Somato Respiratory Integration (SRI): Breathing Exercises to Help Integrate “The 12 Stages of Healing”

SRI is a powerful tool, developed by Dr. Donald Epstein, that is used to connect our brains’ attention with our bodies through the breath.

First taught as “The 12 Stages of Healing”, we now understand it to really mean “The 12 Stages of Consciousness”. Healing is constantly happening in our body-minds without our awareness. 100,000 new skin cells are produced every minute that we are alive, and the stomach lining is replaced in its entirety every 24 hours. Those are just two examples of our innate healing mechanisms.

Through SRI’s 12 stage exercises, we use our breath, touch, focused movement, and attention to experience the body with more awareness and presence. Through this self-cultivating technique, SRI helps to shift our state of consciousness in developing a deeper connection to what the body is saying in relation to where we might find ourselves in life.
Once you learn how to do the SRI exercises, you will have a powerful tool for directly harnessing the internal forces of your body for easier self-healing, transformation, and reorganization. Virtually anyone in physical pain, or who is going through an illness, divorce, depression, loss of a job or loved one can benefit profoundly from SRI exercises, but SRI is not just for those who are suffering or finding times of unpleasantness.

  • The first 3 Stages of of SRI are especially helpful for people who are in pain, or who are feeling depressed, fatigued, helpless or stuck in life.
  • The Stages 4-7 of SRI are powerful for people looking for a breakthrough or who are already in the process of making significant life-changes.
  • Stages 8-12 of SRI assist to promote awakened consciousness states and are designed to help you access and sustain a greater depth of overall well-being.

Most people find that regularly using the SRI exercises helps them feel more grounded and present, as well as more energized, confident, and creative.

Being conscious of how we react in a certain relationship or circumstance in our lives is required to be able to create a change, move through and heal that situation. Dr. Donald Epstein explains that “There are no thoughts, feelings, and experiences we can have that are separate from the body. A physical area of connection to the body, when paid attention to – can re-create an old experience.” An example of this is a familiar scent that reminds you of a person or past situation. The memory triggers a feeling that you associate with that particular event.

The 12 breathing exercises of SRI catalyze the initial awareness that can lead to our recognizing the need for change, sometimes by re-creating an old experience. This helps us to develop the courage that will then lead to breakthroughs for unparalleled healing to occur in our lives. As we progress through the 12 stages, we gain momentum and a greater energy source to draw from.

Stage 1

Stage one of healing is called suffering. It is a starvation of life force energy which can – but does not have to – show up as muscle restriction, inflammation, or pain in our bodies. This “locked up” area has what is called “bound energy” which we will draw from for use in the later stages.

In stage 1 we want to be able to locate, experience and verbalize the differences between areas that feel disconnected in our bodies and the ones that feel peaceful. The main goal of stage 1 is to become connected to these different areas regardless of their differences. “Connecting” means to keep your attention on an area without your mind drifting, to be able to localize movement just in that part of the body and move breath in and out in that area. This type of focused connection allows us to find parts of ourselves that we disconnected from in the past because it was unsafe to experience or be in our bodies at that instance in our lives.

Stage 2

In stage two we start to recognize that there are parts that are separate from us and that we forgot about. We start recognizing that we have different parts and different rhythms. A goal of moving through this stage is for these parts to co-exist. This consciousness allows us to tap into “polarities” that exist in our lives. We begin to recognize contradictions within us that run our lives. We now can begin to take the charge off these areas of our bodies and their associated stress response. When our parts begin to flow rhythmically without one dominating the other, our lives unfold with more grace, ease, and less conflict.

Stage 3

In stage 3 we notice that “we are stuck”. We recognize that we have been stuck for a long time and have not been paying attention to our inner needs. We start to gain consciousness that being stuck in our bodies creates an inability to move forward in our lives. Being stuck is not a failure; it is meant to build up our resources, just as feelings of frustration are meant as a sign to take action. The action that is called for here is to listen within and spur us on to take responsibility to create the life we want to live.

I call upon you to connect to your inner wisdom and find your true voice and authentic self. Mastering the first three stages of consciousness will pave the way for you to be true to yourself and bring your gifts to everyone around you and the world.

Below, you’ll find the instruction for the stage 1-3 exercises directly from the book, “The 12 Stages of Healing”.

Share this:

The OMsource Mission

To guide and inspire my clients on a path to their highest potentials by improving their physical, emotional-mental, and spiritual wellbeing, empowering them to create the best possible life for themselves and to share that energy in the service of others.

Get Our Newsletter

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


Omri knows the human body better than any other health care practitioner I have ever worked with.

~Carolyn T


I leave feeling energized and relaxed.

~ S.H.


I have been coming to the center for nearly two years and Dr. Omri is fantastic! He helps me reduce stress, increase energy, eliminate pain and distress – which allows me to fully integrate my mind/ body/ spirit.

~ Jeff W


I’m learning to stand straighter and I feel calmer.

~ Britta B


Within 1.5 days, my body happily returned to its former state of well-being. Pain is gone and I am walking tall. I felt like I was moving on a cloud when I left.  Highly recommended, don’t wait.

~ Karuna C

Latest Blog Posts

Get Wellness Tips and Updates in Your Inbox

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.