Introducing the “Life-Love” Breathing Method
Like most kids with any kind of athletic ability, I was always playing some sport or another from an early age. Baseball, football, basketball, gymnastics, tennis, volleyball, etc. Throughout all the different sports I played and then getting into martial arts and yoga when I was older, there was one phrase that I heard over and over again from my various coaches and trainers: “Breathe through the pain”.
If you’ve participated in any type of sports or physical training/conditioning, you’ve probably heard it too. The idea is simple enough. If you get enough oxygen going through your system, it’ll help to dull down the pain signal by overriding it with O2. Well, at least that was the thought given to us from our coaches. While it seemed to work somewhat, it never worked like I thought they meant for it to work, and when I asked my friends and teammates about it, they too said it “sorta worked” for them, but not so much, really.
It wasn’t until the mid ’80s while I was attending metaphysical classes at the Psychic Eye book store in Burbank, CA. that I was given the real way to breathe when dealing with either physical or emotional pain. Our teacher, Alan Schwartz, was always bringing in guest speakers from various esoteric, spiritual and metaphysical modalities for us to learn from. One of those teachers was the very wonderful Master Paulie Zink.
Master Zink is a Grand Champion and Hall of Fame martial artist and yoga master, so he’s eminently familiar with pain. He said, “Don’t breathe through the pain, breathe into the pain.” The technique that he gave us was to visualize our breath literally going into the area of the body that the pain signal was coming from. He said, “See your breath going from your lungs as you breathe in, and going to the pain and going into the pain. See the pain being reduced and removed as you breathe into it.” He also taught us to use this same method to reduce stress, tension and to let go of emotional pain.
It absolutely worked. Others in the class, after going through the breathing exercises, told of how they were definitely feeling a major reduction in either pain or stress (and sometimes both). I wasn’t dealing with any physical pain at the time, but I could feel my stress level (due to my job at the time) drop about 80% from what it was. The tension I had been feeling in my trapezius muscles (the muscles between your shoulder and neck) was almost completely gone.
It’s interesting, isn’t it, that we can spend our whole lives doing something all day, every day (’cause we have to) and then learn how to do it better and in a way that will benefit us on all levels. The best part of the whole thing is how easy it is, and that you can do this anywhere that you can give yourself two minutes away from distractions. The feelings of relief and calmness that follows the exercise are amazing. As a former CPR instructor, another thing that I equated with this technique is that we are breathing “life” into those areas that need “rejuvenating”. That was again further enhanced when I started learning from Stuart Wilde about “blowing love” at people and things that could use it. Breathing life and love into our own being. What a wonderful gift to give to ourselves. That’s why I am calling it the “Life-Love” method.
The “Life-Love” Breathing technique
So, here is the better way to breathe and the visualization as I now use it and teach it. You can modify the visualization part to suit your needs: First off, just as a matter of habit and for better health, start breathing so that your stomach expands/protrudes instead of your chest. This allows you to breathe deeper. By breathing in this way, you are getting much more oxygen into your body, which will help your immune system and help keep your bodies energy up. Breathe as deeply and easily as you can, in through your nose and exhale as much air as you can out through your mouth. Just this alone will slow your heart rate down and begin to release body tension.
Now, sitting or lying down in a comfortable position, ground yourself, close your eyes and as you breathe in, direct your “life-love” breath into the area of your body that is experiencing pain. See the energy of life and love going right into the pain and see that beautiful energy diminishing it. As you breathe out, see the pain reducing further and further, until the pain is completely gone. Yes, you can absolutely reduce the pain to nothingness if you allow yourself to let it go. If what you are dealing with is emotional pain, then first breathe into the area of your physical body that is in pain, then see your “life-love” breath going into the emotion you are feeling and reducing it just as easily as it reduced your body pain.
As you let the pain go, forgive yourself for putting yourself in pain. Forgive whoever else is involved if there is anyone that contributed to the pain. Know that it’s ok to let it go and that you do not have to be in pain to get the lesson you wanted to get. If, while you are doing this, the pain feels “stuck”, then use this more advanced grounding technique to help unstick it. Don’t be upset if you don’t let go of the pain completely the first time you use this method. Everyone is different and each of us has a different level of resistance to letting things go. The “habit” of the pain can be very strong, especially if it’s something you’ve been experiencing for a long time, so be gentle and easy with yourself. If it takes one time to let it go, that’s ok. If it takes 20 times to let it go, that’s ok. There is no right or wrong here. Just relief, and you will feel relief each time you use this to let go of any pain you are dealing with.
Please let me know if you have any questions, and we’d love to hear your stories of how this worked for you.
I wish you all Deep Peace. =)
Ross – “Tolemac”