Inner Healing Breath Directed Tools
List of Modalities/Techniques
OriginsHolotropic and Integrative
Breathwork are a merging of Shamanic journeying and other time-honored
techniques of obtaining nonordinary states with a form of deep inner feeling
psychology. There is anthropological evidence that the overwhelming majority of
cultures have had some form of ritual to induce nonordinary states of
consciousness. Radiance breathwork has similar aspects, but there appears to
have slightly more emphasis placed on the deep inner feeling work. Vivation also
has some aspects of nonordinary states, but a great emphasis is placed on deep
inner feeling work and integrating those feelings.
BenefitsBreathwork is about
reconnecting, embracing and integrating all aspects of ourselves. This includes
unresolved and feelings (pleasant and unpleasant) surrounding events (recent,
biographical/childhood events, birth process events, past lives, etc.) which we
have kept buried in our subconscious minds and which can have significant impact
on our psychological and physical health. Such a process, while difficult at
times, can be tremendously healing.
Use of the breath and a sincere
willingness to feel whatever comes up are the keys to accessing these unresolved
issues. The process involves using the breath and sometimes other techniques as
a way to get beyond our ego and defenses and locate issues in the subconscious
mind (and often reflected in the body as tightness or energy blockages) that
need to be felt, embraced and integrated. There is no need to direct the mind to
specific events as the breath will take the person where is needed.
an unresolved issue is brought to the surface, it is felt and experienced deeply
and then embraced and integrated into our beings. This causes a permanent change
in the energy surrounding this issues. Depending upon the type of breathwork
used and the issues which are accessed, there may be anywhere from alot of
emotional expression to none.
Using the breathwork process over time, one
goes deeper and deeper into the inner journey, reconnecting with and integrating
aspects that have been unresolved. This results in a significant healing of the
body, mind and spirit which is very deep and permanent.
The breath is
also a key element which can be used to get in touch with our spirit and
creativity so that we can reconnect with aspects of ourselves that give meaning
and enjoyment to our lives. This too is one of the goals of the breathwork
Pursuing the process of healing and transformation using the
breathwork techniques can be an enormously rewarding process. However, it must
be said that it can be difficult at times, joyous at times, frustrating,
invigorating -- just what one might expect from a deep inner
The breathwork process is not a panacea for all ills. It is
not a substitute for other fundamental holistic healing techniques. Nor is it a
substitute for treatment from a qualified holistic healthcare professional. But
it can be a very powerful and useful technique for healing the body, mind and
I have found that
there are three additional things which have helped me considerably in between
the breathwork sessions:
didn't use all of these things when I started the breathwork and do not think
that they are prerequisites to doing the breathwork, but I have since found the
activities helpful to me in between the breathwork sessions.
- Activities which help me keep in touch with my body and stay grounded so
that I am not stuck in my mind all of the time. For me this included hiking,
racketball (and other sports), Bioenergetics (body-centered therapy), and yoga.
There are many activities that would be helpful for staying grounded and in
touch with one's body. Some of these include: dance, tai chi, walking, swimming,
martial arts, etc.
- Regular social activities.
- Meditation or other inner peace or spiritual practices.
- Health Conditions can have a significant effect on whether
or when it would be beneficial to use breathwork. For example, a person with
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (and possibly others) may need some preliminary
activities before they are ready to get significant benefit from breathwork.
Please read the first Chronic Fatigue Syndrome case
history & analysis for an excellent example as to preliminary holistic
healing techniques which may be needed.
- Addictions such an eating disorders (food addiction,
anorexia, bulemia), alcohol addiction, drug addiction, gambling addiction, etc.
are sometimes considered psychological or spiritual emergencies. I believe that
the eventual use of breathwork techniques can be very helpful in addressing some
of the core issues that contributed to the development of these conditions.
However, I have found that it can be much better to first
stabalize and begin to heal the situation using one or more of the following
- Regular supportive counselling/psychotherapy.
- Twelve-Step program (e.g., actually working of the steps in a concentrated
- Seeking out supportive atmospheres and living situations to the extent
- Healthy Nutrition
- Body-oriented practices (e.g., Bioenergetics, yoga, tai chi)
- Meditation (part of the 11th step in the Twelve-Step program)
- Psychological Conditions such as depression, anxiety
attacks, etc. may be helped significantly (over time) using these breathwork
techniques. I believe that it is very important to have a supportive environment
and/or regular visits to a psychotherapist during the breathwork process to help
work with issues that can come up as one gets more in touch with both the
pleasant and unpleased feelings that may have been suppressed. In some cases,
breathwork may be contraindicated. In other cases, it may be prudent to use
other holistic healing techniques and other inner healing techniques (e.g.,
meditation) initially before exploring breathwork. Please talk openly with the
breathwork facilitator and your healthcare practitioner about the
- Physical Illnesses Including Chronic Pain can effect the
breathwork session. Some facilitators are trained and/or experienced in working
with people who have quite a variety of physical illnesses or chronic pain.
Please discuss these issues with the breathwork facilitator.
930 Mission St # 7
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
- Books & Magazines
Common Boundary Magazine
Road, Suite 650
Bethesda, MD 20816
Common Boundary, P.O. Box 445, Mt. Morris, IL 61054, 800-548-8737,
"Exploring Psychology, Spirituality, and
Lotus Publishing, Inc.
4032 South Lamar Blvd.,
Austin, Texas 78704
felt transformation often requires an inward journey of heroic proportions. The
journey requires that we free body, mind, and heart from the past, connect with
our deepest essence, and fill our consciousness with truth, love, and wisdom.
Personal Transformation is dedicated to supporting your inner
Stormy Search for the Self: A Guide to Personal Growth Through Transformational
by Christina Grof and Stanislav Grof, M.D.
Tarcher/Putnam Books, c1990