Four Surprising Ways Breathwork Can Alter Your Mood and Health

Katie Critelli
6 min readMay 18, 2022

And simple techniques from a breathwork facilitator on how to try them

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My interest in breathwork began three years ago, when a virtual session I joined out of curiosity led to an intense release of emotion and a feeling of clarity that lasted for many hours after. Coming out of the session, I knew I had experienced something powerful and wanted to learn more.

Since then, I’ve gotten certified as a Biodynamic Breathwork and Trauma Release System (BBTRS) facilitator and have studied everything I can on the science of breathwork, both ancient and modern.

If there’s one thing I’ve realized it’s that our breath is one of the most powerful tools we have and yet most of us don’t consciously use it. For millennia, breathwork has been recognized as a way to alter moods, improve health, and shift between states of consciousness. Our breath allows us to modify our nervous systems and biochemistry and if we become skilled at it, to master our moods and health.

For those who are skeptical, here are four of the most powerful ways breathing alters your body:

#1. Breathing Can Shift Your Biochemistry and Reduce Inflammation

For anyone who wants living proof of the power of breathing to shift health, there’s Wim Hof. In 2014, Hof gained the attention of the scientific community when he and a group of trainees exhibited control over their inflammatory responses in a research study, a feat previously thought impossible. It became clear that Hof’s method could offer benefits not only for extreme athletes, but for those with chronic illnesses.

Though Hof’s method relies on cold exposure and commitment as well as breathwork, Hof has often emphasized the key role of breathing in shifting biochemistry. In an interview for the FoundMyFitness channel, Hof states: We go to the level where hyperventilation occurs, but we do it controlled…We make use of what goes in what goes on in hyperventilation.” The interviewer adds: “So your controlled breathing technique, what it ends up doing at the physiological level is decreasing the CO2 level in the blood, which then…has a response of raising the pH…normal…



Katie Critelli

Finding my spark - writing about ways to discover more play, joy, health & wellness, and personal success in life. Join me: