Breath has a number of effects on the body and mind. The rhythm of breath influences the autonomic nervous system, which affects the neurohormonal stress response and resulting heart rate, blood pressure, gastrointestinal system, and muscle tension. The rate and depth of breath affects the chemistry of the blood, which in turn can affect the state of consciousness.
As a consequence, guided breathing can induce a state of relaxation and “nonordinary” consciousness that provides access to the unconscious. In this state, we can encounter experiences and feelings that are important in our lives, which can enable us to better understand, accept, and integrate them. This can be a useful part of healing and self-discovery, either as a stand-alone process or as an adjunct to psychotherapy.
What happens in a Breathwork session?
At the first session, the practitioner takes a brief history to identify issues and concerns that you might want to engage in Breathwork. She will then ask you to get into a comfortable position, typically lying down, often with pillows and a blanket. She will then ask you to breath in a deep and comfortable rhythm, following her lead. As you enter a relaxed state, she will give you further breathing instructions, and when you’re ready, she will talk with you about what you are experiencing as you continue to breath in this way. At a certain point, she will guide you back to a natural breathing pattern and state of consciousness. Most people experience a deep sense of relaxation, calm, and awareness following a Breathwork session.
At subsequent sessions, the process is similar. The experience typically builds on prior sessions, and many people find that the awareness and emotional integration is tremendously beneficial in achieving wholeness and health.
Center for Integrative Health & Healing
University of Maryland Rehabilitation and Orthopaedic Institute
2200 Kernan Drive
Baltimore, MD 21207
For more information, please call: 410-448-6361