An experience with Holotropic Breathwork is associated with improvement in non-judgement and satisfaction with life while reducing symptoms of stress in a Czech-speaking population

M.V. Uthaug*, N.L. Mason, M.N. Havenith, M. Vancura, J.G. Ramaekers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Web of Science)

Abstract

Background: Holotropic breathwork (Grof (R) Breathwork), was developed by Stanislav Grof and Christina Grof as a 'non-drug' alternative technique to evoke altered states of consciousness (ASC). Interestingly, although HBW has been anecdotally reported to evoke experiences and mental health effects corresponding to those of psychedelic substances, the scientific literature on the matter is scarce. Aims: The objective of this study was to assess the (sub)acute and long-term effects of HBW on satisfaction with life, and whether these depend on the depth of the experience evoked by the HBW session. Methods: A naturalistic observational design was employed in the present study. Between January 2019 and July 2020, 58 Czech-speaking participants who had an experience with HBW were assessed using three separate anonymous online-surveys created and hosted on Qualtrics. Assessments of mindfulness, satisfaction with life, depression, anxiety, and stress were made once prior to (baseline), and two times following (sub-acutely and 4-weeks) the participants' experience with HBW. The ego dissolution inventory and the 5-dimensional altered states of consciousness scale was used to quantify the HBW experience. Results: Despite low ratings of the psychedelic experience (mean range of 0-34% out of 100%), ratings of non-judgement significantly increased sub-acutely following the HBW session and persisted for 4-weeks. Stress-related symptoms significantly decreased while satisfaction with life significantly increased at 4-weeks after HBW. Conclusion: An experience with HBW may be associated with improvement in non-judgement, satisfaction with life, and reductions of stress-related symptoms.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)176-189
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Psychedelic Studies
Volume5
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2021

Keywords

  • holotropic breathwork
  • mindfulness
  • mental health
  • altered states of consciousness
  • hormesis
  • FACET MINDFULNESS QUESTIONNAIRE
  • ASSISTED PSYCHOTHERAPY
  • THREATENING CANCER
  • CONSTRUCT-VALIDITY
  • PSILOCYBIN
  • HYPERVENTILATION
  • DEPRESSION
  • HORMESIS
  • ANXIETY
  • DYSREGULATION

Cite this