Welcome to this episode of “How Breathwork Reduces Stress in Fertility” with your host Carolina Sotomayor. Today, we have a special guest, Heather Graham Murphy, who will be sharing her expertise on how breathwork reduces stress in fertility. Heather is a certified breathwork facilitator and coach, with her experience in guiding individuals towards greater health and well-being.
In this episode, Heather introduces us to the world of breathwork and how it can help in reducing stress levels in fertility. She explains that breathwork is a form of mindfulness practice that involves deep, rhythmic breathing techniques to increase oxygen flow to the body and reduce stress levels. Heather emphasizes that breathwork can have a positive impact on fertility as stress levels have been known to impact fertility negatively.
Heather discusses how breathwork can help us reduce stress by calming the nervous system and activating the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for the “rest and digest” response in the body. She explains that this can lead to a reduction in cortisol levels, the hormone associated with stress, and a sense of relaxation and calmness.
Heather also shares some simple breathwork techniques that we can incorporate into our daily routine to help reduce stress levels in fertility. She guides us through a couple of techniques that involve breathing deeply and rhythmically, holding the breath, and exhaling slowly. Carolina and Heather practice these techniques together, and Heather explains how to adapt them to our unique needs.
Overall, this episode is a fantastic resource for anyone looking to reduce stress levels in fertility using breathwork techniques. It provides insights into how breathwork can positively impact our mental and physical health, and offers practical tips for incorporating it into our daily routine. So tune in and join Carolina and Heather on this insightful journey towards greater health and well-being.
What you’ll learn:
1:50 Heather’s story
5:35 What is breathwork?
8:35 Benefits of breathwork
13:04 Why breathing through our mouth might not be ideal
18:00 Basic breathwork pattern
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The Carolina Sotomayor Podcast is brought to you by Carolina Sotomayor and the Fertility Foundation.
Carolina Sotomayor is an Expert Womb Healer who helps women conceive by removing physiological blockages with Reiki. She is the host of the Carolina Sotomayor Podcast, a show that covers everything from fertility to postpartum to motherhood, and the creator of Fertility Foundation Collective, an online membership that helps women heal at their own pace to boost their fertility.
Carolina has served over 500 women from around the world to heal. She is passionate about helping women create their families. As a result, there are over 60 reiki babies in the world.
Fertility Foundation Collective: https://carolinasotomayor.com/membership
Carolina Sotomayor Reiki: https://carolinasotomayor.com/Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/carolinasotomayorreiki/
Podcast Episode Transcript
Hi, I’m Carolina, your podcast host and expert wound healer. Over the past five years, I’ve served over 500 women to remove physical blockages in their bodies. We achieve this with Reiki. I believe healing doesn’t have to be done alone, nor should it be. We will hear stories of healing methods to heal with and guest speakers covering taboo topics you won’t hear anywhere else.
Let’s continue this journey of wound healing together.
Hi everyone. Welcome back to the Carolina Institute Tomorrow podcast. I am Carolina, your podcast host and reiki womb healer. Today we’re talking about how breath work reduces stress and fertility with Ms. Heather Graham Murphy, and we’re so excited you’re hear. Heather, can you tell our audience where are you at in the world and a little bit about what you do and why do you do.
Yeah. Thank you so much for having me. It’s such an honor to be here. I live in Eureka, California, so Northern, Northern, Northern, Northern California. . Sometimes people like to say like, I’m from Northern California, the Bay Area, and I’m like, yeah, that, that’s, that’s North ish. Yeah. I’m like way up near kind of like.
Mount Shasta, but on the coast. So yeah, and I am a certified life coach and I focus on embodiment practices, but I’m also a trauma-informed breath work facilitator, so we’ll be obviously talking about that today. And I help women overcome anxiety and depression by using the tools of manifestation, specifically using embodiment and nervous system regulation.
And so we love a good nervous system regulation. Oh my gosh. Yes. Like I know that’s like everything I’m bringing that into. I didn’t realize all the things I was doing with nervous. It’s to regulation with regulat is essentially exactly that. Can you tell everyone why you do this? Yeah, I would love to. So, oh my gosh, I feel like my story is so long that someday I have to write a book.
But I will just point out that, you know, I started struggling with anxiety and depression at the age of nine. So there were like many things that happened along the way for me. There were some childhood traumas and whatever, and so we all have like big traumas, little traumas, things like that. But I really struggled with like emotional regulation growing up and stuff.
And so I felt like a crazy person. For so long and really struggled with mental health. So I’m really passionate about mental health and advocating for people in so many different ways. Like I try to work with people about like, because I’m not a therapist, not yet, I’m going to school for that. But congratulations.
The world needs you. Yeah, thank you. And, but yeah, like I really, you know, have gone through this huge struggle of just like, my life was such a mess for so long. You know, it can make it hard to go to work. It can make it hard to have healthy relationships. It can be, make it hard to have a healthy body. And so that was my life.
It was really dark and gr like just difficult for so long. . I was in and out of talk therapy, but it wasn’t until I discovered doing more like nervous system regulation work and somatic therapy that I was like, oh wow, things are feeling different for me. I can actually tolerate the world a lot better now
Right? And so it just went further and further and then I knew that I just like wanted to show people this cuz I don’t know if any of your community are into human design, but I’m a five one projector. So like I’m, are you. Yeah, I have to look at my number. I’m a self projected projector and so is my son.
My husband is a Manny gen, and so we actually, a lot of like things we do in our house and the way that I design our lives is around about human design. Even just the, like how I set up my days like today, today is a big podcast recording day, but that’s not my normal routine. Normally I’m doing like three hours of output.
Three hours of. Like video, a FaceTime on video and then I’m gonna go take a nap. Cuz I require a lot of naps. I am a big napper too. Yeah, you have to as a projector. Anyone that’s watching this and like, what are you talking about? There’s five energy types in human design. You can go Google human design chart, you can get yours, your chart for free, anywhere on the internet.
If you have to pay for it, you’re doing it wrong. And there’s five different types and usually the chart comes with like an explanation and all that, but it just allows you to get to know yourself better so you can live more aligned and also lets you know how to make decisions. That are letting you know how you make your own decisions in the best way.
Like for projectors, we have to wait for the invitation. Mm-hmm. . And that means like, and in business, if I cold, direct message or cold email or cold call, someone that’s gonna end up at a dumpster fire. Mm-hmm. , if I just put my. Gifts out into the world and throw out the content that I find like worthy of the world being seen.
Then the people who come and respond to that are more aligned with my offers. Then I’ll be more successful in business because I’ve received the invitation that they wanna know what I have to share versus, you know, The worker bees of the world, like generators and manifesting generators, they work differently.
Like do they need to be responding to something? Everything like their greatness and their greatest things that they’re gonna create are gonna be in response to something they’ve seen, read, or heard. So that’s how my husband works. So it’s so good. I, yeah, like it’s so good. Go down the rabbit hole if you want.
Let’s go down a rabbit hole. Let’s start with what is breath work? Yeah. So breath work essentially is. Using like one pattern or another, multiple patterns within a session, let’s say breath patterns that we use to help regulate the nervous system. But there’s also like so many physiological benefits. But yeah, like when you’re focused on your breath, you can.
Just like choose a breath pattern that’s based on like what your needs are. And so my training is, it’s a, I’m a pause trauma informed breathwork facilitator. And so that type of breathwork uses like a couple of different breath patterns that are really focused on healing and releasing and transforming energetics within the body and healing trauma really.
And so when we do this, we. Are either doing like a longer session where we’re really digging and there’s sometimes lots of tears and you know, we hold trauma in our bodies. We know this now. And so when. So think about it like this. As human beings, we have our five senses and we’re going about the world and our body and our brain is taking in all this information.
And so the information goes into our brain and then it goes into our bodies. So it’s stored in our bodies. And so with breath work, yeah, we, with breath work, we can begin to release these. So when we’re children and we’re growing up and we have all these things, like I said, we all have little traumas and big traumas.
you know, everybody’s story is different. It’s not who’s is worse and whose is better, whatever. We all have stuff that we need to release out of the body, and so we carry these wounds and they stay in our body because it goes into your nervous system and that’s attached to all of your, you know, it’s not physically attached, but it’s sending all this information into the next.
Nobody that gets stuck in your tissue. It gets stuck. Exactly. It gets stuck in me tissues. A tear tissues, I mean that’s why women are struggling with infertility is there’re stuck emotions in the womb that haven’t been addressed or released or even have been identified and the triggers keep coming up and they don’t know how to.
address them or how to maintain emotions going forward. So that’s what we do with Reiki. Yeah. I always say the question, what do you do when you’re like out and about or running errands and you, you have a stressful moment or anxiety. I say I breathe cuz it’s free breath work is free, like literally, and it’s so mobile, like you don’t have to carry anything and don’t, even with reiki, I don’t, I have to put my hands on my cell or I, I have to like go inward, but with breath.
You could do that anywhere sitting. And that’s why I love it as a great way to release emotions. How does breath work essentially? And I think we’re leaning into this reduced stress. Yeah. I’m excited to get into this part because like. There’s some interesting things that rel related to phy fertility that I wanna share, but, you know, essentially it obviously brings oxygen into your system, which is so good for us.
it reduces blood pressure, it slows your heart rate, it strengthens and actually can heal your lungs. So if you’re dealing with something like asthma or anything like that, that’s, that’s all wreaking havoc on your entire system, your entire body. So like if you’re dealing with allergies or anything like that, You can help heal your lungs, expand that capacity, and of course it stimulates the vagus nerve, which we understand is the nerve that helps us get into the parasympathetic state, which is rest and digest.
So that means your body feels safe, it’s calm. And this is a huge thing that I focus on in the work that I do, is that so many of us women, not just women, men too, everybody in between has some sort of lack of safety about something in their body, whether it’s money. Fertility career, whatever it is, you know, like everybody has something that they feel kind of, it’s the number one thing we do in my practice, whether no matter what container, whether it’s the membership of the group program.
Yeah. Is, is how can we get you out of survival mode or flare or flight or is so in into a healing mode where you feel safe. Mm-hmm. . And sometimes I approach it from a very emotional layman terms kind of way of like, what is one thing in your life that would make you feel safe? What is like an activity that we can do to make you feel safe?
How can I move you from. Heightened to, is that like what in your environment can we change or what kind of like, almost like when my, my kid was in Montessori, they said create like a, a cozy corner. It’s like where he can go and retreat. If he’s overstimulated, he can go and. You know, be himself and regulate his emotions or find comfort in the corner.
Like, so what can we do? And I sound, that sounds like I felt really bad metaphor, but like what can we do to create a space or an environment in your home that you’re an associate these. Things like maybe it’s a heated blanket for me. Mm-hmm. , or a certain spot on the couch with the heated blanket that when I go there, I’m gonna start to feel grounded and safe so that I can move out of the panic or out of like survival mode into a safe mode, and I can start that process of regulating my body.
Oh my gosh, you are speaking my language. Fellow projector . I have like, I have a heated blanket and a weighted blanket. So yeah, things like that can really help. They borrow my son’s weighted blanket. It doesn’t do much, but I also have a 40 pound dog in a 20 pound dog, so I’m like, they lay on me and I was like, this is effective.
It’s a heated . It’s the heat and the weight. It’s so perfect. It’s crazy. You know, just thinking about all the ways that we can really focus on regulating the nervous system and how this does relate to fertility. You know, like when we’re thinking about all the stress that. Can wreak havoc on our system.
You know, we just have to begin practicing. It’s a practice of like continually building a sense of safety in the body. And we can do this through those external things like weighted blankets or whatever it is, creating safe spaces in our homes and stuff and beginning to like really feeling what that feels like.
Practicing visceral intelligence. So what are some things that you’ve seen, like some changes with people you may have worked with, or when a person practices breath work, infertility, what are some results that they have gotten? Well, if you don’t mind, I just wanted to share one interesting thing real quick before I answer.
This is an open book. You got the stage, my friend. So I was just learning about, you know, I, I’m not a scientist yet, officially that is, but I’ve been just kind of doing my own because, you know, I kind of came at breath work from like my own needs being met and stuff. But essentially, yes, that’s why we do this work.
Totally. And so we start getting, because it’s person. Now, and now I’m kind of like trying to understand it first from a scientific point of view. And so I was just learning about how, so there’s a huge problem in our world with mouth breathers, , and um, oh, I’m a mouth breather. Breather. And that’s okay. It just takes practice.
So we really need to focus on, wait when I’m sleeping or when I’m awake. Anytime. Anytime. We really have to practice. When I sleep, it’s through my mouth. When I’m awake, it’s through my. . Well that’s great. And so, you know, they have like tape and stuff that some people cannot tolerate, but it takes practice, you know?
So breathing through our nose, there’s multiple reasons, but I wanna specifically point to how it can be related to erectile dysfunction because we have, I know, isn’t this crazy ? So the nose is actually a sexual organ because it has erectile tissue on the um, Interior part of the nose. Yeah. So I know, I know.
It’s crazy like, are you singing? It’s true. Oh my god. I need a minute. So I know you were like, wait, Heather, I wasn’t expecting this.
We talked about spin buying sperm and all kinds of shit on this podcast, but we’ve never used the word erection or erectile dysfunction. So you’re saying my nose. Yeah. So it has, is, is a sexual organ, but like for a man, this is related to his erection. Yeah. And so, so just in case like thank for, for people that are dealing with infertility.
Oh my gosh, I’m dying right now. Also, you know, like this is, this applies for women too because like we wanna breathe oxygen into like stimulate. The sexual organs. Right. And so like, if we’re not breathing through our nose, so people that are struggling with severe allergies or something nasal, you know, nose, ear, throat stuff, this could be part of some infertility issues.
And I definitely, like I said, I’m not a doctor, I’m not a scientist, but I was doing, so there are, there is some research that is beginning to happen in the scientific world around this because it’s a real thing. Yeah, it’s so interesting. So think about, you know, really practicing in the, in the breath pattern that I’ll show you guys today will allow you to begin really focusing on the microphone.
Yes. You fucking spilled the T bro. . Like . So I’m thinking about pheromones too, you know, if your nose is blocked. Oh, that’s so true. True. , like thinking about sexual arousal. Pheromones is a huge part of our sexual arousal, and so we really need to make sure that our noses are healthy and clear. And the one way to really do this is to mindfully practice.
Think of yourself, you know, with your breath work, um, as like, this is your gym routine or whatever. It’s. Important is that like we need to practice breathing through our noses. Way more. Key thing is when I’m looking to work with someone privately or within the group coaching, I ask them, do you have a mindful or spiritual practice you do consistently?
And most people that apply to work with me don’t. But recently a woman said that she had a breath work routine that she does consistently, and I was. Heaven’s angel singing and I was like this. It’s so important to like have that moment, like when you have a consistent routine, whether it’s meditation or breath work or whatever, it just shows how.
You prioritize yourself and it’s such a good indicator of where you are in the relationship with yourself that you are mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. . So I love that. You know, even your email, it says Love of self is in your email. I love how when women they choose breath work as that practice, like it’s. What I’ve noticed with women when they come into my reiki practice and they’ve already done breath work of some sort of any type of breath work before, I feel like their chest space is much larger than a person who has not done any breath work at all.
Their heart space, yeah, is so expansive and is so like their ability to give love and receive love and the depth of that love is unlike anything else. And I think that. The only commonality between all of that is the breath work itself. Yeah. Yeah. I just think about how, like, to go back to the trauma part, you know, I think for many of us women, when it comes to sexual experiences or so, you know, things like that where we might be blocked in our body, we, there might be resistance and just like allowing yourself to.
Open, I don’t wanna sound juy, but like open like a flower, you know, where you just say like, I’m gonna receive this from my partner or whatever. And to allow this like, seed of life to come into me. And, and I think that is a huge part of like what breath can do. Is it like it physically opens you up energetically.
It opens you up too. I love that so much. Can you show us how breathwork works? Can you give us some basic breath work? Yes, I definitely wanna show you guys. Okay. So today I’m gonna be showing you a really basic breathwork pattern that I always start people off with. Cuz again, like I. Trauma informed aspects of this work is so important to me.
So I never wanna take people into some of the more intense breath patterns that I do. So it’s really simple. It’s called a halo active, and it’s simply in through the nose and out through the mouth in a circular pattern. And I’m gonna show you how to do it. It goes like this.
And you see I do it with intention. I’m circulating the breath.
So you’re staying with that for at least a minute. But sometimes I’ve done this breath pattern with people for like 20 minutes and it is intense. And so this really can open up those nasal passages, like as we talked about, is very important. So we wanna open that out. And we wanna open the throat and, you know, and move what’s in your throat chakra.
I know enough that certain breath work can’t be done when you’re pregnant. Is this safe for pregnant woman to do? Yeah. Thank you so much for bringing that up. That is very true. That we have to be mindful about that. And so when I’m in a session, I, I feel like I really need to check in. When I’m working with somebody that’s pregnant, I really check in with them and.
Try to determine like how much body awareness they have. If you’re somebody that struggles with disassociation that is so disconnected with your body, then I would wanna maybe just do the halo active only at, that’s it. Cuz I have like plenty of other breath patterns that are really intense and they just stimulate your diaphragm so much and with.
you know, the, the baby being right there. It’s just too much intensity. But for some women that, you know, like for, for example, women that I’ve been in my program with that have gotten pregnant, they trust themselves. They’ve done been through the training, you know, and I, so I think a lot of it is just, yes, be cautious.
Be mindful. Don’t do these. Like, you know, I have this other one where it’s like your belly is snapping and things like that, and you’re like pushing the air out, like . Right, right, right, right. And so it’s like you don’t wanna do all that to your little, your little babe in there. So yeah, I think just like keeping it really gentle, there’s great breath rec practices that I’m personally not trained in that are for pregnant women.
So I would advise someone to like maybe seek specific. Practitioners of, of pregnancy, breath work or something. We’ve done breath work in reiki sessions and you have to be like very careful. So I actually don’t, even if I do a maternity reiki session, I just do very light and very limited breaths. Now, I don’t even do the womb breaths unless they have been with me for a while and the the womb breaths that I do, I don’t know.
I’ve just picked up things along the way and then just kind of like done it for myself. But it’s with count of three, so like breath in through your nose, allow that go over your head, down your spine into your womb, asking them to push it as far as down as they can. Hold it for a count of 2, 3, 4, and then exhale through the mouth.
2, 3, 4. Yeah, we do that several times, especially if we’re doing like a group circle, but for fertility. But when it’s for pregnancy, it just, Breathing through your nose, out through your mouth three times because I’m not trained in pregnancy breath work at all, so I just wanna make sure they’re comfortable.
I have done, there was one session that I did and the woman got out of breath, and it was exactly what you’re saying. She had a disconnection with her body. Where she couldn’t, like we were working on birth trauma and it was just too much. So, yeah. So if you, if you are pregnant and you are listening to this or you’re going to be pregnant, be mindful of like the breath work that you do, cuz you could get out of breath or dizzy or, those are the only two things that I think.
Really happened is you can get dizzy, like reducing oxygen to the baby too. And yeah, so just be cautious even if something, I always say, this is a rule of thumb research, do your research, be informed, because even natural things can, yeah, can have negative consequences. So when a person does this breath work, how do they know effectively?
So, So breath is invisible. You can physically feel it, but like how would they know that they were successful in reducing stress with breath work? What are some physical confirmations that what I did worked? Yeah, that’s a great question. So sometimes people experience some tingling in their body, which can feel like alarming, but it’s perfectly normal.
And that can sort of be like a good sign. If you’ve been done enough breath work, you’re like, oh, it’s working, I’m, it’s happening. So that can happen. And then afterwards, you know, it’s like this opening, you just feel like you can let go, your muscles completely relax. It’s almost like that thing when you lift a lighter feeling.
Yeah, lighter feelings. So like I’m thinking about like when you lift weights or something and then like you finally get to let go of them and then you just allow yourself to like drop, you know, you could just that, release that relief. Instant relief. Yeah. Yeah, it’s like an instant release and yeah, it’s just hard to explain sometimes because it feels so energetic where, you know, sometimes I’ll have people come in and, or I’ll just share a brief story.
Actually, I was really resistant to breath work and I. Was like I was doing it in my, when I did my life coach training, I was exposed to some breath work and every time we did it, I would be like, Ugh, this stuff . And that’s because like it can, it can really bring things up to the surface and it needs to come out right.
But sometimes we’re resistant to dealing with the things that are being stored inside of us. And for me, it was actually my biological father had passed away two years prior to me doing my breathwork training. And all of a sudden all this stuff was coming up. Like I didn’t even cry when he died or anything like that.
And then all of a sudden it was like, I was like emotional about him and like the things and the life and da, da, da. And I started doing breath work and I just like, for about six weeks, I was just doing breath work every day about him. And then it just, I just forgave him and I just let it go. And I just love him and I was so mad at him for so long and I just, it feels so good to just.
It’s released, you know, and it to a neutral state. Yeah, exactly. And so just forgiveness and things that we need to let go of. Yeah. It’s pretty powerful. I love that. Can you tell the world how they can find you and work with you? Yeah, so the best way to get ahold of me is actually on Instagram I’m at For the love of Self.
I couldn’t get the whole one without the dot. So yeah, at for the love of self. And then, yeah, when you go there, you can go to the link in my bio, there’s a link right there. If you, you can just like make an appointment to do a breathwork session. And I really try to keep my price. Reasonable and accessible for people.
Cause I know not everyone can do, like, you know, lots of things like this, like spending money on different healing modalities. I spent thousands of dollars on my reiki education in hundreds of hours. People don’t realize, they’re like, oh yeah, I got a certified. I was like, that’s great. I’ve been getting certified for five years for that
Yeah, it’s, it’s a law. It is and like it, I remember like starting my personal growth journey where at first it was like, Ooh, I’m gonna spend a hundred dollars on this or whatever. And how like for people, I don’t want them to be scared to invest in themselves. And I love that investing in yourself is so worth it if you can totally spent, it’s so much for being here.
You are a light in the world, and we’re so grateful for you. I am so excited for the audience to watch this episode and listen to it. And as always, if you would like to let us know what you think of this episode, please send us a dm. I would love to hear from you and for always, please don’t forget to leave a five star rating and review to support the podcast so we can have more people like Heather come on and share their expertise for fertility, pregnancy, and postpartum.
Thank you so much for being here, Heather. I hope you have the best. Thank you. It was an honor to connect and serve you this week. If you are a spiritually curious person wanting to conceive, inhale blockages in your fertility, click the link in the episode description to learn more about the Fertility Foundation collective.
Until next time, my friend know you are love.