#089: Holotropic Breathwork – DIY Psychedelia

August 14, 2015

This week Jesse takes a trip into the realm of psychedelic therapy — specifically, Holotropic Breathwork. He is joined by Dr. James Eyerman who has treated over 11,000 patients in 12 years with this therapy. They discuss the origins of breathwork, how it is done, current theories about its mechanism of action, and the future of this type of therapy.

After a recent 14 hour time-zone change between Asia and California, Jesse shares his favorite hack to ward off jet-lag in the Ruthless Listener Retention Gimmick. Planning a long-haul flight soon? Don’t miss this piece of actionable intel.

Want to conduct your own Holotropic Breathwork experiment? We’ve put together a Spotify playlist with all the tracks recommended by Dr. Eyerman to use in your session.

PS:  Remember to have a buddy on babysitting duty… and don’t forget to subscribe below for your weekly dose of neuroscience goodies.

Show Notes
  • 00:00:32

    Jesse introduces the concept of Holotropic Breathwork.

  • 00:01:37

    This Week In Neuroscience: Testing for mild concussions.

  • 00:05:05

    The listener interaction section.

  • 00:06:01

    What is The Erdos Number?

  • 00:08:12

    A big thank you to all those who have already tried Nexus and Mitogen at Axon Labs.

  • 00:09:16

    Introducing Dr. James Eyerman.

  • 00:11:00

    The origin of Holotropic Breathwork.

  • 00:12:20

    An inner journey.

  • 00:15:22

    Hallucinations and altered consciousness.

  • 00:16:33

    A typical Holotropic Breathwork session.

  • 00:20:57

    Basic mechanisms.

  • 00:22:56

    The vagus nerve.

  • 00:25:47

    Dr. Eyerman shares his experience with treating 11,000 people in 12 years.

  • 00:29:25

    The importance of supervision.

  • 00:30:54

    Some "crunchy" places.

  • 00:31:33

    Post-session safety guidelines.

  • 00:33:54

    Jesse's immediate reaction and future plans.

  • 00:35:37

    Ruthless Listener Retention Gimmick: Beat jet-lag with a simple hack.


  1. Gage says:

    What technique did you use to do you holotropic breathwork?

    The one I found online was to simply remove the pause between breaths, is this similar to what you tried?

    Also, I went for a run the other day and realized the same breathing mechanics are in action there. I wonder if runners high is based off of the same mechanisms.

  2. guy says:

    great episode. good value. thank you.

  3. Joe Moore says:

    Fun interview. Heads up though. It is never recommended to do this alone or with untrained people. The technique can land you in some vulnerable situations that can suck to recover from without adequate support and follow up. I’d recommend some one trained in HB facilitate your process a few times before you decide to do it alone. The group component is also super valuable and is not to be ignored.

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