These are my conclusions. Pain that is chronic or new, is quite quickly released from the body when the client is able to express themselves – to vocalize how they feel or think about something – painful or significant, and sometimes life threatening that happened in the past. This can be the near past or distant past. i now relate that pain in the body, and psycho-emotional pain comes from what could not be expressed, or expressed and received, in the past as thoughts, feelings, needs or ideas. Or what was expressed when we were very young or young and was received badly at a time when we were dependent and helpless – our early experience. We contract to hold in our response, or in fear of not being looked after … and other conclusiions at the time.
The facility to be able to say what is true, or speak about an incident or experience can free long term and severe pain quite quickly, especially when relaxed and breathing consciously while being aware of the body. There are conditions under which this release is rapid and sometimes it is step by step. With either response, which is unpreditable, well trained and experienced breathworkers can support clients with pain reduction or resolution of chronic or recent onset of both phyical pain and psycho-emotional angst or anxiety.
The experiences I drawn upon come from being a breathworker as my main occupation, since 1987, and my experiences with clients and myself in how breathwork affects and clears pain in the physical body. Of course, the psycho-emotional pain is effectively addressed with breathwork too and there are other articles i have written about this topic.
I started training practitioners in 1993 and so I have also seen a lot of people using breathwork for themselves over a period of years. They may come as clients for a series of sessions and than back again here and there over the years. And during practitioner training, participants undertake at least 55-65 breathwork sessions within an approximately two year period. Thus i have witnessed tens of thousands of sessions and the results over the years since 1987.
Rapid release of pain – chronic or new
There are three avenues of clearing or reducting pain in a breathwork mastery session –
- Through awarenss of body sensation changes after intention setting, while breathing consciously
- Through interacting with spontaneous pictures and images that arise in the minds eye in a session
- Through making sounds that come from the pain in a well facilitated breathwork session with an experienced and honouring breathworker.
In breathwork sessions, clients have a physical, mental, emotional/feeling and or spiritual experience during the approximately 90 minute breath cycle experience. The intensity or mildness of the inner experience is unpredictable, as is the range of time spent in any of these levels. There are always physical sensations. After a breathwork mastery session where there are only physical sensations – usually moving to different parts of the body during the session, the client can have pain reduction or release, for chronic or new pain. There may be no explanation or understanding of where it came from – it is just less or gone. Sometimes a picture comes spontaneously into the mind of the client.
Spontaneous pictures in the mind’s eye – one of the ways to “express”
When a picture appears in the mind’s eye in a session, I have experienced that this picture is related to the client’s intentions. So I ask the client how he/she feels about the picture and then to say to the picture what was vocalized to me. The picture can be a memory, imagined picture, symbolic picture, future picture, symbolic or abstract image, or colour.
During the process of expression to the picture, which changes as the client expresses, there are changes to the body sensations too.
Other vocalizing and expressing before, during or after a breath session
Apart from using a spontaneous picture or memory, there is a lot of expressing before, during and after a breath session. There is intention setting, which is clients saying what they want to create in the future in their lives. There are realizations in the session and sometimes feelings to talk about and in the debrief, the content of the session is related to the intention
Slow and steady or rapidly ~ through expanding self awareness or expressing – including sounding ?
All these forms of expression and the act of breathing more fully, consciously and connectedly, bring clients more in touch with themselves. Pain is reduced or clears over time. And sometimes this happens just through body sensation awareness and the changes that follow.
I have also had many experiences many times of clients making a sound that comes from the pain in their bodies during a session – it may be just one sound. I encourage it to be as long as possible. The pain in the session can go from 10 out of 10 to 2 out of 10 in just one sound, when clients take this pathway. It is very effective for instant pain reduction in the session and contributes to pain reduction or clearing after the session. As a facilitator, it feels to me like all the pain, expression about the pain and sorrow or hurt that has been felt in relation to the intention, and the words that were not said, is being put into the sound. The sound needs to come from the body sensation for it to work well.
Compassion for self a big part of pain reduction or release.
There are many different reasons that clients have trained themselves not to feel and express. They range from the horrific – deliberate abuse and neglect to the subtle yet still hurtful – treatment that was ignorant, insensitive or simply accidental or unavoidable. Clients cannot always just “express” the thoughts and feeling they have needed to guard for most of their lives. It is a process. Having a powerful, well chosen intention helps here – it is a self motivating tool for going where they may not have gone before in terms of feeling or remembering. It may take years, or …. The next session is the one where this happens ? During this process, they come to understand why and how the body has had pain and they start to feel compassion for themselves in their journey. It’s a big part of relating to pain and in the application of breathwork mastery techniques and knowledge.