The Science Behind Breathwork and Its Powerful Benefits

GUEST HOST: Alyssa Hutchinson

Have you ever heard about using the power of breathwork to heal your body, mind, and soul? If not, you’re in for a treat! Breathwork has been used for centuries as a healing modality, but what is the science behind it? Let’s dive into the science behind breathwork and explore some of its amazing benefits.

Breathwork 101

First, let’s discuss the basics of breathwork. Breathing is an automated process that happens without us needing to think about it. It’s essential for life—our body needs oxygen to survive and function properly. However, we can also take conscious control over our breath and use it to relax and heal our bodies. That is what breathwork does; it involves conscious breathing techniques that are known to bring about physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual benefits. 

This can look like just a few deep belly breaths, or a 30 or 60 minute guided session. A 30 minute session can shift our energetic state, releasing any stress or tension while we create a sense of feeling grounded. While a 60 minute session allows for us to shift our consciousness to access fears, blocks, emotions, traumas – feeling that energy and transmuting and/ or releasing it.

The Physiological Benefits of Breathwork

From a physiological standpoint, there are many benefits of breathwork. Taking deep and slow breaths into the belly down regulates the nervous system, bringing us out of “fight or flight” and into “rest and digest”. Which means reducing stress hormones like cortisol while increasing endorphins (the “feel good” hormone) in the bloodstream [1]. When done regularly over time, this can result in reduced levels of anxiety and improved overall mood [2]. Additionally, studies have found that regular practice of conscious breathing can improve cardiovascular health by lowering blood pressure and improving lung capacity [3].

The Psychological Benefits of Breathwork

On top of these physiological benefits, there are also psychological benefits associated with regular practice of conscious breathing techniques. Research has found that mindful breathing helps reduce rumination (obsessive worrying), which can be beneficial for those who suffer from depression or anxiety [4]. Additionally, studies have shown that conscious breathing increases mindfulness, the ability to be aware in the present moment, which can lead to improved focus and increased emotional regulation [5]. 

Additional benefits of breathwork include:

» Deepens your relationship with your body.

» Changes your response to emotions.

» Reduces toxins in your body.

» Revitalizes your organs.

» Better access to your intuition & higher self.

» Raises your vibration by tapping into universal life force energy.

Overall, I think the science behind breathwork is fascinating! From reducing stress hormones to improving lung capacity and increasing mindfulness – there are so many scientifically-backed benefits associated with incorporating breathwork into your daily routine. Mindful breathing can be used as a tool for self-care; it can help reduce stress levels while also boosting your mood and improving overall well-being. So next time you feel overwhelmed or need some time out for yourself – take some nice deep breaths! You may just find that the breath has more power than you thought it did.

Let me know what you think! 


[1] Neurol Sci. 2017 Mar;38(3):451-458. doi: 10.1007/s10072-016-2790-8. Epub 2016 Dec 19. 

[2] Sci Rep. 2021 Sep 29;11(1):19267. 

[3] Breathe (Sheff). 2017 Dec; 13(4): 298–309. 

[4] Frontline Gastroenterol. 2013 Jul; 4(3): 232–236. Published online 2013 Apr 25. 

[5] Behav Brain Res. 2019 Jan 1;356:208-220. doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2018.08.023. Epub 2018 Aug 25. 

About Alyssa Hutchinson

Alyssa is the owner of Emerge from Within, a Somatic Healing Initiative providing 1:1 and group somatic healing sessions in-person in Billings, Montana, and online. Alyssa shows others what it feels like to be in the body – to quiet the mind and drop into the heart space. This makes breathwork easier, safer, and more comfortable, and allows us to extract the wisdom from the body in coaching sessions. Alyssa believes everyone needs a little body connection and nervous system regulation. She works with a wide range of people – from our unhoused neighbors, to healers, and industry professionals.

Contact Alyssa:

Where is Sara Beth Wald?

Sara is living her best mom life at her son’s high school basketball Divisional tournament this weekend. If his team makes it to the State tournament, Sara may also be gone next Friday as well. If that is the case, Sara will let you know who the guest host will be prior to the session. Stay tuned! 

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