Written by Gunnel Minett

Excellent, well-referenced discussion about breathing as a therapeutic intervention

Review by Daniel J. Benor, wholistic psychiatrist

Gunnel Minett presents an excellent, well-referenced discussion of an enormous range of information about breathing as a therapeutic intervention. Minett states that “Only three per cent of all waste products are eliminated through the faeces, seven per cent through urine and 20 per cent through the skin; the remaining 70 per cent is eliminated through exhalation.” (p. 150) This is one of the few places where I would have liked to see more references.

This valuable book includes explanations of the many ways in which breathing can be therapeutic – way beyond the exchanges of gasses, the point at which western medicine generally ends its limited consideration of this topic.

Minett enriches her presentation with a survey of many ways in which breathwork has been developed in China, India and Tibet. Here, as in the rest of the book, simple exercises invite the reader to appreciate the benefits of breathwork experientially.

Minett’s discussion extends into transpersonal benefits of breathwork, both in ancient and modern traditions. Readers who are not aware of the potent Rebirthing and Holotropic breathwork techniques will be fascinated to read about how people can retrieve and release traumatic factual and feeling memories from the time of their birth. These memories suggest a variety of ways in which we could bring greater healing to the birthing process as currently conducted in western hospitals.

Minett also suggests broader applications for breathwork, such as introducing this as a simple, easily learned and readily applied de-stressing technique in schools.

This book is highly recommended for anyone interested in learning more about breathwork.