The Healing Potential of Holotropic Breathwork
“Tell me, and I will forget; Show me, and I will remember; Involve me, and I will understand”.
There may be no better way to introduce the action of Holotropic Breathwork than by quoting Freud’s contemporary, the influential Harvard psychologist William James, who in 1902 wrote in his seminal book, “The Varieties of Religious Experience”:
“Our normal waking consciousness, rational consciousness as we call it, is but one special type of consciousness, whilst all about it, parted from it by the filmiest of screens, there lie potential forms of consciousness entirely different. We may go through life without suspecting their existence; but apply the requisite stimulus and at a touch they are there in all their completeness.”
Holotropic Breathwork (HB) is a simple and effective method that gives “the requisite stimulus” for individuals to experience, encounter and engage with aspects of their psychic structure that may be hidden from them.
Conducted in pairs within a group and supervised by trained and experienced facilitators, participants lie on a mat and breathe consciously whilst listening to selected evocative music in a safe and supportive setting. The non-ordinary state of consciousness (NOSC) that occurs allows participants to recall, own and embrace whatever memories, experiences and visions may arise. Engagement with this material may result in cognitive understanding and emotional release that can reduce the power of the subconscious to influence the individual’s behavior.