Thinking about taking plant medicine for the first time can bring a mix of excitement and apprehension. Common fears include facing unknown or suppressed emotions. Also seeing or feeling scary things. The cave scene in The Return of the Jedi comes to mind.
Here are a few ways in which Healing Breathwork can help individuals prepare:
1/ Fear or Anxiety Alleviation:
Breathwork helps us access a higher state of consciousness. This can serve as a sample of what to expect during a plant medicine journey. A little familiarity with these states can mitigate anxiety or fear.
2/ Becoming comfortable with discomfort:
Healing Breathwork can bring strange and sometimes uncomfortable sensations. Sometimes the hands clamp, the lips tighten or there is intense tinglyness around the body. Similar sensations arise as plant medicine starts making effects. So breathwork can help us practice being comfortable with discomfort.
3/ Navigating Altered States:
The term Psychedelic refers to an altered state of consciousness, not a substance. Breathwork can help us access suche states. I had breathwork clients report seeing lights, patterns, spirit guides, and ancestors showing up with messages.
4/ Release of Control:
This is one of my favorite aspects of Breathwork. This practice helps us surrender control to the natural rhythm of the breath and its physical and emotional effects. This practice of surrender parallels the surrender required during psychedelic experiences. All we can do is breathe and let the energy flow through us.
Serge Kahili King says that in the dream world, as an adventurer shaman, we don't slay the monster, we don't run from it. Let it eat you, see what's on the other side. Allow yourself to be transformed.
Integration: Applying Plant Wisdom to our Daily Life
Integration is the art of weaving the insights and transformations gained from plant medicine into our daily lives.
A curandero in Peru once told me that we take Ayahuasca, not to have visions, but to make decisions. Others say that the real work starts when the Plant Medicine ceremony is over.
Healing Breathwork is a powerful tool for integration. Here are a few examples:
1/ Grounding and Embodiment:
Healing Breathwork increases the connection between our body and the present moment. I would describe it as the feeling of being at peace where were are. Unlike that feeling like there is something else to do or somewhere else to be. that body connection that carries extra information. The grounding effect can help us be more at peace with what we have received through plant medicine.
2/ Inner Clarity and Closing a Chapter:
Sometimes one can feel like not everything that we asked the Plant has a full, clear answer or any answer at all. Breathwork can help us feel more resolved, either by receiving extra information or by feeling like we have what we need. I always remind my clients that not everything that we experience needs to be understood by the mind. The introspective nature of breathwork enhances self-awareness. This allows us to better understand our thoughts, feelings, and reactions.
3/ Entity Release and Healing:
In some cases, we need more healing after a plant medicine experience than before it. Sometimes people unfortunately have a poorly facilitated plant medicine ceremony. Typically, this makes one feel like they didn't land properly. Sometimes the medicine people were unable to protect the ceremony from dark energies. In those cases, I would suggest an Entity Rease breathwork protocol.
Incorporating Healing Breathwork into our integration toolkit enhances our ability to embody, comprehend, and apply the wisdom gained from plant medicine experiences. Remember that it's a unique and personal process and that there are many techniques and approaches for integration.
I know a man who integrates by going surfing with his son the morning after Ayahuasca. He gets what he needs from the ocean and is the most important person in his life.
I never get tired of sharing the ayahuasca vision that led me to my breathwork path. I saw the moment a group of souls were destined for this dimension. Someone said don’t send them empty-handed, let them be connected to us through the breath. And then the breath appeared as a rope made of light that connected us to heaven. If we follow it, we find our way back home.
Amen, Aum, Peace and Love,
Ps: I offer breathwork sessions for groups and one-to-one. I don’t offer plant medicine, only breath medicine, however, I have been working with Ayahuasca at a personal level since 1999 and I have participated in over 50 ceremonies with Shipibos, Huni Kuin, Yanawana, and the Santo Daime Church. I have experience with Wachuma (aka San Pedro), Psylocibin (Mushrooms), and Bufo. I hope that the information I have received and the experiences I have lived may offer you the confidence and information to decide what steps to take next. Caminos abiertos!
Illustration prompts by Rio Otoya, and generated by Perchance AI.
References for this post