Integrative Breathwork is a powerful healing method and self-development tool that is most powerful when practised with an experienced facilitator.
A number of different terms coined by different schools of Breathwork all refer to the same fundamental pattern, so you may hear of Rebirthing, Liberation Breathing, Transformational Breath, Holotropic Breathwork – and can trust that the principle is the same, though there are notable differences of style.
Breathwork is a simple, gentle yet very powerful form of therapy that does not rely substantially on verbal exchange. Breathwork brings into awareness unconscious beliefs, emotions, our relationships with self and others. When we consciously breathe with this awareness, we make it possible to resolve, integrate and heal previously unresolved issues within ourselves. This frees up energy, bringing greater aliveness and joy and allowing us to move towards fulfillment of our potential as human beings.
Breathwork brings expanded awareness on all levels: physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual in a reliable and rapid way that often surprises first timers and those accustomed to traditional therapy.
What is the process?
- Optionally you will explore personal life issues first if this is a 1 to 1 session, though less so in a group setting, even though there can be time for setting intentions or sharing. This is done not to resolve anything, but to help the raising of awareness.
- The breathing session is normally in a lying position, consciously connecting the breath without pauses between the inhaling and exhaling. Facilitators may encourage different pace and depth of breathing at different times in the session, but generally the pattern is somewhat deeper and faster than normal for you. This is done for around 60 to 75 minutes in a full-length session, though this is not a rule and shorter breathe sessions are common, and longer ones also.
- An integration phase of quiet and stillness, usually still lying down completes this part of the session.
- Afterwards, optionally there may be some sharing of the experience verbally.
How does it work?
- Conscious connected breathing promotes an altered state, but one that is completely under your own control unlike drugs or psychdelics. It could be thought of like a very deep form of meditation, but one that does not require you to learn to ‘turn off your thoughts’ as the change inmental activity is quite automatic.
- Breathworkers experience that there is a direct connection between mental and physical well-being and the openness of the breathing. Relaxing and releasing the breath dissolves tension in both the body and the mind.
Different experiences in sessions
There is no standard experience of a Breathwork session. Some commonly reported experiences include:
- memories, images, feelings or sensations can surface to be reviewed, released and integrated.
- clearly being in observer-state around past incidents that may emerge, enabling you to release and re-interpret from a more conscious, new perspective.
- a sesne of increased life-force (prana, chi, ki) which starts to move freely through you body (experienced as tingling, energy rushes or waves).
- loosening up tensions and blocks your ’4-body’system (physical, emotional, mental and spiritual)
- senses of pain or pleasure, release of physical tension, euphoria, sense of heat, release of emotion, states of bliss.
- Your facilitator will skilfully manoeuvre you through the surfacing material, be a witness to your, and help you to stay in the process, which takes some doing for may people in the initial sessions.
- The Breathworker may use various psychotherapeutic integration tools to help you get the best after the session.
- The Breathworker will be professionally trained and experienced, as well as giving unconditional personal support, being non-judgmental and compassionate.
- You should choose a Breathworker that you feel at ease with and can communicate well with.
Safety– Breathwork sessions contain a self-regulatory mechanism: whatever comes up may challenger you, but is never more than can safely be integrated.
- It’s not necessary to ‘understand’ incidents or pictures or thoughts to be able to release the charge around them. You will find that the process takes place on a non-intellectual level.
- The breath will bring up what is most important for you in this moment, enabling you to take your next steps towards becoming whole and happy. Setting intentions for a session is an optional approach recommended by some facilitators.
Breahtwork can help with:– relationship problems or patterns that keep repeating themselves; – not knowing who you are and what you want; – not living up to your potential; – feeling trapped in a way of being, stressed out by efforts to please others; – stress; – job-related problems; – depression; – anxiety, panic attacks, phobias; – shyness and low self-esteem, lack of confidence; - an inability to feel; – history of abuse; - simply wanting to get to know yourself better and enjoy life more.
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