Healing Trauma with Eiriu Eolas
A little over four years ago now I was fortunate enough to be introduced to a remarkable breathing and meditation program through some researchers whose work I'd been following on the internet who had the grace and sincerity to put the entire method online for free. It's sincerely the powerful healing tool I've encountered and will devote some time here to exploring the wisdom and theory behind the program.
There's some amazing science behind the methods employed in the Eiriu Eolas program. A complete session comprises of a warm up of simple Asanas from Yoga followed by three different types of focused breath-work and concludes with the 'Prayer of the Soul' which is a beautiful and elaborate affirmation and prayer to the Universe, God or one's higher self. The program begins with 'Pipe Breathing' which is a type of breath-work which stimulates the Vagus Nerve and it's here where the real science behind the magic lies. The Vagus Nerve is the tenth cranial nerve and is at the heart of the activity of the para-sympathetic nervous system. There are actually two Vagus nerves which begin on either side of the hypothalamus area of the brain. Descending down through the neck, they weave round the lungs and down to the cardiac plexus where the left nerve stops. The right nerve then continues through the entire torso linking in with the Heart, Lungs, Pancreas, Stomach and ending in the lower intestines which in Traditional Chinese medicine of course is the dan t'ian or 'elixir field', believed to be the source of Qi or life force energy.
The Vagus nerve's role is literally to activate the parasympathetic nervous system which manages the body/mind relaxation response. This enables the health of the immune system, cells, organs and tissues, and perhaps even stem cells. Not only that but stimulation of the Vagus Nerve has shown to also increase levels of the neurotransmitter acetyl-choline which is a natural anti-inflammatory chemical produced in the brain. This part of the program is very easy to learn and can be practiced literally anywhere for the purpose of switching on the body's natural 'reset' button in times of experiencing any form of stress response. By 'pipe breathing' and stimulating the Vagus nerve at such times, it communicates with the rest of the body to inform it on a biological level that any perceived threat is no longer existent and instruct it to start to journey back towards homeostasis.
This pipe breathing is followed by a technique called 'Warrior's Breath' which again is a simple but powerful type of breath, it's job being to expel stale air from the lungs and to be a physically powerful exit and entry link between the Vagus stimulation and the final portion of breathing which is deep Bio-Energetic breathing.
Whilst it's been said by the designers of Eiriu Eolas that the vagus nerve stimulation along with the Prayer of the Soul are the most important aspects of EE, I personally regard this last portion as the deeply esoteric and shamanic part of the system. Arguably at the heart of ALL energy medicine we find the idea that traumatic memory's, emotions and experiences become embedded in the body as energetic patterns which unless addressed and treated dwell there for our entire lifetimes and which in turn can manifest both as physical disease as well as creating long term psycho-spiritual illness. One of the pioneering researchers to really study this seriously was Dr Alexander Lowen and this final portion of the breathing is based on his work. It's tremendously powerful and I often find myself in a state of mind during this breathing which is far outside of the confines of normal waking consciousness, accessing both painful and joyous memories of childhood as well as startling insights into past events and almost regressing completely to a particular time and place earlier in my life.
This portion of the program also often produces spontaneous crying which is indicative of deep emotional release. Usually at the end of the three breathing techniques my physical body is profoundly relaxed and often feels as if it's 'humming' and sometimes vibrating/shaking in a deeply pleasant way. There's much evidence correlating with the work of Peter Levine here. In his book 'In an Unspoken Voice' he writes extensively on 'Somatic Experiencing' and explores how going into shock after violent physical or emotional trauma is actually a natural healing response to such trauma and essential for one's future emotional well being. I'm simplifying his work considerably but it seems to be the case that whilst in shock the body is doing a kind of fast track healing, dispelling the traumatic energy by literally shaking it out the body. He goes on to show that trauma patients who are in shock for longer periods of time and do not 'fight' the process are less prone to experiencing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder later on. It would seem that this Bio-Energetic Breathing which initiates the humming and shaking replicates the symptoms of shock but obviously within a safe environment where no actual trauma is being experienced and thus it transmutes and dispels the emotional pain which lives in the body.
As mentioned, the final portion of the program is the 'Prayer of the Soul' which is perfect to lie down to and listen to after the 3 stage breathing process. I often find this produces further emotional release as following the Vagus Nerve stimulation and Bio-Eneregtic breathing, the body/mind feels in a deeply altered and relaxed state. I almost always practice the program at night and fall asleep to this prayer and one of the most moving experiences that is gained through practicing EE is the profoundly different quality of one's dreams after a full session. For me they are often distinctly more vivid and technicolor and whilst difficult to convey here, I often end up visiting what could be said to be objectively unpleasant places and yet they are not experienced as unpleasant but indeed as quite the opposite. It's almost as if the psyche is enabled to explore places of wounding and yet see and experience them within the dream from a more objective and less personally entwined perspective where they can be faced and assimilated without fear.
In summary, I really can't recommend this program highly enough and the healing journey it's taken me on has been both profound and nothing short of life changing. It's sincerely one of those rare things that sounds too good to be true but actually isn't and I regard it as both a very serious shamanic tool and indeed a gift from God. The Eiriu Eolas program is free and will remain free forever and all the instructions along with the audio needed to practice it can be found below……….