Updated: Jan 14
I started my journey with breathwork within a group program, I had no idea what to expect. After only 2 sessions, I made the decision to train to become a breathwork practitioner. That’s how powerful breathwork is.
There are many forms of breathwork therapy, I am trained in Rebirthing breathwork. There is also Holotropic, Transformational and Liberation. Then of course, the breathing techniques such as the Wim Hof method and pranayama in yoga. For this blog, I will be focused on rebirthing breathwork.
So what exactly is breathwork?
In breathwork therapy you are guided to alter your breathing, to change the pattern of your natural breathing to create a rhythmic breathing cycle. By using connected nose breathing, you can open up the breathing mechanism, alter your state of awareness and experience physical, mental benefits and spiritual benefits.
What does it feel like?
Within a session we enter what is called a breathing cycle. At the beginning it can feel a little like a workout, sometimes increasing the speed and the depth of the breaths until we create a sustained rhythm, which in turn increases the flow of fresh oxygen. In the middle of this cycle you become aware of how this affects sensations within your body such as tingling. Some people may experience sleepiness at this stage of the cycle, I go into more detail as to why in the physical benefits. Towards the end of the cycle you may experience a few different things, which I’ll go into more below, but this cycle releases endorphins which can lead to an amazing natural high and feeling of bliss. You usually end the breathing session feeling relaxed, at ease and really good.
What are the psychological benefits?
Much like meditation, breathwork allows you to connect to the deep levels of your subconscious. In doing so you can resolve inner issues, release both physical and psychological trauma, you can heal, accept and forgive past experiences and memories. Allowing more understanding and acceptance of yourself, it promotes self acceptance and self love. By entering this altered state of awareness you allow for greater resolution of issues and the ability to process experiences from a higher perspective and move forward in a positive way.
What are the physical benefits?
The first benefit is simply opening up your breathing mechanism. So many of us work at desks, or have poor posture. Even from experiencing pregnancy, once the baby is born you will need to re-train your body to expand beyond the chest into the solar plexus and the belly. This first step will allow you to feel more calm and flood the body with an increase of fresh oxygen. In doing so it can reduce feelings of anxiety (again usually breathing only in the chest), depression, symptoms of PTSD, Insomnia and it can reduce pain. As I said above it can release and heal physical trauma that has been stuck in your body. Breathwork also releases stored chemicals and toxins. So if you have used recreational drugs, or been given drugs or anaesthetic in the past you may find yourself become sleepy within the sessions as these toxins get detoxed from your body.
What are the spiritual benefits?
Rebirthing breathwork has many benefits, and a main one is to heal your birth story. From conception to birth and through early childhood we have many experiences both positive and negative. All of these experiences are stored in our genetics and within our minds and body. When you are being carried by your mother you are in tune with her emotions. When you are birthed into the world, whether it natural, via caesarean, forceps, if there was an epidural, if there were complications, if skin to skin contact wasn’t possible, these are all imprinted within you. They all affect the person you are today and create limiting beliefs and personal lies we believe about ourselves. Genetic studies have shown how important the bond with the mother is, and unfortunately, even when doing her best, there is usually a break in the bond. By using rebirthing breathwork we are able to dive into this part of your history to release any anger, frustration, sadness and heal this break so that you can move forward with acceptance and peace.
My experience with breathwork
I have had many different ‘types’ of breathwork sessions. Some simply feel like a wonderful clearing out and relaxation, others have been more profound in my healing. I have experienced a release of the sadness and worry I felt when I fractured my spine- my back actually felt different afterwards. I have experienced seeing my mother pregnant with me, torn between joy and sadness from other events. There were many times when I felt elation and joy and what I can only describe as pure bliss.
I would love for more people to experience the benefit of breathwork. Whether you are more interested in the physical, emotional or spiritual benefits, there is so much that you can receive from this powerful therapy.
I am soon launching a breathwork membership! I will be releasing more details in the coming weeks and if you'd like to read more, click here.