Before we talk about how breathwork affects the body, let's understand breathwork.
Breathwork is a term that refers to the conscious use of your breath. It’s not complicated. Your breathing is the only organ in your system that operates both automatically or can be controlled, harnessed and directed.
In a breathwork practice, your literal breath catalyzes the energy in every single cell of your body to receive life-giving force for better health, a clearer mind, and a more stable emotional experience. Let me explain.
Understanding your breath
Since breathing is automatic and unconscious, you probably have no idea what your breathing patterns are. In fact, you probably aren’t aware at all at how much or how well you are breathing, especially when you are busy, up in your head, or under stress.
We could tell you countless stories of people doing breathwork and then realizing they are never in relationship with their breath. It's just not part of their daily consciousness.
The amount you breathe, though, isn’t nearly as important as how well your body catalyzes what it receives. Most traditions that have some breathing practices have names for the energy that is encoded in your breath; chi, ki, and prana to name a few. In other words, breathing isn’t what is powerful, it’s the life-giving force inside the breath that is giving energy.
Breathing itself doesn’t guarantee that you will receive the chi inside the breath.
How Breathwork Affects the Body
The positive effects of breathwork on the body
Training your body to receive the energy in the breath is where breathwork can be very helpful. Breathwork is a generic term which doesn’t describe the various methods available. Literally, any conscious breathing is a form of breathwork. Effiji Breathwork is mouth breathing, in the chest, focused on the inhale. It is rigorous and challenging, and therefore best done with a guide who can help you to utilize the opportunities that arise when you breathe so strongly.
Studies have shown breathing in this way oxygenates the body by at least 35 percent more. More importantly, the fact that you are doing it consciously infuses the cells of the body with that life-giving energy. Effiji Breathwork clears out stored up trauma, releasing long held patterns of self protection and breath holding, releasing vast stores of your life-force energy previously unavailable to you.
The most important and powerful effect that Breathwork does to your body is open it up to receive the chi. Breathing itself will not do this if the body’s training and internal messaging system is closed to receiving. The key is to create an environment that opens up the cells of the body to receive. This is where Effiji Breathwork does its best work. You can even approach a session with skepticism. The breathwork technique, along with your guide will provide the space for it to happen.
Does breathwork negatively affect the body?
In over 30 thirty years of doing this work I have never seen a negative effect from consciously breathing. What I have seen, though, is the power of the release causing (for some) a unique experience called tetany, where the hands, feet and lips cramp up for a period of time during the practice. This doesn’t last and dissipates when the session is over.
What Effiji Breathwork does to the body overall is clear out the debris so that you can feel the freedom of your flow again.
In conclusion, if you want to de-stress you have to open up the body to receive. There is nothing more powerful than your breath to do that and nothing more powerful than conscious breathing to teach your body to receive the divine energy of chi.