If you’ve ever had trouble breathing you’ll be relieved to find out that learning the Achilles Heel Breathing Technique can help a lot. If fact, it works wonders for anxiety and stress too! You’ll be an expert in no time with just a minute or two of practice. Here we go!
I became an “inside expert” with struggling for breath during a seven-year stint with adult, onset asthma. Glad to report that I’m now free of the trouble. I sifted through thousands of techniques and promises and programs to find the handful of things that made an actual difference during an asthma attack. Be sensible; asthma is life-threatening and if you currently use an inhaler please be sure you use it whenever you need it. Learn what you can to diminish its use sensibly under your doctor’s care.
Here’s the Achilles Heel Breathing Technique that I adapted for myself and for clients from lots of other ideas out there. It’s helped me and my clients with breathing troubles, asthma, anxiety, stress and overwhelm. It’s very simple to describe, but the magic is in the doing. That means you actually have to try it out and practice it a few times to feel the difference in your body, breath and life.
Locate your Achilles tendon at the back of your heel. It’s the springy, tight and flexible area at the back of your leg which attaches your heel to your lower leg. It’s directly in back of your ankles. You can, as I do, imagine a pair of wings there on each heel. This doesn’t change the technique, it just helps me remember Achilles.
You’ll use your imagination to picture your next in-breath coming in through four holes. That is, it comes in on each side of the back of your ankle on both legs. The breath comes in through those Achilles holes and up your legs to meet at the perineum. That’s the “Southern-most spot on your torso” otherwise known as the place between your legs. The breath is imagined coming together there and up into your torso.
You exhale normally through the nose or mouth with no particular visualization.
So…all the in-breaths come into each side of the ankle and travel up to meet at the base of the torso and up into your lungs. The out-breath is normal. The in-breath visualization is very quick; you don’t have to change or slow down your breath or change it in any way. The images will do that automatically. How long will it take to notice a difference? In 3 or 4 breaths you’ll notice a big shift (especially if you’re short of breath!) and easier breathing. Do as many rounds as you like to enhance the smoothness and reduce any anxiety or tension you feel. Imagine yourself like Achilles, being able to take winged flight wherever he wanted. The image seems to help.
While you’re learning to help your breath rely on your medicine and inhalers. They are meant to be life saving devices. Think of them as temporary crutches for your lungs that you eventually won’t need.
A piece of advice: no matter how motivated you are to improve your breath (as I was) please don’t over-exert yourself as you learn. That’s just as harmful. Slow and easy wins the race. Really. Here’s to your better breathing!
Copyright 2011 by Rudy Hunter. All rights reserved.