodynamic Structural Integration, which began in 2005.
Not being able to figure out how to not run out of breath while distance running, and being around adults with emphysema, captured Harvey’s interest with breathing at an early stage. A large part of his attraction to becoming a Rolfer lay in Rolfing’s ability to alter the texture and pliability of the intercostal muscles of the ribcage so that there could be more room for the lungs to expand, and more ease throughout the thorax to allow the lungs to deflate more fully. Since the early 80s his professional interest in breathing has followed two paths of inquiry: 1) how to free up tissue within the body, by working with connective tissue; by increasing the motility of the individual lobes of the lungs through visceral manipulation; how to tease out limiting habitual holding patterns through movement therapy; and how to titrate out emotional and kinetic charge through Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy; and 2) to discover whether or not there are any inherent feedback loops within the body that can be called upon to support our activities.
During his more than three decade full-time career in manual therapies, Bill Harvey has also pursued a variety of interests that deepened his work and instruction of Structural Integration. These interests have centered around questions of how life works. What is our proper place in Nature? What is the relationship between the wiring of our nervous systems, established through our attachment patterns and our physical structure and behavior? What is the relationship between our belief systems and structure? What is the relationship between ancestral patterns and structure and behavior? Most importantly, what can work with these realities?
Our breathing activates the answers to these questions, leading us on a path to embodiment that clarifies and contextualizes our inner experiences within the natural world.