Using a Komuso Shift Pendant for Anxiety
My Komuso Shift Pendant
What's a Komuso Shift?
The Komuso Shift looks like a dog whistle necklace, but it's not. When you blow through it, it's supposed to help control your exhale breathing for a total of 8 to 10 seconds in a way that doesn't make much noise at all. It's made of stainless steel and the pendant itself it two inches long.
What's the Science Behind Komusho Shift?
A 2018 article mentioned that during fast breathing, the parasympathetic nervous function becomes suppressed. When breathing is prolonged, the parasympathetic nervous system is activated. If the parasympathetic nervous system is somehow damaged, blood pressure is negatively impacted, as well as digestion and temperature control. The parasympathetic system helps energy conservation in the body and it does this by slowing down the heart rate. Another 2018 study came to this conclusion: "Resuming the work of Morgado-Valle, we can conclude with this reflection: Breath has patterns. Schemes create behavior. Breath is a behavior. Behavior represents the person. Breath reveals the person." A 2017 article mentioned that there is much evidence that slow, controlled breathing effectively preserves autonomic function and maximizes heart rate variability (and blood pressure) which in turn, increases health.
My Komusho Shift Review
According to the directions, you gently blow into the pendant for 8 - 10 seconds, and repeat this for about 5 times, or as needed. I bought the Rose Gold shift for women, which comes with the chain. The original price was $115.00, and with a discount (BECALM) I saved $17.25, so the subtotal was $97.75. I did not pay shipping or taxes. The shift came in a pretty, velvety bag and it was wrapped up carefully and beautifully. There is no assembly, except to just thread chain (a 28 inch pullover cable chain) through the eye of the pendant. It's beautiful, and well-crafted.
I used it on my way to work today. I hate these days when I work and my husband is off. He told me that on days like this, he gets fleeting images and memories of his days riddled with pornography, and when I thought about though about this, I started to feel my breathing stagger, along with a heavy "elephant-feeling" on my chest. He battled a strong pornography addiction, and I know when his mind isn't focused on work, he has these thoughts and it makes me nervous. The thought alone makes me ill with worry and tense with anxiety. I immediately remembered the shift, grabbed it as it lay close to my heart, and used it. I actually felt...relaxed? safe? I felt relieved to breathe. I have always heard about the importance of breathing, like in yoga, but I thought, "That's too much effort." I see clearly that breathing is important. It's not the actual inhale that's important; the health focus is mostly on the controlled exhale. The best part is that I was able to do this while driving. I did it at work a few times when negative images came into my mind.
The Shift pendant made no noise. It's not a whistle at all. It just makes a very, very low tone blowing sound, kind of like a tiny wind...but it's so quiet. It gifts you a moment of peace and silence. It provides the gift of the memory of stillness. "Stillness" is even etched on the pendant near the area where you put your lips to blow in what I believe are Japanese characters.
This Komuso Shift is a tool. I have very high anxiety, and I need all the tools I can get. It's like a comfortable talisman that is there for me, and something I can reach for when I feel alone and without something physical or mental to grab on to for support. This Shift pendant helps remind you to be mindful, and helps remind you how important breathing is. I noticed that during my anxiety or panic attacks, I hold my breath and suppress it for prolonged times. When I try to breathe out, the breath is shaky and uneven and I may even feel faint. The Komuso Shift definitely helps...
Can't You Just Blow Through A Straw?
This is a comment I saw over and over on Facebook. At first, I thought the same thing...Overpriced Dog Whistle? The Shift Pendant was actually manufactured and designed to offer the perfect breath. You don't have to think about how tight to squeeze your lips to control your breath. With a pliable straw, you won't have that engineered breath control that this stainless steel piece offers. Also, it would be weird to wear a Starbucks straw around your neck anyway. And you'd have to cut it, and somehow sanitize it. The whole ordeal is awkward. And really, breathing through a straw is like throwing a hot dog down a hallway.
Why is it called Komuso Shift, anyway?
The name came from Komuso monks. These monks were Japanese, and they learned how to 'blow zen' using special flutes in order to bring a sense of well-being. The bamboo flute they used was called a shakuhachi. These Japanese monks played flute songs on the bamboo flute for not only attain enlightenment, but also to heal themselves. The flute was used as a spiritual tool and paced with the breathing of the one playing the flute, and this was a form of meditation for them.
Was the Shift Komuso Worth it?
Yes, the Shift Komuso was 100% worth the nearly $100 that I spent. It's so beautiful, discreet, and offers the gift of reminding you to 'be present'. I love it. I was super skeptical at first, but I am glad I purchased this.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2020 Charlotte Doyle