Breathing is the Master Key to Self-Healing – Wisdom from Dr. Weil

The health you enjoy today, and for the rest of your life,
begins with your next breath. In fact, breathing is so crucial to your body’s
ability to heal and sustain itself that Dr. Andrew Weil, integrative medicine pioneer,
says, “If I had to limit my advice on healthy living to just one tip, it would be simply
to learn how to breathe correctly”.

In the mid 90s, just as I was discovering the world of energy medicine, I was introduced to the genius of Dr. Andrew Weil. Reading his New York Times bestseller, Spontaneous Healing, changed my life forever.

Good fortune came into my healing process. The pain and disability of fibromyalgia and the pervasive torment of constant panic attacks met a saving grace. I had recently completed a course of Biofeedback training as a treatment for panic disorder. The breath work associated with this modality manifested one of my greatest AHA moments. In the words of Dr. Weil, I learned through my own therapeutic experiences that, indeed, breathing is the master key to self-healing. After 3 months of twice daily practice, I noticed that the continuum of progressive relaxation breathing not only reduced my anxiety and panic response but also my physical pain.This retrospective awareness empowered my forward progress beyond comparison or belief. The validation and confirmation from Dr.Weil’s writings gave credence and vitality to my sacred contract with healing that was revealed in the ensuing decades.

My miraculous awakening to the power of conscious breathing supported all my healing trials. Whatever else I was doing to relieve my pain and disability, I was ALWAYS anchoring myself in my breath. Passive stretch, Synergy dance, energy body work, swimming, power walking, tai chi, myotheraphy were ALL enhanced and strengthened by breath work that brought depth, rhythm and ease to each healing endeavor. My results were always magnified many-fold by the oxygenation and the balance and harmony afforded my nervous systems.  It made such a difference that an acclaimed physician such as Dr. Weil was getting the message out about conscious breathing. So maybe I was not crazy after all!

Crazy? Yes, I was called  crazy for my claims about the “pain that never stops” and the “fight or flight syndrome” that made me appear to be a mad woman. When I made further claims about the power of conscious breathing to alleviate these symptoms, the label of crazy got crazier! My recently published memoir, Yesterday When I Was Crazy: A Sacred Contract with Healing, recounts the details of my crazy stories and my remarkable healing process to which breath brought relief and ultimately belief. I invite you to read more about my walk with conscious breathing and the many other therapies and remedies that worked to heal my pain, panic and disability. Perhaps you will find an answer to resolving a health concern that challenges your quality of life. Maybe you will even help a friend or loved one.

There are many types of breath work and many books on the subject. Dr. Weil has an excellent audio cd and many featured exercises available on the Internet.  The simple act of “noticing” or observing your breath can make shifts in your presence to yourself more tangible. There are relaxing breath work practices, stimulating breathing exercises and brain-integration protocols. I was overcome with joy when I read that Dr. Weil instructs his patients in this self-healing tool. I encourage all readers of this blog to explore what breath work can do to augment your healing process. Success is truly just a breath or two . . . Or maybe a 10 minute session away! YOU have the power to heal yourself!

So this is my soap box for today, my sermon on self-care and my soul’s delight! Breathe in the breath of air and enjoy the Breath of Life. “Breathing IS the master key to self -healing!”

Learn more in my new book, Yesterday When I  Was Crazy: A Sacred Contract with Healing, available now on, and please share your comments below.


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