Breathing as Medicine

The workshop will review the ancient science of pranayama and the effect of breath regulation on levels of consciousness and the human autonomic nervous system. The effects of stress on human health and performance will be reviewed. Studies will be presented that demonstrate the effect of specific breathing techniques and experiential/practical sessions will be undertaken by all participants. Upon completion of this workshop attendees will be able to incorporate these breathing techniques into their everyday life and clinical practice.

Learner's Objectives:

  • Highlight diseases of the autonomic nervous system where breath work has direct application
  • Explain the physiological mechanisms by which manipulation of the breath can alter output from the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system.
  • Gain mastery with five different breathing techniques that have different effects on the autonomic nervous system

Medical Gap this course addresses:

It is estimated that up to 75% of the complaints and symptoms brought to primary care physicians have their basis in stress. While there is sometimes a role for prescription medications to assist patients dealing with stress, few physicians feel comfortable in teaching patients natural approaches to controlling the autonomic nervous system. Breath work has been shown to be an effective form of mind-body medicine and is free of side effects. It has the added advantage of empowering patients and providing them with self mastery over an important aspect of their health. Physicians themselves are not immune from the effects of stress and these practical breathing techniques can be of great use to both physicians and their staff and the patients they serve.