Depression and Breathwork

Conditions
Last Updated Jul 10, 2020
Conditions

A medical doctor may diagnose you with depression if you have been feeling down for an unusually extended period of time. Along with the potentially prescribed medication, they may recommend you see a psychotherapist to resolve once and for all the root cause of your depression. Read on to find out more.

What is Depression?

Depression, often referred to as clinical depression, is a mental illness that entails an overwhelming sense of sadness, loss and hopelessness. Bouts of the condition may span from weeks to years, and may sometimes cause the sufferer to despair so greatly they no longer want to live.

Depression is generally caused by an imbalance of chemicals in the brain, and may be triggered by a specific physical or emotional trauma.

What is Breathwork?

Breathwork is a technique that focusses on ones inhalation and exhalation using accelerated conscious breathing to allow the body to release long-held physical, mental and emotional tensions.

When we begin to breathe faster through the nose or mouth, the body starts to allow emotions to rise to the surface. Physiologically speaking, this increased air uptake triggers the lymphatics and blood vessels to drain, causing an increased muscular activity that initiates a newly expanded state of consciousness. This new state then enables suppressed emotions and memories to surface, allowing you to clear out any of the mental clutter that may be causing Depression and to enjoy a state of relaxation and meditation.

The Breathwork Session

Most breathwork sessions take 90min, with:

  • Time put aside at the beginning for the practitioner to talk to the client
  • 30-60min dedicated tot he breathwork itself
  • Time put aside at the end of the session to debrief and reflect upon the clients experiences

When it comes time to do the actual breathwork, the practitioner will:

  • Sit beside the resting client who is usually lying down
  • Instruct them with specific breathing techniques designed to quieten their minds
  • Bring an awareness to any feelings, memories or emotions of the client that may surface as carry out the breathing techniques

How Does Breathwork Help Depression?

Recent scientific studies in France demonstrated breathwork to effectively relieve symptoms of depression. Another study in the USA revealed it to significantly reduce death-related anxiety and to increase overall feelings of self-esteem.

Breathwork may also assist symptoms of depression by:

  • Inducing a release of the body’s natural feel-good chemicals, endorphins and oxytocin
  • Detoxifying both the body and mind, with 70% of the body’s toxins are eliminated in exhalation
  • Raising blood alkalinity levels which in turn increase overall physical health
  • Relieving feelings of sadness, anxiety and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Giving a clarity that gives greater insight to day to day patterns which in turn gives an ability to challenge and change them
  • Giving you the ability to process previously suppressed emotions and memories that were manifesting as depression

As the breathwork cannot be learnt in a single session, it is recommended to commit to 3-10 sessions to work on any long-standing emotional issues.

If you are interested in finding out more on how breathwork can help you with depression, please contact a breathwork professional for information.

Find out about other effective natural depression treatments.

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Originally published on May 27, 2010

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