10 Benefits of Breathwork Healinghttps://secureservercdn.net/220.127.116.11/p4g.50d.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Donation-based-Reiki-meditation-burlington-VT-november-2020.jpg?time=16200752821024683Mackensey SmithMackensey Smithhttps://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/1815e5655520c363fdd44cbc38d8dc87?s=96&d=mm&r=g
10 Benefits of Breathwork Healing
One of the most common questions I get about Breathwork Healing are the benefits client can expect when working with me. The first time I ever tried Breathwork I was pretty skeptical. I thought, “I breathe all the time, what’s the hype?” Well, little did I know that first session that I would leave feeling 10 years younger, 10 pounds lighter, and about 10 times more connected to love for myself than ever before. Was I shocked? Yeah you could say so.
What is Breathwork Healing?
Breathwork Healing is a modality that uses active, diaphragmatic breathing to stimulate the nervous system and shift you into an altered state of consciousness where healing can occur. The particular form of Breathwork Healing that I practice is as taught by David Elliott and is a 3-part, active form of Pranayama. In a healing session, the Breath is truly just a tool to unlock the nervous system and open the heart so self-healing can occur. Our bodies and Soul know more than anyone what we need, and the benefits of such a healing practice have been mind blowing to witness over the years. Here are 10 of the most common benefits of Breathwork healing that I have seen in myself and my clients.
#1. Get Relief From Your Mind
If you are reading this, I would guess you, like me, have quite an overactive mind. In western society the thinking mind is often praised as way more valuable than other ways of knowing, and it shows in the many of us who struggle with getting a break from the constant internal chatter. Breathwork Healing is inherently a somatic practice, meaning that it is rooted in the body rather than the mind. Unlike many other practices where you focus on relaxing the mind, your only job here is to breathe and almost like magic the mind quiets in response to the deep somatic awareness the particular active breath brings. “I can’t remember the last time my mind was actually quiet,” is a frequent sentiment I hear from clients after a session.
#2. Breathwork Healing Opens Your Heart
The heart is the most important organ in the body. It is our first life-support system that develops in the womb and is also the place where we tend to experience, process and store emotional experiences. Ever experienced heartbreak? Then you KNOW what I mean here. When Breathwork Healing assists us in releasing old, stuck emotions and stories being held in our nervous system, the heart has space to open. This is often experienced as a feeling of greater self-love, increased compassion, and a noticeable feeling of lightness after a session. In fact, spontaneous forgiveness of long held grudges or painful relationships is a VERY common sight in this work.
#3. Release Stuck Emotion
Our bodies are like time capsules, they hold all of our stories. In the Breathwork Healing I facilitate, we breathe two inhales, followed by an exhale all through the mouth. Breathing first into the low belly, then into the high chest, and letting go. This particular pattern works to pull energy up through the lower energy centers in the body to be filtered through the heart and released on the exhale. As the Breath unlocks the nervous system in this way, old emotions that have needed a space to be expressed have space to free flow. Tears, anger, yelling, laughter, sadness and big smiles are all common occurrences in Breathwork Healing.
#4. Relieve Anxiety
In my experience, anxiety is often caused when an old emotion that is trying to move or release is coming up against a block in the body or mind that says “no.” Breathwork Healing has the ability to unblock areas within that are suppressing emotional expression, and when released the underlying cause of anxiety can be given a voice and space to breathe. Anxiety often is sadness, anger, or fear that when given an opportunity to move, relieves that pressure that we sense and call “anxiety.” In that way Breathwork Healing is like the ultimate pressure release valve catered to what your body is ready for.
#5. Heighten Your Intuition
When you are stuck in your head, there is very little room to trust your heart. As mentioned before, Breathwork Healing is a master tool in quieting the mind and opening the heart. When we actually EMBODY the feeling of being in and trusting our heart, intuition is a natural byproduct. Intuition is defined as, “the ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning.” In other words, trusting your gut. Breathwork Healing gives us a tangible, FELT experience of trusting something other than the mind which heightens intuition like none other.
#6. Use Breathwork to Improve Your Relationships
As sensitive beings, it is often hard for us to discern what is our energy and what we may be holding or sensing on behalf of someone else. Call it being an empath, I prefer the term human being. We are a species DESIGNED to connect and empathy is something we all share. Where we run into trouble is when we are so disconnected from our body and how our energy moves through it, that we struggle in relationships. Often processing emotions for others or denying our own without even realizing it. One of my favorite benefits of Breathwork Healing personally, is how it has helped me get to know my energy so well, that I can automatically sense what is and isn’t mine so I can have healthier, clearer boundaries in relationships and much greater self-care.
#7. Rest and Recharge
Meditation has the ability to activate the parasympathetic nervous system which is the part of our nervous system responsible for rest and digestion. Breathwork Healing in particular is a great tool to promote relaxation as there is also an active portion that aids in discharging emotional or physical experiences that may hinder relaxation (i.e. anger, stress, unexpressed emotions). 9 times out of 10 my clients are in a deep, sleep-like state by the end of our session, and rise up looking completely refreshed. By finally being freed of a lot of emotional baggage crowding the nervous system, there is space to finally rest and recharge.
#8. Heal From Your Past
To heal is to return to wholeness. Often our past pain stories literally hold us back from healing and finding personal freedom. Because Breathwork Healing assists us in clearing emotional “gunk” from the nervous system, it enables us to face, feel and move forward from past experiences that we are still holding onto. We can’t change the past, but it is our responsibility to heal our present, and Breathwork offers a way to do that in an embodied, lasting way. Our body remembers, and through the body is how we rewrite our stories into the future.
#9. Strengthen Spiritual Connection
Shifting into an altered state of consciousness is a common experience seen in my Breathwork clients. The gas exchange through the breath activates the hypothalamus and pituitary glands often associated with the “third eye” and connection to something greater. Breathwork Healing provides a space to explore what “Spirit” means to you and often leads to visions or felt experiences of connecting to the divine.
#10. Improve Interpersonal Boundaries
As you get to know your own energy, it becomes easier to identify between what is your emotions and someone else’s. Putting up boundaries is often harder when we are emotionally or energetically enmeshed with another person. By really getting to know how our energy feels, and trusting our wholeness, boundaries become easier to place and maintain. When I am clear on where I start and you end, taking responsibility for me and trusting that you can take care of you becomes easier and more lasting.
Ultimately, I could talk your ear off about Breathwork Healing all day long, but the proof really is in the practice of it. So whether you’ve never tried it or are ready to take your healing practice deeper, this list is a great resource to see if Breathwork Healing could be useful to you! If you feel the call, you can check out my offerings to book a Breathwork Healing session today or head over to my Instagram for some Free Guided Breathwork Meditations. Let me know how it goes.
Breathwork is an active self-healing technique that utilizes the breath as a catalyst for profound personal growth and transformation. The breath is used as a tool to move energy in the body, filtering it through the heart to heal everything from chronic illness, trauma, anxiety, grief, and depression to addictions, creative blocks, and stuck relationships.
By grounding your soul into your body through the somatic experience of the breathwork, you connect deeper to your life purpose, expand intuitive gifts, increase relaxation and simply open up to more joy and fulfillment.
About Mackensey Smith
Congrats, you made it!
Everything you’re looking for is on the other side of the breath. Through the power of Breathwork, my mission is to provide you with healing that is grounded, empowering, and LASTS.
Ecstatic Release: Full Moon Breathwork & Reiki Circle
Wednesday, May 26 / 6:00pm to 7:30pm PST / Sedona, AZ
Full Body Exhale – Full Moon Breathwork
Tuesday, May 25th / 3:00pm to 4:15pm PST (6:00pm to 7:15pm EST) / ONLINE
Remembering Together – Women’s Breathwork & Reiki Circle 5/20/21
Thursday, May 20th / 5:30pm to 6:45pm PST (8:30pm to 9:45pm EST) + optional 30-minute debrief / ONLINE
Pranayama Breathwork Healing Circle (Drop-in class)
Tuesdays in May / 6:00pm to 7:00pm PST / Sedona, AZ
I’ve never done breathwork before, where should I start?
Want to know a secret? First time breathers are my favorite to work with (shhh don’t tell)
The great thing about Breathwork is that it truly meets you where you’re at. I would feel into whether you feel more comfortable in groups or one-on-one sessions. If groups are your jam, a virtual breathwork workshop or in-person event will be a great place to start. If you prefer the personalized attention of a one-on-one, a Breath Discovery Session or Private Breathwork Session will be perfect for you.
I’m nervous about emotions coming up during Breathwork. Is this common?
It is very common for emotions to arise in the breathwork as we pull stuck emotional energy up and out from the lower chakras. You are in complete control of your experience with the breathwork so at any time if the energy is overwhelming you can shift the breath to a normal pattern and slow it down. An individual session would be a great option for you to have extra support.
Can you do the Breathwork daily?
Absolutely! Like any healing practice, the more often you do the work the more it can pay off. If you want to incorporate this work into your daily practice I suggest starting out with 5 minutes of the active breathing pattern followed by 5 minutes of relaxation.
How often should I being doing the Breathwork with you?
I like to compare my Breathwork practice to your car. At-home breathing on your own is like gassing up your car, group healing like virtual or in-person breathwork workshops are like getting a car wash to freshen up and have fun, and individual sessions are akin to an oil-change or getting your car detailed. Ultimately, lean into what feels good for you and please reach out if you would like further guidance.
Does the Breathwork you facilitate have a name?
I am certified and continue to train with my teacher David Elliott in this style of Breathwork. David has spent the past 25+ years developing, refining and sharing his healing modality often referred to as “The Work” in which the Breathwork is a foundational tool. There is no trademarked name as he believes one cannot own this practice. It’s simply called Breathwork.
How does the Breathwork work?
We are constantly experiencing energy throughout our nervous system. Most of us are so addicted to being in our brain and thinking mind that we are deeply disconnected from our physical, spiritual and emotional self. The breath works to bridge this gap and refine the connection between the body and essence or soul. This connection is the wellspring of all healing and forms the foundation of true, lasting personal transformation. It is from this place that we work to release, ground and expand all that you are looking to heal and cultivate in your journey. In a session or group, the breath is ultimately one of several tools that bring about healing. It is the starting point from which the rest of the work can be guided.