What is breathwork:
Breathwork is a type of body-centred therapy that helps connect you to your physical and emotional health. Working with the breath is one of the oldest, direct and powerful means of supporting our bodies to heal, yet most of us only use 30% percent of our breathing capacity. As a result, this lack of oxygen can cause fatigue, diseases and stress.
Often times you can find yourself in a holding pattern of stress without even noticing. This can be considered fight or flight mode. During flight mode, our breath increases to give you more oxygen to allow you to run away and when you are in freeze mode we contract our diaphragm to slow down our breathing- both are built into our system to optimize survival. Your body is smart! This response protects you from overwhelming situations and emotions. However, the problem occurs once the intensity of the actual event passes and your survival energy gets locked in your system. Eventually, you forget the event but your body remembers it is at a cellular level and continues to carry the stress in your system. If you cannot find a way to release this, you start to live with tremendous pressure in your body. This can manifest as chronic pain, fatigue, anxiety, stress, digestion problems, sleeping disorders, panic attacks, anxiety or depression.
How breathwork works:
In many breathwork sessions, you will do deep, connected breathing and at times gentle touch to support the opening of the body. When the body opens, you can tap into old memories that were locked in and you have a chance to complete the incomplete survival energy (or trauma memory). In the breathwork session, these blocks will be released and you will get the opportunity to let go of the unresolved emotions from the past and worries of the future. Once you release old restored tension in your system, you will feel much lighter, more relaxed, and more aligned within your entire body.
Ultimately, Breathwork sessions can be used to boost energy, to maintain health, and to create a deeper connection with your authentic self. It can also be used in a series of sessions as a therapeutic tool to fight against stress-related symptoms, such as panic attacks, anxiety, sleeping disorders, chronic pain, and depression.
Benefits of breathwork sessions:
- Increases oxygen to your brain and heart and improves the functions of your internal organs;
- Aids in detoxification. Up to 70% of toxins are released through deep breathing;
- Reduces stress, tension and physical pain in the body;
- Releases endorphins to make you happier and access feelings such as gratitude, generosity and joy;
- Supports the regulation of everyday breath while strengthening emotional intelligence;
- Connects you with deep stillness, peace and bliss;
- Helps you to tap into your intuition and better understand our autonomic nervous system responses;
There are many types of breathwork:
In cathartic breathwork, you are guided through a specific, controlled and accelerated way of breathing that triggers profound emotional and physical release. Cathartic breathwork is accompanied by evocative music and sound to deepen the experience.
Holotropic™ Breathwork*, created by Stanislav and Christina Grof, is a form of cathartic breathwork we offer.
Somatic and Trauma-Informed Breathwork:
Somatic Breathwork is a gentle trauma resolution technique. It uses your breath as a vehicle to feel and unpack everything from thoughts to physical sensations from the past experiences that caused stuck emotions. It can be done in a mild, moderate, or intensive way, depending on what your specific needs are. (Helpful for PTSD, generalized trauma or chronic pain)
Reichian™ Breathwork*, created by Wilham Reich is a form of somatic and trauma release breathwork we offer.
* Offered at Empower Health by Shama Zeynep Anaydin
Yogic and other Spiritual Breathwork, like “Pranayama”:
There are many spiritual practices that incorporate breathwork, one of the most known is Pranayama. Pranayama is one of the eight limbs of yoga. It’s a formal, controlled way of breathing said to help master the mind-body connection through the mastery of the respiratory system.
* Not offered by Empower Health, check your local yoga studio listings
In many instances, therapists will combine multiple techniques, and even create their own techniques, all depending on your needs as a client. For example, at Empower Health we offer a unique combination of breathwork techniques such as Diamond Breath and Somatic Pulsation, which combines training from Diamond Breath School in Italy, Bodynamics and Reichian Therapy (based on Wilhelm Reich‘s body of work). For more information, read more HERE!
Medical or Therapeutic Breathwork:
Medical doctors, osteopaths, physiotherapists, registered massage therapists and other manual therapists will often help people with the structural and fascial restrictions that cause what is called “breathing pattern disorders.”
* Offered at Empower Health by Dr. Rae St. Arnault, ND.
Please note that many of these types of breathwork sessions may overlap depending on your needs. For further information feel free to book a “Meet Your Therapist” appointment or your first private breathwork session below!