What is Breathwork? (also known as Rebirthing)
Breathwork is a breathing technique using conscious connected breath. By breathing in this manner over a prolonged period, usually for an hour, your body becomes energised and a state of altered consciousness is reached. During this time memories and emotions may surface along with physical tensions and sensations.
Allowing these feelings to be experienced can lead to conscious realisations about patterns in one’s life resulting in the ability to make changes. The results can include healing on many levels, physical, emotional and spiritual. By the end of the session a deep sense of relaxation may be reached, bringing with it a lasting sense of well-being.
What is the difference between Rebirthing and Breathwork?
There is no difference, however when the technique was first discovered many people had experiences related to their birth, hence the name Rebirthing (it was also facilitated in a jacuzzi or hot tub to recreate the womb memories. It was soon realised that the technique released trauma associated with other life experiences, hence the introduction of the term -Breathwork. It is felt by many that this name is a. more accurate description
What do I (client) need to do?
Your Breathworker will guide you in the process. It is very simple. It is usually done lying down. Your Breathworker will sit beside you and guide you into a relaxed breathing rhythm. He/she is also available to support you physically and energetically during the session. Besides the two hour (estimate) consultation, the breathing may take from 45 to 60 minutes sometimes longer.
What can happen?
There are many different approaches and a number of ways to breathe, so every session is different You are unique and each session will be influenced by your state of mind at the time and your health, emotions and physical fitness. Some of the things you may experience are changes of temperature (feeling hot or cold), emotional release of sadness, anger or fear etc. tightness, tingling, cramping, perspiration, memories of past events, recent and back to early childhood, birth and conception, and memories of past lifetimes,. At the end of the session you will usually experience a feeling of deep relaxation and bliss.
During and often following the session you may have realisations which lead to understanding of patterns and situations in your life.
How will I know if this will be useful to me?
It seems that if you have been drawn to investigate this technique then it will be of benefit to you. Anyone who is prepared to take personal responsibility for their lives can use the technique and gain benefit from it.
Rebirthing/Breathwork is based on the concept ‘Thought is Creative’. In simple terms this means that your life is a reflection of what you think and believe. If you want different results, then you must change your thinking. Identifying the beliefs and patterns which run in your life can help you make the change.
It is recommended that you take the time to find the Breathworker who suits you and with whom you feel comfortable.
Is it safe?
Breathwork is a simple breathing technique facilitated by an accredited Breathworker/Rebirther to ensure that you are safe. It is not recommended that you attempt the technique on your own until you have undertaken at least 10 sessions with a qualified Breathworker.
Does it always work?
Every session is different. It is important that you let go of the need to control the session and trust that your needs will be met. Provided you are committed to breathing and staying conscious you will experience benefit.
What difference will Breathwork make to my life?
Breathwork is a powerful tool. It brings about change by releasing physical and emotional tensions. It can bring to your awareness unconscious beliefs and patterns of behaviour allowing you to clear them.
Is it hyperventilation?
Breathwork is not hyperventilation. It is conscious connected breathing. Your Breathworker is there to guide you and keep you safe.
How many sessions should I do?
It is usually recommended that you undertake a series of 10 sessions over a period of time, taking time between each session to assimilate realisations and change. To commit to a series of sessions is to commit to creating change in your life.
Is it a cult or religion?
No. Breathwork is a breathing technique. It is not a religion. You will bring to it your own spiritual beliefs. And if you have no spiritual beliefs none will be forced upon you. You will be working with energy – it doesn’t matter what you call it. Rebirthers respect most systems of thought and belief.
What is the difference between a group session and a private session?
Generally in a group session participants will not go as deep as in a private session. Being in a group has advantages and can also be a distraction. In a private session there is much greater opportunity to discuss and explore your own individual circumstances with the full attention of your Breathworker. At the end of a private session there is time to debrief on your experience and look at tools to further help you in your journey of change and self exploration.
How did this work get popularised?
Rebirthing began in the early 70’s by Leonard Orr and a small group of friends. This group discovered the immense impact that their birth had on their everyday experiences. Because of this the process became known as Rebirthing. Rebirthing has since undergone many changes and it is now often referred to as ‘Breathwork’ because the focus is on the breath.
There were also other Breathwork pioneers such as Dr Stanislav Grof- who developed another form of Breathwork called Holotropic breathing- a much faster connected breathing pattern however all these techniques are similar in that they allow one to go deep into releasing any suppressed memories and traumas in the body.
Sondra Ray who was a pioneer Rebirther created “Loving Relationships Trainings” and began to teach people the art of becoming a Breathworker- today there is an International Breathwork Foundation where Breathworkers meet yearly to share, learn and teach in different locations around the world Australia, UK and USA have recognised schools in Breathwork with even government assisted programs supporting education of this amazing Breathing technique.
Are there different types of breathwork?
Breathwork began as a technique called Rebirthing as the process itself was facilitated in a Jacuzzi/ hot tub in order for the client to be able to connect to deep primal thoughts of being in the womb and even the memory of their own birth process.
Today Breathwork is a simple breathing technique which is mainly non-verbal. The facilitator supports/guides the client into breathing in a conscious connected creating pattern. This is done by lying down on a comfortable mattress/sofa and the breathing session lasts for around 45min to 60 minutes.
As I mentioned before there is also Rebirthing- done in water Holotropic breathing done with evocative music and the breathing pattern is faster there are also other breathing modalities similar like Pranayama and Kriya Yoga from India as well as Chi Gong and Tai Chi from the East- however Breathwork has more of a Psychotherapeutic element to it.
Do people have to do this among people they know or isn’t it typically done in a private session – one on one with a therapist?
The Highest form of Breathwork is usually a private 1-1 sessions where the client has a very extensive interview with the Breathwork practitioner- this is usually a lengthy very private and confidential interview where the client is asked a lot of Personal questions about their actual birth, childhood, teenage years etc- questions about their self esteem, what they believe – also an opportunity to discuss anything that is troubling them or would like to understand more about themselves, fears, phobias, issues etc.
There are also group breathwork sessions which are less personal however very powerful as sharing in group sessions enables people to connect more or even have realisations that others have similar issues etc.
Breathwork is a great tool for inspiration, relaxing and releasing STRESS from the mind and body!
Must it always result in an experience of ‘rebirthing’?
No, Breathwork may have elements of Birth Memory/traumas coming to surface in order to release however Breathwork is a simple tool in releasing a lot of stress from the body, feel more connected and the end result is usually a state of peace and bliss.
It may take a few sessions in order to reach a point where one is connected to their own breath and aware of the power of how much it can heal us!