Because of the deep processing that may take place for you or others in the group during this process it is not recommended for anyone who should be or is currently being treated for severe mental illness or have ever been hospitalized for mental illness.
Possible Cautions and Contraindications for breathwork
Schizophrenia and paranoid personality disorder
Multiple personality disorder
Uncontrolled and escalating anxiety attacks
Also included in contraindications are people with:
Severe cardiovascular problems
Severe asthma or any asthma with cardiovascular problem
Drug or alcohol intoxication
If diabetic you may want to monitor your blood sugar level for any reactions. May wish to check level after 10 to 20 minutes of breathing or if you are uncomfortable. If you are a diabetic please do what you need to do to have your blood sugar well handled.
Hypoglycemia ~ If you have strong reactions to skipping a meal ~ make sure you are eating enough to support you during your breathing process.
If you have been overwhelmed by a major crisis or are undergoing an emotional or spiritual crisis, it is often best to first ground with therapy, bodywork, acupuncture, herbs, etc., to remove the surface layer of the shock, then check in with the facilitator to see if you are ready for breath work.
If you have a history of abuse or post-traumatic stress, breath can easily bring this up. Are you ready for that to happen? Do you have a support network of therapist?
Mild or well controlled asthma
Have an inhaler available in case you need it.
For those with a history of anxiety attacks, severe muscle cramping tendencies and severe impairment of circulation to the extremities, breath work can be fine, but start gently.
If you hold fundamentalist views this approach might not be the right approach for you.
Remember that you are in charge of the session, and can slow your breath down if you want to, even if I am encouraging the group to breathe fully. If at anytime you are uncomfortable in the breath process, simply relax your breath and all will fall away.
Oxygen is one of the most important nutrients in the human body. It is possible for the body to go months without food and days without water, but only a few precious minutes without oxygen before the body suffocates. Breath really is the source of life, even though we do it naturally and therefore do not give it much thought. Take a moment and focus on your breathing - you may be surprised at the shallowness of your breath.
Learning to breathe deeper and take in more oxygen can have wonderful health benefits. By bringing more oxygen into the body, deep breathing is one of the best ways to get more of the blood's waste, or carbon dioxide, out of the body. Deep-breathing techniques are extremely effective in handling depression, anxiety, and stress-related disorders. Just take a second and allow yourself to breathe deeply for a few moments. You will immediately notice your heartbeat slows and you will feel significantly more relaxed.
Balance and Clean the Body
The lymphatic system acts sort of like the body's sewer system. Blood flow carries nutrients and ample amounts of oxygen to the body, while the lymphatic system carries away destructive toxins. The consequence of a sluggish lymphatic system is that you cannot detoxify properly. Deep breathing serves as a kind of pump for the lymphatic system. If you aren't breathing deeply or moving regularly, chances are your lymph fluid is not flowing as well as it could. This can lead to health problems, including weight gain, muscle loss, high blood pressure, fatigue, and inflammation.
Learning how to breathe more deeply and fully is a vital way to keep the body's cleansing and detoxifying systems working at full capacity. Proper breathing is especially important when working out, because your body uses the oxygen as a source of energy. Shallow breathing when working out can cause a significant reduction in the amount of intensity and time your body can exercise. By taking a few moments in your day to really pay attention to the inhalation and exhalation that supports your life, you will balance and clean the body. Remember, small changes add up to big improvements.
The breath offers on so many levels; to detox and to fully oxygenate the cells of our bodies, it assists us to move through our emotions, it brings clarity as we fully oxygenate the brain as well as creates an opportunity to go on an amazing spiritual journey to yourself or the Divine or somewhere in-between.
"The breathe creates the opportunity for the illusion of the separateness to dissolve... allowing the truth of our infinite connection, our oneness to be witnessed." B.C.
"Lifebreath and Sacred Sound supports the opportunity to explore the wisdom of your body, to have clarity as you access your deepest knowings, and to be immersed into the sacred within." B. C.