Inner Healing & Transformation
Breath-Directed Tools

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Table of Contents

List of Modalities/Techniques

  1. Holotropic Breathwork
  2. Integrative Breathwork
  3. Radiance Breathwork
  4. Vivation


Holotropic and Integrative Breathwork are a merging of Shamanic journeying and other time-honored techniques of obtaining nonordinary states with a form of deep inner feeling psychology. There is anthropological evidence that the overwhelming majority of cultures have had some form of ritual to induce nonordinary states of consciousness. Radiance breathwork has similar aspects, but there appears to have slightly more emphasis placed on the deep inner feeling work. Vivation also has some aspects of nonordinary states, but a great emphasis is placed on deep inner feeling work and integrating those feelings.


Breathwork is about reconnecting, embracing and integrating all aspects of ourselves. This includes unresolved and feelings (pleasant and unpleasant) surrounding events (recent, biographical/childhood events, birth process events, past lives, etc.) which we have kept buried in our subconscious minds and which can have significant impact on our psychological and physical health. Such a process, while difficult at times, can be tremendously healing.

Use of the breath and a sincere willingness to feel whatever comes up are the keys to accessing these unresolved issues. The process involves using the breath and sometimes other techniques as a way to get beyond our ego and defenses and locate issues in the subconscious mind (and often reflected in the body as tightness or energy blockages) that need to be felt, embraced and integrated. There is no need to direct the mind to specific events as the breath will take the person where is needed.

Once an unresolved issue is brought to the surface, it is felt and experienced deeply and then embraced and integrated into our beings. This causes a permanent change in the energy surrounding this issues. Depending upon the type of breathwork used and the issues which are accessed, there may be anywhere from alot of emotional expression to none.

Using the breathwork process over time, one goes deeper and deeper into the inner journey, reconnecting with and integrating aspects that have been unresolved. This results in a significant healing of the body, mind and spirit which is very deep and permanent.

The breath is also a key element which can be used to get in touch with our spirit and creativity so that we can reconnect with aspects of ourselves that give meaning and enjoyment to our lives. This too is one of the goals of the breathwork process.

Pursuing the process of healing and transformation using the breathwork techniques can be an enormously rewarding process. However, it must be said that it can be difficult at times, joyous at times, frustrating, invigorating -- just what one might expect from a deep inner adventure!

The breathwork process is not a panacea for all ills. It is not a substitute for other fundamental holistic healing techniques. Nor is it a substitute for treatment from a qualified holistic healthcare professional. But it can be a very powerful and useful technique for healing the body, mind and spirit.

General Tips

I have found that there are three additional things which have helped me considerably in between the breathwork sessions:
  1. Activities which help me keep in touch with my body and stay grounded so that I am not stuck in my mind all of the time. For me this included hiking, racketball (and other sports), Bioenergetics (body-centered therapy), and yoga. There are many activities that would be helpful for staying grounded and in touch with one's body. Some of these include: dance, tai chi, walking, swimming, martial arts, etc.

  2. Regular social activities.

  3. Meditation or other inner peace or spiritual practices.
I didn't use all of these things when I started the breathwork and do not think that they are prerequisites to doing the breathwork, but I have since found the activities helpful to me in between the breathwork sessions.

Other Considerations