The Power of Breathwork
by Olivia Cartwright,
With figureheads like Wim Hoff launching breathwork into the mainstream with his new BBC show,“Freeze the Fear”, it is quickly becoming the go to treatment and Hoff is credited with propelling the practice after he was featured on Gwyneth Paltrow’s “Goop Lab” on Netflix in 2021. Since then breathwork has become increasingly popular with major celebrity endorsements (Justin Beiber for one). Wim Hoff’s approach sparks quite an extreme response including crying and shaking during a session. This doesn’t need to be the case but emotional release is one of the known benefits of breathwork.
Like thousands of others, I tried breathwork in lockdown. The practice really appealed to me as it proclaims to stimulate that emotional release that hours of talking therapy was never able to. It is definitely the most transformative treatment I have ever tried and I am a total convert. I’ve tried it all! Everything from hypnosis to tapping to kinesiology, and nothing has ever come close. Today it is something I’m hugely passionate about.
They say you never forget your first breathwork session. That was definitely true for me. I got every symptom possible, from tingling hands, pins and needles, numbness of the mouth, to feeling hot and then cold. When I was initially sent the appointment confirmation for a 3 hour session it almost put me off. However, I lost all sense of time. Once your body enters a state of deep relaxation, timelessness takes over and I honestly lost track after the first 20 minutes. The stillness and inner peace I felt at the end of the session was unmatched. I feel as though I shed a much needed skin and blew away years of anxiety and stress in just that first session alone. I have consistently practiced breath work ever since, first weekly with a practitioner and now daily by myself. I have never even been able to meditate before. My busy mind sabotaging any prior effort but just a few minutes of conscious connected breath helps me slip right in and it’s blissful to experience. I warn you though, it’s addictive! I still remember finishing my first session, desperate to book my second.
Breathing is something we all do constantly to survive, it is a subconscious human instinct, like blinking. But is it something we should be focusing our attention on more? Incorporating some conscious connected breathing daily is something we could all benefit from. And the best part? It’s totally free. If you are eager to give breath work a go, we recommend starting with a practitioner before embarking on your own practice. You’ll soon discover it’s as easy, as well, breathing!