Have you ever heard of somebody asking a panicking person to calm down and “take deep breaths”? It might seem like a general solution to help a person slow down. Still, it has health benefits associated with it, which is why breathwork or using breathing exercises as therapy is so helpful.
What is all the Hype About?
Although breathwork techniques are popular right now, it is far from a new phenomenon. Breathwork sessions have been practiced for many, many years, and have originated from ancient yoga practices.
Most of today’s breathwork practice has originated during the second half of the twentieth century’s ”conscious” and ”awareness” phases. Many researchers and health professionals have endorsed breathing techniques for a variety of physical and mental health benefits.
During its time of discovery and acceptance, several varieties of breathwork emerged such as diaphragmatic breathing and alternate nostril breathing. Holotropic Breathwork is one of them. Self-awareness and inner serenity were emphasized in several of these trending modalities. Others were concerned with psychedelic impacts and achieving altered states of consciousness. All of which possible simply be breathing to a set pace and rhythm.
Breathwork: The New Healing Technique
As the name implies, breath therapy involves altering the rate and ratio at which we breathe. But breathwork is a broad term that refers to any practice incorporating breathing techniques to enhance life force, increase self-awareness, and mental, physical, and spiritual well-being. There are numerous types of breathwork techniques available today. Each one has its approach to employing normal breath for wellness. It incorporates Western psychotherapy approaches while drawing on Eastern disciplines such as yoga.
Breathwork can involve components of conversation therapy, deep breathing, art, musical assistance, and bodywork to help people become more relaxed and self-aware. It is not something that one has to do on their own. People can get into groups to support each other’s wellness journey through breathwork sessions. Or, they can do it on their own, from the comfort of their own homes.
Breathwork has been scientifically proven to also have a beneficial effect on your blood pressure and mental health. Whenever a person seems to be under a lot of stress, their abdominal muscles activate and they start to breathe fast. This reduces the amount of oxygen that enters the blood. When the brain detects a threat, the body responds in two ways and activates the fight or flight response system. Slow nasal breathing is your way of telling your brain that everything is under control when you take the time to calm down and breathe deeply and calmly. Your brain tells your body that it’s okay to unwind. The fight or flight response fades, and your body can resume normal functioning and life force.
The Steps Involved
If you believe that breathwork is something you’re interested in exploring, tell your general practitioner and any other health professionals that you want to include it in your toolkit for dealing with medical problems or issues. Honest conversations with healthcare professionals can help avoid issues that may emerge from not discussing treatments openly.
Many different techniques help people practice breathwork exercises, which is one of the best parts of the practice. You can choose the technique that seems the most appropriate to you!
It is vital to conduct homework before committing to a particular activity. It’s a poor idea to pick a technique based on its popularity or attractiveness because not every approach is suitable for everyone. However, the basic steps involved to prepare oneself for breathwork exercises are simple:
- Try to figure out the technique best suited for you.
- Take your time to determine good posture and the right place.
- Try a few breathing exercises that involve abdominal muscles.
- Pick the technique you feel comfortable with.
- Consult a professional to help you.
Is it Similar to Meditation?
Meditation is an excellent tool for both the mind and the body. Many people, however, find it difficult to meditate because when we sit down and quiet our external stimulus, all of our anxious thoughts, emotions, and experiences arise. Breathwork might seem a little similar to meditation but has many major differences. It is a sort of active meditation that enables us to disengage from the brain and follow the body and heart’s guidance. We return to our fullness and feel more capable of handling stress, anxiety, and residual trauma when we breathe out emotions, ideas, recollections, and acts that do not promote our growth. There are numerous breathwork practices, each with its function and impact on the body.
Breathe Better, Feel Better!
It might seem as if the exercises will help people achieve a certain physical level of satisfaction since the process seems very calming. However, the emotional benefits that these sessions provide cannot be overlooked. The following are some examples of emotional advantages:
- Improved mental attention: When a person takes some time to sit back and remove all the noise in their head, they can focus better on things afterward, with a fresher perspective.
- Depression and anxiety are less prevalent: Calming nerves through breathing exercises are a great way to lessen one’s anxiety. Yoga breathing-based therapies are efficacious in managing depression, while meditation-based techniques have shown to be efficacious in the management of depression and anxiety. Meditation-induced neurological and behavioral self-regulation alterations are also linked to improved mental health.
- Happiness and positivity: The effect of breathwork meditation on a brain region is activated when people have mental health problems. This area quiets down during the therapeutic use of psychedelics and certain types of mindfulness techniques, according to the study conducted by Dr. Tarrant.
Furthermore, people report a decrease in heart rate, negative mood states like tension and perplexity, as well as a major increase in positive mood levels like relaxation and happiness.
With so many benefits and the ease of the method, the concept of seeking help from breathwork is very promising. There is a reason why Breathwork has been the #1 trending modality in the $4.25 Trillion Health & Wellness industry since 2019. It’s because it works.