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IMPROVE YOUR SKIN WITH BREATHWORK EXPERT PADDY CAVENDISH

Updated: Apr 18, 2023


Paddy has been interested in meditation, and its teachings for years. It was his curiosity to this practice that eventually led him to breathwork, training and specialising in Conscious Connected Breathwork with Alan Dolans Teacher Training programme. He trained as an actor and transitioned into breathwork, as he felt performers could use help with their nerves. He was amazed by the impact breathwork had on his stress and anxiety, and after experiencing the benefits of breathwork so profoundly himself, he's now passionate about helping more people use the power of breath as a tool - one that can drive impact in both their personal and professional lives. His approach is modern and relaxed. He doesn't market breathwork as being too 'alternative', because it doesn't have to be.


What is breathwork?

Breathwork, as a practice, is bringing conscious awareness to the way the breath moves and directing it in a different way, to get a different result. Depending on what someone wants to achieve; we can reach profound states of both energy and relaxation by adapting the rhythm, rate and depth of our breathing.


A useful way to think of breathwork is as a form of meditation for those of us who find it hard to sit still and meditate.



How and when did you become interested in breathwork?

It was during my mid to late twenties that I finally confronted the fact that I had been feeling exhausted and unwell – something I had been ignoring for quite a long time.

Inflammation was showing up in my body in lots of different ways. Sluggish digestion, achey joints, food sensitivities, chronic tension headaches & alopecia. To be honest, by that stage it was finally too much to ignore.


I took steps to clean up my diet and lifestyle and that’s when, to my good fortune, I discovered breathwork.


Talk to me about some of the benefits people feel from doing breathwork.

On a physiological level, we are detoxing. We release 70% of our toxins through the breath! Our cells rely on Oxygen as fuel, so when we bring in more fuel, everything works more efficiently.

Mentally, we gain more clarity and focus. Breath is the vehicle by which we process emotional energy. Over time trauma builds up in the body, and breathwork allows us to reprocess energy and emotion that didn’t get processed the first time around.


The benefits are so diverse! In my case I was immediately amazed at the impact it had on my stress and anxiety. An increase in my energy levels, as well as improvements to my digestion and skin.



There we go. Talk to me about skin health.

Ha-ha, on the money. Since beginning breathwork years ago, the texture and appearance of my skin has really improved. I rarely get breakouts anymore, and people often comment on my clear skin.


How do you think that’s happening?

Deep breathing flushes the excess carbon dioxide from our body and replaces it with a rich supply of cell-energising oxygen. This inner pick-me-up improves circulation, invigorates the cells and minimises the impact of stress on the skin.


So, in comparison, taking short and shallow breaths starves your body of this oxygen, triggering cortisol (the primary stress hormone) throughout the body. With consistent practice, I feel improved digestion which will affect the gut-skin barrier. There is also less inflammation in my body, as well as improved lymph flow and a reduction in my stress and anxiety levels.

Can you tell us more about breathing and lymph flow?

So, lymphatic drainage is essentially how the body collects and eliminates toxins on the daily. A stagnant lymphatic system can lead to swelling, infection, and lowered immunity. Which results in dull skin and breakouts. Deep breathing gives the lymph system a nice little kick in the butt, which should result in more luminous and ‘glowy’ skin. It also provides a rich supply of oxygen to the blood and invigorates the cells and tissues. Movement is also important to get the lymph fluid moving.


So how often do you recommend doing breathwork?

So I recommend doing some intentional breathing or ‘breathwork’ every morning and evening if you have time. Think of the breathwork as part of your skin-care routine every morning and night. It’s just as important as hydration or sleep or applying the right moisturisers or products.



Would you practice different breathwork in the mornings and evenings?

As soon as you wake up, you’ll want to jump-start the blood circulation, which gives energy, colour, and life to the skin, by addressing the nerves directly under the surface. Start your day by sitting up comfortably and take one of two deep breaths in through the nose. Exhale quickly through the mouth, then repeat at least five times. The shorter exhale will help to raise your heart rate and wake your body up!

And in the evening, once again sit in comfortable position and inhale and exhale through the nose deeply. Rather than your breath moving up and down, visualise and feel your breath moving in and out, expanding the belly. Now, wrap your hands around your lower ribcage as if you are giving yourself a hug. Make sure you can feel the movement of breath in your hands. Dedicate the same amount of time to your inhale and you’re your exhale. Feel the downregulating effect this has on your nervous system.

Apart from breathwork, what else do you do to calm your mind and maintain focus?

I exercise most days. I love working out in the gym.

Everyone loves a little self care - do you have a self care routine?

I love a hot bath with Epsom salts.


How would you define wellness?

Wellness is about doing what feels good to you. It's that simple.


Tell us about any other daily routine wellness hacks

So I move my body when I wake up every day-to get the energy flowing. And then some breathwork or meditation. Cold water therapy is also a gamechanger. I live in London so unfortunately I don’t have access to the ocean on the daily, but I have an ice bath in my garden that I go in. It’s always painful but it’s amazing for reducing inflammation and giving a boost of energy.

I also try to limit dairy and gluten as I know I feel better when I do. And then I’m big on the basics; water and sleep.

Finally though, I’m not militant about this stuff. It’s about finding balance and knowing when to look after yourself. Life is to be enjoyed and I’m a big advocate for that. There’s always time for a G&T.


For more information on Paddy Cavendish visit https://www.breathworkwithpaddy.com



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