“I feel as though the trajectory of my life changed with that one session. Thank you, Joseph.”
~Sapphira, United States
BREATHWORK SESSIONS VIA SKYPE OR IN-PERSON
Without realizing it, many of us are holding tension in our bodies. It is likely that even as you read these words there is some form of tension being held in your body—in your shoulders, your brow, facial muscles, jaw, hips, etc. Why is it that so many of us are holding tension in this way? What causes us to subconsciously tighten and constrict our muscles? Why aren’t we naturally physically relaxed and at ease? The truth is, chronic stress and emotional extremes manifest as tightness in various parts of the body. The stress and tension that we carry within our minds causes us to hold tension within our bodies.
Our muscles, tendons, joints, and even organs are surrounded by a thin sheath of tissue called fascia. In some areas, fascia can become stiff, thick, and nearly immobile. In others, it is elastic, healthy, and flexible. Depending on temperature, movement, and your emotions, your fascia actually changes texture. Our fascia isn’t just some boring connective tissue that holds our muscles, bones, and organs in place. It is actually a vast neural network that not only has the capacity to transmit bodily messages, but also to store memories.
That means that certain emotional traumas can settle into our bodies and cause areas to tighten and tense in a sympathetic fight-or-flight state. According to research published in the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies in 2014:
“Some theories hypothesize that the totality of such vibratory messages throughout the [fascial] matrix may constitute a ‘body consciousness’ functionally interconnected with the ‘brain consciousness’ of the nervous system… Memories related to diseases, dysfunctions, pain, infection, injuries, surgeries, physical and emotional trauma may be stored within this system, influencing the normal informational pattern either locally or globally, altering the properties of the [fascial] fabric, distorting resulting vibrations. In this way, consciousness may be influenced by memories stored in soft tissues.”
Some professionals theorize that fascia actually acts as a second nervous system, transmitting messages through the body at around 750 miles per hour. Signals travel along our nerves at a mere 150.
THE TRUTH ABOUT TENSION
Every physical tension has an emotional root. There is some psychological stress that is causing us to tense up and feel the need to subconsciously defend ourselves. Most of our mental/emotional stress originates from traumatic experiences that happened in our past that still influence how we relate to life today. We had some experience—or many experiences—that traumatized us in some way and made us feel like we needed to shield ourselves from the world.
As an example, lets say that when you were seven years old you were dancing, having fun, and being care free. Unexpectedly, someone began laughing and making fun of you for the way that you were dancing. This feeling of embarrassment made you feel so miserable that you never wanted to feel that way again, and so, you decided to never dance as freely again either, out of fear that someone would criticize and reject you for the way that you expressed yourself.
This is just one example, but there are countless experiences that have created some form of traumatic imprint in our body and mind—some being much more significant than others. In fact, some traumatic experiences are so painful, that people have erased them from their conscious memory completely. But the emotional wound is still there, it is still stored in our bodies and it still influences the way that we experience life today.
When we have a traumatic experience, we want to avoid experiencing something as painful as that again, and so we develop internal mechanisms of defense to protect us from future danger—basically, we put up emotional walls and barriers out of fear. These barriers were put in place to protect us, to prevent us from receiving any harm. Yet, these same barriers that were put up for protection also prevent us from being our natural selves. They prevent us from expressing ourselves, from doing what feels natural to us, and from being our authentic selves because we constantly feel the need to protect ourselves from future pain.
Nearly everyone has gone through this cycle of experiencing trauma, installing emotional barriers out of fear, and then suffering because of those unhealed wounds and barriers that prevent them from being themselves and being in touch with their emotions—yet most people are unaware of this process, and subconsciously, we remain guarded, holding tension in our bodies because we are not relaxed and at peace, but rather are stressed and anxious.
Not only do our unresolved emotions prevent us from being relaxed and open, but they influence our perception and underly the majority of our thoughts. Unless we heal these emotional wounds, we cannot truly have peace and freedom, as they will continue to influence us subconsciously.
“The international problem today is not hunger, poverty, drugs, or fear of war. It is tension, hypertension, total tension. If you know how to free yourself of tension, you know how to solve your problems in life.”
—Swami Satyananda Saraswati
WHAT IS BREATHWORK?
The practice of breathwork is an invitation to live openly again, an invitation to relax our barriers, to heal our traumas, and to experience true freedom by healing the emotional wounds that lie at the root of our physical tensions and mental thought processes.
Our state of mind influences the way that we breathe. When we are stressed, angry, or anxious, we breathe shallow breaths into our chest and upper diaphragm. When we are relaxed and at ease, we breathe deep and relaxed breaths into our stomach and lower diaphragm—or ideally complete breaths into every area of our lungs.
Our state of mind influences our breath, but our breath also influences our state of mind. If you are stressed, angry, or anxious, you can intentionally breathe deep and relaxed breaths, and almost instantly it will calm your mind and make you feel more at ease. Give it a try—take a deep breath in, filling your lungs with air, then exhale letting it all go.
Breathwork works with this principle of influencing consciousness through the breath. By continuously following a specific breathing technique, we are able to alter our state of consciousness, and in doing so, access deeper levels of our mind. This allows us to shift our perspective from our habitual patterns of consciousness and allows these deep rooted emotions to come to the surface of our awareness where we can acknowledge them, accept them, and release them through the breath.
A SPIRITUAL PERSPECTIVE OF BREATHWORK
Breathwork is an ancient practice and science of healing that has been utilized by cultures around the world for thousands of years. It is widely known that breath is the primary carrier of life-force energy (Prana in India, Chi in China, Ki in Japan, Mana in Hawaii, etc.). All ancient cultures knew that the breath was a powerful tool for working with our life-force energy, and in doing so, expanding our consciousness and connection to the source of life itself, healing negative energies, destructive thought patterns, and limiting beliefs, and cultivating exponential levels of health and vitality, leading to happier, healthier, and more harmonious lives.
Interestingly, the psychoactive molecule Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) can be found in trace amounts throughout the human body, including the lungs. DMT is the psychoactive molecule in some plant substances that allows for hallucinogenic and often deeply spiritual experiences. But we do not need to ingest plant substances in order to have these spiritual experiences. People around the world have reported these experiences without actively administering the substance, which is to say that even acts such as breathwork, deep meditation or sensory deprivation can generate religious experiences, seemingly from thin air.
The art and science of Breathwork is slowly making its way back into the collective awareness as an effective method of healing and spiritual development. In the 1930s, the inspired mystic and healer Alice Bailey warned that centuries of cultural conditioning, and especially social and psychological conditioning, have created "large populations of spiritually dysfunctional people who struggle to realize their full potential and discover who they really are." Bailey predicted that the solution to these problems would be the widespread use of carefully designed breathing techniques, with their ability to recognize and readjust a person's energetic constitution and so bring about self-healing. Well the future is here, and it is true that people are rediscovering the incredible power of the breath and its ability to heal and help one grow spiritually.
BENEFITS OF BREATHWORK
• Relieves stress and anxiety.
• Helps to resolve emotional trauma.
• Allows for deep emotional healing and release.
• Can help one heal physically by releasing the emotional source of many ailments.
• Improves your mood.
• Improves blood circulation.
• Naturally alkalizes the body.
• Helps to maintain gut health.
• Calms the mind.
• Improves mental clarity and focus.
• Increases level of energy and vitality.
• Strengthens connection to and awareness of our life-force energy
• Clears subtle energy channels.
• Can result in emotional freedom and spiritual realization.
• Helps you to relax and let go!
I am thankful to have had the privilege of studying Breathwork with Michael Brian Baker, the founder of The Breath Center. I began training with Michael in 2017, and he has taught me what, in my experience, has been the most effective form of Breathwork that I have ever practiced. Through my training with Michael, I have been certified to share this practice with others, and to have the honor of helping others on their personal journey of healing and spiritual-growth.
Ever since my training, I have been sharing this healing technique with as many people as I can. The healing that it is able to offer so effectively and consistently has inspired me to continue offering it to whoever feels the call to heal their emotional wounds, and to reconnect to their true Self. I have now guided hundreds of individuals through private sessions and public workshops, and I continue to do so, learning and growing as a student of this miraculous art.
WHAT I OFFER
I facilitate private one-on-one sessions, as well as guided group sessions. You can even practice Breathwork in the comfort of your own home via a private Skype or FaceTime session. Each session lasts roughly 90 minutes, and during that time I will be here with you to create a safe space, guide you through the practice, and help you to get the healing you intend to get out of this practice. It is my sincere motivation to be a friend to you, to help you on your path, and to offer compassionate guidance in this work and all that it can provide.
Individual sessions are $75-111 sliding scale.
Group workshops are priced according to individual events.
Wishing you nothing but peace and love on your journey of greater happiness, health, and harmony.
"All effective healing begins with the breath, for our breath carries life force into our bodies. By becoming aware of our breathing, we can refine our receptivity to subtle energies for both self-healing and healing others and recognize our connection to all other living, breathing beings on earth."
TO BOOK A SESSION, PLEASE CONTACT: JOSEPHPETERKAUFFMAN@GMAIL.COM
A video review from my dear friend Sarah, sharing her Breathwork experience and how it helped her release emotions she had been holding on to and helped her heal from her severe shoulder pain.
"I have been following Joseph's work on Instagram for years and recently experienced a breathwork session with him over Skype. Upon connecting, I was put at ease with the gentle, kind, positive way he has about him. He seems to have the perfect blend of old wisdom and a youthful spirit that makes his work so relatable and calming.
Our breathwork session brought me deeper into myself than I have ever been before. I regularly practice yoga, meditation, sound healing, acupuncture, and energy healing. None of those modalities brought me the awareness of self that breathwork accomplished. I felt lighter, present in my body, and more open and aware than ever!
I am so happy to have connected with Joseph and I look forward to adding regular breathwork sessions to my healing journey. Much love and many thanks!"
—Virginia Frank, Boston
“When I answered the skype call with Joseph I could feel his incredible energy and welcoming spirit immediately. He radiates peace and I knew that I was in good hands. Joseph exudes patience, presence and understanding with a gentle warmth that resonates with the heart. He gave me a full description of what the breath work experience would be like, what to expect, and told me to remember to surrender to the process; to be a participant as well as a witness to the experience. He assured me that my intention for healing and releasing trapped emotions would be met, but it required trust on my part. He gave me an informative description on the type of practice we would be doing and made sure that I was breathing correctly before we started.
When the first round began, I could feel my soul jumping up and down in joy and excitement for the healing work that I was doing. Intense emotions came up to the surface in the other rounds as my body was collecting energy I had never felt before. Joseph always said the right things to bring me back to my intention and back to the trust. I connected with my higher self in those difficult moments, and I felt the immense love from the oneness that made me remember that I Am. Every cell in my body was bursting with gratitude and I truly didn’t want the session to end. I felt the life force energy of my being fill my body and cleanse it of everything I’ve been holding on to. This sacred experience was nothing short of a blessing, and I truly can’t wait for my next session. Joseph is a true healer and guide, and anyone who feels the call from spirit to work with him should. Infinite love and gratitude. Thank you, brother!”
-Danica Paulos, New York City
"Being my first experience with breathwork, I can say that I am astounded by the transformational effect it had in my overall state of mind, no doubt it was one of the most intense experiences I have had.
Having passed two days I can feel a difference in the background noise of my mind, having now a bigger sense of calm and equanimity. It helped me realize things that I have in my consciousness that do not serve me and how to align myself to no longer be attached to them, it also helped me to be more aware of the pure energy that regulates our entire sense of being facing it and feeling it in my body. It was an experience beyond words.
Joseph was an excellent guide throughout the whole session, transmitting serenity and kindness in every moment with his words and his presence. I feel very grateful to him.
I would recommend anyone who has the intention to grow to experiment with this practice because it is the experience itself that can help us transform the information into knowledge."
—Nicolas Betbese, Argentina
"Wow! I can't believe how powerful this experience was. I never would have thought that through my breath I could experience an almost psychedelic state. It felt like I went on a shamanic journey into my self and it brought up things I didn't even know were there. I realized that I was holding onto so much! and even better it helped me let it go! I feel so light and peaceful now, and I am beyond thankful for Joseph for facilitating this work. If this calls to you, I recommend giving it a try! The experience is like nothing else."
—Charlotte Brown, North Carolina
"I had my first breathwork session ever and I’m stoked that Joseph was the facilitator! Being relatively new to breathwork I was honestly a bit apprehensive but Joseph was very calm and guided me through the session in a kind and gentle way. The result of the session provided me with an abundance of energy combined with a tranquil peacefulness."
—Brenden Todd, Australia
“Don’t be fooled by his youth , this is an old soul . The breathwork session was transformational and powerful. Joseph was kind and patient. Took the time to explain and answer all our questions, the technique itself is simple but potent. We highly recommend a session with Joseph if you want to remove energetic blockages that limit your potential. We are very grateful for the amazing session and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend him, hopefully we get to do another session with him.”
-Pablo Rozas, New Zealand
“Such a deeply Divine and powerful healing experience I had during my Breathwork session with Joseph.
I went into the session with the intention to release some fears around vulnerability, but was shown and gifted so much more than that! If I needed any clarification on my spiritual journey, I sure got it!
I now feel more peaceful and freer in my body, and clearer on my path ahead. I realize that, actually, vulnerability was where my power was all along!
I have so much love and gratitude for Joseph, who held my space so beautifully with love and gentle wisdom. Thank you xo”
-Samantha Summerfield, Australia
“There are not words in this planet to describe my first experience with Breathwork and Joseph. The session was very intense and I could feel that I released a lot of baggage that was holding me back, I feel fresher, healthier and happier! I am a very private person and at the beginning it was a bit awkward that he was watching me through Skype, but at some point Joseph mention the words: "commit to your breath" and that meant much more to me because it was more a reminder for me to commit to getting rid of feelings that were already bothering me and that I couldn't control, plus that I have tried from doctors to yoga and nothing had worked out at a really deep level. I still don't know if I am completely free, but I can happily say that this time feels different and amazing! thank you very much Joseph.”
“When I signed up for a breathwork session I didn’t know what to expect. I'd assumed the term referred to the common breathing exercises practiced during yoga. Before the session began Joseph listed a few things to be aware of, mentioning things like "whatever feelings you come across try to stay with the breathing tempo" and "whatever emotions come to the surface just allow them to be" I thought to myself "what the heck did I get myself into?"
What followed was an hour of the absolute surreal physical and mental experience of my life! Once I proclaimed my intention and settled deeper into the breathing tempo I began feeling 'tension' in my lips/chin area. The 'tension' then spread to my hands and finally my knees. I was literally vibrating! I was rooted to the spot, barely able to move. My hands were floating above my stomach (I was lying down with my hands resting on my tummy). I had to uncover my eyes to be sure of what I was feeling and behold! My hands were actually floating! It was chi I was feeling and I never felt it before. I'd heard of monks and yogis harnessing their chi but I wasn't aware that I also could do it. My mind was blown.
I wondered why these three areas of my body were affected so intensely. Joseph later explained the chi was moving out stagnant energy and those areas are where my body stored it most. He then explained what each area meant. He was just amazing at coaching me through the session, particularly as someone who was very new to the practice. His guidance was compassionate and soothing. I am already planning my next session. I feel as though the trajectory of my life changed with that one session. Thank you, Joseph.”
-Sapphira, United States