Today in8 launched its very first audio product. I have been teaching the 7-11 Breathing technique to my clients for more than ten years and in that time have witnessed many dramatic results. People who could not sleep have found much needed rest. Others struggling with crippling anxiety have found a practical and quick way to calm themselves down and experience relief.
But I have also occasionally met people who, for various reasons, struggle to learn how to control their breathing in this way. But because the 7-11 Breathing technique has the power to transform lives, I have always looked for new ways to get the message across. As an ex-engineer, keen musician and guitarist (you can see my guitar activities here!) I have had the idea for some time now of creating a piece of music to help more people experience the wonderful benefits of regular 7-11 Breathing.
A simple idea…
The basic idea is simple – to create a piece of music based on seven beats for each in-breath, followed by eleven beats for each out-breath. However, the numbers seven and eleven do not lend themselves immediately to a easily followed rhythm – at first. And perhaps this is why some people find it harder than others to maintain this pattern of breathing.
… soon gets more complicated!
As soon as I started thinking about the practicalities of creating a practical tool, I realised that there were several other aspects to consider. A spoken introduction would be required. The music needs to be at least fifteen minutes long in order to have sufficient time to reach a place of deep relaxation. Ideally, the tempo should start relatively quickly – since people who find the technique more of a challenge usually find it easier if the counts are not too slow (and the breathing, therefore, not too slow or deep). But over time, the tempo should gradually slow down, leading people naturally to a place of slower and deeper breathing as their stimulate their parasympathetic nervous system (the body’s natural relaxation response). Various cues need to be added to help people remember where they should be in each cycle. I settled on using the wonderful sound of a rain stick (a Christmas present from Bindi!) for each out breath. And of course it should get quieter as the level of relaxation deepens. Finally, I felt that it should not stop in the deepest state of relaxation, but gradually bring people “back up” so that they could finish feeling refreshed and alert.
Then I realised that this was the perfect opportunity to apply some sophisticated “brainwave synchronisation” audio processing that I have been experimenting with for some years. Otherwise known as “binaural audio”, this technique requires listening with headphones in order to experience the effects of subtle differences in the left and right stereo audio.
By digitally processing the components of the music which have a wide bandwidth (the rain stick, shakers, maracas etc.) it is possible to stimulate alpha waves which are those brain waves which are characteristic of relaxed awareness such as experienced during meditation or mindfulness exercises.
Three weeks later….
The work is now complete – and I am delighted with the feedback from the first people who have tried it. One friend found it so useful he took a copy on his phone and used headphones when he visited the dentist in order to achieve a state of calmness he had never before experienced in a dentist’s chair.
You can hear a short preview of it here:
We have decided to make it available in two formats (CD and audio download) and you can find out more about all of our 7-11 Breathing products here.
in8 is in the business of providing simple and practical tools that people can use to improve their lives and we are are very proud of this latest well-being resource and are looking forward to receiving your feedback.
For a very limited period (until the end of June 2015) we are offering the audio download option including all four .MP4 files (streamable .m4a format) for only £1.95. This is a massive saving of over 80% of the normal price of £9.95. Order your copy today before this great offer runs out!
[We also sell packs of ten 7-11 Breathing handy reminders – which are folded business card sized resources that can be given to coaching, mentoring or therapy clients to remind them of the technique. (Remember that those who most need this technique often have difficulty either remembering the steps, or remembering to practice it regularly. And this is precisely because strong emotions such as anxiety prevent the neo-cortext from operating optimally. That’s exactly why it is such a powerful technique!)]