Blowing Zen …

Probably the most obvious advice I’ve ever given to anyone ever in the history of the world is to breathe!

The most amazing thing that we can all do, that costs nothing, has zero impact on the environment and the most profound effect on our stress levels, is breathe correctly, deeply, with a pause and then a long exhale

If you do that and can remember when stressed, particularly to do that, ideal.   Find a great breath coach or mentor locally or online, check out Wim Hoff, or the Buteyko Breathing Method, listen to your yoga teacher when they guide you through the breathing parts of your exercises, even boxers have to learn to breathe in co-ordination to maximise the power in their punch, getting the breath right is that effective.  Working with a professional breath coach can be life changing

However, for the vast majority of  us humans we cannot fulfil the most basic requirements of humaning, ie : we don’t know how to eat properly, sleep properly or even how to breathe properly – partly due to lifestyle choices – being tied to a desk as a child, slumped over and not moving for hours, progressing to sitting at our grown up desks, driving home stressed to slump on our super sexy outsized sofas, we barely give a thought to that most basic of requirements, to get oxygen around our bodies.  The Shift is just a physical reminder to breathe consciously in a way designed to reverse symptoms of stress and anxiety.  A bit like control, alt, delete and … calm.  Worn as a good looking piece of jewellry around the neck, using The Shift gives a gentle reminder to your nervous system to chill


  I give you The Shift, by Komuso

A natural tool to help you improve breathing, reduce anxiety, deal with stress and calm down


I first came across this tiny little flute type thing when my friend Kelly told me about hers and then more recently, when I was looking for something to help a client give up smoking, it got me thinking  as to why smoking can feel like it calms you down – the rythmically breathing is certainly part of it, so I bought myself one to try

I was wondering, why does smoking make you feel so good?  It’s not the nicotine, placing a nicotine patch on your arm, may help wean you off the addictive nicotine in cigarettes, only to give you another constant hit of toxic chemicals through your skin, making you feel sick or dizzy in some cases … I see many people going from toxic cigarettes to toxic vaping, the similarities other than the chemical poisons, are the habitual going through the motions of breathing in the same way when taking a drag on a cigarette.  When smokers are stressed, what’s the first thing they do – as a former smoker myself, there is a comfort in reaching for that packet of fags or the process of rolling your own, it was certainly never the taste or the feeling of having smoke in my lungs, but think about it, when you smoke, you take a drag in, hold it and then a long exhale out – this is exactly the rhythm of a conscious breath

Long after I gave up smoking years ago, I would find myself in certain circumstances, either holding a pen or sometimes I even caught myself doing this with my lip salve, whatever was to hand, literally going through the motions and remembering the breathing that helped to calm me


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The Shift hangs on a chain around your neck, so is readily available for times when the traffic is going to make you late, or you have a stressful phone call to make – it’s there to slow your breath and remind you of the natural rhythm of life

So how does it work and what’s the thinking behind it? …

Shallow breathing triggers your sympathetic nervous system into a fight or flight response, deep breathing does just the opposite, with just some of the many benefits including reducing stress hormones and decreasing blood pressure


It takes you from a longer inhalation, to a longer exhalation.  It elongates your exhale to an optimal 8-10 second

That’s it?!  Pretty much – but are you going to do this on your own? …

If yes great!

If you need a little help creating a new healthy habit, then read on …

This is a great tool to help you create a healthy new habit of conscious breathing


Conscious breathing sends signals to the parasympathetic nervous system (rest, digest and heal as opposed to the sympathetic nervous system, which is fight, flight or freeze).

Conscious breathing slows the heart rate, reduces cortisol, releases toxins and helps to promote a feeling of calm


The Shift is inspired by the Japanese Komuso monks of 17th century Japan.  They used a bamboo ‘shakuhatchi’ flute as a healing modality and a method of attaining enlightenment.  They were devoted to the art of blowing zen (through a flute) to feel good

The Shift slows breath and relaxes the mind and body through controlled breath


I have a little app on my phone which helps you see in real time, what activities add to your life force and what situations drain you.  It’s a fun little thing that you can use many times a day to determine your body stress and energy levels, thus making you aware of how to spend your time wisely  – are you charging or draining your body battery?  I thought I would do a little test, just out of interest, to see the before and after results of 6 breaths using The Shift from Komuso.  I was impressed – you can see the from the first screenshot to the second reading,  shows a dramatic shift from using to charging my energy – my body has switched in a couple of minutes from sympathetic nervous system to para-sympathetic nervous system – nothing too scientific, just a bit of fun, but I had no idea the change it would make and I use this app a lot and nothing else so far has had such a profound change in such a short space of time.  Will results vary?   Of course … but as we are breathing 24/7 anyway, what a cracking little tool to have at your disposal, if you’re going to breathe, breathe well


This is how you use The Shift, to lower your stress

Inhale deeply through only your nose to fill your belly with air.  Become aware of your thoughts

Pause and gently exhale through The Shift for 8-10 seconds to release all of the air from your belly.  Squeeze your belly to expel all air from your lungs.  Note, you are exhaling, not blowing

Relax your jaw and your shoulders after you exhale.  Notice your thoughts shifting to your breath

Repeat breathing cycle at least 5 times.  You just signalled to your nervous system to chill out.  Stay present with your breath and let your mind be still

The Shift is a simple meditation tool designed for you to use on the go, anytime, anywhere.  Designed by a therapist, endorsed by psychiatrists, inspired by ancient wisdom, to elongate your exhale to an optimal 8-10 seconds, no batteries, no apps – just forming a great new healthy habit

When I work with the animals, I’m aware of just how much my breathing effects their behaviour.  The first thing I do often when I go to a clients home, is to ground us, which is basically breathing exercises, slowing down, all of a sudden, cats appear out of nowhere, dogs flop down and take a deep sigh, horses seem to say finally, you stopped for a moment.  They have been my greatest teachers and if I leave the client with one message, it’s usually this experience they mention as what was the game changer, before we even went into treatment, the animals respond so much to our breath.  Try it around your animals and watch the change, it’s beautiful to witness the effect it can have on them, imagine us all running round like loonies most of the time, and let’s learn to re-engage our pause button and reset …

I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how comforting this little flute like thing has become a go to comfort for me, always there and takes no time out of your day to integrate.  This has, for me, been a really great little find, so thanks Kelly 🙂

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