Breathwork is a holistic practice that involves using specific breathing techniques to improve physical, emotional, and mental well-being. The practice has been around for centuries, but it has only recently begun to gain recognition in the scientific community. In this article, we will explore the science behind breathwork training and the various benefits that it can provide.
Stress and Anxiety
One of the key benefits of breathwork is its ability to reduce stress and anxiety. A study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that a single session of breathwork was able to significantly reduce cortisol levels, the hormone that is associated with stress. Additionally, the study found that participants experienced a decrease in anxiety and an improvement in mood.
Another area where breathwork has been found to be effective is in the management of chronic pain. A study published in the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies found that participants who practiced breathwork for eight weeks experienced a significant reduction in chronic pain, as well as an improvement in quality of life.
Breathwork has also been found to be beneficial for individuals who suffer from respiratory conditions such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). A study published in the Journal of Asthma found that a 12-week breathwork program was able to improve lung function, reduce symptoms, and increase exercise tolerance in patients with asthma. A similar study published in the European Respiratory Journal found that COPD patients who practiced breathwork experienced an improvement in lung function, as well as a reduction in dyspnoea (shortness of breath).
Additionally, Breathwork has been found to be beneficial for mental health conditions such as depression and PTSD. A study published in the Journal of Traumatic Stress found that a single session of breathwork was able to reduce symptoms of PTSD. Another study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders found that a 12-week breathwork program was able to reduce symptoms of depression.
Breathwork has also been found to be beneficial for overall well-being. A study published in the International Journal of Behavioural Medicine found that breathwork was associated with an increase in self-compassion, mindfulness, and a decrease in negative affect.
In conclusion, breathwork is a holistic practice that has been found to be beneficial for a wide range of physical and mental health conditions. The practice has been found to be effective in reducing stress and anxiety, managing chronic pain, improving respiratory function, and improving overall well-being.
- Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, “A randomized controlled trial of the effects of a single session of yogic breathing in patients with asthma”
- Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, “The effectiveness of breath work in the management of chronic pain: A systematic review”
- Journal of Asthma, “The effects of pranayamic type of yoga breathing on airway reactivity in asthma: a randomized controlled trial”
- European Respiratory Journal, “Pranayamic breathing in the management of moderate to severe COPD: a pilot study”
- Journal of Traumatic Stress, “Preliminary report: single session of slow breathing in the treatment of PTSD symptoms”
- Journal of Affective Disorders, “The effects of a 12-week breath work intervention on depression, anxiety, and well-being”
- International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, “The effects of a brief breath-based meditation on self-compassion and affect in a non-clinical sample”