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Rebirthing-Breathwork is a breathing technique that claims to
heal suppressed emotions such as anger, fear, sadness, etc. It
shares a common belief with various other therapies called
Rebirthing, with both groups believing that human birth is a
traumatic event and that reviewing or
revisiting this event, in some way, can have therapeutic benefits.
However, the actual techniques utilized in Rebirthing-breathwork
are quite different from those used by these therapies. Also,
rebirthing-breathwork claims that it can heal suppressed
emotions regardless at what point in one's life they became
Rebirthing-Breathwork grew out of the work of Leonard Orr.
The name rebirthing was first used by Orr and his followers to
describe the technique and became the subject of the book
Rebirthing in the New Age which Orr co-wrote with Sondra
Ray. When Orr first started experimenting with these
breathing techniques, he noticed that he would often have
what he described as memories of his birth. He believed that
by reliving his birth experiences through connected breathing,
he was in fact healing the trauma of his own birth. Although he
was at that time unaware of the practices of kriya yoga and
pranayama, Orr further developed the rebirthing process
between 1962 and 1974 and discovered for himself that
modifications in breathing practice appeared to bring about
improvements in health, mental clarity and emotional well-being.
Development of Rebirthing as a therapeutic modality in its own
right started in 1974, and has been further developed from that
time. Accompanied by fellow researchers, Orr refined it into a
system that can be practiced in the context of a therapy session
and taught to clients over a series of sessions.
Proponents estimate that, since 1974, more than ten million people
worldwide have learned the process, with more than one hundred
thousand people completing practitioner training.
It is currently a popular alternative treatment system in the United
States, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Italy Israel,
Spain, United Kingdom, and Venezuela.
In Orr's Rebirthing-Breathwork, the main breathing technique is
a connected breath, where the breather does not pause between
inhale and exhale. According to facilitators, this causes a build
up of oxygen in the blood and a build up of prana or life energy.
Breathing sessions are done individually, (never in groups) lying
down and usually last one to two hours.