37 West Walnut Circle,
Espanola NM 87532
Breathwalk has the power to change the basic rhythms of the body at system and cellular levels to produce an overall Signature of Wellness. When we look at what happens with the instruments and tools of modern research, we get a glimpse of some of the underlying biological processes that create the impact and benefits of Breathwalk. We have examined, with the help of professional researchers, the effects of Breathwalk in five fundamental areas important to our health and well-being--heart rhythm, visual focus, muscle balance, brain activity patterns and moods.
There are powerful and rapid effects on the cardiovascular system. The research confirms that there are special patterns in our heart rhythm and in our walking gait that do in fact develop as we do a Breathwalk. When you do a Breathwalk, the pattern of your heartbeat changes in a special way. Just as there is a recognizable high-rate heartbeat pattern that comes from doing aerobics, there is a distinct signature in the heartbeat from Breathwalk. The aerobics heartbeat pattern results in a training effect that increases the body’s ability to handle oxygen. The Breathwalk pattern shows the heartbeat running through a wide range of frequencies in a very short time period, promoting biologic flexibility. Biologic flexibility in turn has an important bearing upon overall wellness, because it reflects our ability to gain resilience and rebound under stressful situations.
If aerobic exercise resembles the pure power of a single frequency emanating from a strong radio station, then Breathwalk looks like the many frequencies mixed into complex and richly textured patterns. One is a tone, the other melody, chords and harmonies. It is like comparing loud noise to sophisticated music. Breathwalk stimulates resiliency, rebound capacity, refinement, range, and flexibility--all adding up to awareness. And awareness adds another dimension to vitality that goes beyond aerobics, and beyond the merely physical.
We have noticed directly and experientially, however, that the quality of our own vision--how clearly we see things--drastically improves in those who Breathwalk. First time Breathwalkers frequently report that an amazing clarity comes over their vision; everything becomes more vivid. Depth of field, clarity of detail and visual acuity all increase. People report experiences of delight as they seem to flow through an intensified sensation of three-dimensional space--an extended sensitivity of the body.
Breathwalk has the power to release us from the patterns of inner tension and free up our vision. Science has confirmed what yogic tradition has long taught. The pathway between our eyes and our brain works as a two-way street. Our eyes respond with pleasure to arousal and to certain ordered patterns. That arousal can come from either the exterior environment or from inside the nervous system. The brain influences what you can see, and what you can see influences the brain. By stimulating our brain in Breathwalk we can gain insight in our inner world and in our visions of the outer world. We open the way for stronger and richer connections.
According to Kinesiologists there are four Postural Measures for General Good Health:
When we ran some tests on thirty-five Breathwalkers using the precise measuring instruments of the kinesiologists, we found that our participants improved their performances remarkably on the frst two after doing only one Breathwalk experience. Flexibility increased 20-50%. Muscle conditions went from 28 imbalanced muscles to only 1 after a 15 minute Blissful Eagle Breathwalk. Strolling alone had eliminated some muscle imbalance (from 28 to 20), but Breathwalk reduced the incidences of muscle imbalance to almost zero.
In another set of tests, we tracked the balance of muscles that affect a good walking gait in our participants, the third postural measure of general good health. We initially found that 22% of the participants had some gait mechanism impairment although none had serious impairments. These imbalances are the kind of impairment that all of us accumulate from stress, and we found that a single Breathwalk of 20 minutes corrected all of these problems.
There are a number of things that can cause the skull-to-sacrum motion--the fourth measure--to get out of tune. Trauma to the head, whiplash, prolonged tension, jaw or bite problems, and drugs are some of them. We have found that Breathwalk corrects this problem as it gradually restores full movement in most instances.
We did some testing a number of years ago through a group at the University of Arizona Medical Center. A volunteer agreed to have a brain scan done to show levels of activity in the brain’s different areas during a normal walk, and then during a Breathwalk. We used an imaging technique called a PET Scan. For this test, the subject is injected with a radioactive isotope. The isotope collects and concentrates along with the concentrations of blood. The PET Scan can then give a map of the brain’s areas that have become activated during an activity.
We had the volunteer walk normally for 45 minutes. Then the researchers did a PET Scan to see how the brain functioned. At the same time the next day, the volunteer did a BreathWalk for 45 minutes. Again, we had a PET scan done. The Breathwalk scans showed a 70-80% increase in the use of the parietal and temporal areas on the right side of the brain, increases in areas related to executive attention functions, and in areas on both sides in the prefrontal cortex. The scans also showed increased meta-cognition--more activity in the area of the insula, and more integration of the two hemispheres based on the number of areas involved in both sides.
The experiment was only a first look. But it showed that a small change in the pattern of breathing changed areas of the brain related to cognitive function, judgement and feelings, in addition to the areas related to movement and large muscles. Looking at the areas that were most activated, this tells us that after a Breathwalk, we can focus our attention more effectively--even for multiple thoughts. We are clearer about our internal processes. And we can process thoughts and emotions with a more refined sense of their context.
Our experience has shown that you can conquer the most common forms of anxiety and moderate depression with an appropriate program of Breathwalk. Breathwalk works very effectively to diminish negative mood states and boost positive ones and develop moods for mastery. The physiological shifts we can create with Breathwalk gradually build an easily accessible and stable base for positive moods.
Further information about the science behind Breathwalk can be found in Chapter 11 of the book or you may contact us.