The breath has been used for centuries in traditional medical and spiritual traditions throughout the world. Yogic traditions, for example, offer breathing practices for calming, for alertness, and for preparing to meditate.
More recently, breathwork emerged in the later twentieth century as a means of self-help or transcendence. Rebirthing, and then holotropic breathwork, to name two popular types, attracted people for emotional release or transpersonal experiences.
Modern breathwork styles, such as circular connected breathwork, resemble holotropic but also differ significantly. Mostly the differences arose as we all learned more about the widespread and damaging effects of trauma. Modern methods respect the need for care and safety, in order to prevent any kind of retraumatization. They allow people much more control over the intensity of their experiences. They allow people more autonomy in integrating and making sense of their own insights and emotional experiences.
How I Came To Be A Breathwork Facilitator
Breathwork for Special Concerns/Interests
Breathwork supports and benefits people in a variety of life situations. I also sometimes specifically offer small group breathwork journeys for those with certain shared concerns: eating issues, for example, or life transitions. I also specifically program for those in the health or helping professions, for I feel that this kind of work often calls for us, especially, to increase our clarity, self-knowledge and healing as we assist others.
Breathwork for Helping and Health Professionals
I find the following passage particularly striking—it’s from The Myth of Normal: Trauma & Healing in a Toxic Culture, by Dr. Gabor Mate. In a late chapter,“Jesus in the Tipi”, Mate recalls a ayahuasca journey he’d led for healing professionals:
The Peruvian guides, having worked with North American and European groups for decades, said they’d never encountered such a “heavy bunch”. They noted, “…..we must face all the pains and traumas that people bring to us, but we take care of ourselves: we regularly clear those energies out of our bodies and souls, so they do not accumulate and burden us. We expected you ….to have done the same for yourselves. But no, we found, you have come here weighed down with all the griefs and heavy energies that you have all been absorbing for many, many years.”
I hope my offerings for helping and health professionals can alleviate some of this residual burden. Breathwork is one modality that can bring emotional release, clarity, self-knowledge and attunement. This benefits us profoundly. It also enriches and deepens all of the work we do with others. Please get in touch if you’d like to learn more about individual or small group opportunities.