A new Hollywood craze, known as Transformational Breath, has taken the West Coast by storm, bringing calm to many A-list celebrities like Goldie Hawn, Kate Hudson and Naomie Harris who swear by a breathing technique to help them manage anxiety, stress, and other ailments.

Although Hollywood’s elite swears by the controlled breathing technique, there is speculation about whether it actually works, or if it's just a Hollywood fad.

Breath focus is often employed in several techniques that are meant to evoke relaxation in the individual. The Harvard Medical School says this focus helps the person concentrate on slow, deep breathing, and prevents the person from being distracted by thoughts and sensations that could bring forth other emotional states.

Alan Dolan, also known as “the breath guru” in North London, is one of the 27 qualified breath facilitators in Britain, although there are 2,000 worldwide. Dolan claims his services have helped patients overcome sleep disorders, weight issues, low energy, and even cancer, Metro U.K. reports. The breath guru was so enthralled by Transformational Breath that he gave up a high-flying job in the aerospace industry to teach it to the world.

“It allows people to access the full potential of their breathing system for better physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing,” he told the U.K. paper.

The mechanics of the technique are different from that of meditation. The patient is not required to pause between inhale and exhale. The duration of inhalation and exhalation are of different — about three to one. For example, if a patient inhales for three counts, or three seconds, they then exhale for one count.

Inhaling for longer will allow more oxygen and energy to enter the body, while exhaling serves to access any emotional energy that has been stored in the body. The emphasis on the emotional aspect of this technique is to express rather than control emotions that have been suppressed, along with outdated behavioral patterns, Dolan said . Following this rule, the person must breathe with their mouth wide enough so at least a finger can fit between their teeth. This will increase of the volume of the air being breathed in and out.

“The other vital aspect is that you don’t hold the breath at the peak of inhalation or exhalation but keep it moving. That’s what puts you into an altered state of consciousness,” Dolan told the Daily Mail.

Dolan conducts workshops in Britain and also uses his Lanzarote home as a retreat for those who are seeking a private getaway from their daily lives. Each day spent in Lanzarote is flexible as a daily breath session is the only thing scheduled for patients. Dolan refers to the retreat place as “the other therapist” for patients.

Whether the antics of the breath guru may sound innovative or downright quacky, the power of breath control has received merit from the scientific community. In a study published in the journal Circulation: Heart Failure, researchers investigated whether device-guided paced breathing would be useful in effectively treating hypertension and congestive heart failure without any side effects. The participants in the study who used the device for 18-minute sessions each day were found to show a decrease in sympathetic nervous system activity and reduce resistance to blood flow through the relaxation of muscles surrounding small blood vessels.

To learn more about Transformational Breath retreats in the U.K., visit the www.breathguru.com.