Healing Breath Work: Deep Breathing Unearths Deep Joy

Elizabeth Barrett Browning quoteDo you ever stop to consider that right now you are inhabiting the one physical body you will have in this lifetime? I think about that a lot now, and my journey over the last three years has convinced me that we should be treating our bodies as a beloved, sacred vessel, particularly during traumatic experiences. There are so many wonderful tools out there now, which our parent’s generation simply did not have available to them, that can expedite healing and bring you back to wholeness.

Which brings me to my experience with transformational breath work, as well as to a conversation with Karen Winter of Recreating Families. She describes it as a self-empowering healing process. I would say it is one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had.

On the recommendation of a friend, about a year after everything happened, I went to see a breath work therapist. I was exhausted and could not shake the heavy energy that filled my being. I had no prior knowledge of what to expect, and my only introduction was that she had radically transformed the life of a woman undergoing treatment for breast cancer.

Although it is difficult to put into words, when I left the building two hours later, my body was vibrating like a tuning fork, and I felt as though my soul and mind had been bathed in light. It was incredible and I highly recommend it to lighten the load on your soul.

Dianna Bonny: What is transformational breath work?

Karen Winter: Moving into the breath state allows us to discover that where our mind told us there was nothing – we experience something that is expanded, beyond head and thought. The breath releases the control of the mind and your spirit gets to come forward so you can have a higher and more in depth experience of who you truly are. In essence, you enter an altered state.

If you are willing to accept that every emotion you have ever experienced is stored in your cells, you can begin to understand how breath work can be beneficial. Some of those emotions are supporting health and some represent chaos – the energy of disease. We are literally clearing this energy from our minds with the oxygenated breath and excavating life draining dense energy out of the body.

As the heavy, dense energies of shame, anger and sadness leave the body through the extremities, you can experience Tetni, which can feel as if you are paralyzed. It is emotional trauma leaving the body.

DB: Yes, this was the scary part for me. No one warned me that this might happen. My arms, hands and feet curled up and my face was frozen in a hideous expression. I couldn’t move to save my life.

KW: It can be a bit scary and it is important to know that it will pass. Our arms are an extension of the heart and fear loves to hide behind our heart. The trauma that lives there, the belief “I am not good enough,” is going to come out in breath work and tetni is the oxygenation of this heavy dense energy. Tetni is literally the flushing out of old energy through your arms and legs and the intensity lessens with practice.

As it leaves the body, it doesn’t feel good, but then neither does living with the emotional pain we have become accustomed to living with on a daily basis. We sometimes use toning – the voice – to break up the energy and release the tetni.

It’s interesting that physical pain tends to frighten people more than the emotional – it will send us to the doctor and a diagnosis will have us examine it deeper. But we are willing to carry crippling emotional pain around with us throughout our entire lives.

Imagine the powerful energy that has held you in place all these years, where you felt you had to stay literally and figuratively. It is not loving, but we are willing to convince ourselves that “this is as good as it gets.” This is the energy you are rinsing.

Also, with the intake of breath, body heat can go up and then plummet, so you can be cold and sweaty as you move through the range of emotions. The breath knows where to go and your cells have their own intelligence. We just have to get out of the way and let them communicate.

DB: Breath work seems like a wonderful option if you are not open to therapy as a way to release pain.

KW: Breathing is about allowing. It is getting away from the thinking level of existence. It is a remembrance of who you have always been – but forgot. We know in transformational breathing that the amount of air you can bring into your body is directly related to the amount of good you can accept into your life.

Deep breath work rinses our energy and allows one to look back upon an experience without the trigger. You are left with understanding and forgiveness. Particularly for yourself. We are not taught to forgive ourselves or each other, and breathing deeply allows one to feel the fullness of letting go. Instead of reinvesting energy into an event over and over and recreating the pain, you can choose to keep excavating and lifting, so the joy becomes more and more.

DB: How often do you recommend this practice?

KW: If there is something intense going on in your life, do it as often as you can! Three times a week, if possible. Your energy will change dramatically. I definitely recommend working with a trained practitioner so you have someone to hold your energy while you are in the breath state and explain what is happening.

DB: Thank you so much Karen. We could go on and on and perhaps we will have to speak again.

If you would like more information, please check out Karen Winter’s website. She is also an EFT (emotional freedom technique) practitioner, also known as tapping, which is another modality you may want to investigate. Also, here’s a helpful document that offers even more insight: Transformational Breath Work Info

And, if you decide to explore this wonderful practice, I would love to hear about your experience.


Who is Dianna Bonny?

Hi, my name is Dianna Bonny. It’s my mission to candidly share my journey with you. For me, it’s all about the healing: to create a radiant healing energy for others who have befallen a similar fate. Together, we can forge beautiful lives of belonging and connection. Thanks for joining me today! I look forward to hearing from you.

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