Anni Dixon - The Gentle Healer

 

Help Yourself to Health

Heal by Breath

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This exercise helps to release tensions of an emotional or physical nature, thereby assisting our inbuilt self-healing mechanisms to resume fuller activity.
 
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Preparation
 
Put yourself somewhere where you feel at peace with your environment, in a quiet, restful place.
Turn off the phone and put a
 
Do Not Disturb
 
sign on the door.
 
Recline in a positioin that enables you to relax deeply, eg. in an armchair with your legs elevated and supported.
 
Stage One
 
Create an energetic circuit in your system by holding one or more of your fingers, according to the emotion you are currently feeling :
 
 Thumbs  :  worry
 
 Index  :  fear
 
  Middle  : anger
 
     Ring  :  grief 
 
                             Little  :  trying to, pretence
 
    Palms of the hands, inter-link the fingers : total despondency
 
Hold this circuit for the duration of your 'quiet time', but change hands if you feel the need.
 
Stage Two
 
Bring your attention to your breath.
 
Do not seek to change or deepen the breath in any way.
 
Simply observe it, tracking with your attention its movement in and out, noting the rest periods between each in/out flow.
 
Stage Three
 
When you feel comfortable with tracking the breath, begin to experience it as flowing from the base of the spine (coccyx), up the spine to the crown of the head, as it comes in; and from the crown of the head to the base of the spine down the mid-line of the front, as it goes out.
 
If you fall asleep or drift into a deep state of relaxation, that is fine. However, if you become pre-occupied with emotional/mental agitation, either
 
a)check your fingers are maintaining the appropriate circuit;   gently   bring your attention back to the pathway of the breath; OR
b)explore Stage Six.
 
There are three further important ways of deepening the self-healing potential of this core exercise :
 
Stage Four
 
As you circulate your natural breath pattern up the back of the spine and down the centre of the front, imagine that that breath is the purest light conceivable, and that it is healing, nurturing and vitalising your whole being as it circulates up the back and down the front.
 
Stage Five
 
Imagine that you are lying on a sandy beach, and that the ocean is gently flowing in and out very close by, and your ears are filled with the soothing sound of the waves as they flow up the beach then ebb away again.
 
As you lie on the beach, feel as though the sound of the waves flowing in and out is your breath coming in and out of your body.
 
Gradually feel that your whole body is breathing in and out in harmony with the waves of the ocean.
 
This exercise, although in itself very simple, has a powerful capacity to bring all our body systems and mechanisms back into harmonic rhythm with the natural rhythms of the Universe, and therefore possesses deep healing power.
 
Stage Six
 
This stage takes all of the above practices and uses them to develop a dialogue between different levels of the self.
 
Our body tissues and cells remember everything that we experience, even if we lose the conscious memory of it. Our bodies also know what they need in order to function optimally, even if our conscious minds do not. Learning to dialogue between our conscious and non-conscious mind, using our bodies as the most tangible, accessible link, or bridge, between these, can empower our ability to know what we need in order to heal.
 
When you feel able to use the first three stages readily,
 
begin to pay attention to the internal sensations of your body even whilst tracking your breath. 'Scan' your inner body for signs of discomfort or un-ease. Wherever your attention is drawn, let it blend with this area.
 
Now 'track' the sensations; locate the place of greatest, or most intense, discomfort; let yourself follow closer and closer into the heart of the discomfort.
 
If you find yourself tensing against a discomfort, practise 'breathing out' into the heart of that discomfort, whilst breathing love into that place.
 
In this way, you continue to use the breath as a means to transport a quality which you consciously choose, into the area of distress, whilst using the out breath as a means to open, relax, and disperse the tension held in the area of discomfort. It is likely that you will find that certain emotions are strongly attached to the area of discomfort you are exploring and opening up.
 
You can work with this emotional substance using the breath in a similar way. It is usual for us to tense up against uncomfortable emotions. Such tension can become chronic and impair the circulation of our fundamental life force, to groups of tissues and areas of our body.
 
You may spontaneously notice emotional substance in an area of discomfort. If not, silently 'ask your body' if the physical discomfort is related to an emotion.
 
When you identify the emotion, try not to flee, or hide from it. Instead, seek to 'breathe out' into that emotion, on the in-breath, simply remaining attentive and present to the emotion.
 
It may be difficult to follow this very far, as our emotional substance tends to disappear as soon as we enter right into it; whereas when we seek to avoid it, it intensifies as a tension in related body areas.
 
Continue to bring your attention back to the emotion; seek to 'breathe out' more and more into the centre, or heart, of that emotion.
 
NB When we are feeling overwhelmed by an emotional state, we can use this exercise in reverse. So, instead of beginning with the breath,
 
 simply go into your quiet place, get into a comfortable position, and 'track' the feelings that you are feeling overpowered by.
Let the emotion come towards you; in your mind, pay attention to it, and imagine yourself moving towards it; sense its most intense point, its heart, and move openly into the centre of this; if the intensity moves to another location continue to track it so that you continue to turn towards the feeling state, and move closer and closer towards its centre or most intense point.
 
As the emotional state gradually becomes less intense, begin to track the breath until you are able to follow the breath with one part of your attention whilst the other part stays aware of your emotional state.
 
This is very different from wallowing in or glorifying our emotions. It is simply a technique to help us to be fully aware of what we are feeling, and to move through those emotions to a place of integration without denying or repressing our feeling states.
 
We cannot escape from what has happened to us. However, we can use that experience to deepen our understanding of both ourselves and others, and through this understanding we can develop strategies that honour our own right to be true to ourselves whilst simultaneously respecting the dignity of others.
 
Integrating the burden of emotional substance that our bodies carry over from the past, through a simple exercise such as the one above, helps us to achieve this.
 
It is recommended that this exercise by used for about fifteen minutes daily until it has become thoroughly well-known, and then as frequently as needed depending on the person's health issues.
 

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Heal by Breath

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