Date of Award

5-2015

Degree Type

Thesis

Department

Holistic Health

First Advisor

Carol Geisler

Second Advisor

Joi Lewis

Third Advisor

Mari Ann Graham

Abstract

The breath is a powerful internal resource that is within conscious control. Theories in the literature indicate unconscious breathing patterns can suppress emotion and restrict energy flow, however, the effects of conscious breathing on these elements are not well understood. The purpose of this study is to describe the effects of a conscious breathing intervention on emotion and energy flow. We used a quasi-experimental design, and conducted three individual case studies on ourselves over 6 weeks. We collected qualitative data, which included professional aura and chakra readings, photographs, body scan diagrams, journals, and third party observation forms. We performed within-case and cross-case thematic data analysis. Results suggest conscious breathing increases groundedness, interconnection, confidence, and spiritual growth, as well as facilitates emotional surfacing and release. Positive changes in energetic patterns over the course of 6 weeks suggest that conscious breathing may also increase energy flow. Our study provides important preliminary information for the role conscious breathing may play in the treatment of physical and emotional ailments. While our results seem promising, a future longer-term experimental study with a larger, more representative sample size is warranted.

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