Trauma-informed therapy is centered on the understanding of the emotional, neurological, psychological, social, and biological effects of trauma. It explores how all of these aspects of trauma impacts those who are seeking therapy and mental health services. Trauma experienced at any given point affects the mental well-being of an individual throughout life. Thus, the variety of trauma-informed therapy is vital in healing.
Breath is the key to the mystery of life, to that of the body as well as to that of the spirit. – Lama Anagarika Govinda
Breathwork has a long history. Boadly speaking it is a general term used to describe any type of therapy that uses breath practices to clear mental, physical, and spiritual blocks or stressors. There are numerous variations of breathwork therapy, and the approach used here at Integrated Life Center is grounded in Carol Lampman’s Integral Breath Therapy. This approach combines Eastern practices focused on the breath (yoga, pranayama, etc.) with body-centered Western psychotherapy practices. Integral Breath Therapy is useful because it can be used with individuals and larger groups.
Adverse childhood experiences are the origin of many mental, physical, and spiritual difficulties. These experiences can fester in an individual’s unconscious only making themselves present by proxy in negative or damaging behaviors. This is the insidious way trauma works. We learn early on to protect ourselves by suppressing our emotions, tensing our muscles and restricting the breath. Through (unconscious) practice, this response becomes habitual and we lose the capacity to fully experience and express (release) emotions. While it may protect us from pain, it also limits our ability to experience more desired emotions such as joy and love.
By using conscious, connected breath practices, combined with music, art, meditation and movement, the body’s natural process of clearing mental, physical and spiritual blocks is activated. Releasing tension held in the body from past adverse experiences or trauma allows for adjusted breathing patterns, the ability to challenge old beliefs, to change our thoughts and consequently our perceptions.
Breathwork supports personal growth and development by helping people achieve a greater sense of self-awareness and trust in their capacity for self-healing. It has been found to be effective in managing stress and promoting improvement in emotional, physical and spiritual well-being.