chapter  4
9 Pages

Frozen breath

We propose that the breathing practices used in CRM are not only designed to bring tranquillity and balance (Villoldo, 2015) but to promote the resolution of trauma memories and restore the natural respiratory cycle that may have sustained long-term disruption through adverse experience. This section’s title is taken from a poignant novel about the interaction of a young woman’s emotional dysregulation and the services available to help her (Galloway, 1989) but, more generally, expressions such as “ the shock took my breath away ” are not uncommon. They describe the involuntary disruption in the respiratory cycle occurring when individuals hear news, good or bad, that will have a major impact on their lives. A sudden, unexpected, emotionally charged traumatic occurrence must inevitably induce a change in breathing but may have been neglected in trauma psychotherapy because it is diffi cult to evaluate clinically. Real-life situations of horror or sudden grief will afford no opportunity for the physiological monitoring used in laboratory studies of emotion, such as those described by (Kreibig, 2010).