Project: Unveiling the Neuroscience of Breath-Induced Altered States

For millennia, people have used breathing techniques to alter consciousness, but the precise neurological mechanisms underlying these experiences have remained elusive. Capturing brain data during such states has been challenging, as the rapid breathing often required to induce non-ordinary states of awareness (NOSA) can lead to movement artifacts that obstruct clear data interpretation.

In a groundbreaking collaborative project with Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Mass General Hospital, and Northeastern University, I have developed specialized breathing protocols designed to be used within an fMRI machine. This innovative approach allows us to gather clear neuroimaging data during breath-induced psychedelic experiences, opening a window into the brain's activity during these profound states of consciousness.

The project brings together a world-class team of researchers, including Dr. Karestan Koenen, Susan Whitfield Gabrieli, Suk-Tak Chan and the inventor of fMRI technology, Dr. Ken Kwong. By combining cutting-edge neuroimaging techniques with carefully crafted breathing protocols, we aim to map the neural correlates of breath-induced altered states.

This research has far-reaching implications. By understanding the neurological underpinnings of these experiences, we can gain insights into the fundamental mechanisms of consciousness and potentially uncover new therapeutic applications for breathing practices. The project also bridges the gap between ancient wisdom traditions and modern neuroscience, fostering a dialogue that could enrich both domains.

As the creator of the breathing protocols at the heart of this study, I am honored to be working with such an exceptional team on this pioneering project. Our findings could not only advance our scientific understanding of consciousness but also validate and refine age-old practices for altering awareness through breath.


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