No. Breathwork when done correctly should not induce any type of hyperventilation or panic attack. Hyperventilating is an uncontrolled exhale that causes too much CO2 to be expelled from the body resulting in panic or a sensation of suffocation. Breathwork uses a super-ventilation breath technique which is a relaxed exhalation with a full and complete inhalation that creates a continual and rhythmical breathing pattern that can lead to emotional releases, a mild altered state of consciousness and other therapeutic benefits that support health, healing and wellbeing.
Most Breathwork sessions last for around an hour from start to finish which includes a set-up phase for intention and connecting with one's current physiological state, followed by the connected breathing process and finishing with a time for integrating and processing which may consist of sharing your experience with your facilitator or other people in the group or a meditation.
Each Breathwork session can be different and will bring forth whatever your body needs to process in that particular moment. Everyone's experience is unique to them which could include emotional releases, profound awareness and mental clarity. Some people experience more bodily sensations like tingling, heaviness or spontaneous movements and shaking. When done in a proper setting with a skilled facilitator all of these experiences are completely safe and usually lead to a sense of relaxation and completeness of whatever surfaced.
Most people have a moving experience in their first session and subsequent sessions will be dependent on what you want to achieve. For some people, occasional sessions are adequate to help harmonise the nervous system and bring a sense of relaxation into the body and mind. For others a block of 6-10 sessions on a regular basis creates life-changing behaviour patterns as one removes emotional blockages, releases past experiences from the nervous system and reprogramme subconscious beliefs which become clearer from session to session. Each session will build to the next uncovering more insight into one's stages of childhood development and possible trauma.
Breathwork is safe for most people of all ages with no pre-existing heart conditions, illness or pregnancy. People with pre-existing mental conditions or on medications should seek medical advice. Just like someone with a heart condition or illness would be cautious about starting a high-intensity training program without guidance, Breathwork is the same.
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