This article by Keith Fiveson was originally published on Microdose and appears here with permission.
Throughout history, groups, cultures, religions, and spiritual traditions, worldwide, have looked to breathwork and the use of psychedelic plant medicines to heal, grow, and transform the human experience. In this article, we look at the sacredness of the breath, and recent scientific studies that help us further understand the impact of breathing with Mindfulness Based Interventions (MBIs), combined with psychedelics.
Breathwork is a powerful tool to alter the neurology and psychology of human beings. It helps to regulate and balance the nervous system. When combined with plant medicine the breath can deeply alter, direct, and focus the mind to reset and change perceptions.
The root word for breath in Latin is “Spir”— as in aspire, conspire, expire, inspire, perspire, respiration, respire, spiracle, spirit, transpire, etc. So, it’s easy to see why the breath has taken center stage historically, in religious and spiritual ceremonies that use chants, prayers, music, ecstatic dance, and symbolism to transcend dogma.
Modern day research has confirmed what sages have known for centuries. Sacred plant medicines and breathwork can help individuals reset, reboot, and reframe traumatic events and connect them with divine intention. We know that trauma challenges, inhibits, and triggers hyperarousal or hypoarousal modes and can dysregulate the autonomic nervous system. A recent study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology shows that psychedelics and mindfulness-based interventions and breathwork, practiced together could be the future of mental health treatment. 
Researchers at Johns Hopkins University conducted both psilocybin and MBI practices. These studies had a combined positive effect on participants …