Critical training to better protect, support, and heal vulnerable children


series: emotional wellbeing of children by Patricia L. Gerbarg, MD, Richard P. Brown, MD
& Somiari Demm, MA/M.Div, CYT, CTS


Let's do some coherent breathing with the chimes. So you're going to hear a high tone in a low tone. You're going to breathe in and out through your nose. It's going to be relaxed and effortless. And just follow my lead. I'm going to help you. You are in part retraining your mind.

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Years of stress makes your mind jump all over. Kind of like a dog with no obedience training. So when people walk their dog who walks, who usually the dog walks the person. Your ordinary everyday mine -- which is all you need for a lot of things in your daily life -- is creating so much stress and it can drain you. So this is a way of beginning to retrain that mind so your mind with the coherent breathing works so much better, and it's coordinated with your body and your spirit.

So there's a low tone (low tone sound) and there's a high tone (hi tone sound).

Let's do it together -- if possible with eyes closed -- breath out, the belly gently contracts. Breath in, the belly gently expands. Breath out, relaxing your body more and more with each breath out.

Breath in, belly expands. Breath out, belly gently contracts. If it's going the opposite way, a little bit of coaching will help. When you've had a lot of stress, it can go the other way. Breath out... If you're not sure where your belly is going, you can put one or both hands there. Breathing in, allow the belly to expand. And breathing out, it gently contracts

Breath in....

And breath out...

Breath in...and breath out (coordinated with chimes).

If it feels like it's hard to go the length of a chime, breathing in and breathing out, then just pause your breath for a second or two and take a little less breath each moment.

Breath in -- feel the subtle energy fill your body -- that's your stress response system being energized. Breathing out, now on the low tone, relax...

Breath in...and breath out...

Let go of tension throughout your body. Breath in, let go of the tension in your face, head, and neck.

Allow a smile on your face :) It makes everything so much easier, including the breathing.

Relax your hands, your arms between the shoulder blades...

Breath in...Breath out, relax your chest, your belly, your lower back....

Breath in...and breath out (coordinated with chimes)

Feel the breath moving in your nose and throat. Breath out...When your mind wanders, bring it back to feeling the breath moving in your nose and throat

Breathing In....And out....Breath in...

Whatever memory or image or sensation comes into your mind, just let it pass by like a cloud floating by in the sky.

Breath in...and breath our

And in a moment we'll begin to use our imaginations to further enhance the ability to get rid of old stress. It's like each round of breathing and movement and meditation we do removes a little more stress.

So, we're going to use our imagination to move the breath and our awareness to different parts of the body. Metaphorically breathing in, imagine a wave washing up through your body, top of the hat, and then, as you breathe out down again to the base of the spine, to your sit bones.

Breathing in, imagine you can feel a wave of water washing up inside you, and as you breathe out, washing down inside you.

Breath in....(high tone) Breath out (low tone)

Breathing imagine your awareness of the breath flowing up to the inside top of your head, and then back down to the sit and the muscles in your pelvis.

Breath in... And, breath out.

Breath in... And breath out...

Breath in... top of the head.

Breath out...How with your awareness down to the base of the spot. Can you feel the energy moving? It may feel like a tingling or a change in temperature. Almost like a chill up the spine. When you hear a special music you liked per half him up through your body. Top of the head. Breath how? Down to the base of your spine.

Prayeth and top of the head.

How am I going to do this? Extending the circuit down through the body. Down through your legs. Out to the balls of your feet. Breathing from your feet up the legs, through the body. Top of the head. Breathe it out like you feel a cool bubbling spring from the center of the balls of your feet. Just imagine

breath head, top of the head.

Breath how to the center of the balls of the feet. I'm doing it with you. Feel the cool bubbling spring from the center of the ball. So if your feet


bad breath, how Letcher muscles relaxed through your body, your shoulders relax, your belly expands. You don't need to use your upper chest and ribs to breathe. At least not consciously from the feet up through the body. Your imagination goes to the top of the head, back down how? Through the ball. So the feet again, top of the hat. How? Through the center of the balls of the feet, how pretty that is top of the head down to the base of the spine. Whatever thought memory sensation comes. Stay focused on the breathing and feeling the breath moving in your nose and throat town to the base of the spine. Moving Broth, breathing it on the high toe.


Head out. I love the hotel.

Just let your mind go wherever it wants to go.

Breathing in,

prolapsed for this continuous

breathing out. Very relaxed.

A few breaths on your own...

And just stay with what you're feeling inside. Observe the sensations throughout your body.

Observe the kind of thoughts you're having: is there any space between the thoughts? Is there less chatter than when you started? Do you feel more refreshed? What are the qualities of your breath? Is it light? Is it deep? Is it relaxed? Is it labored? Can you feel the rhythm of your breath without interfering in it? How is it compared to when we started? Is it slower? Is it faster? It may depend on where you're at today and what you've been doing and thinking.

Most people notice their mind is much quieter with a lot less chatter and less negative thoughts. Experiments have been done on this without telling people why they're doing different things to change their thoughts and feelings.

Now there are more ways to improve the effects of the breathing and you can learn more about that. This is a good introduction and it's really helpful to do before, for example: You give a talk to people; or before you perform with a musical instrument; before you go into an athletic competition or an athletic practice; before you work on writing something; for work; or before you go to people at a party, or some other meeting where you want to interact with people and you're more aware of their feelings and what they're saying to you with their facial expressions (which is different sometimes than what the words say). You'll be more tuned in and able to relate more easily and in a relaxed way with other people.

I hope we'll hear from you in the future about how this has affected your life (in a positive or negative way). And sometimes at the beginning, as stress gets released, you may feel lousy. When you've accumulated stress over years, it can take a while to wash away all that accumulated old stress.

In the beginning you may not feel great; it may take some time of practice. If you just practice, it will come. It helps to do with teachers who can help you and be in a group some of the time, as well as doing your own home practice.


Dr. Patricia Gerbarg

Patricia L. Gerbarg, M.D., Assistant Clinical Professor in Psychiatry, New York Medical College. Dr. Gerbarg has lectured and taught about a wide range of topics in psychiatry, psychoanalysis, women’s issues, trauma, neurobiology, natural treatments (herbs, nutrients), and the integration...

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of mind-body practices in psychotherapy for the American Psychiatric Association (APA) Meetings and many other conferences, academic centers, and community organizations.She serves on the APA Caucus on Complementary and Integrative Psychiatry and is a board member of the American Botanical Council.

Dr. Gerbarg practices Integrative Psychiatry, combining standard and complementary treatments. Her research focuses on mind-body practices for reducing the effects of stress and trauma, particularly in survivors of mass disasters, including the Southeast Asia Tsunami, 9/11 World Trade Center attacks, 2010 earthquake in Haiti, war in Sudan, Gulf Horizon Oil Spill, veterans, and stress-related medical illnesses.


Dr. Richard P. Brown

Dr. Richard P. Brown is an Associate Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons where he obtained his medical degree 1977. The recipient of numerous awards, he has authored over 100 scientific articles,...

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books, and book chapters on pharmacological treatments, clinical studies, and complementary and integrative treatments in psychiatry.

Dr. Brown developed a comprehensive neurophysiological theory of the effects of breathing exercises on the mind and body, particularly its benefits in anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Dr. Brown gives over 100 lectures and courses every year. Since 1998, he has taught full-day courses on complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) as well as Mind-Body trainings for the American Psychiatric Association, other national and international conferences, veterans, and community service programs.


Somiari Demm, MA/M.Div, CYT, CTS

Somiari is a certified trauma specialist, a certified yoga teacher, and a certified breath body and mind teacher. Her areas of concentration include children and adolescents, trauma, mindfulness, and spirituality. She is a passionate scholar-practitioner in the...

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field of clinical psychology who has divided her time betweenclinical practice, training, workshops, and consulting. As a mental health practitioner, she uses mindfulness cognitive behavioral therapy (MCBT) and other evidence-based practices to help adolescent and adult clients with a wide range of emotional, and behavioral issues.

Somiari has received extensive training in the treatment of addiction, mental illnesses, affect regulation, and trauma. In her consulting work, she has provided bullying, violence, and trauma training for elementary and residential schools. In addition to clinical practice, for 3 years she worked as a consultant counseling Chibok girls that escaped Boko Haram.Somiari has been interviewed by 60-Minutes, CNN, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, BBC, and Aljareeza.

As a trauma thriver, her life experiences have fostered her love of, and dedication to the mental health field. Following the words of Gandhi, she believes that “purity of life is the highest and truest art.” Somiari also believes she is here to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, and with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. Through her work, she is enriching the world through love, healing, and peace


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