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Natural Awakenings South Jersey

Take a Deep Breath with Breathwork

by Brandi Van 

When we consciously take control of our breath and breathe intentionally, we are practicing a technique called breathwork. It’s an approach that has been around for thousands of years. When we do breathwork, we are focusing on regulating the flow of breath to balance our mind and body, which can release stress toxins and relax the body.   

Some benefits of breathwork are that it relieves stress and anxiety, increases energy, boosts immunity, lowers blood pressure, strengthens lungs, decreases negative thought patterns, soothes flight or flight stressors in the brain, helps manage both pain and symptoms of depression and improves breathing, focus, mood, self-esteem, sleep and blood circulation. 

Breathwork is safe for the vast majority of people, but not everyone should try it. Those that may have any of the following health issues should consult with their physician prior to trying it out: respiratory or vision problems, cardiovascular issues, breathing difficulties, recent injury or surgery, osteoporosis, severe mental illness, seizure disorders or a history of aneurisms. 

For those in the vast majority that it’s safe to try it, find a quiet place to avoid being interrupted.  The whole point is to not be stressed out, so we don’t want someone interrupting us and stressing us out while we are trying it.  

Here are a few breathwork techniques we can do the next time we are feeling stressed out or anxious. See which one works best and continue to do that exercise for five to 10 minutes per day, three to four times daily if it’s helping us to relax: 


Breathe in for four seconds, hold our breath for seven seconds and exhale for eight seconds. 


Draw a square or visualize one in front.  Run a finger over the square. Take the finger across and inhale for four seconds, take the finger down and hold our breath for four seconds, take the finger across and exhale, take the finger up and hold our breath for four seconds. Repeat.  Do this for five minutes. 


Breathe in for a count of five, breathe out for a count of five.   


Pinch the lips inward as though blowing someone a kiss. Slowly inhale through the nose and gently exhale through our pursed lips.   


Place one hand on the chest and the other on the stomach. Take a slow and deep breath in through our nose, allowing the stomach to rise as we fill our lungs with air. Exhale slowly through the mouth, allowing our stomach to fall.   

While breathwork can be therapeutic, it isn’t meant to cure conditions or eliminate anxiety completely. It’s always best to approach it with caution and ask for guidance from a professional if there are any concerns. 

Brandi Van, a Spiritual Medium and Psychic Development Mentor located in Philadelphia, offers a 90-day mentorship program, Jump Start Your Psychic Abilities. For more information or to enroll in the program, visit