Classed as a mind-body complimentary health practice, breathwork has achieved a degree of recognition as a form of psychotherapy in Europe and Australia/New Zealand. So, the way I practice the technique is by bringing together my psychology/counselling diploma and my 30-years of training and practice.
Each session involves both processing and breathing. The first session may take up to 2 1/2 hours; thereafter a session lasts approximately two hours.
In the first hour of the session we bring to the surface any unconscious negative thinking regarding a specific issue you are dealing with. It’s the point where you get to find out all the things you don’t know that you don’t know about yourself! So the first part of the session is about bringing core thoughts and feeling to your attention so that you can take them into the breathing, get a chance to relieve that pressure in the body and to effectively let it go.
In breathwork, the person deliberately breathes in a faster-than-normal, deeper-than-normal way, in a cyclical fashion so that there is no pause between breaths, between exhales and inhales. This breathing pattern is usually referred to as Conscious Connected Greathing. The two primary physical effects are to super-oxygenate the body, and to enhance the discharge of toxins from the body. At an emotional level the Conscious Connected Breathing brings to your awareness sensations, emotions, unconscious thoughts and memories, all deeply and amazingly interwined.
Sogyal Rinpoche reminds us to accept everything that surfaces with an acceptance and generosity as open and spacious as possible. By accepting anything that occurs in a session, withouth any judgement, without perceiving it as ”right” or ”wrong” -which is why it got ‘stuck’ in your physical system in the first place-, and continuing with the breathing, you are able to dissolve the original ‘charge’ and integrate whatever is happening.
After the breathing is complete, we deconstruct what came up during the session. The client further integrates their experience, any insights they now have and get guidance on how to proceed from that point.
I really feel that this a holistic approach that works miracles in the process of alligning your body with your mind and your soul.
What to expect in a session?
Every breath session is very different. Some are blissful, some can bring up old trauma and some can be just getting in lots of oxygen. They are all perfect. You can expect to experience:
~tingling sensation in your arms and legs from increased oxygenation
~fatigue or energised feeling from the continuous active breathing
~deep sense of peace and relaxation
~higher state of consciousness
~mental resistance to letting go and trying to stay in control