Handbook of breathing therapy
The content of this book is presented here with the friendly approval by Dr. Wilfried Ehrmann.
Copies are only possible with the approvel of the author!
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The complete book is only available in german.
Only parts are translated and on request available through the author at www.atman.at. See further down a prefix 
The content of this book is presented here with the friendly approval by Dr. Wilfried Ehrmann.
Copies are only possible with the approvel of the author!
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Preface from the 1. chapter 
With breathing, nature gave us a wonderful gift. Breathing is the only metabolic function we can direct consciously and which permanently works independently at the same time. We can use our breathing actively for improving our health. It is a mirror of our soul as well, because it indicates our basic feelings in any moment. And it is a door to our innermost being, because by breathing consciously, we can influence our state of being in a beneficial way. The methods of conscious breathing show us a simple, ancient and long forgotten path to wellbeing and inner freedom. 
More and more, we are in need of this way. We live in a breathless and breath ignoring world. We fill our time with actions up to the rim that not a moment for regaining our breath is left. Greedy we grasp any way, which makes our lives easier and more comfortable. For that we are willing to become more and more immobile, and the less we move the less we breathe, and the less we breathe, the weaker and tiresome we feel and the more we want our lives to be organized with all imaginable conveniences. At the same times, the mills of wants, needs and musts are increasing their speed. Time is split up into pieces which become tinier every day like the cuts in action movies. Breathless we pant always in the back of this threatening acceleration. 
No wonder that more and more people suffer in our culture. More and more people realize that the promises of happiness offered by our consumer society are presenting basically junk and trash. How easily we crash in the tension between aspirations and possibilities of our society based on individual achievement. Neurotic and psychotic symptoms are increasing, the catalogues of the diagnostic manuals grow in numbers and details. 
So more and more people get on the way of the inner quest. The pressure of suffering and the wish for improvement of the physical and emotional well-being motivates them to better handle their inner problems and to gain more inner balance and to get more out of life than just coping with the necessities and the flight into illusionary worlds of entertainment. 
More than a hundred years ago, modern psychotherapy was founded with the intention to cure emotional suffering and to open new ways to inner fulfilment. How is the person breathing after completing the process of psychoanalysis according to Sigmund Freud? What can we notice about the breathing of a person who has arrived in the here and now in the sense of Fritz Perls? What breath guides the fully functioning person according to Carl Rogers? Which way of breathing is with the flux of the orgasmic reflex of Wilhelm Reich? Can this breathing be any other than full, deep and relaxed? 
Why not start with the result? Let us evolve our breathing fully. This is the way which the breath therapy shows. We approach an ideal flow of breathing, and anything which inhibits this flow gets dissolved on the way. When the breathing is in full flow, everything is in full flow, our physical systems, the soul and the spirit. And when everything is in full flow, then we are free from the limitations of our conditioning and programming, then we are free for the exuberance of life. 
The conscious experience of the breath is a helpful, maybe indispensable guide for all of these needs. This book will show how we can walk this way, what has to be considered and what can be achieved, when the power of breath is opened up with competent therapeutic guidance. However, this is just a book. The experience of the breath has to be made by oneself, either with guidance or alone. 
We are breathing day in and day out. The flow of breath is our companion from birth to death. Thus we are connected to the processual reality of flowing, consciously or unconsciously, willingly or unwillingly. In the view of the breath, life is not a consecutive lining up of events, and the outer world is not a summary of objects. In the view of the breath, life is a permanent interchange of differences, consisting of a structural equality in ever changing otherness and perception is an ongoing altering exchange, giving and receiving in fluent turn around of roles, a rhythmical flow. 
The breath connects us also to a dynamic way of experiencing the world, in which everything is in transformation alien to any form of static or fixation. All concepts of “this way and not the other”, of “either-or”, of “everything or nothing” is not understandable and accessible for the breath. The breath goes in, the breath goes out. It flows around the objects and through them. 
The way of breath therapy opens the consciousness for this view of the world which is not unknown to the Western world and Western psychotherapy but has never become a genuine ground for it. The famous word, ascribed to Heracleithos, “all flows” (cf.: fr. 12 and fr. 49) arises at the beginning of the European culture but is far from being part of our perception of ourselves and of the world – partly due to forgetting our bodies and our breath which are inhered in our culture. 
It had been physical problems, which sent Susanna along the way. Suddenly she had no air to breath, which caused real fear. So she looked for a training in breathwork which could help her to clear this problem. But this training was far more than correcting and repairing breathing problems. Slowly she came to terms with the fact that certain breathing exercises caused intense feelings, which she could not understand, as she had had a quiet and balanced life so far. But soon she realized that she gained a new perspective towards her life by opening up to these feelings. Some of her behaviour seemed superficial and made up, even her way of laughing. And she saw that she had come in contact with a deeper longing, a longing which she had known in the earlier years of her youth in a time when her life had seemed open and wide like a landscape full of green hills. More and more she realized that the breath ahd sent her a way which would lead her over the years more and more towards herself and which had become her steady companion since then. 
The method of integrative breath therapy, which is presented in this book follows a very old and rather new way at the same time. It is based on ancient knowledge, which prevailed in many traditions and connects with the insights of modern psychotherapy: The knowledge, that the breath is not just a physical function of metabolism but the carrier of life energy as such. 
“Who feeds on air shines like a God and has a long Life.” (Konfuzius) 
“All is contained in the divine breath like the day in the haze of the early morning.” (Muhyiddin Ibn al Arabi) 
“The breath is the door to Tao: Concentrate in the breath, and Tao will be with you.” (Chu Yuan) 
How to read this book 
This book supports different ways of use an reading. It is meant as: 
Quality information for anyone interested in the breath 
Manual for the practical work as breathworker and breath therapist 
Trainings- and motivational book for the experience of the breath 
Holistic reading is recommended: Read with the head, the heart, the belly and above all the breath: Follow the words consciously breathing, make pauses of reflection consciously breathing. This is what I wish most for my readers. 
The case stories come from my therapeutical work if not indicated otherwise. Names and details were changed to protect the identity of the clients. 
A short personal introduction: 
At the end of the seventies of last century, I started my way of self exploration. In Gestalt therapy I learned about some of the shadow areas of my soul. I started to like to work with people and entered a training in verbal counselling which again opened up many new insights. Still I did not feel complete and was bored in some of the talking groups with the superficiality of the verbal exchange. I came to the idea that my inner development had to continue by exploring the body. I started a Reichian body therapy and learned about the expressive possibilities and energies of the body. This was the most difficult phase of my life as well – the separation from my first wife and the break up of the family were very painful experiences for me. In this time, a friend offered to guide me through a breathwork session. Without big expectations, I started to breath intensely and soon encountered cramps in my hands and around the mouth and I felt that I could not move freely. I asked myself what this should be good for. But my guide calmed my worries and motivated me to go on with the breathing process, and so I went on, partly because I could not otherwise. My whole body felt totally strange and alien, frightening but also exciting. There was a vibration everywhere, pains here and there, and every cell seemed to look for something new. Even in the nose I sensed strange smells. And suddenly – I woke up with an intense shock – I had been unconscious, had left my body, and had just managed to come back. The pains and cramps had completely vanished, and instead I felt a warm Flow in my chest, and like the fulfilment of an old and deep longing I saw beaming light streaming into my heart. And I knew with absolute certainty: This is a wonderful experience, and this gift waits for everyone, and it is my job now to provide this gift for as much people as possible who are looking for it. I had received a life purpose in this first breathwork session. Further sessions lead me to re-experiencing my birth, confronted me with deep rooted fears and resolved them. So I felt more and more safe, free and open in my life. Further experiences with breathing meditations deepened my inner spiritual experiences. The mission of my first breathwork session is still active, in my work with clients, groups and trainings from which many people have taken valuable experiences for their lives. And finally it motivated me to write this book.
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