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The Healing Power of the Breath: Simple Techniques to Reduce Stress and Anxiety, Enhance Concentration, and Balance Your Emotions Paperback – June 12, 2012


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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Whether we are facing the distressful outcomes of trauma or simply seeking relief from the stresses of everyday life, the life-changing steps in this book and audio program provide the essential skills we need to bring health into our lives.”—Daniel J. Siegel, MD, Clinical Professor, UCLA School of Medicine, author of Mindsight
 
“As pioneering researchers in the field of mind body practices and mental health, Drs. Gerbarg and Brown have researched the ancient traditions, both Eastern and Western, and know what works. In their groundbreaking new book, they keep it simple —no religion, no deities, no mumbo jumbo; just clear breathing instruction easily introduced in a clinical setting or for use at home.” —Amy Weintraub, author of Yoga Skills for Therapists and Yoga for Depression
 
“Firmly based in scientific and clinical observations, the simple techniques in The Healing Power of the Breath are a breakthrough for anyone wishing to lessen stress, balance emotions, and/or enhance concentration. The book is engaging and clearly-written, which makes the techniques it introduces easy to learn and put into practice.  Best of all, these techniques require no special training and give results without the harmful side effect of pharmaceuticals.  I have personally witnessed their effectiveness treating veterans with combat stress or PTSD.  Highly recommended.” —Shad Meshad, president and founder of the National Veterans Foundation

The Healing Power of the Breath is an accessible book on a very important topic. Drs. Brown and Gerbarg deal with the complex subject of breathing and how it can impact our mental health from both conventional medicine and concepts from ancient philosophies. With a blend of anecdotes, citations from published medical literature, and actual practical sessions, this book is for anyone who would like to develop their self-help skills to improve their sense of wellbeing.” —Shirley Telles MBBS, Ph.D. (Neurophysiology); director of the Patanjali Research Foundation, Haridwar, India (www.patanjaliresearchfoundation.com), and head of the Indian Council of Medical Research Center for Advanced Research in Yoga and Neurophysiology, Bangalore, India

About the Author

A graduate of Harvard Medical School, Patricia L. Gerbarg, MD, is Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at New York Medical College and maintains a private practice, and facilitates research on mind-body treatments for anxiety, PTSD, and stress-related medical conditions. She has lectured on integrative treatments in psychiatry at the American Psychiatric Association, and other professional conferences.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Shambhala; 1 Pap/Com edition (June 12, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590309022
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590309025
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,314 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Larsen on July 9, 2012
Format: Paperback
This book helps me catch my breath!

What I mean is that when I discover physicians who are dedicated healers, I become more than excited. They are practicing the new medicine I feel is waiting for us in the 21st century.

Drs. Brown and Gerbarg have training from the best medical schools in the U.S., yet they take us back to the simplest and most profound of natural therapies - the healing power of the breath - as the title says. Breathing is something all of us do, every day--with insufficient attention. It is only in the synergy of these two capacities, breath and awareness, the authors show us, that we can breathe our way to health.

Do not be put off by the brevity and accessibility of this book. In addition to their medical and scientific training, Brown and Gerbarg are familiar with the ancient technologies of consciousness that undergird the practices they present; particularly, Yoga and Qi Gong. I have been fortunate enough to study with some of the same traditional teachers from whom they learned, but they have gone beyond their mentors in giving scientific validation to the methods they teach.

Clincally, Brown and Gerbarg have helped traumatized people all over the world using their techniques: victims of floods and tsunamis, returning vets, 9/11 survivors, and the families of those who didn't survive. Participants say the workshops invariably leave one with a feeling of inner peace, and yet exhilaration. The book and its accompanying CD are the next best thing to an actual experience with the teachers. It's not quite the same as being in the room with a hundred people going through the exercises--but it's the next best thing, because you can do it on your own time and in your own home or sanctuary.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Amy Weintraub on July 9, 2012
Format: Paperback
As pioneering researchers in the field of mind body practices and mental health, Drs. Gerbarg and Brown have researched the ancient traditions, both Eastern and Western, and know what works. They keep it simple--no religion, no deities--just clear breathing instruction easily introduced in a clinical setting or for use at home.
The authors have researched across cultures to find universal practices that they describe in simple language that is easy to follow. The anchor breath upon which other practices are added is Coherent Breathing, an even inhalation and exhalation that slows the breathing rate to five breaths per minute. This simple breath increases heart rate variability and balances the stress-response system.
In each practice, the authors offer trouble shooting tips--what to do if your nose is stuffed up, what if you fall asleep, what if you run out of breath, or what if the practice hurts the throat--so that practice can be adapted to every reader's circumstance.
The authors suggest a combination of practices that they call "Total Breath." This practice includes Coherent Breathing, the yoga pranayama, Ujjayi, which they call "Resistance Breathing" and "Breath Moving," an ancient practice from China, which involves visualizing the breath moving through different parts of the body. It's fascinating to learn that many of these practices were developed independently in Hawaii, and by Russian monks. "Traces of these practices," say the authors, "have remained as part of the training for elite Russian Special Forces soldiers."
There are stories of healing in relationship through breath practice, as well as the beneficial impact on the symptoms of post-traumatic stress syndrome.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on February 20, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
I bought the book, after reading reviews that said that there was no way to get the audio files with the Kindle version. Once I ordered it, Amazon had some kind of WHY WAIT? link, that allowed me to read the 1st part in the Cloud. There, I found a link to the audio files online. Had I known that, I would've bought the cheaper Kindle version.

BUT, when I tried copying the link, which was www .shambala .com/ healingpowerofthebreath (Amazon TOOK OUT that link in my 1st version of this review, so put those components together), to another window, it brought me to some opportunity to buy the Shambala domain. ???? When I simply clicked on it, it brought me to the site, where I was able to download the mp3 files.

SO, it's still unclear about how available those audio files are for the Kindle version. If you have a Kindle or Kindle app, you also have access to the cloud version of the book. So, the link should work there. I say 'should', but I haven't done that, in exactly that way, so I don't know..

All the way around, they could've done a much better job of making those audio files clearly available to Kindle readers.

And, let me say THANKS to people who write these reviews. I often get the best information, such as pointers to better books, or other material. It's really great that so many people are out to help each other.

The rating of 3 stars isn't accurate. I've just started the book, in the cloud, so I don't know how good it is. But, I wanted to relate my experience accessing the files, and some kind of rating seemed necessary.
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