Take A Breath
Take a Breath started in 2015 as a programme designed to teach relaxed breathing techniques to primary school-aged children, in order to help them combat and build a resilience to stress and anxiety.
“Generally when babies are born, they have a pretty good respiratory mechanism – they use their diaphragm. As they get older, often as the result of physical and emotional trauma, their breathing patterns shift subconsciously. Through the Take a Breath programme we make children aware of their breathing and also of this physiological shift. We teach them how and when to use relaxed breathing in everyday life, especially as a tool to help themselves in times of stress and anxiety. During the sessions I am also able to introduce them to classical music. It is incredible to watch the way they delight in both the breathing exercises and the music.” Amy Dickson
Amy has designed the Take a Breath programme to help equip young children in their formative years with simple yet invaluable breathing techniques which encourage them to breathe in an optimal way. The idea is that they will carry these tools with them into teenage years and adulthood, thus providing a useful support in dealing with situations which may cause stress and anxiety, such as preparing for impending examinations. She has taught ‘Take A Breath’ in primary schools throughout the UK, Australia and Asia and has been encouraged by the overwhelming support she received for the scheme from teachers and pupils alike.
“If our children learn to practice relaxed breathing during times of stress or anxiety in their formative years, the hope is that they will have these techniques ready-to-hand at GCSE stage and into adulthood” said Charlotte Cork – Music Teacher, London Junior, Alpington Primary & Hobart High.
Amy first embarked on a breathing awareness regime herself, having realised that the breathing techniques she uses when performing help overcome performance anxiety. She realised that she could pass on the message of the importance of optimal breathing and that by starting with primary school children, this could make a meaningful difference to their overall wellbeing.
Leading health professional, Gerry Gajadharsingh, Osteopath & Diagnostic Consultant, noted: “In clinical practice, I see a wide variety of problems affecting both the physical and emotional/psychological systems, indeed often a combination of both. What’s fascinating is that 70% of the patients I see don’t breathe well. Research has suggested that this is true of the general population. Good breathing behaviour optimises delivery of oxygen on a cellular level, influences control of pH and most critically helps our autonomic nervous system achieve balance. This is the largest part of the nervous system, which controls everything within the body. Now that is amazing. If primary school children learn how to breathe properly by getting into the habit of practising bit by bit, they will be able to influence how their bodies and minds work on a profound level.”
For further information or to enquire about having Take a Breath at your school, please contact Vicky Corley-Smith: