What Is Breathwork?
The term “breathwork” encompasses a wide range of breathing techniques and breathing exercises. Through conscious breathing techniques are ancient, the term “breathwork” and the practice of some breathing techniques—particularly without incorporating movement such as yoga—has only become mainstream in recent years.
One popular breathwork technique that has gained popularity is a 3-part circular breath, consisting of two inhales through the nose, followed by one exhale out of the mouth. When breathwork sessions are guided, the teacher will often play music in the background while individuals breathe. During breathwork, individuals may experience temperature changes, lightheadedness, or tingling sensations. This is common, as is an experience of emotional release.
How Does Breathwork Improve Mental Health?
At its core, breathwork is a stress-reduction technique, with many benefits for mental health.
Benefits of breathwork for mental health include:
- Reducing stress and anxiety
- Releasing repressed emotions
- Easing feelings of depression
- Easing feelings of grief
- Boosting the immune system
But how does breathwork improve mental health? One published research study, titled “Breathing practices for treatment of psychiatric and stress-related medical conditions” states, “Neurophysiological studies may explain how breathing techniques normalize stress response, emotion regulation, and autonomic and neuroendocrine system function. Breath practices have been shown to reduce symptoms of stress, anxiety, insomnia, post-traumatic stress disorder, mass disasters, depression, and attention deficit disorder.”
When we are stressed, anxious, or afraid, our nervous system is involved. Our nervous system has two branches: the sympathetic and the parasympathetic. The sympathetic nervous system contains our fight-or-flight responses, while the parasympathetic nervous system is in charge of our “rest and digest” states. Many of us go through our days taking shallow, rapid, unconscious breaths. When we take deep breaths, on the other hand, we signal our parasympathetic nervous system to calm the body down. This leads us to a more relaxed state in which we are able to manage our stress responses better, which helps decrease anxiety and fear.
Tapping into and becoming aware of the role our breath plays in our day-to-day lives can be very empowering. Breathwork is a powerful tool and coping skill for self-regulation and managing difficult emotions, and can have a profound positive impact on mental health and wellness.
Breathwork at Knoxville Recovery Center
At Knoxville Recovery Center, we include breathwork in our extensive range of therapeutic offerings and healing modalities.
Services offered at Knoxville Recovery include:
Detox – Our on-site detox clinic accommodates and supports clients as the body sheds all residual traces of drugs and alcohol. Clients are under medical supervision during the detox process to ensure that they remain safe and comfortable.
Addiction Treatment – During our addiction treatment program, clients will engage in introductory therapies and exercises that work to prepare them for continued, more intensive treatment outside of our facility. The goal of our addiction treatment track is to stabilize clients so that they are treatment-ready.
Mental Health Treatment – Our mental health treatment program introduces behavioral therapies rooted in self-expression and holistic exercise. Art therapy, music therapy, and yoga are just a few forms of therapy we offer at the center. Our goal is to help the client reclaim their voice and expose them to treatment within a professional facility.
Aftercare Planning – Aftercare is designed for individuals who have benefitted from our introductory addiction services and are transitioning into a more intensive addiction treatment program. Once a client is stabilized, they will be encouraged to pursue continued addiction treatment. Our experienced case managers will then work with our clients to place them in a program that addresses their specific wants and needs.
Addiction is difficult to overcome alone. If you feel that you or a loved one is struggling with drug and alcohol abuse, our specialists are on standby and ready to help. Call Knoxville Recovery Center and speak with one of our specialists today.