Resonance Breathwork as a Busy Mama
Life is busy, and for now, I love it that way.
But for all the active moments in my daily life – balancing two homes across two continents, loving on my partner and our family, running my practice, pursuing my passions, and enjoying all that life has to offer – finding small ways to balance out the many active moments within my day is key.
In my practice, I facilitate, teach, research, and consult on stress relief via resonance breathwork and biofeedback, and in my personal life, I truly practice what I preach. Resonance breathing is my secret weapon when it comes to communicating between my mind and body, managing sensations that don’t serve me, and normalizing big dreams so that I actually go out and pursue them. And because it is so heavily supported by the science, I feel confidence in using it with my clients and my children alike. One could say at this point that I live and breathe it : )
So, what is resonance breathwork? Resonance breathwork, sometimes called coherence breathing, is a therapeutic technique that uses specific, individualized breath patterns to induce relaxation and heightened awareness. These patterns can be assessed in an initial session by oneself or by a trained practitioner, and go on to guide effective, safe, and sustainable evidence-based programs. In a formal session, a trained practitioner will lead their client through a series of controlled breathing exercises during a resonance breathwork session. These exercises may include inhaling and exhaling in a specific rhythm, as well as holding the breath for a set amount of time. The practitioner may also use sound or music to help the client relax and concentrate.
In an informal way, once you know what your individual breathing pattern is, you can adjust this technique to fit your daily schedule, and may use it on your own in the privacy of any setting in as little as 5 minutes or so per day.
While made popular by professional athletes, astronauts, and wellness thought leaders as of late, this practice has its origins in various ancient spiritual and healing traditions, and it is known to have a variety of physical and psychological benefits.
One of the primary advantages of resonance breathwork is that it can aid in the reduction of stress and anxiety. Clients can learn to let go of any worries or negative thoughts that are causing them stress by controlling their breath and bringing awareness to the present moment. This can result in a greater sense of calm and relaxation, which can improve overall physical and mental well-being.
Research also indicates that resonance breathing can minimize visual cues in our environment that might otherwise trigger our behavior. This makes sense, as we also know that regular sessions of resonance breathing can lead to nervous system regulation over the course of 10 weeks, indicating the ability of this technique to help us re-condition nervous system responses.
Another possible advantage of resonance breathwork is that it can help to boost energy and vitality. Controlled breathing can help to increase energy levels and improve overall physical health by oxygenating the body and stimulating the circulatory system.
There is also some evidence that resonance breathwork may benefit mental health conditions such as depression and PTSD. While more research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms underlying these effects, many people who have participated in resonance breathwork report feeling more positive and able to cope with difficult emotions following a session.
Overall, resonance breathwork is an effective relaxation and self-improvement technique, and is well worth considering if you want to reduce stress, improve your physical health, or simply relax and unwind.
Interested in either becoming a certified practitioner with our accredited training program, or just becoming trained as one so that you can implement this technique on yourself? You can join the waitlist for our next release of BREATH & BODY here.
Bates, M. E., Lesnewich, L. M., Uhouse, S. G., Gohel, S., & Buckman, J. F. (2019). Resonance-paced breathing alters neural response to visual cues: proof-of-concept for a neuroscience-informed adjunct to addiction treatments. Frontiers in psychiatry, 10, 624.
Leganes-Fonteneau, M., Bates, M. E., Muzumdar, N., Pawlak, A., Islam, S., Vaschillo, E., & Buckman, J. F. (2021). Cardiovascular mechanisms of interoceptive awareness: Effects of resonance breathing. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 169, 71-87.
Price, J. L., Bates, M. E., Morgano, J., Todaro, S., Uhouse, S. G., Vaschillo, E., ... & Buckman, J. F. (2022). Effects of arousal modulation via resonance breathing on craving and affect in women with substance use disorder. Addictive Behaviors, 127, 107207.
Purwandini Sutarto, A., Abdul Wahab, M. N., & Mat Zin, N. (2012). Resonant breathing biofeedback training for stress reduction among manufacturing operators. International Journal of Occupational Safety and Ergonomics, 18(4), 549-561.
Shaffer, F., & Meehan, Z. M. (2020). A practical guide to resonance frequency assessment for heart rate variability biofeedback. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 14, 1055.