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Breathing from the Lower Belly

In this section, I detail certain particularities in the Chinese approach from a concrete example. The technical problem is to facilitate the respiration to go down❠to the lower abdomen in a person who breathes mostly from the chest. I describe two effective ways to attain this result. The first is often used by a number of body psychotherapists inspired by Alexander Lowen (see fig. 2.1), whereas the second one probably comes to us from China (see fig. 2.2). It is so discretely effective that, although it is well known by physical therapists, it goes unnoticed in body psychotherapy.


When Alexander Lowen,26 one of the founders of bioenergetic analysis, gave a demonstration, it was often spectacular and impressive for those who had no knowledge of body psychotherapy. However, even students of bioenergetics could be shocked by the intrusive, sometimes violent, and direct style of these interventions. Here is a description of the way Lowen demonstrates how to bring the breath down to the lower belly.27

FIGURE 2.1. The bioenergetic exercise to activate respiration in the lower abdomen.

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