Shamanic Breathwork

Breathwork is the art and science of using our conscious intention to alter our breathing for specific purposes. A number of ancient cultures developed breathing exercises to reach higher levels of consciousness and achieve good health. Among the most beneficial techniques are the Indian yogic pranayama, and the Chinese qijong breathing technique, both date back thousands of years. Before the last century only a few individuals in the west understood the direct correlation of breathing and health, and unfortunately it never became an acceptable practice among the facilitators of conventional medicine.

During the 1920’s an Austrian psychotherapists named Wilhelm Reich begun to rediscovered the healing potential of breath with the main focus on treating suppressed emotions, traumas and other psychological blockades.

Stanislav Grof, a Czech psychiatrist and co founder of transpersonal psychology was involved in a clinical study researching the therapeutic use of LSD in the 60’s. After it became illegal he looked to fined other legal alternatives that will have the same effect. In the 70’s he developed a new therapeutic form called “Holotropic Breathwork” which creates a psychedelic like state by using a controlled breathing pattern. This method helps to access altered states of consciences and supports personal growth and healing. It can feel like a dreamlike states or a mystical experience full of teachings, understandings and a sense of completeness.

There is a great number of similarities between a breathwork session and a psychedelic experience. The psychedelic compound DMT, which is extracted from plants and used, in the ayahuasca brew in shamanic ceremonies, also forms naturally in large quantities in human cerebral spinal fluid. It is thought that DMT is produced in the lungs and speculated that is made in the pineal gland. Research in rats has shown that when they are highly stressed, their brain releases high quantities of DMT. Something similar may be true for a person when practicing breathwork. There have been numerous reports of people doing breathwork achieving extraordinary states similar to those experienced by individuals under the influence of the DMT. From the scientific point of view there are still more questions that need to be answered here, showing that we are just touching the tip of the iceberg.

Recent scientific studies approve that controlled breathing exercises can improve our psychological and physiological wellbeing. Wim Hof also known as “The Iceman” is the holder of 26 world records including the Guinness world record for the longest ice bath. He exposed him self to the extreme cold for hours wearing nothing then shorts or he run a marathon trough the Sahara Desert without drinking any water, yet the most incredible performance he presented in 2011 during a scientific study where he was injected with an endotoxin which normally makes a person ill, but in his case the opposite happen, trough his breathing method he was able to control his sympathetic nervous system and the immune response, which at that time was considered as impossible and for that reason textbooks of biology had to be rewritten.

Breathwork for Kambo practitioners

The Kambo use has its roots in a shamanic culture. According to Yawanawa legend, the use of it was revealed by the spirits to a shaman during an ayahuasca vision. For them, the ayahuasca and the Kambo are complementary medicines. They are usually taken on separate days to stimulate certain areas of our being that can’t usually be reached by just one of them alone. For that reason, these medicines work best when used together. Unfortunately, the use of ayahuasca in most countries is illegal. It demands a preparation process and it doesn’t make it easily accessible for most people. Breathwork on the other hand can be a great alternative, it doesn’t require much preparation and is easily applicable for most people. Becoming a responsible breathwork facilitator only takes a few weeks. It’s especially easy to learn if you’re already a Kambo practitioner, as you’ll have already gained experience in guiding people through a difficult process. Being additionally trained as a breathwork facilitator gives a Kambo practitioner an extra tool that can be used to help their clients to reach a deeper healing. Kambo is great remedy that is known to help with many health issues. It boosts our productivity and cleanses negative energies. It is lesser known to be a “teaching medicine”: something that gives insights and understandings of our behavior and traumas, which are at the root of most of our issues. Breathwork in combination with Kambo will not only make the healing process highly efficient, but will also create more clarity and understanding, and will make the experience more holistic.

Breathwork has the power to alter our states of consciousness and connect us more deeply with our true self. Without any doubts, breathwork is one of the quickest and most practical ways to tap into the brain’s nervous system. Apart from its astonishing healing benefits, using  the power of deep connected breathing, one can create a natural trance-like state where the ego defenses are released, bringing the breather on a shamanic journey that unfolds in a variety of ways. This journey is accompanied by music and sounds that have the ability to carry the breather deeper into a trance.

This experience can reconnect the breather with the inner self. Just by using our breath in this powerful and transformative way, we can connect with the shaman within, the wisdom that unfolds constantly. Breathwork heals the parts of our personality that needs to be integrated, by releasing physical, mental and emotional blockages.

Practicing breathwork regularly will not only improve our health and remove stagnant energies, but it will also improve our healing abilities. For that reason, we highly recommend Kambo practitioners to practice breathwork for their own good, especially if they feel that they have absorbed some energies of their clients.

We provide breathwork sessions during our Kambo training as an introduction to this powerful method. Those interested in learning this practice for themselves or to become breathwork facilitators can do so through our organization. For more information please get in touch with us.