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Healing with the Breath : What is Breathwork?

Updated: May 13, 2023

What is Breathwork?

Breathing mindfully isn’t easy particularly if you’ve been through much adversity, abuse or trauma in your life. You’ve likely learned to hold your breath or haven’t noticed your breath.

People have been using deep breathing to destress, relax and heal for years. Breathwork’s popularity has risen likely due to the increased stress, anxiety and collective trauma that our country and society has faced over the last few years.

Breathwork is a practice of intentionally focusing on the breath. It is exercised to bring balance to the body and to improve the quality of life of those practicing the technique.

Healing through the Breath

I picked up breathwork while seeking to heal my childhood wounds and navigating singleness, heartbreak and young adult woes.

I met some beautiful brown sisters at the shore for Yoga (I’ll share my thoughts on Yoga later, stick with me.) On this particular day, we spent time breathing intentionally.

As I listened to the waves of Lake Michigan, I felt a lot of emotions welling up inside.

When we were done, my sis asked, “How are you?”... I burst into tears as she hugged me, noticing I couldn’t find the words to reply to her simple yet complicated question.

Breathwork stirred up emotions as I gave myself the space to be still, think and just be. I got off the mat feeling relieved but also feeling a deep need to release emotions that had been inside my body.

Breath & Trauma

A healthy nervous system navigates between fight or flight and rest. Trauma survivors tend to hold onto words, emotions and experiences inside the body. The response of freezing or the feeling of being stuck is your nervous system’s response to trauma.

That day at the lake, I was “activated” and found relief in being grounded through my breathing to help settle my nervous system.

We, black and brown people have lived in fight or flight most of our lives due to systemic oppression, poverty, unresolved trauma, intergenerational trauma, and chronic stress. Black folks have been in activated mode since we came into this world. You can learn more about activation in my ebook, “ Me, Trauma & Freedom.”

When you’ve been in a state of fear, freeze,, or fight for a prolonged amount of time, the nervous system becomes imbalanced.

Benefits of Breathwork

Breathwork brings back balance to your body. It gives you the space to release negative emotions through active inhaling and exhaling.

Talk therapy is very important for healing and so is bodywork, and somatics. A simple way to understand somatics is as therapies and healing modalities involving not only your mind but your body.

Breathwork helps you calm your inner thoughts and trapped emotions.

Helps boost the immune system

Tap into your creativity

Trains your to move more intentionally and slower

Stress reliever and decreases blood pressure

Breathwork brings awareness to things we have suppressed and the release we find in breathwork help us cope with the uncomfortable.

Helps with pain management

Breathwork has been scientifically proven to increase our overall well being. I would love to guide you through a complimentary breathwork session to experience the benefits of this healing tool.

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