Belly Breathing

Belly Breathing

Belly breathing, what is it? 

Belly breathing is not breathing air into your belly as the only part of you that fills with air is your lungs. Belly breathing is using your diaphragm to breathe rather than using your chest muscles.

When we breathe using our chest muscles, our chest will move in and out as we breathe in and out. When we use our diaphragm, the muscle under our lungs, your belly moves in and out or up and down (depending on how you are seated or lying).

So why belly breathing?

Belly breathing is a way to relax and calm yourself, we should be belly breathing when we are at rest. So as you read this be aware of how you are breathing and if your tummy isn’t moving then you are chest breathing, try to belly breath so that your tummy is moving more than your chest.

Chest breathing is for activity, if you are moving, walking, running or doing some sort of activity your body needs oxygen, your muscles need oxygen to work effectively. Chest breathing gets the air into your lungs so that your body can be supplied with oxygen. Chest breathing gets O2 to where it’s needed.

Belly breathing is, as mentioned above, for rest periods, you may be watching tv, lying in the bath, meditating, doing activities where you aren’t moving too much. Oxygen is still needed but not in as great a demand as if we were/are active.

Belly breathing has a calming affect on us too, it sends the message out that we are at rest and don’t need to be ready for action, our body doesn’t need a large amount of oxygen.

Belly breathing stimulates your vagus nerve and can reduce stress, anxiety, anger, and inflammation by activating the “relaxation response” of your parasympathetic nervous system. Put basically, belly breathing relaxes your whole body.

The vagus nerve is connected to nearly every organ in your body (the only one it isn’t connected to is your adrenal glands that sit on top of your kidneys). Your parasympathetic nervous system is also activated in times of little activity, when you are at rest and is concerned with ‘resting and digesting’. Your body needs rest so that it can do some of those background ‘things’ or processes that it does and that we aren’t aware of, digesting being one of them.

The easiest way to learn how to belly breathe, I find, is to lie down, place your hand on your belly and watch it go up and down as you take steady deep breaths. Once you feel you have mastered it then try it sitting, watching your hand move in and out as you breath.

Belly breathing is something that you can do almost anywhere and is helpful for anxiety, stress, anger, frustration, anything that gets you feeling agitated in some way.

People who suffer from anxiety disorders are often chest breathers, you can sometimes tell by watching them. They will often move their shoulders as they breath, not always every breathe but they will raise their shoulders as if they are trying to fill their lungs more. Even at rest they will use their chest rather than belly breathe.

Chest breathing is the body being on high alert, ready for action, the flight or fight mode, which I am sure you will be aware of (if not then please do let me know and I can do something about it).

So people who suffer from anxiety, anger, panic will find belly breathing helpful, they may need to practise it more than some. Make sure you practise during times of okness, times when everything is ok, not during times of stress or anxiety.

Helen Goad

Hypnotherapy Works

BWRT Penrith

Here is a link you may find helpful:

Hypnotherapy or Stage Hypnosis, whats the difference?

Hypnotherapy or Stage Hypnosis, whats the difference?

I asked a question last year on my FaceBook page, what would people like to see a blog about and this was suggested.

The biggest difference I feel is that Hypnotherapy is therapy, Stage Hypnosis is entertainment. I feel that is the simplest way to look at it.

So, I do hypnotherapy, along with other therapies, to help my clients. The therapies that I do can and do help with a wide range of ailments and problems, from physical to emotional issues, from smoking cessation or weight management to anxiety and stress, from fears and phobias to skin disorders, from exam nerves to confidence and self esteem issues, to mention a very small amount of areas that can be helped by hypnotherapy.

Looking for long and lasting change 
Hypnotherapy Works can help

Stage hypnosis for entertainment has been around for many years, I have just had a quick look on Wikipedia and it says that stage hypnotists were performing in the States in 1890’s. I haven’t experienced stage hypnosis for myself but I have spoken to someone who has, he said that he knew what he was doing, but you just went along with it because it all felt right and OK to do so, it didn’t feel silly, “my brain was convinced the situation was real.”

A common question for me as a hypnotherapist is “will I know what is happening?” and the simple answer is yes, however I have worked with clients that go so deep into relaxation/hypnosis that they do not remember. A very natural form of hypnosis is when we find ourselves at our destination but have no memory of the route, we were experiencing hypnosis whilst driving/sitting on the train or bus. This can worry some people, ‘what if something had happened?’ I can assure you that you would have reacted if something did happen, if a rabbit ran across the road, if the bus or train had stopped unexpectedly, you would have been able to react as necessary, your safety is a far greater force inside of you than the hypnotic like state you where in.

I believe that stage hypnosis performers are very talented at what they do, some people believe that it gives hypnotherapy a poor name. I hope that most people will see that stage hypnosis as entertainment and that hypnotherapy as therapy to help people. I also feel that if it wasn’t for the stage hypnosis then the hypnotherapy world may not be as well known, the ‘any publicity can be seen as good publicity’.

So I will never make you cluck like a chicken, eat an onion thinking its an apple 😉

I do therapy to help people move forward in the way they wish, I take them from where they are to where they wish to be. This journey can be challenging and sometimes a little bumpy along the way, if you would like some help with your journey please get in touch.

Why so many questions??

Why so many questions??

Why so many questions during the first session?

Well, as you may know the first session with me can last up to 2 hours, the reason for this is so I can get a big picture of where you are, what your past has been like and where you want to be. All of this is so very important no mater what you have come to see me for, whether its smoking cessation, weight management, anxiety, fears or phobias, the list goes on. What has happened in our past creates the person we are, our experiences good and bad, shape us and the way we behave.

So even if what you feel is a more simple problem it can often be a symptom of something and that something maybe from your past. The subconscious brain or old brain (sometimes called the reptilian brain) is a very simple learning system and is constantly taking in information and putting it into files (for want of a better way to look at it). Those files are good or bad, right or wrong, alive or dead. This can sound extreme and very simple, but this part of our brain is that way. It is referred to as the old or reptilian brain because it is the part of the brain that developed first if we look through the history of man. If we go way back to more cave men times, we were only interested in 2 things, survival and procreation. This part of the brain is still their inside of us doing its bit to keep us alive.

Cavemen 2

So this old brain learns how to do things and over the years they become the way we do things. So if we learn as a child that food is a reward for doing something good or making you feel better when hurt, the old brain learns this and this is part of how we therefore are in the here and now. For example: young person at Uni gets dumped, they go for the ice cream tub or the chocolate draw or the crisp cupboard, the old brain is saying ‘eat food it makes you feel better’ and that food is treat/sweet/salty foods because that was the treat in younger years (sweet for doing well at school, a biscuit when you fell over and hurt yourself).



This old part of the brain has no logic, not like the more conscious or new brain, it also doesn’t have a sense of time like our new or more conscious brain. It has stored the information that if you get hurt, food helps you feel better, simple as that for the old brain. Your new brain may well be saying ‘this isn’t good for you’ or ‘you should be able to cope with this without a sweet treat’ but the old brain is stronger. The old brain looks for a pattern of what it has done in the past that worked and does it again, it goes ‘food helps’ so off to the sweet draw or chocolate tin, etc. The no awareness of time also hinders things for us, the old brain knows something has happened and was successful, you are alive and it doesn’t mater that you where 5 years old and you fell over playing out and mum or dad gave you a biscuit to stop you crying, it just goes that worked before when I was hurt or felt hurt and does it again and again and again.

So there can often be a battle that goes on inside of you, “eat the sweet stuff , you know it makes you feel better” (even if is short lived), “no don’t eat it, it will make you fat” or a “spider, RUN” where the other part of your brain is going “its tiny for goodness sake”. I often here “its like their is a battle going on inside of me….” your old brain is so much stronger than your new brain, your old brain is all about survival and this is a far greater need over everything. The panic of seeing a spider far out ways the part of you that is going “its tiny”.

So coming back to the question, “Why so many questions?” because there may well be something from your past that is sabotaging how you feel and want to be in the here and now. If this isn’t looked into then your symptom, the reason you have come to visit me, may well reappear in the future, some ‘tweaking and adjusting’ to alter the path the brain has always gone down and create a new path may where needed.

I just want to add that the old brain is working about half a second earlier than we a consciously aware of, so that message to “eat sweet food” or “run away from the spider” occurs earlier than we are aware of. So the old brain is heading off down it’s path before we are aware of it, so how do we stop that. Well that would be where BWRT®️ Comes in to play, see the blog BWRT®️ video 1




People often ask “how does it feel?”

How does hypnotherapy feel?


I did a video a while back about hypnotherapy and how it feels and have popped it on here.


The video above gives info on what happens during a hypnotherapy session but also how it feels.

The easiest way to explain how hypnosis feels, ok when you get to the end of the day or the end of a job and you finally sit down, you kind of melt yourself into the chair, you breath out and go ah. If the phone rings or someone shouts for help you have that, ‘I really don’t want to move’ ‘just leave me be’. That I feel is the easiest way to explain how it feels.

However hypnosis or hypnotherapy feels different for all of us it is a very personal experience and is difficult to explain to others often how it felt. For some it can feel light, as if they are floating, others feel heavy, as if they are sinking into the chair. Some people get tingle’s in their arms or legs, feet or hands, some feel that parts become numb (I found my hands would feel like they have fallen asleep). It is such a personal experience, clients often struggle to tell friends and family how it feels, they often recommend giving it a go.

What happens during the first session?

The first session can be known as the initial consultation or the intake session, I simply call it the first session. It can last up to 2 hours and is lots of talking, I need to gain as much information as I can to help you the client to move forward. I therefore ask you the client to be as open as you can be, often answering questions you feel may have no relevance to why you are here. I need a full picture of your life, clients can come through my door with what they feel is their problem and by digging and questioning we can uncover what is behind the problem. Hypnotherapy and the other therapies I do are great but I need to be sure I am working on the real reason why the problem has occurred. What you the client walks through the door with may turn out to be a symptom of something else, if the ‘something else’ isn’t worked with then the symptom may improve but may not go away fully or may return at a later date. If you visit the doctors with a symptom they do further checks to see what is causing the symptom, I do this through questioning to get to the root of the symptom. This is why is can last up to 2 hours.

Follow up sessions for some may be more talking for others it may be therapy and are about an hour.

I would like to add here that talking is a type of therapy and often clients return after the first session feeling better. Being in an environment where you the client can talk freely with no judgement can be very helpful, being able to talk freely and openly can be very therapeutic for some. The client an leave feeling the weight of the world has been lifted some what.


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