Breathwork has always been central to personal and spiritual development. All great spiritual traditions teach some form of Breathwork. Breathwork includes the various forms of meditation which take the breath as their basis. Breathwork is both in a field of its own and a part of the field of Somatics. In recent years, experiential Breathwork has developed and into a variety of forms and practices such as Conscious Breathing Techniques, Conscious Connected Breathing, Holotropic Breathwork, Integrative Breathwork, Primal Therapy, Rebirthing, Taoist Breathwork, Transformational Breathwork, Yoga Breathwork (Pranayama), Zen and Vipassana Breathwork, and so forth. Breathwork is central in Transpersonal Psychology. The functioning and health of the breath is naturally also of concern to psychologists, psychotherapists, doctors, physiotherapists, osteopaths, singers, actors, and many other professions.
In 1994 the International Breathwork Foundation (www.ibfnetwork.org) was formed as a network of subscribers to bring Breathworkers of all kinds together. Its purpose is "to promote a heart-centred approach to Breathwork, its theory and practice, for the expansion of consciousness and for personal and global transformation." By coincidence, in the same year, the International Society for the Advancement of Respiratory Psychophysiology (ISARP - http://www.ohiou.edu/isarp/) was also formed with the purpose "to promote and advance knowledge of the interrelationships between psychological and physiological aspects of respiration in research and application." Although ISARP’s purpose is more restricted, Joy Manné’s paper Only One Breath: Buddhist Breathwork and the Nature of Consciousness (The Healing Breath, Volume 1, No. 1) shows that there is in fact "only one breath." Everyone who is concerned with the breath, whether their background is experiential and practical, shamanic, or medical and scientific, is working with the same breath and the same process of breathing, which has in itself infinite variety and infinite power. The interests of the IBF and ISARP overlap. It could not be otherwise. We all breathe and the nature and quality of our breathing invariably affects our state of consciousness, outlook on life, mental and physical health and well-being.
Inspired by the creation of the International Breathwork Foundation and the International Society for the Advancement of Respiratory Psychophysiology, Joy Manné, PhD, created the internet peer-review journal The Healing Breath: a Journal of Breathwork Practice, Psychology and Spirituality to contribute towards the creation of a professional literature of high standards and quality for Breathwork, its Practice, Psychology and Spirituality. The first number appeared at the end of January 1999 on Joy Manné's site www.i-breathe.com. In 2004 the Healing Breath was transferred to its own website: www.HealingBreathJournal.org. Three numbers per year comprising 4 articles each and at least four book reviews are published. The Mission Statement of The Healing Breath is: to provide a forum of discussion for the richness and diversity of Breathwork practice, psychology, spirituality, techniques, methods, variety of practices, case histories, history, development, and so forth, with place also for the complementary methods and techniques most usually taught alongside Breathwork.