Take a deep breath and listen to the breathing expert

Ronan O'Brien Breathwave

MOST of us think of breathing as an automatic function and don’t pay a blind bit of notice to it going on.

But Limerick respiratory therapist Ronan O’Brien is helping people discover that, done properly, it can mean much more to your overall health.

Breathing techniques and meditations have been around for thousands of years and can help people deal with stress, anxiety, depression, and chronic pain, as well as health issues including long Covid and respiratory problems such as COPD, according to Ballyclough native, Ronan.

He moved his practice online when Covid struck and now hosts a weekly donation-based meditation as well as organising small group retreats for people interested in the benefits of breathwork.

“Breathing is the biggest detox there is,” Ronan told the Limerick Post. In physical terms, he explained: “You go to a gym to train your muscles. This is training for the respiratory muscles to create better balance of carbon dioxide in the blood.

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“Typically people who are dealing with problems are breathing shallow and fast, which results in a ‘fight or flight’ state which then has knock-on effects for the whole system.

“The iceberg analogy is a good one when we talk about the nervous system. One third of it is above the water and visible and two-thirds is below the water where we can’t see it

“Through breathing practice after two or three weeks, people start to come into their own bodies and see what is going on. It can help with a whole spectrum of problems and results in a deeper awareness.”

A qualified strength coach, sports injury and massage therapist, the father-of-two’s own discovery of breath training began in 2014.

“I encountered a practicing Shaman, Adrian Rivas, who was holding a retreat in West Cork. Drawn to this from my curious nature for practices that are somewhat ‘outside the box’, I experienced a very unique and profound sense of self-discovery where more questions than answers were discovered,” he said.

Ronan continued his studies with other teachers  and said that “through the ongoing study of breathing modalities, I find myself today teaching, supporting, and guiding people who are interested in their own self-practice of a deeper awareness of the mind, body and more.”

“We have busy lives and have busy minds. We all need to dial down.”

The weekly breathing meditations are held on Wednesday evenings from 8.30pm to 9.30pm. Full details at Breathwaveireland.com