There is probably no more effective tool for healing than the breath. Mindfully applied, the breath can center us, calm us, relax muscles and bring us into the present moment. For some teachers, nothing more is needed than the breath.
There are numerous experts on the use of the breath, including Thích Nhất Hạnh and Dr Andrew Weil. For purposes of MFN, the breath can be the first step when triggered or stressed. Often just a deep connecting breath is all that is needed to release tension and ground us in to the present moment. Sometimes a flubber (using the breath to move the lips like a horse) can release anger and frustration. Sometimes directing our breath into areas of pain can soften tension and remove blockage.
If the breath does not bring about the desired relief, that is when connecting to our feelings and needs becomes even more useful. The breath works well when we haven’t let our stress or trauma build up. If we have, other tools are often needed in combination with the breath to bring about the relief we desire.