Breathnosis for Mind-Body Healing
Breathnosis for Mind-Body Healing
By Leigh Maneri, Host of Breathnosis
As I reflect on the impact that healing modalities like breathwork and hypnosis have had on my life, the old me feels like a different person.
When anxiety first knocked on my door, I was completely baffled by its onset. As far as I knew, panic should occur when you’re in the face of danger. For me, that gripping in my chest would crop up when I was in a movie theater, at a friend’s house or otherwise doing things I associate with safety.
The tightness began in my body and permeated my mind. “Something’s wrong. Don’t freak out. Get away from people. No, stay around people in case you need help.” I swirled.
Eventually, I went to see a doctor. He sent me home with an SSRI and the notion that “it’s all in your mind.” I was relieved to an extent, but there’s a problem with that statement — it’s not true.
If I could go back and look that teenage girl in the eye, I would tell her; It’s not all in your mind. It’s in your body, too. And you are entirely capable of healing both.
What I now know is this: I had experienced a harrowing series of events between the ages of 12 and 17. Without the tools to adequately express the physical and emotional energy that built in my body during that time, it built up in my nervous system. And when I let my guard down, it leaked out.
That was more than a decade ago and, since then, I have had the privilege to explore every alternative healing modality I could find, from mindfulness to Somatic Experiencing to cranio-sacral and reiki. Two practices stood out: hypnotherapy and breathwork.
With a great hypnotherapist, I found access to root causes of suffering and an openness to learn new ways of thinking. And with breathwork, I found a way to express the energy that was stagnant in my nervous system.
As multifaceted beings, we require a multifaceted approach to healing and I realized these two modalities combined have the potential to do great things. Thus, Breathnosis was born.
So, what can one expect in a Breathnosis session or group experience?
Breathwork Releases the Body
Breathwork is the intentional manipulation of breath for specific outcomes. Much of the breathwork you hear about is intended to activate the parasympathetic nervous system or “rest and digest,” which can be a beautiful tool for easing in-the-moment anxiety. In Breathnosis, however, we do the opposite. With a connected (no pause) in-and-out breath and the emphasis put on the inhale, we are voluntarily activating the sympathetic nervous system.
Because this state may resemble the baseline of your “fight or flight” mode, you grant the body a window to move any residual energy that started there — perhaps from events days, months or years in the past. For a variety of reasons, we humans can easily disrupt our natural instinct to purge energy and, in doing so, develop dis-ease. While the science is young and growing, my belief is that this type of breathwork can help us express and close the loop on incomplete emotional cycles that may be causing unnecessary suffering.
This type of breathwork, when combined with prolonged breath holds, can also lead to increased immunity, stress reduction and better sleep.
Hypnosis Re-Wires the Mind
Hypnosis, or trance, is a state of simultaneous relaxation and focus where critical thinking is at a minimum. The brainwave state you experience in trance is similar to what you might feel while “zoning out” on a long drive or during a movie. It’s a generally pleasurable and familiar feeling. In this state, the mind has more access to memory and is more open to accepting suggestions as truth.
What you’ll experience in a Breathnosis session or class is part exploration of the subconscious and part planting seeds for the future. You may dialogue with a specific part of yourself, visualize and expand what your most meaningful life looks like or receive suggestions that encourage authenticity and self-acceptance. Each subject’s inner journey looks different and can be shaped by the intentions they had coming in.
My greatest intention for Breathnosis is for attendees to find a new pathway to their capital-s Self. To discover something new about themselves and release something that no longer serves them. This is the class I always wished I could attend and it comprises all of the components I use in my personal practice today as I continue to pursue a life aligned with my nature.
To purchase tickets for this special monthly offering at Four Moons, click here.
About Leigh: Leigh is a business leader, hypnotherapist and mindset coach called in equal parts to strategic and spiritual pursuits. Her offerings draw from a lifetime of observing the undercurrents of self, nature and society, plus certifications in leadership coaching, breathwork, hypnotherapy and parts work. By helping others to develop practices which require only innate resources—the mind, the lungs, the eyes, the heart—Leigh guides her clients into more intimate affiliations with their nature and the natural world.