What are the long-term results of breathwork?

Breathwork comes with a wide variety of benefits and long-term results. In general, regularly practicing breathwork allows you to more easily flow through your days and to become more resilient towards stressful situations and challenges in life.

Breathwork will, in the longer term, optimize your health, create higher states of awareness and even transform the way you live your life. “Change your breathing, change your life”, is often heard when referring to breathwork. Changing the way we breathe, changes the way we feel. Regular practice allows us to reconnect with our true nature as we are so often disconnected from ourselves, our emotions and how we really feel. Breathwork helps release emotional blocks or trauma that can be stuck in the body.

Proper, conscious breathing can not only provide a greater sense of awareness and mental clarity, it can also improve sleep, digestion, heart health, the body’s immune response, sport performance and longevity.

What is Breathwork?

Breathwork means to consciously and intentionally change your breathing patterns in order to influence and improve physical, mental, emotional or even spiritual well-being.

Breathwork refers to a wide variety of breathing exercises and techniques, each have their own purpose. Practicing breathwork has a proven positive impact on both mental as well as physical health. The outcome of your practice depends on the type of breathwork exercise or protocol.

See your breath as the remote control of your nervous system. With breathwork, you are able to consciously and deliberately influence certain processes in body and mind.

How is Breathwork different from medidation?

Breathwork is often referred to as “meditation for people who can’t meditate”, as to most people practicing breathwork feels easier than meditation.

As meditation means to ‘focus the mind on a particular object, thought, or activity – to train attention and awareness, and achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm and stable state’*, focusing on your breathing pattern can be seen as a type of meditation. Meditation however is not always breathwork.

There are many different types of meditation, the act of consciously focussing on and controlling your breathing patterns is one of them.

Is breathwork better than meditation?

To most people, meditation can be hard and discouraging, especially to those who easily get stuck in their head. Breathwork is, if we would have to compare the two, an easier and more accessible practice as it has a direct influence on one’s mental state and thinking patterns. Practicing breathwork helps calming down or even bypass the mind.

Breathwork also has an immediate impact on one’s physical state, as it changes the chemistry in the body. It improves blood flow, increases oxygen levels in the cells and tissues, it slows down the heart rate and reduces pain. These are just a few of the many benefits breathwork can have on the physical body.
On an emotional level, breathwork helps to release feelings, stuck emotions or even old trauma. Breathwork can clear energy from your body that you didn’t even realize you had.

Breathwork is the tool that unites the body with the mind. It can be seen as the fastest and most effective tool to optimize physical, mental and emotional health and transform someone’s life.

What are the benefits of breathwork?

Breathwork supports many of the challenges all of us experience in life. The effects and results of practicing breathwork can be experienced immediately, as well as on the longer term.

Depending on the type of breathwork, among the immediate benefits are a calmer and clearer mind, less tension in the body, reducing worries, stress and anxiety and creating feelings of gratitude, love, safety, clarity and calmness.

Looking through the lens of health, breathwork can improve sleep, digestion, physical condition, heart health, sport performance and longevity. Controlled breathing reduces levels of inflammation and alkalizes blood PH levels in the body. Breathwork is proven to be very beneficial to prevent, treat and even cure various health conditions and auto-immune diseases such as COPD, hypertension, allergies, asthma, fibromyalgia and crohn’s disease.

Breathwork also helps release trauma or mental, physical, and emotional blocks that can be stuck in the body. It can be of transformative power in cases of anxiety, depression, fear, grief, and anger.

What are the types of breathwork?

There are many different types of breathing exercises and techniques, each with a different purpose or effect. Breathwork can be used for example to energize the body, to balance the nervous system, to reduce stress and to help you get to sleep.

All breathing exercises that can be found in the Breath Hub App are accessible and safe to practice for everyone, whether you are new to breathwork or have years of experience. These are a some of the more popular breathing techniques:

  • Box breathing – to calm and quiet the mind and regain mental focus
  • Alternate nostril breathing – to calm the nervous system and relieve tension
  • Coherence breathing – to calm down and accomplish a state of heart-brain coherence in the body
  • Breath of Fire – to energise and purify the body and reduce (over)thinking
  • Deregulating breathing, such as the ‘4-7-8-breath’ – to induce deep resting states and sleep

Moreover, techniques such as Buteyko, Wim Hof, Holotropic and Transformational Breath are growing in popularity, for a good reason. Kindly be advised to always first seek an experienced and licenced practitioner to guide you through these powerful and beneficial techniques.

Science behind breathwork

While breathing practices have been around for centuries and are seen in many yogic, religious or spiritual traditions, modern science is only just catching up. Slowly but steady, research begins to provide evidence for the many health benefits of practicing breathwork.

Research on the benefits of practicing breathing exercises is adding up and studies show that breathwork effectuates a relief from stress and pain, it lowers blood pressure and cortisol levels, it alkalizes the blood PH, it improves the body’s innate immune response, it activates the lymphatic system, it enhances circulation and digestion, it sharpens focus and it reduces symptoms associated with anxiety, insomnia, post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.

Breathwork has both immediate as well as long term effects. Daily practice, even just ten minutes per day, can make a tremendous impact on your life.

Why is it important?

We all breathe, all day and all night, on average over 20.000 times per day. Although breathing is a natural function of the body and operated by the autonomic nervous system – meaning we actually don’t have to think about doing it – most people are breathing in a dysfunctional, unhealthy way.

We are born with a natural way of breathing but most people seem to ‘forget’ this somewhere along the way. Dysfunctional breathing patterns can be caused by stress, illness or traumatic events in life. Most of the time we are not even aware that the way we breathe is causing us various physical, emotional and mental challenges.

By regularly practicing breathing exercises and intentionally changing our breathing patterns we are able to permanently improve the way we breathe and therefore the way we feel. Breathwork allows us to experience immediate positive effects on both body and mind, as well as adopt more beneficial ways of breathing that will improve overall physical, emotional and mental health.

Will I hyperventilate or pass out?

During more calm and passive breathwork practices and controlled breathing exercises you find in Breath Hub it is very unlikely that you start hyperventilating or faint. All breathing exercises are designed to safely practice from the comfort of your own home.

During more active breathwork practices like holotropic breathwork, Wim Hof Method or Transformational Breathwork, some people experience hyperventilation and in rare cases they can black out. This is not something to be worried for, your body will always find its way back to homeostasis. It is however advised to practice these active breathing techniques under the professional guidance of experienced teachers and trainers.

The beauty of breathing and breathwork is that you are always in control. Whenever you feel uncomfortable, lightheaded or overwhelmed, simply come back to your normal breathing pattern and your physical and mental state will change accordingly.

What is happening in my body during breathwork?

The way you breathe has a direct effect on the chemical and physiological activities in your body. Breathing is the most effective way to change your physical, mental and emotional state in the moment, as you’re able to directly control and navigate the autonomic nervous system.

Breathwork helps balancing oxygen and co2 levels in the blood, optimizing the amount of oxygen that reaches all cells and tissues. The way you breathe influences your heart rate, blood pressure, digestion, release of hormones and neurotransmitters, muscle tension, blood PH and the body’s innate immune response.

What does a typical session look like?

There is actually no such thing as a ‘typical breathwork session’, as there are many variables to take into account, such as different techniques and ways of breathing, the unique class of your teacher and the length of a session.

Most sessions are practiced sitting up straight or lying down with closed eyes, as breathwork is a practice that allows you to shift your focus inwards. Typically a breathwork session calms you down and leaves you feeling relaxed, rejuvenated or even reborn.