Breathe to Heal | Max Strom | TEDxCapeMay 

“Some doors only open from the inside. Breath is a way of accessing these doors ” 

  • With anxiety, stress, and sleep dysfunction skyrocketing around the globe, it's time we look at the unspoken reasons why. These debilitating challenges can be meaningfully impacted with ten to twenty minutes of breathing exercises per day. Max Strom,who has taught breath-work for 20 years, reveals his insights into the healing power of the breath.

  • Speaking about breathing is counterintuitive 

    • Just like we don’t think about blinking or digesting, breathing doesn’t seem like something you need to think about, it just automatically happens

      • controlled by the autonomic nervous system 

  • Breathing intentionally 

    • Certain patterns change how you feel internally 

    • Much more than about simply relaxing 

  • Society today is a digitally-obsessed, escape-based society 

    • Studies show happiness levels are decreased 

      • We should be ecstatic — we have access to all the world’s knowledge and entertainment

      • WHO says by 2020 depression & anxiety will be the #1 disability 

    • Sleep dysfunction is at “epidemic level” according to CDC 

      • not an American problem but a global problem

    • Intimacy can only be developed by actually being in people’s presence 

  • Deliberately working on breathing correctly, in a healthy way, helps create a sustainable life, home and body

  • Will you survive your success?

    • High power CEOs are often the most depressed, anxious and generally dysregulated

  • Stanford Research working with PTSD combat vets and taught them yoga and breathing 

    • The breathing was more effective at relieving symptoms 

      • Defense department now advocating breathwork and yoga for veterans 

      • Intentional breath work is different from just breathing 

  • Benefits of Intentional Breathing are

    • Focus

    • Calm

    • Non-reactiveness

  • Mindfulness practitioners often teach meditation before breath work — not a good idea 

    • Meditation is more advanced 

    • Breath work first calms the nervous system, triggers fight-or-flight to switch off, and rest-and-digest to switch on

      • then people can sit and meditate easily

  • Tremendous relationship between breath (the lungs) and grief 

    • Anxiety and panic attacks are often related to grief 

      • Breathing exercises help 

        • These people often start to weep very quickly after beginning breathing exercises 

          • Why? 

            • Because grief has been suppressed 

            • It has been socially taught (unspoken) that expressing grief is unacceptable 

              • We are much more ready to express anger 

                • Especially men 

        • Additionally we are not taught how to help friends who are grieving, so we do nothing and they isolate 

          • (Don’t try to cheer them up. Try saying: “Yes, it’s going to hurt really bad for a while. And I will be here for you, I’m not going anywhere. It’s your turn now, it might be my turn next year. I am here for you.”)

  • Breathing exercises work right away — not “someday” but right away at making you feel better. 

  • @14:30 Max Storm teaches a breathing exercise 

    • First — Little preparation 

      • sit up straight, take your back off the backrest 

      • If you can, put your hands on your side-ribs

        • not your hips (ladies think bra-strap) 

      • As you inhale, make your ribs go out to the sides, fill your chest 

      • exhale sit taller

      • again - inhale - ribs stretching out to the side 

      • sit taller with each exhale

      • sit up and make your ribs out to the side

      • hold your  breath

      • exhale 

      • relax your arms but keep imagining your hands are there  

    • 4-7-8 breath 

      • (Dr. Andrew Wiles)

      • inhale for 4 

      • hold for 7 

      • exhale for 8 

      • repeat repeat repeat…