We all do it, otherwise we would be dead!

But breathing is a bit of an enigma when it comes to anatomy and physiology as it comes under both categories of muscle, voluntary and involuntary. Some people, most often toddlers have the ability to hold their breath until they pass out, at which point they start breathing again. It is also something, many singing and music teachers of wind instruments will say most of us do not do properly, advocating that we should breath from our stomachs rather than our chests.

This refers to the muscles we use rather than where the air goes to and following this advise enables us to take deeper and longer breaths and as someone who has dabbled with flute playing, I can say it lets me play longer passages without the danger of getting light headed due to hyperventilation!

Breathing also plays a large part in our emotional lives. Some hold their breath with excitement or anticipation, for example watching a big trick on the flying trapeze. In therapy groups it is common for participants to be reminded to breathe or to breath in and accept a compliment.

As a massage and aromatherapy practitioner in Cambridge, I pay attention to both my own breath and that of my client during a treatment. I will often match my own breathing to pace that of the client as it helps build rapport. (Many hypnotherapists use this technique.) My client’s breath also tells me something about their health. When they lie on their front, I can see by the motion of their back which muscles are involved in their breathing as well as make an assessment of how deeply they are breathing. This often changes during the massage, slowing down as it progresses.

For some parts of the massage, particularly when working with the meridians of Traditional Chinese Medicine, I will also vary my pressure according t the breath, increasing it on the out breath.

Essential oils that can help deepen the breath include, Pine, Rosemary, Eucalyptus and Tea Tree but there are many others that are useful for respiratory disorders.

If you are interested in an Aromatherapy Massage in Cambridge that can help your breathing, emotional life, relaxation etc. email or phone 07939 273 569