What is Breathwork?


What is breathwork and Transpersonal Breathwork? Kyle and Joe talk about the components and mechanics of breathwork and share some personal experiences. Breathwork is a topic that is brought up often on Psychedelics Today, so here is a more in-depth discussion about what it is. The form of breathwork that Joe and Kyle are trained in is Transpersonal Breathwork. More about this practice below.

About Dreamshadow Transpersonal Breathwork

From dreamshadow.com

Dreamshadow Transpersonal Breathwork is an applied, practice-linked philosophy that uses the method of Stanislav Grof’s Holotropic Breathwork as a modern shamanic practice for self-discovery through cathartic re-experience of events from a person’s biographic history and the process of birth, as well as the potential apprehension of archetypes and events in the cosmos.

The experiential aspect of Dreamshadow Transpersonal Breathwork uses a combination of group process, intense breathing, evocative music, body work, and expressive drawing.

The term “transpersonal” refers to those experiences where our sense of self-identity expands beyond our personal biography and ego boundaries and transcends the usual limitations of time and space. These experiences facilitate deeper understanding of ourselves, our relation to others and our place in the universe. They help us gain increased comfort in daily life and a spiritual intelligence that fosters calm and optimism amidst the difficulties of the world.

Dreamshadow Transpersonal Breathwork draws on the work of William James, Carl Jung, Abraham Maslow, Stanislav Grof and others. Grof is a pioneering psychedelic researcher, investigator of exceptional human experiences and cofounder of the transpersonal psychology movement. Together with his wife Christina Grof, he developed Holotropic Breathwork, an inspiration of Dreamshadow Transpersonal Breathwork, Integrative Breathwork and other methods. In his book The Holotropic Mind, Grof describes Holotropic Breathwork as a seemingly simple process with “extraordinary potential for opening the way for exploring the entire spectrum of the inner world.”

5 Components of Breathwork

  1. Intense Breathing  – Deep circular breathing with a minimal pause in between the in and out breaths. There is no “right” technique, but to intensify and deepen one’s breathing.
  2. Evocative Music– A music setlist is created to help drive the breathing session. The music is typically all instrumental with no distinguishable language. There are often times when music with foreign languages will be used because of the lack of context. The music setlist is around two to three hours long.
  3. Focused Bodywork – Emotional energy can become stuck in the body. To help assist with stuck emotional or physical energy, bodywork is performed to help release the energy. Bodywork can also be in the form of support by offering a hand to hold.
  4. Expressive Drawing – After the breathwork session, participants are asked to create a mandala or drawing. This helps to process the experience without language or words and can be very symbolic. This process helps to integrate the experience.
  5. Group Process– We are social creatures. As Lenny Gibson states, “we are the descendants of successful tribes.” We need one another to survive in the world. The group helps to form a safe container for participants to dive deep into their psyche and being. The group holds the space for a healing process to occur.

Links & Notes

Caitlin Thompson – Ayahuasca, Kambo and Psychedelic Nutrition


Caitlin Thompson, the founder of EntheoZen, joins us on Psychedelics Today to share her healing story, her interests in psychedelics, and the supplement company that she started. Caitlin is also involved in the psychedelic community – she hosts events for the Aware Project San Diego and is a Kambo practitioner.

After struggling with her own depression and anxiety, Caitlin founded EntheoZen. She applied her background in neuroscience, diving deep into the scientific literature and discovered the importance of nutrition in brain and mood health. She created a scientifically-supported line of products that nourish, resource and balance the nervous system to promote a happy, healthy mind.

Caitlin uses EntheoZen as a platform to provide informative resources and tools to empower people to take their mental wellness into their own hands in a natural and sustainable way. EntheoZen provides educational media on cutting-edge wellness modalities including nutrition, herbs, meditation, psychedelics, neurofeedback training, kambo, and float tanks. Caitlin is a researcher and advocate in the psychedelic medicine movement, using EntheoZen to support research and promote awareness of psychedelic therapies as effective psychiatric interventions.


EntheoZen is a nutritional supplement company based in San Diego, CA. It was launched in 2014 by Caitlin Thompson. At EntheoZen, our goal is to contribute to the practice of using safe and natural ways to balance brain chemistry and promote brain health and a happy mood. Blending neuroscience and holistic nutrition, we believe that the mind, body, and soul need the proper resources to stay balanced and lively. Our products are based on proven scientific principles and target specific mechanisms & issues related to mood disorders based on scientific literature. When the brain has access to the raw materials it needs to repair and function optimally, it can often heal and regulate itself.

About TransZen

TransZen is an all natural mood enhancement and stress support supplement designed to:
  • -fill in nutritional gaps that may be causing low mood
  • -promote neurotransmitter production such as serotonin and dopamine
  • -maintain a healthy inflammatory response in the brain
  • -promote the repair and regeneration of brain cells.
-It consists of 17 scientifically-studied ingredients including vitamins, minerals, amino acids and potent plant extracts.
-Works by providing your body with the raw materials it needs to balance the nervous system.
-It is made in a USA facility that is certified by the FDA as having Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and third-party tested.
**Can not ship outside of the U.S.

Links & Notes

About Caitlin Thompson

After struggling with her own battle with depression and anxiety, Caitlin Thompson applied her background in neurobiology and dove into the cutting edge scientific literature on mood disorders and mental illnesses. This led her down a health rabbit hole, realizing that Lyme disease, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, microbiome dysbiosis and emotional trauma were at the root of her and many others’ depression. After successfully improving her own health, Caitlin founded her nutritional supplement company, EntheoZen in 2014.  Caitlin now uses EntheoZen as a platform to spread information about modalities and tools to empower others to heal and achieve optimal mental wellness. Caitlin also works in the psychedelic field advocating for psychedelic research and education around their implications in mental wellness and autoimmune conditions. Caitlin is also a certified Kambo frog medicine practitioner based in San Diego CA.

Katherine MacLean, Ph.D. – Exploring Psilocybin Retreats at MycoMeditations


Katherine MacLean, Ph.D. joins us again on Psychedelics Today, but this time to talk about her recent experience facilitating and holding space for a psilocybin mushroom retreat at MycoMeditations in Jamaica. If you are not familiar with the work of Eric Osborne and MycoMeditations or Katherine MacLean, be sure to check out these previous episodes:

We had a great time talking to Katherine and it was exciting to hear her thoughts about MycoMeditations. To Katherine’s surprise, many of the participants experienced little to no anxiety during or after their sessions. This observation seems to differ from the Johns Hopkins psilocybin research study, where some participants experience anxiety during high-dose sessions. While many factors are at play, this observation seems to highlight the importance of set and setting and how it influences a person’s experience.

PLEDG educate the public regarding psychedelic therapies, increase access to safe, legal and ethical psychedelic therapies, through whole plant medicines, for the psychological and spiritual well being.

Donations directly assist individuals in need. Relief from cancer anxiety, PTSD, addiction, and depression can be gained with psilocybin therapy.

Our psychedelic scholarship program allows those with needs but limited resources to benefit from these life-changing therapies.

Show Topics/Notes

  • Doses of psilocybin used at the retreat
  • Doses used in Hopkins study
  • Observations of psilocybin sessions at Hopkins vs. Jamaica
    • Much lower anxiety in Jamaica
  • Doing a disservice by making psilocybin use risky
  • The influence of set and setting on a person’s experience and risks
  • Individual trips vs. group trips
  • Eric’s relationship with mushrooms
  • The importance of play and playful energy
  • Women’s Psilocybin retreat
  • Importance of art after a psychedelic experience for integration

Show Links

TransZen is an all natural mood enhancement and stress support supplement

Katherine MacLean, Ph.D

Katherine MacLean, Ph.D. is a research psychologist with expertise in studying the effects of mindfulness meditation and psychedelics on cognitive performance, emotional well-being, spirituality, and brain function. As a postdoctoral research fellow and faculty member at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, she conducted clinical trials of psilocybin, the primary chemical found in “magic mushrooms”, and other psychedelic compounds. Her ground-breaking research on psilocybin and personality change suggests that psychedelic medicines can enhance openness to new experiences, promote mental health and emotional well-being, and improve creativity throughout the lifespan. Dr. MacLean is a co-founder of the Psychedelic Education and Continuing Care Program in New York, where she has led training workshops, educational seminars, and monthly integration groups focused on increasing awareness and reducing risks of psychedelic use. Learn more at www.psychedelicprogram.com and www.katherinemaclean.org