These true stories are from those who have attended our breathwork seminars in the last few years (with the exception of “Young Indian Brave” a therapy session I did with a young man 25 years ago.) They will give you a deeper understanding of the potential of Integral Breathwork—the hows and whys of combining good physiological breathing with breathwork, and the benefits that can result. Breakthroughs come in many shapes and sizes and we offer people several ways to have these—if and when they want them. The stories that follow describe some vivid breakthroughs.
A breakthrough can be achieved by changing how we think of ourselves and our situations. Taking full responsibility for everything in our world can transform us from victim to master. This starts with recognizing the need for change and having a willingness to forgive and move on. It may take courage to embrace the past in order to alter the future. Change may involve the determination to open yourself to natural healing methods and/or the power of grace. It usually involves intent, trust, and courage. We start with the intent to change; then we trust that the healing process can make things better; then we muster the courage to act and sustain the effort until a breakthrough is reached. The French root for courage is coeur, which means “heart.” We define courage as “the coming of age of the heart.”
The stories chronicled here are people’s peak experiences. These may have come right away or may have taken several sessions to build up to. Not all breakthroughs are dramatic. When people come out of breathwork simply feeling refreshed and content, they’ve had a good session and learned how to improve their life. Not all breakthroughs are pleasant. Some sessions can be messy. People can become very cold, or hot and sweaty, as their nervous system adjusts itself. People can weep or laugh or do both. They may glimpse heaven or look into what has been for them a personal hell. In the next section, you’ll read discussions on how to work with people who come to breathwork with a more than ordinary share of burdens, or with blocked energy. Some may have uncomfortable reactions or difficulty integrating their experiences. Great care is taken to bring them back to their center before they leave our six-hour seminar, and follow-up is done when needed. I am grateful to include in this section perspectives from some of the world’s foremost breathworkers.
You will read about physical and emotional healings, spontaneous regressions, extrasensory encounters, and spiritual experiences, but breathwork may involve all or none of these for you. Whatever happens will depend on what you and your body are ready for on that day. And if some discomfort comes up, great victories can still be gained from it and profound lessons learned.
As you’ll see from our promotional material in the Appendix, the Integral Breathwork seminars are presented from a secular, better-breathing-for-health perspective. This allows people from all walks of life, and from all religious persuasions or none, to feel comfortable coming to this work. Those who recount spiritual experiences during breathwork are those who bring to this work their own understanding of spiritual dimensions. Integral Breathwork starts with correcting the breathing pattern. It is used for self-clearing, oxygenating, detoxing, and energizing. It can be approached purely physiologically; and significant breakthroughs can and do happen just there. Or, people may add their intent to invite spirit into the process in whatever way works for them.
The energy that flows in with the breath—and with the light, the sound, and the water—will follow their thoughts, enhance their aspirations, and strengthen their beliefs. When spirit heals, she is considerate. She doesn’t barge in. She waits to be called, she comes in increments, and she takes on the form each person is most comfortable with.
Go to Breathwork Seminars
Go to Book, “Heal Yourself with Breath, Light, Sound & Water”
Testimonials written by attendees after attending the Integral Breathwork Seminar
Reprinted from “Heal Yourself with Breath, Light, Sound and Water”
No Limits to What I Feel I Can Do Now!
I want to say a huge thanks to you all for the preparation and work you put in for an extraordinary day yesterday. [Breathwork Seminar in Montreal, 2007]. For me, I can only say, BREAKTHROUGH, BREAKTHROUGH and MORE BREAKTHROUGHS! As draining as my experience felt yesterday, the message I got is RELEASE ! I was surrounded by wonderful people and felt so safe even at times where the experience I was feeling was much fear. Every facilitator for me shared a soothing and calming energy which brought me to my BREAKTHROUGH.
Last night when I got home, I was exhausted. I ate just a little and then had a nice, candlelit bath. Layed in bed, read a little, and then retreated my day of so much work with a comedy movie. By 9:30 pm, I was asleep, slept very well. Woke up this morning with a little bit of anxiety, but I allowed it to just flow. There is still much processing going on for me, and I decided to just let it. Then this magnificent energy happened. The person I was talking about yesterday at the end of the day’s discussion was my husband. He is the person I’ve allowed to create all of my hurt, and pain, and anger I was describing. I shared with the group how I went through the pain and then let it go, telling myself that I will no longer accept to live in the fear of his bad behavior towards me, etc. Well, this morning, when a regular morning with him is always stressful with his anger and aggression, SOMETHING ENTIRELY DIFFERENT was going on in our interaction today.
I felt that he knew something was different with me this morning, I could see it in his eyes. He knew I wasn’t afraid of him anymore because I was able to look him straight in his eyes as he spoke to me. In turn, because he felt I was no longer afraid of him, he could not use his controlling ways on me. Which left him disoriented. And he had no choice but to surrender and then he was very calm and very respectful towards me. Without even telling him anything about my experience yesterday, my energy expressed it all to him. He could feel that the power and control he had on me before and how he could belittle me and scare me is not going to work anymore. He felt my strong energy this morning, I know he did. His attitude sent me a thousand messages. I feel WONDERFUL about this. I feel like I just got out of jail and am able to live my freedom again. I feel like I am able to be me again.
Well thanks for taking the time in reading this, I just wanted you to know how much you have helped me in my transformation to my Authentic Self. My ultimate goal in my life right now… THANKS SO MUCH ! I have been living in fear for so long, I have to create a new life now for me. There are no limits to what I feel I can do now with so much of my fear lifted off.
I have been getting so many messages today so far that I need to write them down. It is a little overwhelming, but on the other side of it, it is so amazing! This is a new beginning for me!
Stronger and Deeper
Hey there, Denis!
My husband David and I attended your Breathwork seminar in April in Medford, New Jersey. I wrote about the experience the next day and thought you might enjoy reading it.
Yesterday was a chance to rub shoulders and talk to people so much more like us than the previous collection of folks we have shared our incarnation with, other than our Friday night collection of A Course In Miracles folk. They too are more “up our alley,” which is a straight-shot focus on things spiritual, rather than the milieu of emotions wrangled from a night of “spirits” with a small ‘s’—wine, beer, whisky, vodka and all things equally vexing to clarity.
After a few hours of lectures on the physiology of breathing and some evaluations to determine our own breathing efficiency (or lack of it) we settled down to the work at hand. Led by a CD with breathing done by a coach, we all proceeded for follow the breathing example for twenty minutes.
We were on our backs, eyes closed, blankets upon us. I thought I would fall asleep when I found we were going to lay down (I looked forward to a nap) but it’s called breathwork for a reason—it’s work!
As I lay on my back with my eyes closed it reminded my of the corpse pose that ends my yoga sessions. Thinking about corpse made me think about dying, which made me think about childbirth, which made me feel like I was being birthed, which made me realize I have been, I AM born, and born again, and that I am every bit as eternally alive now as I will be when I reach the ‘great beyond’ – and I felt the same could be said of everyone in the room with me, which made me love them all so fiercely with a combination of enlightenment an “doneness.” I realized that THIS, right here and right now, this eternal moment, is the heaven we are all taught to wait for, that we are told is far away and will be ours only if we jump through very specific hoops.
Everyone in the room, I was no longer afraid of crying in front of. I no longer even felt separated from them—all in the first twenty minutes!
Almost as soon as my epiphany peaked, the breathing on the CD gave way to music that sounded like a heavenly celebration, the universe joining my teen brain in a chorus that invited me to step outside of myself and join the eternal one—hell, yes!
The next forty minutes was an opportunity to recover from the experience, the time spent equally between laughing and crying as the phenomenal simplicity of it all split my atoms apart into a light show, a sound show, a chance to float and dance, to swing and bog and weave and sail on an ocean of understanding that does not depend on my outer surrounding for existence, but has been waiting to manifest—waiting for me to cross the divide no larger than the atoms in which I exist. They have collected and congealed into a mass everyone calls Karen. But there is much more–and much less—to all of this, which was what I understood in one of those deep understandings, which will not disappear with time, but only grow stronger and deeper, all the while quiet …. silent and deep.
Releasing Vietnam PTSD
Dustin Fox, CAMT
My name is Dustin and I am an Acoustical Massage Therapist. My first exposure to breathwork was during a massage I was giving to Denis Ouellette. He was breathing differently than anyone I had ever seen before. His inhales were deep, and his exhales were full and completely emptied his lungs. I had never studied breathing but was fascinated by this self-cleansing approach. I signed up to attend his seminar. I noticed that several essential health issues were being addressed. As a therapist, I was fascinated by the facts presented as to how we could breathe optimally to facilitate better health and well-being.
In the next few months, I attended four seminars and felt better after each one. But there were deeper issues that I needed to address that had settled into my very soul. It was during my fifth seminar that I felt this would be the day to identify and release whatever it was that was holding me in such turmoil. Following the instructions and breath measurement exercises, we partnered with someone for goal setting.With safety and honesty, we shared the issues that we wished to address during our session. I realized it was time to heal my remaining Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome from Vietnam, over 35 five years ago. These “cellular memories” were still holding me in a depressed state and draining me of my health and spiritual contentment.
As we began to breathe, I felt a stiffness set in throughout my body. The cramping in my hands began to get a bit intense. A facilitator came over and assisted me through the process. As I allowed myself to relax and breathe through the memories of pain and trauma, they left me. It took one more session for this to be complete. At one point during that sixth one, Denis said he was concerned about me because I looked as gray as a ghost. I think death itself was leaving me! I now feel content and cleansed of that trauma and depression. I have now attended twelve breathwork seminars, and am very proud to be a facilitator.
P.S. Blood Tests. Last year, before I began breathwork, I was advised by my physician to get a blood test as part of my annual check up. I was surprised to see that my blood cells were not round. The test also revealed that they were clustered together and misshapen. I was advised that this causes a reduction in the ability of the circulatory system to do its job of delivering oxygen and nutrients to the body, while removing waste products. The doctor said this condition has an effect on my liver, kidney, brain and heart function. Healthy blood cells are supposed to float free and should be almost perfectly round. The advice was to modify my diet, to reduce sugar and fats, to exercise, and most importantly, to improve my breathing.
About ten months later, after five breathwork seminars and plenty of breathwork on my own, I returned for another blood test and was gratified to see that my sickly-looking, large blood-cell clusters were all but gone. The blood was r