Dr. Brian is my light touch chiropractor who practices Network Spinal Analysis. This is a form of chiropractic work that uses light touch and attention to breath to bring ease and health to the spine and central nervous system. In this letter I describe my response to some of the techniques that Dr. Brian is having me practice at home.

Breathing Exercises

February 10, 2014

To: Dr. Brian

Thank you for the breathing exercises, Dr. Brian.  [Dr. Brian gave me some breathing exercises to help me relax.  I was feeling a lot of tension and restriction in my chest.  He suggested three places to put my palms—heart, belly button, and diaphragm—and asked me to choose the place that produced the most ease.  In Network Spinal Analysis, the practitioners do not focus on places of pain.  Instead they focus on places of ease and invite the rest of the body to join the ease.  Dr. Brian also suggested I try breathing in through my nose and out through my mouth.] 

My hands on my belly button created the greatest ease, so that is where I placed my palms.  First I noticed my upper chest expanding.  Then I noticed breath move downward, first into the center of my chest, and then I was really surprised to feel breath move into both breasts.  It seems that having my hands on my belly button allows my entire chest to expand and receive breath in a way that does not feel threatening.

I tried breathing in through my nose and out through my mouth, but for some reason my body had a lot of resistance to this technique and I felt anxiety while trying to breathe in this manner.  I decided not to force my body and went back to “in through my nose, out through my nose” breathing, as this felt most comfortable.  Trauma is a very serious matter, and the body always needs to be listened to and respected.  It is rarely helpful to force things.  The body will tell you what it needs if you listen to it.

I have been very aware of constriction of breath in my chest for quite a while.  I often feared that it was a sign of cancer.  It could be [this letter was written before the extent of the metastasized cancer was known], and it could also be many other things.  But my ability to breathe has definitely lessened since all the cancer treatments—surgeries to both breasts and radiation to the right breast—and there was childhood trauma to this area as well…So it’s not surprising that I feel restriction in my chest. 

Okay, enough, my bed is calling me.  I will continue to explore this exercise.

If you could take a moment to envision me—being held in light, not on the ground, suspended but supported . . . kind of like floating on a cloud, I am safe and my breath is free—that would be a comforting image.



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