I was recently asked how medical science understands or explains some of the benefits of Breathwork, such as the experience of colors, visions, and insights. And the question got me thinking and searching…
Here are some notes from my study and research:
Altered Brain Activity
Breathwork influences the balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the body. These changes can alter the firing of neurons and neural networks involved in perception and cognition. And these alterations contribute to visions, colors, and insights.
Certain Breathwork Exercises and Techniques can lead to hyperventilation-induced alkalosis. This affects the excitability of neurons and alters neurotransmitter function, leading to altered perceptions and experiences.
Activation of the Autonomic Nervous System
Breathwork influences the balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic branches of the autonomic nervous system. This induces states of relaxation, heightened awareness and non-ordinary states of consciousness, which can contribute to these experiences.
Increased Oxygenation and Blood Flow
Breathwork enhances oxygenation and blood flow which leads to heightened sensory experiences and perception of vivid colors or visions.
Psychological and Emotional Factors
Combining deep rhythmic breathing with focused attention, introspection, and relaxation, promotes an open and receptive mindset. And it creates a conducive state from which we can access insights, memories, and expanded states of consciousness.
Breathwork Counters the Body’s Stress Response
Breathwork reduces levels of stress hormones like cortisol, lowers blood pressure and decreases heart rate. It quiets the linear rational left brain activity, and triggers the right brain’s holistic and creative capacities.
Full Utilization of the Lungs
Functional Conscious Breathing increases oxygen intake and oxygen exchange, which leads to increased energy levels and physical wellbeing.
Enhanced Mental Clarity and Focus
Using Breathwork to calm the mind and reduce mental chatter helps us to tune into subtle natural healing and creative energies.
Emotional Regulation and Mood Enhancement
Breathwork reduces anxiety and enhances feelings of calmness and wellbeing by modulating the autonomic nervous system. Breathwork affects brain wave activity in positive ways, and helps to reduce the perception of pain, and improves tolerance, and it alleviates the symptoms in conditions like chronic pain, migraines, fibromyalgia.
The neurobiological changes produced by Breathwork influences our sensory processing, perception, cognition, and personal insights. Breathwork improves oxygenation and blood flow to the brain, which leads to enhanced sensory perception, and altered states of consciousness, and to experiences of colors, visions, and insights.
Breathwork modulates brain and nervous system function and changes in neurotransmitter activities, which can induce changes in the parts of the brain responsible for self-reflection, introspection, and perception.
Breathwork practice involves relaxation, focused attention, and introspection, which creates a conducive environment for experiencing altered states of consciousness and insights. Conscious Breathing facilitates a shift in awareness, allowing us to access deep, subconscious levels, repressed memories, and heightened sensory experiences.
A lot more research is needed, but there is already a ton of medical and scientific studies showing the countless benefits of Breathwork. So, what are you waiting for? Why not be your own scientist? Why not develop a Daily Breathwork Practice, and experience the benefits of this amazing art for yourself!
Good luck in your practice, and many blessings on your path.
Love to all,
(Guchu Ram Singh)