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Reclaim Your Power & Heal Trauma: How Breathwork Can Help

By Dr. Nicole Cain ND, MA

Stress Management & Holistic Healing: Breathwork with Dr. Cory on The Holistic Inner Balance Podcast (Episode #117)

By: The Holistic Inner Balance Podcast with Dr. Nicole Cain and Hadlee Garrison

Key Points/ TL;DR

Feeling overwhelmed? Dr. Nicole and Hadlee of The Holistic Inner Balance Podcast discuss breathwork for stress management and reconnecting with yourself with Dr. Cory, a naturopathic physician passionate about breathwork’s potential for healing. Learn how breathwork can empower you to manage stress, process trauma, and achieve holistic well-being.

Why Modern Culture Makes Stress Management Challenging

Stress rates are skyrocketing in today’s world. Studies show over 75% of people experience symptoms of anxiety or depression (APA, 2022). Stress affects every aspect of our lives, and environmental factors like socioeconomic status and daily microaggressions can exacerbate it.

Despite extensive research on mental health, the holistic approach of mind-body-spirit is often overlooked. Simple things like vitamin D levels can significantly impact health outcomes (e.g., Rebelos et al., 2023)

This accumulation of unaddressed stress creates a vicious cycle of physical, mental, and emotional strain. That’s why focusing on holistic practices to address the root causes of stress is more important than ever.

Dr. Cory: A Powerful Example of Holistic Healing

Dr. Cory’s personal journey exemplifies the power of holistic healing. When his mother’s illness wasn’t helped by traditional medicine, he sought alternative methods. Discovering naturopathic medicine and its focus on the body’s natural healing potential ignited his passion. Today, Dr. Cory is a certified RESET Breathwork Trainer, impacting over 20,000 lives through breathwork in 9 countries and 30 states over the past five years.

In this article, we’ll explore the key takeaways from episode 117 of The Holistic Inner Balance Podcast and delve into why the mind-body connection is imperative for our overall well-being.

Why Is It Challenging to Manage Stress In Modern Culture?

Stress rates are catastrophically high in today’s culture. Studies today consistently show that more than 75% of people have symptoms that would be clinically diagnosable as generalized anxiety disorder or depression (APA, 2022).

Stress is a huge part of this epidemic and it affects every aspect of our lives.

Other than genetic predispositions, environmental factors play a significant role in managing stress, not to mention socioeconomic status and daily microaggressions, which can exacerbate stress and lead to poorer health outcomes.

Despite various empirical studies and accumulated knowledge about mental health, the holistic application of mind, body, and spirit is still overlooked. For instance, research shows that something as simple as vitamin D levels reduces the risk of mental and emotional symptoms, as well as hospitalization and death rates (e.g., Ahmad et al., 2023; Belen et al., 2015). While simple supplements can make a big difference, such holistic approaches are often ignored.

And this is just one example. This accumulation of stress creates a never-ending cycle of physical, mental, and emotional strain.

That’s why it’s more important today than ever to focus on holistic practices that address the root causes of stress.

Naturopathic Medicine and Personal Healing

Given the overwhelming stress levels in modern society, we need more effective, holistic approaches to manage our well-being. Naturopathic medicine focuses on the body’s innate healing potential through lifestyle changes, nutrition, and stress management.

Naturopathic doctors treat individuals as a whole – mind, body, and spirit. This philosophy emphasizes finding the root cause of issues rather than just treating symptoms.

Dr. Cory’s experience is a testament to the effectiveness of naturopathic medicine. During his studies, he explored alternative healing methods beyond traditional medications and surgeries.

This led him to discover the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine, where he learned the power of integrating mind, body, and spirit in healing. As he says, naturopathic medicine saved his life.

He used it to help his mother, who had been misdiagnosed and suffered greatly, and in the process, found a way to heal himself from chronic health challenges like drastic weight loss and chronic eosinophilic myalgia (an immune system disorder).

Learn how naturopathic medicine & breathwork can help YOU achieve holistic healing inside of the HOLISTIC WELLNESS COLLECTIVE.

The Importance of the Mind-Body Connection

The key to true healing might lie in how deeply you connect with your body. Our bodies are incredibly wise and resilient, sending us signals about what they need to heal and function effectively. This mind-body connection is fundamental to holistic well-being.

Dr. Cory’s healing journey exemplifies this. Despite diagnoses like chronic eosinophilic myalgia and weight loss due to stress, he couldn’t recover until his body could no longer cope with the accumulated physical, mental, and emotional issues that had been building up for 16 years.

Naturopathic medicine acknowledges the body as an interconnected system where physical, mental, emotional, and environmental elements can all influence one another. This concept is reflected in the idea of “dissimilar diseases,” where seemingly unrelated health conditions can interact and complicate diagnosis and treatment.

Understanding these signals through breathwork is a powerful way to achieve a mind-body connection, according to Dr. Cory.

How Breathwork Helps Reclaim Personal Power

Given the overwhelming stress levels in modern culture, it’s clear that we need more effective, holistic approaches to manage our well-being. And one way to truly heal is to focus on our bodies.

The body has an incredible ability to heal itself, but this potential is often overlooked in our fast-paced, stress-filled world. However, knowing your body, listening to it, and connecting with it are foundational steps to achieving holistic well-being.

Naturopathic medicine focuses exactly on this —  the body’s natural ability to heal through lifestyle changes, nutrition, and stress management. Naturopathic doctors aim to treat individuals as a whole — mind, body, and spirit.

This, in turn, is achievable only if we find the root cause(s) of the issue rather than treating the symptoms.

Dr. Cory’s experience is a great example of the effectiveness of naturopathic medicine. During his studies, he tried to explore alternative healing methods beyond traditional drugs and surgeries and discovered the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine, where he learned the power of integrating mind, body, and spirit in healing. As he says, naturopathic medicine saved his life. First of all, he used it as a tool to help his mother, who had been misdiagnosed with multiple conditions and suffered greatly. In the process, he also found a way to heal himself.

Dr. Cory faced numerous health challenges, including drastic weight loss and chronic eosinophilic myalgia  — an immune system disorder that attacked his joints. But through the holistic practices he learned, he was able to regain his health and well-being.

The Importance of Mind-Body Connection

What if the key to true healing is how deeply you connect with your body?

Believe it or not, our bodies are incredibly wise and resilient. Most of the time, they send us signals about what they need to heal and function effectively. This mind-body connection is essential for true healing.

Back to Dr. Cory’s healing journey: Despite addressing various diagnoses like chronic eosinophilic myalgia and fighting against drastic weight loss due to stress, he wasn’t improving and he felt like his body could no longer cope with accumulated physical, mental, and emotional issues that had been building up for 16 years.

In naturopathic medicine, this concept is known as dissimilar disease and it refers to the concept that different or unrelated health conditions can interact with or influence each other in ways that complicate diagnosis and treatment. Therefore, this concept recognizes that the human body is an interconnected system where various elements —physical, mental, emotional, and environmental — can affect one another.

Naturally, dissimilar conditions are closely related to internal family systems. Our bodies and minds adapt to stress through various patterns. Initially, these patterns help us survive stressful situations, but when they persist long after the stressor is gone, they can lead to chronic health issues.

According to Dr. Cory, one effective way to understand these signals is to achieve a mind-body connection through breathwork.

How Breathwork Helps Reclaim Personal Power

Finding Your Center in a Tech-Driven World

Let’s face it: with constant information overload thanks to technology, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. We become plugged into devices and responsibilities, losing touch with our bodies and the present moment. This constant overdrive leaves our nervous systems overloaded and us feeling out of control.

A crucial question for stress management arises: How often do you simply sit with yourself in silence?

Dr. Cory emphasizes the importance of this practice. Simply sitting quietly, without distractions, can help you reconnect with your body and mind. Breathwork is a powerful tool for reclaiming personal power and releasing trauma patterns by helping you achieve this state of mindful presence.

Breathwork Beyond Social Media Poses

Unlike the popular social media portrayals of breathwork with specific mantras and poses, Dr. Cory advocates for a more grounded approach. He describes breathwork as an umbrella term encompassing various methods, from ancient yogic practices to modern, performance-based techniques.

Long-Form Conscious Connected Breathing

Dr. Cory’s approach incorporates long-form conscious connected breathing, which involves deep, continuous breathing patterns without pauses. This technique is inspired by the work of Stanislav Grof, who developed Holotropic Breathwork to induce altered states of consciousness similar to those achieved with psychedelic substances like LSD.

Grof, a pioneer in psychedelic therapy, developed this method with his wife Christina after the use of psychedelics was banned in psychological treatments. They discovered that specific breathing patterns could stimulate the sympathetic nervous system, enabling individuals to enter profound states of consciousness.

This method can lead to deep emotional and psychological healing, a prerequisite for accessing and processing accumulated traumas and unresolved issues from the past. Recognizing that achieving these transformative states was possible without substances, Dr. Cory adapted these principles to create long-form conscious connected breathing sessions. These sessions help people disconnect from modern life’s stressors and reconnect with their true selves.

The Three Main Components of Breathwork

Long-form conscious connected breathing focuses on three main components to create a holistic healing experience:

What are the Results of Breathwork?

Based on Dr. Cory’s experience, here are some of the potential results you might experience through breathwork:

Is Breathwork Right for You?

You might be wondering: Is breathwork right for me? Let’s explore the answer to that question.

Considering Breathwork: Potential Benefits and Risks

One common question is whether breathwork is suitable for everyone. As Dr. Cory explains, breathwork isn’t for everyone, and it’s crucial to consider potential risks. During a session, you may encounter past traumas and negative belief systems surfacing. But that being said, if in the right setting that is safe, guided, and protected, this experience can transform a person’s life. Breathwork allows you to maintain control over your breath throughout the process.

If it becomes too intense, you can always slow down or take a break.

The Ticket to Heal: Creating Intentional Space and Presence

The key to holistic healing lies in creating intentional space to connect with yourself and be present.

How can you achieve this?

The beauty of breathwork is that it doesn’t require expensive tools or therapies – you have your breath with you wherever you go.

Breathwork is ultimately about your inner experience. Creating this intentional, mindful space for yourself allows you to understand your true feelings, thoughts, and desires.

This self-awareness empowers you to reconnect with yourself and decide what you want to fill your life with.

Want to learn more about self-healing, breathwork, and naturopathic medicine? Check out the Holistic Wellness Collective today!

This article is for educational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. Whenever considering changing your protocol whether it includes a change of medications, supplements, diet or lifestyle, always speak with your primary care physician first.

Dr. Nicole Cain is an advocate for empowering people around the world to help themselves via her educational free resources, online courses, and membership group. You can receive the tools you need to find the root cause of your symptoms and feel healthy again.