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Episode 144: Breathwork and Essential Oils

In this episode we talk to Jen Broyles all about breathwork and essential oils. She'll discuss what breathwork is, why it's so powerful, as well as how she incorporates essential oils into her practice.


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doTERRA: Breathwork has been steadily gaining popularity around the world, but many people still haven't heard of it. With all of the benefits that can be gained from practicing breathwork in your life, it's definitely something you'll want to know more about.

Welcome back to Essential Oil Solutions with doTERRA, the podcast where you'll hear exciting, useful, and simple everyday uses for essential oils from experts in the field. If you like what you hear today, rate, review, and subscribe wherever you listen. We always appreciate hearing from you.

Today, we're excited to talk to Jen Broyles all about breathwork and the benefits it can provide. Jen, thank you so much for being here to talk with us today.

Jen Broyles: Well, thank you for having me! I'm excited to be here.

doTERRA: My first question for you, which is one that maybe quite a few people have listening to this intro, is what is breathwork?

Jen: Yeah, that's such a great question. And it's a little complex. But at its most basic level, breathwork is having breath awareness and then conscious breathing. Breathwork is really a practice that we could speak to from both a scientific perspective and a spiritual perspective. With breathwork, we are really tuning into our breath and breathing in a conscious way.

And I find it interesting when we really think about the breath, it’s one function that is both involuntary and voluntary. And so while it happens in the background under the influence of our autonomic nervous system, and we really don't have to give it much thought or focus on making sure we are breathing, it is one of those functions that we can actually voluntarily control.

And so when we start to tune into our breath and start to manipulate it and change it in certain ways, we can begin to correct our breath for better health and for meditation and for tuning in to our mental and emotional state and really starting to calm the nervous system. So it's a really powerful tool that we have within us that we really don't, most of us, don't utilize to its full capacity. So really becoming aware of that is the practice of breathwork.

doTERRA: So that sounds incredible and maybe a little complicated to someone who's never done it before. So what happens during breathwork and why is it so powerful?

Jen: Yeah, absolutely. So when you think about your inhale and exhale, you know, for most of us, our breath has been hijacked by stress. And so we may find that we're breathing erratically, irregularly. Maybe we're breathing fast and rapid and shallow.

Benefits of Breathwork

But when we start to practice breathwork and start to correct our breath, we can start to slow our breath down. We can start to breathe deeper and really get the benefits. And so when we breathe in, when we inhale, we're breathing in this vital life-giving energy. And when we exhale, we are able to release what's no longer needed, what's no longer serving us, and start to detoxify the mind in the body.

And the type of breathwork that I teach involves rhythmic diaphragmatic breathing and periodic breath holds. And the combination of these two really help to calm and rebalance the nervous system. We're able to switch off stress. We're able to activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which is that rest, relax, digest, and restore. That's the state that we really need to be in for healing and restoration. And we're able to reduce anxious feelings and boost the mood.

And so as we start to bring our breath back to a natural, consistent rhythm, it begins to harmonize other rhythms in the body, like digestion, heart rate, blood pressure, and circadian rhythms. Throughout this breathwork practice of conscious breathing, we can start to enhance creativity and problem-solving. We can enhance our brain function and mind power and begin to start to reduce stress and boost the mood. And it has a whole host of benefits, once we start to calm and balance the nervous system and start to harmonize the functions in our body, the rhythms in our body, and really support the mental and emotional aspect of help as well.

doTERRA: All of those benefits sound absolutely amazing. Now, this is an essential oil podcast. So how do you use essential oils to support your breathwork?

Jen: Yes, that's a great question. And I find that essential oils tie in so well with the breathwork and really enhance the experience. I will use specific essential oils based on the intention of the breathwork practice. So I will use calming and grounding oils like Lavender or Frankincense or Adaptiv™, and so diffusing these oils during a breathwork practice or simply wearing them topically on the body, on the wrist, on the bottom of the feet, on the chest, really helps enhance the entire breathwork experience because we're able to breathe in these aromas.

And so and I will use energizing and uplifting oils like Peppermint or a Wild Orange or Elevation. And so when we use the two together, we can really elevate our state of being and really begin to improve how we feel physically, mentally, and emotionally.

doTERRA: I love the idea of both the essential oils and the breathwork just elevating. I think that's a beautiful concept. Jen, can you kind of walk us through your personal favorite breathwork exercise?

Jen: Yeah, absolutely. So the type of breathwork I teach, as I mentioned before, involves rhythmic diaphragmatic breathing and breath holds.

And what I love about this breathwork is that we do it along to some really powerful music. So we're breathing in beats to the rhythm of the music that is being played. And I love the musical component because the music itself is incredibly powerful.

So we're breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth as I'm guiding the breathwork practice. And I'm usually talking over the music and using affirmations and visualizations. Just one simple technique that we use in this practice is that rhythmic breathing. So you could do it right here, right now, and just breathe in two, three, four, out two three, four, and continue to do that in a natural rhythm in through the nose and out through the mouth. And just doing a couple of minutes of that, you'll find how calming it is.

And then after we do a period of this deep rhythmic breathing, we go into a breath retention phase, where we're holding our breath for a brief period of time. And that practice really allows you to go into this deep, meditative state. And it's very blissful. It's very just powerful. It's a period of deep relaxation. And the combination of deep breathing and breath holds really allows you to go into that deep, meditative state almost effortlessly.

I call this a form of effortless meditation, and it's incredibly powerful and nourishing. So the breathing, the breath holds, along with the music, is a beautiful practice. But even just now, as you're listening to this really tuning into your breath and starting to bring it back into a slow natural rhythm, you'll start to really feel the effects of that.

doTERRA: Now, you make it sound pretty straightforward and like something anyone can do. But I'm wondering if you have any recommendations for someone who's never done breathwork before and maybe is a little intimidated but would like to start.

Jen: Yes, the best way to experience breathwork is to attend a class. And I do a lot of online classes, and I offer group classes and private sessions. So in my experience, that's how I really found breathwork was to attend a class and that's where you really get the experience. And so just diving in and attending a class would be my number one recommendation. Now, with all of the online and virtual options, I'd say it's pretty easy to find a class and give it a try.

And so I would offer it for you to attend one of my classes. I think that would be a great way to try it out. And you can do it from the comfort of your own home and see what the experience is like for you. So that would be my recommendation is to experience a group class.

doTERRA: Well, Jen, it has been wonderful to talk to you today to learn a little bit more about breathwork and how it can truly change your life.

Jen: Well, thank you so much for having me!

doTERRA: Thanks for joining us and congratulations on living a healthier lifestyle with essential oils. If you liked what you heard today, rate, review, and subscribe wherever you listen. Also, if you want to try any of the products you learned about, go to or find a Wellness Advocate near you to place an order today.

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