What Is Holotropic Breathwork?

The simplest way to describe Holotropic Breathwork is simply that it means paying close attention to your breathing. Proponents of holotropic breathwork say that being conscious of your breathing can influence your mental and emotional state. Many people in recovery have used breathwork practice for addictive disorders.

Does it really work? It depends on where you’re coming from and what else you’ve tried. What works for one person may not always work for another, even with the same substance misuse issues. It is important to exhaust all options when it comes to recovery. You never know what will work for your specific addiction.

Breaking the Cycles of Addiction with Breathwork

I personally have known a lot of different people who tried rehab multiple times and never were able to figure it out. I think the majority of addicts have to try over and over to get clean before actually getting there.

I’ve found breathwork to be extremely rewarding and I recommend it whenever I can. Your mental health can benefit greatly from breathwork and it can help you become more in tune with your inner self. It’s one of the best tools for long term recovery that I have experienced. I have used breathwork to control anxiety and also have found a lot of clinical evidence for breathwork that portrays it as an effective method. When we are in recovery, we are trying to teach ourselves a different state of mind. Holotropic breathing can help you reach a different state of mind that can be much more fulfilling than getting high.

Altered States Without Chemicals

If you trust the process and submit to the process, controlled breathing can put you in an incredibly calm and altered state of mind. You will become much more in touch with yourself when you discover the power of breathing for recovery. I attended rehab seven times before I got clean. I tried to get clean on my own at least two dozen times.

Relapse in this way can be a natural part of the process but it can be an extremely frustrating process. There were times when I had an extended period of sobriety before one little thing took it all away. A momentary lapse of judgment or rationalization and you are back where you started. The frustration begins to make you feel like a failure.

What I realized was that I couldn’t find any methods that really spoke to me. It was difficult for me to have any faith in the treatment process. Once I learned about alternative treatment and breathwork practice, I finally had somewhat of an open mind. I would try anything in order to get clean. Reading books like the Wim Hof Method and discovering other teachings such as Leonard Orr’s Rebirthing Breathwork all made sense to me and I felt the benefits immediately.


New Techniques for Achieving Sobriety

I tried what I thought was everything but in the end it is all about finding the method that works for you personally. What gets one person sober may actually be detrimental to another. Although I tried most tools and means of getting sober, breathwork stood out as the most effective one.

Transformational and vivation work is also closely linked to breathwork, on a meditative scale. I never knew anything about meditation when I was abusing drugs. Anything not involving getting high sounded boring. After getting clean and experimenting a bit with various alternative methods, I found myself getting natural high’s that were way more therapeutic and calming than the highs experienced from illicit drugs. I can understand why certain methods such as shamanic breathwork and pran breathing exercises would turn people off. A lot of people think the traditional route is always the right route.

Better Behavior Patterns through Breathwork

Opening your mind to new experiences is one of the behavior patterns that will help keep you clean. You don’t want to not try something just because it is obscure or strange sounding. Thinking outside the box is very important when it comes to everyday life in general, but especially so when it comes to recovery. The reason there are so many recovery options out there is because we all are unique individuals. We all want the same things in life, but sometimes the steps to getting them look different.

How do you know when you should try alternative recovery methods like breathwork? Should you have the same amount of faith in them? If the ordinary rehab setting just hasn’t worked out for you, that doesn’t mean you aren’t going to find one that will a,d in practicing breathwork at Pathfinders (and in my recovery since) I found a great tool that works for me.

You’d be surprised at the amount of different approaches that exist in the world of addiction. There are some rehabs that claim they can cure you of your addiction, while others stress that you’re still an addict no matter how long you’ve been clean. At Pathfinders Recovery Centers, they taught me that once I had begun the path to sobriety and detoxed from drugs and alcohol, the tools to keep me sober had to be those that made sense and we able to be practiced on a daily basis, like holotropic breathwork.

New Methods of Sober Supports

There are a lot of wonderful things about alternative recovery methods. It’s difficult for a lot of people in recovery to live with lifelong labels even years after you’ve gotten clean. The behavior that you once displayed doesn’t need to define you for the rest of your life. Some of these alternative recovery models do a great job of getting rid of these labels, and allowing you to focus more on your present and future rather than what you’ve done in the past. In a lot of recovery settings, you are told that you are an addict for life. It’s something you can never get away from. This can be helpful for some people, but for others it can be a large weight to carry.

I can’t speak for others, but I know that for me personally, it helps me to not be defined by the addict label. I tell people that I used to be an addict. I tell them that I am a brand new person and whoever I was before is long gone. That’s not to say I don’t understand that that way of thinking works for everyone. I just know that it helps me each day to focus on the person I have become. When I used to always refer to myself as an addict, I feel that it did me more harm than good. I struggled a lot with these feelings, and had a lot of dark thoughts. It almost led me to relapse. If I’m still an addict now, what’s the point of staying clean? I wrestled with these thoughts all the time. Telling myself that’s who I used to be keeps me on the straight and narrow path.


Holistic Recovery Options to Consider

There are so many more options available now than there used to be when it comes to recovery. It can be hard to know which is best for you, but a quick internet search will give you a whole host of options. I was amazed at how many different approaches exist out there. The recovery process is one that takes time and research. Once you find what works for you, you will know pretty quickly. It took me a lot of attempts and a lot of different methods before I found what worked for me. I knew it as soon as I found it. There was an overwhelming feeling of joy when I discovered holotropic breathwork. I knew that I had found what was going to save my life.

A lot of times we think that we know what is best for everyone. You don’t truly know what will work for you except for you. People can tell you to try all sorts of methods, but you’ll know the right one when it comes around. It can be frustrating to try so many different ways to get clean, but in the long run, it will be worth the fight., If you’re at the point of seeking out alternative recovery methods, you’ve probably tried a lot of other things that didn’t work for you. You’ve done the traditional recovery methods because you thought that’s what everyone else does. When you’ve done everything you can think of, it can be an exhausting feeling. If you keep in mind that this is a process and it requires a lot of research, you will be able to keep going. Eventually, you will discover what works.

Choosing Pathfinders Recovery Centers for Your Future

Nobody can tell you what is going to work. You’ll get sold a lot of different ideas and philosophies, but you can only be sold on it if it fits into your lifestyle. The truth is this. You can get clean and stay clean. It’s that simple. What it all boils down to is are you going to do the work? If you truly want to have a clean life, you can find the one thing that will help you do it. It may be more than one thing too. All that matters is that you try. If you try hard enough, it will become easier for you.

If you’re having difficulty getting and/or staying sober, please reach out to the staff at Pathfinders Recovery Centers today and speak with our team about holotropic breathwork, adventure therapy, or the many options we have for those struggling with relapse. Don’t hesitate to call, now is the time to make lasting changes and achieve real recovery!


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