You were stressed, then you practiced a breathing technique, you controlled and manipulated your breath and now you feel great! Congratulations! You just messed up your whole respiratory system!
Addition to my entrepreneurial journey in enterprise technology, I’m a breath coach as well, and I deeply know how breathing changes people lives. To enlighten people all around the world, I interview with Nevsah Fidan Karamehmet who has many titles as the Founder President of Breath Coaching Federation and NFS School of Life, an entrepreneur, a businesswoman, a certified breath analyst, faculty member of The Graduate School of Breathing Sciences and Better Physiology. She in love with the power of natural breath 20 years ago and have trained more than 100.000 people around the world says ‘’Using the breath to manipulate our psychology may do us more harm than good.’’
Can you please explain how and why breathing techniques can be harmful?
Nevsah: Breath and respiration are two different aspects. I think this is the main area we as breath workers and breath coaches have to look at.
Breathing is habitual. It can be manipulated, learned, unlearned and relearned. It can be triggered and it has a history. Even though we all have perfect natural breathing when we were born, we learn to manipulate our breathing for different reasons. One of the main reasons we learn to manipulate our breathing is because our breathing can change how we feel. We can totally disconnect from ourselves, the world, our emotions, how we really feel and create an alternative way of being. That’s why many people say ‘dysfunctional breathing habits are actually stating dependency’. We learn to change our psychology by changing our breathing. We manipulate our breathing to feel good, to be more positive, to be more effective, to create an alternative self who is maybe centered and never gets upset or always happy. We actually find ways to disconnect from our humanity, our nature by disconnecting from our natural breath. And if not, people learn all kinds of breathing techniques to do that.
But have you ever asked yourself; ‘’How does breathing technique affect your health?’’ It sure affects your psychology in a ‘good way’ or ‘the way you wanted’. But how did it affect your health? Really! Because our respiration regulates our body ph. And our breathing affects our respiration. Every time we breathe, our respiratory chemistry gets affected, in a good way or a bad way. I think practicing a breathing technique without checking its effects on the respiratory system is lethal. It is not only dangerous but maybe the reason for many symptoms we experience.
I see why Breath Coaching is a very different approach. Can you explain what breath coaching system is and how do you work with breathing habits?
Nevsah: At the Breath Coaching Federation, we work with the dysfunctional breathing habits instead of teaching prescriptive breathing techniques. If you are experiencing symptoms such as having memory problems, focusing or emotional problems because of your breathing habits, you can get rid of the symptom with applying breathing technique. But we don’t work on the dysfunctional habit itself, which is the cause of the problem. The symptom will always be there and you will be addicted to that breathing technique and many people are. I know some people who manipulate their phycology by using techniques and they tell me they feel great and positive and calm. And yet they are experiencing all kinds of symptoms like headaches when they are stressed, focus problems when they are tired and breathing problems while doing sports, etc. Because they do not focus on the cause!
That is all why breath coaching is a revolutionary approach to not only breathwork but also to all health practices. By working with basic behavioral analysis rules and analyzing the dysfunctional breathing habits, we can literally see when, where and how the breathing habit gets triggered and get rid of it. So the next time you are stressed, because you will not have a dysfunctional breathing habit that keeps you hypocapnic and lowers the PaCO2 levels in your lungs and you will not have a headache because you will have more O2 in your blood, in your cells and most importantly in your brain!
I’m sure you did lots of research on breathing habits. Can you explain more?
Nevsah: I cannot believe how many people are out there having all kinds of symptoms because they are breathing dysfunctionally. And the symptoms get cured instead of looking at the cause.
I have been analyzing people’s breathing habits on the mechanic level, as well as on the respiratory level for a long time. What I found out is that our breathing can be manipulated, changed, learned, relearned and it is totally habitual. Whereas respiration happens by itself and it’s a brainstem reflex. It is reflexive. When we don’t interfere with our respiration and we don’t manipulate our breathing, our body knows the best and our respiration system works perfectly regulating our ph levels which affect our health at all levels. When we have balanced ph levels, negative emotions and past traumas do not get triggered. When we have a functional breathing habit and we are not manipulating our breath, we have enough O2 in our blood, in our tissues and we are much more healthy.
Our psychological, physical, mental and spiritual health depends on our breathing. So when we have the perfect, natural breath we can be healthy and happy and fulfilled on every level.
In the era of mindfulness and related apps, breath is the core figure of the industry and defining and using the breath in our daily lives is changing our lives directly by positively or negatively. I believe its impact will be seen in the coming term more rigidly.