I have a thirteen-year-old son who suffers from ADHD and for as long as I can remember, I have been trying to help this smart kid find peace, calm, and focus both in and outside of class. I have spent thousands of pounds, from consultations at Great Ormond Street Children’s hospital in London to ADHD specialists, to alternative therapists – Chinese medicine, nutrition, herbs, homeopathy, hypnotism.. wow the list goes on. All these helped for a while and they certainly have their place, but for this kid nothing has ever really stuck.
As my son grows it becomes harder to get him to see people and I find myself increasingly treading the fine line between trying to find help for him without him feeling abnormal or labeled. But since discovering Anders work and Conscious Breathing life has taken a different turn. Conscious Breathing allowed me to see my son in a different light. I looked at him and realized that he was a complete upper chest, full-on mouth breather. So bad that he couldn’t keep his mouth closed when sitting for lunch or supper.
The introduction to Conscious Breathing was like a door being opened with only fresh air and blue sky ahead. I now look back and wonder in amazement at all I have spent with ‘professionals’ over the years and not one ever appeared to consider his breathing. It now amazes me to think that in all that time, the biggest key to freeing up a tightly coiled, fizzing brain was with him all the time!
With the breath he could take charge of his anxiety and stress
The trials of lockdown also bought some fantastic advantages. I was being able to put my son on the 28-day Conscious Breathing Program, whilst I did the instructor training alongside him. I was so convinced by it all that I knew I had to train to be able to take this to others. Lockdown meant that he was able to sit in virtual lessons with his Relaxator in and I had time to work through some of the simple breathing exercises with him and me.
Being a chaotic, disorganized teenager, I was there to remind, but the effort paid off and within a week he was telling me that he was finding lessons easier, he wasn’t panicking when he had a school test and I visibly saw him start to relax in front of me. ADHD can bring a lot of anxiety, stress, and depression.
Watching my son change his breathing, I was also watching him start to understand himself better and to take charge of his anxiety and stress, rather than them controlling him. After three weeks of taping his mouth at night, using the Relaxator and taking daily baking soda baths he told me that he has had suicidal thoughts for 9 months! But now, he said, I think I’m happier than I’ve ever been.
His unwinding has also had positive knock on affects with the rest of the family, because living with someone who is struggling can take its toll on everyone. Even getting one person to breathe consciously in a family/household can change the dynamics for everyone.
He tapes his mouth every night
My son tapes his mouth every night (in fact the whole family does) and he now won’t go a night without it, such is the difference in his depth of sleep. Not only that but we are now being spared the bad teenage breath!
My son is now back at school and his teachers have started to comment and see improvements with him being able to pull himself back much better when his focus wanders. He’s teaching himself to bring his focus back through the power of his own breath and reminding himself where and how to breathe. It is work in progress, but it’s progress and it’s working.
One of his greatest passions is riding horses. Recently he was due to race one of our ponies and part of the training was to regularly exercise up the gallops. So whilst the horse got fitter, my son riding on top put in the Relaxator, so that he too could get fitter and regulate his own breath whilst riding his horse. There is such a connection with horse and rider and low, slow, quiet rhythmic breathing without a doubt brings a calmer connection between the two.
A message from my son, “Learning to consciously breathe is like finding the secret tool. I have always struggled to focus in most areas of my life, but since I have been practising conscious breathing through Anders techniques, things have changed. I can now calm myself down, focus better in class and I don’t panic like I used to when it comes to tests and exams. I really like the Relaxator and use it when I am on my phone and watching television or doing homework, it helps stop everything racing so much. To me every child should learn to breathe consciously!”
Even getting one person to breathe consciously in a family/household can change the dynamics for everyone.