Some of the Ways Breathwork Can Alter the State of Consciousness

Some of the Ways Breathwork Can Alter the State of Consciousness

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Have you ever heard of breathwork meditation? It is an ancient practice that dates back thousands of years. In the modern era, it is just beginning to come into its own thanks to a new understanding of how conscious breathing patterns affect the mind and body.

The brain responds to how a person breathes. Likewise, the body responds to what the brain does. So it stands to reason that altering how we breathe has an impact on both mind and body. That is the primary principle behind breathwork meditation.

In the paragraphs below, this post will discuss some of the ways breathwork can alter a person’s state of consciousness. As you read, know that I am currently undergoing training to become a certified Owaken Breathwork facilitator. Once I finish my training, I plan to begin offering both group and private sessions. I look forward to working with you.

Increasing Oxygen Intake

Breathwork is the practice of conscientiously altering the way one breathes in order to achieve a specific goal. In terms of altering one’s state of consciousness, a common strategy is to engage in deep, rhythmic breathing that increases oxygen intake. How does this alter the state of consciousness?

Increased oxygen intake is known to induce endorphin production in the brain. Higher endorphin levels create a sense of euphoria and heighten awareness. Boosting endorphin production also stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system.

Increased Carbon Dioxide

While deep, rhythmic breathing can increase oxygen intake, we can also increase carbon dioxide levels in the blood through rapid, continuous breathing patterns. Don’t worry. Increasing carbon dioxide in this way is not dangerous; carbon dioxide is not harmful in moderation.

Increasing carbon dioxide levels makes the blood more acidic. The body responds through respiratory alkalosis to create tingling sensations and lightheadedness. During breathwork meditation sessions, increased carbon dioxide can help create an altered perception.

Inducing a Trance State

Sometimes, the point of a breathwork exercise is to completely focus all the person’s attention on breathing. A particular breathing pattern isn’t necessarily the goal. Rather, it is to focus so intently on breath control that a person enters a dissociative state. This is a trance state in which the conscious mind separates from reality and sensory input in order to tap into a deeper state of being.

Entering the trance state is one of the more advanced practices associated with breathwork. But when it is achieved, a person can really get in touch with repressed emotions, traumas, and limiting beliefs. The dissociative state can do wonders for a person’s self-awareness.

Brainwaves and Neurotransmitters

Wrapping all of this up is the reality that control breathing exercises can impact both brain waves and neurotransmitters. In the brainwave department, controlled breathing helps to synchronize brainwave patterns. This encourages a state of deep relaxation and meditation. In such a state, participants are better able to enter that altered state of consciousness.

Where neurotransmitters are concerned, the physiological changes encouraged by controlled breathwork impact the brain’s production of certain neurotransmitters. At the top of the list are dopamine and serotonin. Elevating both can induce an emotional release that shifts a person’s perceptions of reality.

I hope my description of breathwork’s ability to alter the state of consciousness has not turned you off from this beloved ancient practice. Breathwork meditation is extraordinary when utilized under the direction of a skilled practitioner. And yes, you can learn breathwork techniques perfectly suited for practicing at home.

I am looking forward to offering breathwork meditation, retreats, and both private and group sessions. Check back soon to keep tabs on my progress! In the meantime, I will continue leading private and group sessions with sound healing as the main focus. I will also continue to keep my readers informed about appropriate healing retreats.

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