Breathwork – Overview & How It Works


Breathwork is a general term describing numerous modalities that use the breath as a tool for exploring altered states of consciousness and meditation.

Breath has been used as a healing for it’s therapeutic benefit since ancient times. The Latin words for breath and spirit are the same. Breathwork utilizes conscious manipulation or controlling of breathing patterns to achieve certain desired results. The amounts of O2 and CO2 we take in, expel, or maintain in our blood have a direct effect on our physical bodies and well-being.

Various breathwork modalities make use of the scientific information available to us about effects of levels of oxygenation on our organism. These modalities utilize special breathing techniques, which support increasing or decreasing levels of oxygen in our body to achieve a desired result.

A direct connection between our breath and our emotional responses is utilized by many existing modalities. Many modern body-oriented psychotherapy modalities, such as Bioenergetic Therapy founded by Alexander Lowen, as well as mainstream therapies rooted in the foundation of the work of famous body-oriented psychologist Wilhelm Reich use breath as one of their main tools. A famous psychologist and LSD researcher Stanislav Grof, a creator of Holotropic Breathwork and a pioneer in the field, popularized breathwork in the West.

Breathwork - Overview, How It Works and Tools 1

Breathwork – How It Works

Breathwork, when administered by a skilled facilitator with proper knowledge, intention and suitable context has a potential to release the effects of long unresolved traumas, thus supporting general healing of our physical organism and psyche. Breathwork can prevent an onset of debilitating and potentially life-threatening trauma-related diseases. Conscious use of breath by many existing breathwork modalities can help individuals to live with vitality and radiant health.

Biodynamic breathwork and trauma release, the modality we will be featuring in our program was created by Giten Tonkov. It is a therapeutic approach that uses breath as a main tool with the help of supporting elements such as movement, touch, sound, conscious emotional expression and meditation to support trauma release and healing on the somatic level. BioDynamic Breathwork heals trauma by releasing core tension and supporting clients to complete arrested trauma-related Fight/Flight or Dissociated responses.

Used with permission from Giten Tonkov:

Licensed clinical mental health counselor
Tisha Shull is a co-host of the popular IFS Podcast, IFS Talks. She has been a Program Assistant for IFS Level 1 and Level 2 trainings many times internationally. In her practice, Tisha has a special interest in combining IFS with Cranial Sacral Therapy as well as a Past Life Regression Therapy.

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