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The Proven Science behind Breathing Techniques – an article by Giuliana Wheater

The Proven Science behind Breathing Techniques – an article by Giuliana Wheater

The Proven Science behind Breathing Techniques ​- an article by Giuliana Wheater and her video!

Following 90+ emails since last week from people struggling with anxiety and OCD, particularly since the Corona virus outbreak, I felt some breathing therapy would be a huge benefit. 

Mindful breathing techniques are FABULOUS on so many neuro scientific and anatomical levels … and firmly rooted in science. Breath work is proven to increase blood and oxygen to the brain.

By contrast, when we hyperventilate, blood and oxygen to the brain is reduced by 40% which is why those higher brain functions such as clear thinking, perspective, focus, concentration, motivation, and good judgment are all severally compromised. 

90% of our serotonin, the hormone of happiness, self-esteem and confidence, is in the gut, so when we breathe slowly and mindfully deep into our tummies, we are stimulating all of that to flow up the spinal cord and into the brain!

Dopamine, the hormone of motivation and pleasure, also linked hugely to the higher brain functions, is encouraged to flood up the vagus nerve and into the brain too … we have literally billions of neurons which act just like dopamine in our gut !!

Anxiety, depression, insomnia, and PTSD are all eased significantly along with the lack of focus and attention for those with ADHD, ADD and PDA as well as ASD with regular mindful breathing. 

Nor adrenaline is also stimulated which helps with focus and positivity.

Meditative breathing has actually been proven to DECREASE the amygdala – the emotional brain – the part of the body that detects fear and triggers the fight or flight response whilst actually INCREASING pre-frontal cortex which leads to clear thinking, complex thinking , problem solving and perspective!!!

Our bodies and brains are just so PERFECTLY designed I get SO excited!!!!! It is like a miracle!! And we have all these natural but powerful neuro scientific tools at our fingertips to feel and be the best we possibly can. I absolutely love it!!! 

http://www.therapiesforspecialneeds.co.uk/

The Proven Science behind Breathing Techniques
The Proven Science behind Breathing Techniques
The Proven Science behind Breathing Techniques
The Proven Science behind Breathing Techniques – an article by Giuliana Wheater

The Proven Science Behind Storytelling – an article by Giuliana Wheater

The Proven Science Behind Storytelling – an article by Giuliana Wheater and her videos!

Storytelling is something we have always done as humans … for thousands of years before we actually began to write words. Sadly, today a large percentage of children don’t get read to and yet on a neuroscientific levels well as a nurturing level, it is neural dynamite!!

It has been proven that when you are immersed in a story your brain floods with cortisol, oxytocin, and dopamine in addition to your whole-body surging with serotonin, the hormone of happiness, self-esteem, and confidence.

Cortisol helps formulating our memories. Oxytocin helps is to trust, care, relate, help others, and empathise! Dopamine helps to regulate our emotional responses and keeps us engaged, inspired, and focused.

When you make stories in a group either by making a lucky dip story box or putting it into story massage or yoga you are sharing, working as a team and developing mental flexibility if the next person takes a story in a different direction from what you hoped: our internal data banks are filled with “what if’s” and “how to’s” so as a result we think outside the box and develop problem solving whilst working as a team … life skills which will layer be invaluable in the workplace !!

Storytelling widens horizons, melts boundaries, and develops a lifelong thirst for knowledge. Children who engage in stories from a young age are far more open to learning, expressing, communicating, and focusing and they are scientifically proven to have greater emotional and social intelligence.

So please watch my videos and see how even for those with autism, ADHD, PDA, and dyslexia can be engaged and grow in this therapy!

The Proven Science Behind Storytelling
The Proven Science Behind Storytelling
The Proven Science Behind Storytelling
The Proven Science behind Breathing Techniques – an article by Giuliana Wheater

The proven research behind Colour Therapy – an article by Giuliana Wheater

The proven research behind Colour Therapy – an article by Giuliana Wheater and her video!

Colour therapy, otherwise known as chromatherapy or photo-biology has been used since ancient Chinese and Egyptian times and is in embedded our very language itself: “seeing red”, a “white mist coming down”, “feeling blue”, or being “green with envy”.

Scientists and researchers such as Robert Gerard, Dr Max Lüscher, Ingrid Collins & Professor Stephen Westland (Chair of Colour Science & Technology at the University of Leeds, to name just a few have long established that colour is light of varying wavelengths and frequencies.

Electromagnetic waves constantly surround us: colour is part of those waves. Every single one our trillions of cells needs light energy: these absorb colour which effect us mentally and emotionally as well as physically .

Every atom we possess consists of particles of energy in perpetual motion so at our basic level we are made of energy and information.

When we add a certain colour we are adding that wavelength and frequency energy into our lives which can have a proven effect on our mood, perception, outlook and our mental and physical health.

Since I was tiny I have seen the world and people in particular as colours; my autistic son Ollie does the same. So for me it was a natural step to train in this therapy and integrate it naturally into my other therapeutic training’s as it can have such a huge effect on mood, sleep, stress, aggression, illness as well as mental, emotional and physical health.

Different colours really do have a powerful impact on how we feel on all levels.

I weave colour therapy into my meditations, guided journeys, yoga and breathing exercises, mindfulness activities, positive games and sensory play with high impact and beneficial results.

I’ve included a few ideas in this article along with a video to demonstrate how you can flow colour into other therapies although it is also very valuable as a standalone therapy in its own right too.

Our world is full of colour … think why you were drawn to the clothes you’ve chosen today for instance , colours you love and those you can’t bear.

80% of communication isn’t speech … so what do your colours say about you? It’s such an interesting therapy!

http://www.therapiesforspecialneeds.co.uk/

Colour therapy
Colour therapy
Colour therapy
Colour therapy
The Proven Science behind Breathing Techniques – an article by Giuliana Wheater

The proven Science Behind Yoga – an article by Giuliana Wheater

The proven Science Behind Yoga – an article by Giuliana Wheater with her video

Yoga is now well recognised as a therapy to encourage wellness, focus and peace.

But did you know about all the other physical , mental , neurological , emotional & social benefits too?! The list is endless & thoroughly researched, proven & backed by hard scientific evidence thanks to leaders in the field such as Tiffany Field amongst many others.

Did you know that yoga improves mental flexibility so is amazing for autistic people for instance ?! When we exercise our bodies we are exercising our brains. Just simple yoga exercises with our hands and fingers stimulate the brain as the muscles found here relate to the muscles of the brain.

Yoga also promotes self awareness, interpersonal awareness, compassion, body awareness along with self esteem as the neurotransmitters of happiness, confidence, productivity and motivation are pushed up from the gut & stimulated in the brain! 90% of our happy hormone, serotonin, is made in the gut!!

Yoga balances the nervous system because of the release of these vital neurotransmitters and eases stress as well building our resilience to stress & boosting immunity. Much needed in these challenging times of the “new normal”.

Through the regular practice of yoga self management, self regulation and emotional/social intelligence are given a turbo charge! Depression is reduced as well as anxiety. Sensory integration is boosted too …. fabulous for our children with autism and other different abilities.

Yoga incorporates mindfulness, sound ,breath work & meditation too so it flows beautifully alongside and interwoven with my other therapies.Yoga should never hurt contrary to a common myth and can be done seated if there are mobility issues along with assisted yoga.

Yoga is also huge fun and can be turned into stories, charades, games & even songs or music as I frequently do with the children and families I work with. Everything is an invitation and everything is fun and inclusive. I have lots of videos on my YouTube channel where I “play” with yoga in this way so that even tiny children want to explore it … all whilst getting these amazing benefits !!

My training with Jyoti Manuel, founder of Special Yoga massively enriched my work in this area with her training’s for autism and ADHD. She is a wonderful teacher and shares her courses for yoga for PMLD as well as for autism and ADHD. She can be found at https://specialyoga.org.uk/training/ – I can’t recommend her highly enough.

The proven Science Behind Yoga
The proven Science Behind Yoga
The proven Science Behind Yoga
The Proven Science behind Breathing Techniques – an article by Giuliana Wheater

The proven science behind Touch using Story Massage – an article by Giuliana Wheater

The proven science behind touch using story massage – an article by Giuliana Wheater with her video

One question I am often asked , particularly in relation to any touch therapy , is what do I when someone has sensory issues surrounding Touch or would find it impossible to sit/lie down for long ….

Well firstly I always meet the person where they are and not where I want them to be. Everything in my work, particularly touch, is an invitation and if someone can’t sit still to receive it I will ask them to mirror me, show them how to do it for themselves … and often I will put the massage into a story or a song. 

I discussed the long proven scientific research and neuroscience in my last article and I summarise this again at the start of this week’s video for those of you who missed it.

In a nutshell touch boosts immunity, emotional intelligence, physical health, resilience to stress, trust, empathy, reading and processing faces, social cognition, sensory processing, confidence, bonding, greater social skills and the higher brain functions as well as easing stress, tension , anxiety, OCD, pain and the susceptibility to picking up additional mental health issues.

By using simple massage strokes (I use my own with a combination of the wonderful work by Mary Atkinson, founder of Story Massage and author of “Once Upon A Touch”), I tap into that child or young adult’s passion/ obsession or even mood or favourite song and I use this to massage them.

I have had parents break down crying because they have never seen their child be so still, relaxed and engaged for 30 minutes and some of these children can’t be in a classroom for any more than 10 minutes!!

So flow with each child, flow with each unique being. Bring fun and a little magic to scientific therapy and that person will lap all those delicious proven benefits.

The proven science behind Touch using Story Massage
The proven science behind Touch using Story Massage
The Proven Science behind Breathing Techniques – an article by Giuliana Wheater

The proven scientific and neurological benefits of massage – an article by Giuliana Wheater

The proven scientific and neurological benefits of massage – an article by Giuliana Wheater with her video

Why am I writing an article promoting touch during this time I hear some of you cry ? Well because it has never been needed more! 

What puzzles me the most is that pubs and tea rooms are allowed to open and the social distancing I saw last weekend was, in practice, non existent . 

Yet massage therapists are still not allowed to work …

Touch is key to boosting immunity !!!

Massage also naturally stimulates happy hormones and coping chemicals, most notably serotonin (the hormone of happiness, confidence, self esteem), oxytocin (love and nurture), dopamine (pleasure, focus, concentration & motivation along with other higher or executive brain functions) and endorphins (pain relief, euphoria and well-being). 

Therapeutic touch through massage also grounds, calms, relaxes, eases stress which can lead to ill health, lowers/stabilises blood pressure and and hugely boosts memory and learning. 

As Michelangelo noted hundreds of years ago “to touch is to give life”. Touch is the core sense which is present when as babies we explore the world before we open our eyes and is the last sense remaining until we pass. In a nutshell humans need touch to thrive.

Experiments from the 1950’s/60’s with Harry Harlow, although controversial due to different times,  proved that touch boosts immunity, emotional intelligence, social intelligence, physical health and growth as well as better bonding skills and trust, far greater resilience to stress and less behavioural issues. 

Leaders in the field such as Darlene Francis,Michael Meaden and Tiffany Field continue to prove these results to this day . 

Touch also boosts resilience to peer pressure and makes for better relationships both at school and work as well as leading to financial gain as a result. So please watch my short video and see how you can begin massaging yourselves, family and friends . 

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