Psychedelic Soma Breathwork?

A pilot study by the founder of NeuroMeditation Institute, Dr Jeff Tarrant shows that the 22 minute guided session of SOMA Breathwork produces brainwave activity and subjective experience comparable to psychedelic therapies.

  • Download the exact same guided Soma Breath Meditations as used in the study here: Soma Daily Doses
is soma breathwork psychedelic image

Psychedelic therapy is the practice of using the revelatory and pattern-dissolving properties of psychedelic substances such as LSD, MDMA , Psilocybin or ayahuasca to promote trauma release, healing, and personal growth.

As a Soma Breath instructor, I’ve led many people through this powerful breathwork meditation and I often hear feedback that sounds like the description of a psychedelic experience. My own experience is like this as well and now, new research into the Soma breathwork meditation has produced data that supports these experience reports.

The Soma Breathwork Study

The primary focus of this pilot study by Dr Jeff Tarrant of NeuroMeditation Institute, was “to determine if the SOMA breathing experience resulted in the subjective experience of altered states of consciousness and if the brain demonstrated patterns similar to those observed during the use of traditional psychedelics”

Using EEG, the Brunel Mood Scale and the Altered States of Consciousness questionnaire it was found that the Soma breathwork meditation shows many consistencies with other psychedelic medicines.

The EEG readings, which were taken immediately after the breathwork meditation, showed that Soma produced a significant quieting of overall EEG activity especially Delta and Alpha brainwaves. This is significant as decreases in these two bands are most associated with mystical experiences and improvements in mental health in research with psychedelic medicines.

The Brunel Mood Scale questionnaire was filled out once before and once after the breathwork meditation. Subject responses indicated significant decreases in feelings of tension, fatigue, and confusion, and significant increases in happiness and calmness.

The Altered States of Consciousness questionnaire which has been used for nearly 30 years to assess non-ordinary states of consciousness was taken by subjects after the experience. The results suggest that the Soma breathwork meditation shows many consistencies with other psychedelic medicines. In fact, 3 of the scores for Soma were higher than the comparison medicines (mdma & psilocybin), including “Experience of Unity,” “Spiritual Experience,” and Changed Meaning.”

“The overall results of this pilot study were very positive and suggest that Soma breathwork may have the capacity to induce states similar to those observed with traditional psychedelics as well as some possible hypnotic processes and mood enhancing effects. This further suggests that this type of breathwork practice may have therapeutic potential, particularly if used intentionally to process past traumas and/or to embed new beliefs and behaviors into the subconscious mind.”

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