What is Breathwork?

Breathwork describes a set of exercises that teach you to control your breathing rate and depth to bring awareness to your breath and finally provide the same benefits you might receive from a meditative practice. Individuals who exercise Breathwork describe feeling tingling sensations throughout their body, feelings of clarity, alertness, improved mind-body link, and even emotional purging.

Breathwork provides a safe approach to deal with stress, anxiety, despair, depression, and anger head-on so that our moods do not begin to take over our private and professional lives. How we breathe frequently indicates how we feel. In how shallow rapid breaths make us stressed and exhausted, long, deep breaths that arise in the gut can help us feel calm, centered, energized, and rested. The cause of this is because heavy breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which takes us from fight or flight (the sympathetic nervous system). By activating your parasympathetic nervous system, you create a deep feeling of calm and lower your overall stress and anxiety.

We now know that breath favorably affects the nervous system, but it goes beyond the nervous system. Modifying your breath actually changes your brainwaves. Research has found a correlation between an increase of alpha brain waves and decreased symptoms of depression. There are five kinds of brainwaves that we move through during a given day. Breathwork is an effective way to alter your brainwaves from beta to alpha as well as theta, thereby decreasing negative thought patterns, stress, and depression levels.

See: Deep Breathing Exercises For Relaxation

Types of Breathwork

There are various kinds of breathwork practices, ranging from relatively basic and easy to do at home, others requiring a professional to teach you the clinic. Some breathwork practices are rooted in Yoga like Pranayama or the breath and motion sequences of Kundalini yoga. If you have ever been to a yoga class, you have heard a teacher remind you to control your breath. In the early yogic teachings, the practice of directing the breath is called Pranayama, and it teaches you to breathe consciously, with consciousness, and with intent. 

Breathwork has now evolved to include several new methods that are focused on using breathing exercises as a way of self-healing treatment. Breathwork is not just an exercise of breathing properly or with intent. Breathing techniques are resources for significant transformation and healing. Breathwork encompasses a broad assortment of whole-being therapeutic activities and practices used to relieve physical, psychological, and/or psychological tension.

Types of Breathwork

Breathwork has its origins in ancient eastern practices such as Ayurveda and Yoga. They can help with self-awareness and internal peace. The three most popular types of Breathwork are:

Pranayama

Holotropic

Integrative Breathwork

Shamanic Breathwork

Vivation

Zen Yoga Breathwork

Transformational Breathwork

Rebirthing

- Pranayama: If you practice Yoga, you will probably be familiar with this breathwork practice. Pranayama is all about controlling (Yama) your breath (prana) for positive consequences. By holding your breath, you can proceed beyond emotional and energetic blocks that hinder the flow of your life force.

- Holotropic: Holotropic Breathwork is a practice frequently accompanied by extreme music and directed by an instructor leading a group of participants. It involves inhaling and exhaling for an identical amount of time at various rates to induce an altered state of consciousness. The holotropic treatment has its origins in LSD treatment but is the drug-free choice, where the principal intent is to generate mind-altering experiences. Individuals often experience dreams, uncontrollable spurts of emotions, and muscular cramps.

- Rebirthing: Rebirthing Breathwork is grounded in the concept that you carry residual stress from your traumatic experience of arrival. Through this sort of Breathwork, it's believed that you can allow yourself to discharge any emotional baggage and injury that happened during your birth. The practice entails using circular breathing and frequently lying mainly underwater to create a state of relaxation, which permits pent-up stress that has been stored in the body since birth to be discharged. Through conscious breathing, rather than breathing air in and out, you can transform it instead of moving energy.

Breathwork can be used as a highly effective therapeutic practice. If you choose to explore its advantages, speak with an expert in that clinic, and try out various kinds of Breathwork to find the one which best works for you.

See: Pranayama breathing exercises & health benefits

Breathwork holistic benefits

Let us find out how it can holistically benefit your mind, body, and soul.

- Body

Breathing is an essential part of life; it will help deliver oxygen into your blood and eliminate carbon dioxide. Completing a complete breath cycle involves your entire body--your chest, stomach, back, and head. It requires effort to coordinate all elements of their breath, though the simple process looks effortless. The physical advantages of deep breathing are often instantaneous. By breathing deeply, you can trigger your parasympathetic nervous system, and consequently, slow down your heart rate and reduce your blood pressure--creating a sense of calm. You utilize your diaphragm instead of your chest, getting your neck and torso muscles to relax and engage your abs and a larger quantity of oxygen to reach your body's organs and cells. When your body is functioning under a "fight-or-flight" reaction or anxiety, it releases a surge of hormones (such as adrenaline and cortisol ). The hormone rush causes your breathing to accelerate, raise your pulse and blood pressure, and puts you in a state of hypervigilance. Deep breathing helps reverse this reaction and relax your body.

- Mind

Besides reversing the physical strain response in your body, deep breathing can also help calm and slow down the emotional turbulence in mind. In actuality, you will find studies that reveal Breathwork can help treat depression, anxiety, and PTSD. Breathwork can help you achieve a deeper state of mind. While in this condition, you might be able to get buried emotions, grudges, and traumas and finally release yourself from their grip on your mental condition. Breathwork is frequently used to help those who have mental health difficulties and is regarded as a means to calm and focus your mind.

- Spirit: Breathwork can also act as a spiritual connection. You can move beyond your own body and mind and connect with your heart soul -your Self. To put it differently, you can eliminate yourself and connect to your true Self and the Universe. Breathwork produces a strong self-exploration area, spiritual awakening, and a deeper connection to yourself, others, and the world.  It's not unusual to experience a profound sense of oneness, bliss, a connection with the divine, and a sense of profound security and surrender. Breathwork also impacts how our consciousness and subconscious minds interact, allowing our imagination to be obtained in new and more profound ways.

See: Deep and Slow Abdominal Breathing by Contracting the Diaphragm

Breathwork health benefits

Breathwork can be used to realize many health benefits:

- Reduce anxiety, depression, & stress

Unprocessed negative emotions, anxiety, and injury can get trapped and stored in the body and become active blocks that frequently require a physical toll on the body. Chat treatment often helps us recognize these anxieties and traumas but cannot dislodge them from the body. These traumas can remain in the body since childhood and hold us back from leading the life we wish to live. Breathwork is a remarkably powerful tool to unblock, unravel and release anxiety, traumas, limiting beliefs, and negative emotions.

- Improve sleep

Modern life brings many factors that negatively impact our sleeping. Deep breathing in Breathwork can help calm the nervous system, which reduces the effects of stimulants and calms the anxiety, letting you get a better night's sleep. Furthermore, quieting the mind makes you fall asleep faster and for deep sleep.

- Detoxify

Deep breathing helps in detoxifying your body, boosts your lung performance, and promotes a healthy heart. Breathing can help expel nearly half the toxins that your body stores. The most crucial toxin that is being expelled through the breath is carbon dioxide. During the practice of deep rhythmic breathing, you are expanding your diaphragm, which calms the body and massages your lymphatic system, which helps eliminate toxins. You're also strengthening your lungs, which directly impacts your toxin release. By breathing deeply more frequently, you can expel the toxins more efficiently. This action permits the cells to take in blood. Last, Breathwork enhances your oxygen capacity that helps to remove toxins. Deep breathing also helps improving blood flow for detoxification.

- Boost energy & immunity

Breathwork enhances oxygen capacity in the blood, contributing to overall improved energy levels and more powerful endurance. The quantity of oxygen that we inhale through our breathing directly affects the amount of energy released to our cells. The body can use this additional power to boost your immunity. Additionally, it gives you the ability to push your physical exercise to another level as you flood your body with oxygen. A daily breathwork practice can boost your energy levels and your immune system.

- Boost digestion

Breathwork helps the digestive process by stimulating and increasing blood circulation through the digestive tract and improving intestinal activity. Breathwork also reduces the uncomfortable symptoms of gas and bloating. Furthermore, Breathwork creates a positive feedback loop by reducing stress, which reduces cortisol, which reduces stomach inflammation. You set yourself up to make better food choices to prevent digestion problems, to begin with.

- Bring joy

In Breathwork, we breathe through our mouth, which generates Breathwork creates an experience of profound presence and self-awareness by giving yourself the room to go inside, where time almost ceases to exist. In this enlarged space and say, our brainwaves have an opportunity to slow down from the believing and doing state of Alpha and Beta into a dreamlike state of being, the Theta brainwave. In the state of being in the present moment, we often describe feelings of happiness and joy wash over them as they experience a change in consciousness.

- Discover self-love

Most people struggle to fully love ourselves. We often get stuck in our mind with feelings of unworthiness or not being sufficient. Breathwork effortlessly allows us to change from our mind and intellect and to our own body by switching from nostril breathing to mouth breathing. 

- Reduce pain

In case you have chronic pain, then you probably have attempted to distance yourself from your own body in a bid to dismiss your pain. Breathwork effortlessly reconnects with your own body, which really can help you jumpstart the healing procedure. Breathing deeply also causes the body to release endorphins, which reduces pain sensitivity and promotes pleasure, leading to a sense of well-being. Additionally, it helps decrease pain because deep breathing affects the human body's acidity level, making it more alkaline. Breathwork is known to reduce cortisol, which reduces stress, which reduces the sensation of pain. Deep belly breathing has quite a therapeutic effect on chronic pain since it relaxes the muscles that otherwise stressed up because of pain and, consequently, further aggravates the pain itself.

See: Mindfullness Meditation For Sleep

Breathwork side effects

Breathwork is generally enjoyable, safe, and worth a try for most people. It may be particularly significant for people with an autoimmune disorder since there's evidence it may change the inflammatory reaction from our innate immune system.  Breathwork should not be practiced by anyone with a known heart condition or anyone taking medications. Consult your physician before starting a new practice. Additionally, some Breathwork forms can cause hyperventilation, which can cause nausea, chest pain, and a pounding heartbeat.

See: How to relieve stress & anxiety naturally

Summary

Breathwork involves manipulating your breathing rate to alter how you are feeling. There are many varieties of breathwork practices, some ranging from fairly basic and easy to do at home, others requiring a professional to guide you. The benefits of Breathwork include reducing stress, reducing inflammation, and alkalizing your blood PH levels. Check with your doctor before starting a breathwork practice when you've got a history of cardiovascular problems, including high blood pressure, or are currently taking antipsychotic medications.

See: How to relieve stress & anxiety naturally

References

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See: How To Lower High Cortisol Levels Naturally

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