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126 of 129 people found the following review helpful
on October 24, 2004
Some may think that it's ridiculous to have a program about breathing. We all do it right?

For those of us who take breathing for granted, there is a Zen tale about a young monk who complains to his master that "meditating on the breath is boring". So the master grabs the student, holds him under water plenty long enough to make his point and then looks at the student and asks "Do you still think the breath is boring? ".... Let's just say that this fellow had a change of heart (and took a nice deep breath) :)

While this program isn't specifically a meditation program the point still remains. While it's obvious that all of us who are alive are already breathing and have been doing so our whole lives, our breathing can be either unconscious or conscious.

Likewise we can either choose to live unconsciously or consciously as well. It is to the conscious control of the breath this program deals with and if practiced regularly it can likely affect your ability to live each moment of your life more consciously as well (a nice side benefit and perhaps the most important one at that).

There is a definite connection between rate of breathing and either stress or relaxation. It is very hard to be in a complete state of stress if your breathing is slow and deep. It doesn't mean you won't encounter stressful events, but you can certainly let them take less of a physical toll on you even when you are dealing with unavoidable stressful situations by not letting your breathing put you into overload.

Becoming relaxed doesn't mean you have to be isolated from the world or zoning out, rather you can be active and functioning but still be relaxed internally by learning to work with your breath. You can also become energized by learning breathwork as well, it depends on the technique(s) you apply.

Dr. Weil does an excellent job first of explaining about the connection of breath to physical (and emotional/mental)well being as well as giving examples of case studies. This is done on the first cassette. The second cassette has guided breathing exercises that are very easy to follow and are quite useful.

I personally find that Dr. Weil is very good at putting things in a way that are very down to earth as well as user friendly. He doesn't claim to be some enlightened master or Guru, just a Doctor who has seen this stuff work in real life with real patients.

I've been working with these tapes for several weeks now and they are tremendous tools that you can work with anytime you need to reconnect with your life force. Whether you want to think of the breath as strictly a physical entity or get into the more metaphysical ideas of thinking of it as prana, there is no doubt that breathing is THE master key to being present and feeling alive.

This program, if used as intended, can definitely help give you control over your ability to regulate your stress levels by using breath work, this can certainly only bring positive health benefits.

It is common knowledge to healers of all modalities (be they "conventional" or "alternative"), that stress can profoundly weaken one's immune system and lead to ill health. Breath work can reduce stress and not only make you feel better physically, but improve the overall quality of your life. Let's face it, life is not of a high quality if you're stressed out and exhausted.

So, here is a wonderful tool that is practical and easy to use, all you need to do is make a choice whether to use this tool or just continue on your frantic, stressed out merry way.

One more thing, this sort of breath work is an excellent bridge to developing a meditation practice.
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286 of 303 people found the following review helpful
on February 20, 2000
I never really thought much about my breathing but finding out what Andrew Weil says, in conjunction with going to a yoga class where they really emphasize proper breathing, has woken me up to how much this affects my life. The book "Science of Breath" by Swami Rama is also an excellent resource - very highly recommend it. In the short time I've been working with simple breathing exercises I've noticed dramatic effects - stress seems not to affect me as much!
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56 of 57 people found the following review helpful
On this 2 CD set Dr. Andrew Weil introduces listeners to the practice of breath work based on Pranayama yoga. This CD set is definitely not your typical new age fair and is applicable to just about everyone. The first CD focuses on the theory in history behind this type of breath work, and includes several interesting case studies. The second CD essentially is an audio workshop, which will guide you step-by-step through the series of eight individual techniques. In my opinion, this type of breath work is excellent for individuals with ADHD. The techniques contained within this CD set cover a wide range of applications. Some breath exercises will help listeners learn how to calm hyperactivity and redirect a scattered mind, while other exercises can generate energy and mental alertness. What's nice about the techniques taught in this series is that they are extremely simple and can be done anywhere by anyone. Whether a student or in the workplace the techniques taught in this series can really help manage those troublesome and unpredictable ADHD energy shifts.
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38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
I've been into breathing as long as I can remember...uhhhh...that was a joke by the way, you can laugh now...I remember when I was a kid if I hurt myself my dad had me look up at the sky and breathe deeply. Even recently, I just had back surgery and I was having trouble getting comfortable, my dear, sweet, 80 year old "poppa" told me to look up and breathe deeply, and y'know what, it still works.

Conscious and deliberate breathing is a real skill that we all can develop. Like most things in the West, we tend to laugh at things before we fully understand them. "You bought a book on breathing. Wow...they saw you coming..." But our breathing techniques are probably right in line with just how much we know about diet. No matter we're a bunch of stressed out fat people.

Real Breathing is learning to take slow and deep breaths, it is about catching yourself when you may be in a stressful situation and you are holding your breath, it is about becoming more and more aware that there is ALREADY a center within you and you just need to bring yourself back to it and you do this through your breathing.

When I am in a session with a client, the first thing we do, is we breathe together. I get them to lay aside all burdens, all fears, all frustrations and to just breathe in....and out...in....and out...I find that just a few minutes of breathing in and out calms the mind and opens the heart and takes the "stinger" out of the situation they find themselves in. Breathing slowly and deeply clears the mind and allows one to see that there are answers to their challenges.

Proper Breathing is a "golden key" to restoring balance and health to your life. If you did one thing to change your life, you could do this and everything else would follow suit.

So, from someone who loves breathing, I highly recommend this program by "Mr. Bushy Beard" as my brother likes to call him, but we'll just call him, Dr. Weil...and he really is 'Weil Good'...

Peace and Blessings.
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48 of 51 people found the following review helpful
on December 10, 2001
Weil explains breathing. Exciting? Depends on you. Discovering breathing is like having had a PC for years and suddenly discovering "right click." There it is; you've never thought about it; discovering it makes your use of the machine so much more efficient. Weil's breathing exercises are easy and basic. They are like meditation: you have to decide to stick with the program. Results? That will depend on you and your needs. For people with normal breathing capacity, it must be equivalent to developing your quads and pecs after working for years at a desk. For those of us who have asthma and other breathing disorders, it feels like regaining "normal." Weil's gentle, intelligent guidance inspires confidence.
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on January 6, 2006
I got this cd a week ago and have been pretty happy with it.

My mind tends to wander a lot so I like being guided through the breathing exercises. I also like how you do a few of the exercises then it lets you meditate for awhile and then leads you back to more breathing.

I read complaints in other reviews that their cd had only one track. That is not the case with my cd. I can jump around to different breathing techniques, just do one, or listen to the whole thing. I bought my cd in Dec. 2005 perhaps I bought a later version that has individual tracks.

The breathing techniques are very simple and short. It would be really easy to do them on your own. Dr. Weil says doing a lot of them is not important. Doing them consistently is.

A bonus in buying the cd is that Dr. Weil has a nice voice and it helps in guiding you to a relaxed state.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on January 20, 2007
I've listened to a number of breathing audio's and most leave you wanting more understanding regarding technique or health benefits. Andrew Weil's CD is clear and concise regarding the health benefits of deep breath. The second disc contains several different - 7 in all - breathing exercises. Each with clear instructions on the how to and each demonstrated by the author himself before he guides you through the actual exercise for yourself. Personally, I began noticing the benefit of deep breathing a few day after I started doing the exercises.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on April 1, 2005
For what it's worth, I have found that regular practice of just the "Relaxing Breath" that Dr. Weil teaches has had a profound effect on my ability to handle and neutralize stressful situations. While my wife was undergoing treatments for breast cancer my stress level was obviously very high, and I found the breathwork to be an immediate ally to help me cope. I can't begin to thank him enough.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
"If today you can be aware of breathing for ten seconds more than you were yesterday, you will have taken a measurable step toward expanded consciousness, deeper communication between mind and body, and integration of your physical, mental and spiritual functions." ~ Dr. Weil

Listening to Dr. Weil's voice instantly makes me feel calmer and his wisdom is always refreshing. In "Breathing The Master Key to Self Healing" he guides the listener through a series of breathing exercises for improved health and peace.

A few of the exercises include:

Following Your Breath
Begin with Exhalation
Make Your Breathing Deep, Slow, Quiet and Regular
The Relaxing Breath
Observe Your Breath
Breathe Abdominally

Each exercise is easy to learn and you can use the information instantly to encourage deeper sleep, more relaxation during the day and a quick fix for stressful situations. Dr. Weil leads you through each exercise with care and attention to detail so you can take greater control of the breathing process. These exercises will help you with anxiety disorders, encourage the lowering of high blood pressure and help you to reprogram your nervous system.

I can also recommend: Dr. Andrew Weil's Mindbody Toolkit: Experience Self Healing With Clinically Proven Techniques

Dr. Andrew Weil's Guide to Optimum Health: A Complete Course on How to Feel Better, Live Longer, and Enhance Your Health Naturally

Increase Vitality : Dr. Andrew Weil's Music For Self-Healing

~The Rebecca Review
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on April 4, 2005
I found this audiobook very helpful. I like Dr. Weil's approach. It has helped me remember to take time to de-stress through mindful breathing. And it works! One problem--I wish the first CD had been divided into individual tracks. Instead, it is a single track that is nearly an hour long. That makes it very difficult to find your place if you get interupted. I accidently ejected the CD and had to begin again, but I had to hold down the Fast Forward button on my player for quite a while to get back to where I had previously left off - that's ridiculous. Overall, it's worth the purchase.
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