In 2018, two years after I’d taken my last antidepressant
, I found myself still struggling to remain steady in an unmedicated world. After fifteen years of relying on antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs to do all the coping work for me, I didn’t have any sense of how to self-regulate my emotions or nervous system.
Around this same time, an acquaintance of mine, Taylor Somerville, became certified as an XPT Coach
. Built on the researched-backed principles of managing stress response and wellbeing through breathwork, movement, and recovery, I went down the XPT rabbit hole and decided to get certified myself. Using Symmetry as a blueprint, my intention was to eventually use the XPT principles in my work with clients in antidepressant withdrawal.
Like most things in life, my plan strayed from reality. The majority of XPT’s methodology wasn’t a great fit for people in active withdrawal, but it was a perfect fit for where I was in my recovery. While Taylor went on to build Symmetry
, a business dedicated to helping people regulate stress through breathwork and exposure therapy, I decided not to follow in his footsteps and instead, learn from him.
Two to three times per week, I pop into Taylor’s 45-minute, virtual breathwork sessions. Designed to combat dysfunctional breathing patterns
and lower stress response, these sessions act as internal barometers, providing me with immediate feedback on my mental and emotional state.
You might be asking yourself, “How are breathing and stress connected? Doesn’t my body naturally know how to breathe?”
Take a look at this chart: