From Stress to Relaxation


Hi, I'm Richard La Plante, and I have a method of training that taps into the nervous system that gives you and me some control of our sympathetic or fight-or-flight response, something that gives us control of our stress levels, taking them from stress into relax. Basically, I use this. This is a stick. I call it my breathing stick. It's a piece of wood that I can connect to. I think of it as my samurai sword with a soul. My soul goes into the stick if I use it enough. I take a good grip on the stick with my index under my thumb, and right now I'll give you just a quick example of the kind of training we do. So, if I breathe in, consciously inhale, and then exhale while pulling the stick apart, continue the breath. My back is under stress right now. I'm creating stress, physical stress.

I keep pulling I'm going to exhaust the muscles of my back, but I'm doing something else. I'm entering the fight-or-flight system. My adrenaline has begun to flow, my testosterone, endorphins. If I keep pulling, I'm stressing my body purposely. This is a very simple, simple explanation of my method. Now I can feel my back muscles just starting to quiver as I pull. This is an isometric or a static contraction. Now, breathe in and relax everything. I'm going to put the stick back here. Now I'm going to go into a sequence of breathing exercises, elongating the exhale, and that's the tap in. The exhalation with a pause at the end signals my nervous system to slow down my heart and to reduce my blood pressure.

Now, that's an example of a conscious control through conscious breath and conscious movement, very simple, of the way we tap in and override our sympathetic or fight-or-flight system by taking fight-or-flight and moving it back gently into the rest and digest, or the parasympathetic system. It's simple, it's easy, it's done with a linear object, a stick, my breathing stick. It could be a broomstick. It's done with a stick. There's a sequence of these exercises all involved with your nervous system and taking control of it. Conscious breath with conscious movement is conscious control, and that is the essence of real strength now.


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The Lost Art of Breathing

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