Breath Work

Hi there! My name is Charlie and I am one of the 2 National Physiotherapists working for TMC. I am invested in keeping you guys as healthy and happy as you can be so I will be posting some things I think will be useful to you over the coming months.

My main interest is in wellness and particularly making it an easy habit, so that it is effective and accessible at any moment.

My first topic will be Breathwork.

Breathwork is a special way of breathing that can help make your body and mind feel better. Scientific evidence has have found that doing these breathing exercises can help with things like stress, feeling worried, being sad, and other health issues such as managing pain. People have been doing these special breathing exercises for a really long time, way back in old cultures and religions like Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, and Shamanism.

Here is a list of all of the different type of Breathing exercises, done all over the world. I can’t cover them all here but if you get interested, then you can go and find more about them all on the Web.


Diaphragmatic breathing
Equal breathing
Box breathing
4-7-8 breathing
Pursed lip breathing
Alternate nostril breathing
Humming bee breath
Lion’s Breath
Breath focus technique
Resonant breathing
Numbered breath
Paced breathing


Sitali breath
Victorious breath
Skull Shining Breath
Zen Yoga
Complete breath
Buteyko Method
Bellows Breathing
Rapid Breathing
Wim Hof Method


Holotropic Breathwork
Rebirthing Breathwork
Shamanic Breathwork
Integrative Breathwork
Transformational Breath
BioDynamic Breathwork
SOMA Breath

Many of us become shallow breathers over time, particularly when pain is present in the body, which can then cause the body to become stressed more easily. That stress is felt as tension and can make us more tired, more painful and less happy!

Breathwork helps us correct our breathing and take fuller breaths, which signal to our body that we’re safe and can relax.

The science of breathwork: How does it work?

Many of the methods take time to help us calm down, but there are also quick breathing exercises that can be good for our health. This part will explain how both slow breathing and controlled fast breathing affect the body.

When we do slow, deep breathing, we turn on our parasympathetic nervous system. This takes control from the sympathetic nervous system (which makes us feel stressed) and tells our body it’s okay to relax. This makes our heart slow down and helps us feel more physically comfortable. It also replaces negative feelings like anxiety, depression, and anger with more positive emotions.

So what are the Benefits:

  • Reduces stress and anxiety
  • Improves sleep
  • Boosts immune system
  • Improves mood
  • Increases focus
  • Promotes relaxation and positive thinking
  • Improves pain perception

Further Benefits:

  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Improves lung function
  • Improves circulation
  • Helps manage pain
  • Boosts metabolism
  • Improves digestion

How can you do it?

I have found this video on YouTube (and there are many, many more) and it follows more of what I believe and what I have found works. This can be done at any time – before or after work, in a break time or even during a massage if you feel that you have tightened up or pain levels are increasing. Try it and see.

It takes a little practice so is best started when you have a little down time and can concentrate on what you are doing. When you have got the technique, you can then apply it in different situations.

Breathing Exercises – For Pain Relief (

(The breathing exercises start at 06.21, but the first bit of explanation is worth listening to)

I hope you all find this interesting and useful. This is the first in a series of blog posts that will be followed up with content on topics like relaxation, posture, self-management exercises such as wrist stretches or mobility and then maybe a breakdown of how to manage low back pain, mid-back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, elbow pain, wrist pain, hand and finger pain. If you feel there is a topic you would like to know more about drop me an email on and I will do my best!

Warm regards,

Charlie H

National Physiotherapist

Science of Breathwork: How It Works + Top 14 Benefits (

Further reading:
7 Best Breathwork Techniques & Exercises to Use ( – awesome further links and techniques to practice!

The effect of deep and slow breathing on pain perception, autonomic activity, and mood processing–an experimental study – PubMed (

How Breath-Control Can Change Your Life: A Systematic Review on Psycho-Physiological Correlates of Slow Breathing – PMC (