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What is Rebirthing?

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[Breathwork was originally and often called Rebirthing]

This is a very good and thorough article I thought you might like from Deike Begg, Rebirther and Rebirthing Trainer, Psycotherapist, Author of Rebirthing-Freedom from Your Past, and Astrologer based in London.

Rebirthing is about rebirth of the soul. In Rebirthing you are taught how to consciously connect to your soul by connecting with spiritual energy and drawing it inside yourself with the breath. The effects of this are immediate and permanent. Every little step of progress is irreversible and every little step is an initiation for the soul.

Essentially, Rebirthing is a breathing therapy in which you consciously connect to the divine power of the universe so that it will cleanse and transform you. It is not first and foremost concerned with the birth process and reliving the birth trauma. There are many people who have never experienced a rebirth in that sense during their sessions.

The Rebirthing process itself is based on a very specific advanced breathing technique. Developed in the early 1970s, mainly by the American Leonard Orr, it can have the most amazing results physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Although it is safe to practice and powerfully life-enhancing, you should not attempt to do it on your own at first. The changes that could occur during a session including variations in body temperature and strange feelings and visions, for instance need to be facilitated by a trained practitioner in order to provide you with the fullest benefits and lead you through to the final high point when you can experience your own bliss, inner light and union with a greater whole.

There are many misconceptions concerning Rebirthing. It is not a form of hyperventilation, quite the opposite in fact; nor is it primarily a form of relaxation. We don’t smother people with pillows or restrain them in any way. The individual lies down on a mattress and will breathe in a certain way for about an hour. During this time the most extraordinary things can happen.

We must remember that we exhale approximately 70% of body waste. Only 3% is discarded by defecation, 7% by urination and 20% through the skin. This means that during a session of deep Rebirthing, when we breathe in a certain way, and when the breath reaches deeper into our cellular structure than anything else we know, a profound cleansing of our being takes place. One belief is that we store memory (of traumas, accidents, shame etc) in the body as chemicals and when these get released through the cleansing breath they leave the body and can no longer affect us in negative ways. So in that sense after each Rebirth one is a different person. Although Rebirthing is not a quick fix, because you need to do the breathing, which can stir up all kinds of blockages, it is the fastest working therapy I know.

How I Developed My Rebirthing Work

My Rebirthing work developed out of my rich psychotherapeutic training background, with a sound grounding in Psychosynthesis, Jungian psychology, Gestalt therapy with its emphasis on voice dialogue, past-life therapy and astrology. For 17 out of the past 26 years I have undergone various types of psychotherapy myself. They were an adventurous journey and a wonderful opportunity for self-discovery. (Psychotherapy is not to be confused with psychiatric treatment, which often only employs the use of drugs.)

I particularly took to guided imagery and Gestalt therapy. In guided imagery a person is taken on an inner journey, for instance up to a mountain top where they might meet their Higher Self in the form of a wise being, or into a cave deep within the bowels of the Earth to encounter a lost and perhaps long-forgotten fragment of themselves. Guided imagery, properly used, effectively employs the imagination to access memory. But on its own, without conscious connected breathing (the Rebirthing breath), it cannot bring about the physical cleansing process of the cells nor the brilliant and supernatural visionary experiences encountered in Rebirthing.

Gestalt therapy also uses the body as a sounding board and as a link to hidden fragments of ourselves, but here the eyes are generally kept open and one experiences oneself as one is in the very moment of therapy. It is a ‘here and now’ therapy. Much attention is given to body language, quality and tone of voice, tightness of muscles, etc., and the client is encouraged to go along with the fantasy they are having in the here and now and to act it out in the session. The therapist then guides the client, through various techniques to discover that all his or her conflicts rest somewhere within their own nature, and gradually, psychic contents that were previously disowned and projected onto other people, are re-owned and subsequently integrated.

My Rebirthing technique rests on the shoulders of these two therapies because both are ideally suited for use for breath work. Without their deeper dimensions breathing therapy can be shallow, meaningless and dull.

It is also important, if one wants to work in this meaningful way with the breath, to have an understanding of other cultures, of mythology, fairy tales and astrology. The imagery that can emerge during sessions is often of an archetypal (collective) nature, belonging to ancestral or racial memory and frequently of cosmic dimensions. It is a region diametrically opposed to our ordinary conscious world, a region that is inhabited by strange beings, shapes, colours and lights. It is useful for the Rebirthing therapist therefore to know, for instance, that a snake is a symbol of wisdom, as well as a frightening image for some; that a spider, as Maya, is also the great celestial spinner of illusion and fate, even for those with a spider phobia.

During Rebirthing people frequently see images of various planets, stars and constellations, and knowledge of astrology can be invaluable for the practitioner. The birth chart not only tells me much about a person’s character, but also reveals the current cosmic conditions with which they need to co-operate. It can tell me whether a person is about to have a nervous breakdown or a spiritual emergence. It is interesting how many people come to Rebirthing when their birth charts are ‘activated’ by one of the outer planets, i.e., Uranus(sudden, unexpected changes), Neptune (dissolution of former way of being, sacrifice and renunciation) or Pluto (death and rebirth and empowerment). Certain planets promote a rapid Rebirth, others indicate that major blocks to the flow of energy to and from the soul exist and need to be dealt with and dissolved. This might take two or more sessions.

The bodywork of Gestalt therapy has proved immensely helpful during breathing sessions, whilst guided imagery not only makes it a joy to work with people’s emerging stories but also enables me to guide them more deeply into their inner worlds. And my work with sub-personalities (different aspects of ourselves that co-exist within us) greatly facilitates the process of integration of different parts of one’s being.

Your Journey

With Rebirthing breathing you enter totally new territory, a terra incognita. You find yourself in the strangest lands and circumstances. Whilst you will not lose your connection with the world you live in here and now, you can at the same time have experiences of another world, a different dimension and time. The ‘trick’ in Rebirthing is to allow yourself to dwell in that unknown world for long enough for a transformation to occur. That world lies in what Deepak Chopra in his book Quantum Healing calls the ‘gap’. In this gap creativity, inspiration, super-intelligence and supernatural visions have their abode.

You would not set out on a journey through unknown terrain without a map or a guide. It would be foolish to start out on your own without someone who knows what lies ahead, knows the road and knows how (but not where) it might end. The same applies to Rebirthing; you need a skilled guide to help you over tricky hurdles and to hold your hand or encourage you when you feel stuck or think you cannot go on. It is the consciousness that we bring to breath work that is the determining factor. Also, during the first few sessions you may need a great deal of encouragement just to keep breathing, for if you don’t breathe properly nothing will happen. After several years of Rebirthing I still prefer to do my breathing with someone else present, if only to keep me breathing and from dropping off to sleep. If you are willing to do the work, to breathe as never before and trust the transformative powers of the breath, you will make contact with universal forces.

The Buddha taught that conscious inhalation and exhalation leads eventually to the knowledge of liberation. When we breathe consciously we become aware of that which is normally unconscious. If we change the rhythm of our breathing we change our minds and the way to change the rhythm is to give conscious attention to breathing. When we give attention to breathing and rhythm we transform air into magical essence.

In order to get the best out of a Rebirthing session you will need to suspend your disbelief in a force greater than yourself. You will need to remain open to the incoming breath, keep breathing calmly and ‘wait upon the will of heaven’. If you breathe, relax and allow things to happen, rather than trying to control them, you will have a Rebirth. You will come to a natural end of the breathing cycle when you either open your eyes spontaneously or drift into a gentle ‘yoga’ sleep, but before that you will have had one of the most astonishing experiences ever.

Sometimes the most amazing images of brilliant colours and patterns appear before your inner vision. Sometimes there is a very bright light, so bright that it ought to hurt your eyes but doesn’t. Sometimes your whole body can feel as if it has become infused with this light, causing you to lose all sense of normal bodily awareness. (You have probably heard and read much about the divine light. Well, this is the only way I have ever been able to ‘be in the light’ and to have the light enter me.) Sometimes a numinous figure, a wise or even Christ-like being appears. Aldus Huxley, in The Doors of Perception, talks about similar experiences but with the help of hallucinogenic drugs, and puts it like this:

“Sometimes people see visions, which may be of Christ Himself. Sometimes they hear the voice of the Great Spirit. Sometimes they become aware of the presence of God and of those personal shortcomings which must be corrected if they are to do His will.”

For some of you what I have been talking about here is familiar, but for those who have not yet had an experience of entering that other dimension all this will have little meaning. I do hope, however, to have aroused sufficient curiosity for people to experiment, if possible, with a skilled Rebirther who has already visited transpersonal realms.

Deike Begg, D.F.Astrol.S, Dip.Psych.&Ed, UKCP, FAPAI, APAI

http://www.deikebegg.com

Helpful Water Birth Information

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 I found a couple of great websites and some powerful info that I’d like to share with you.  The first is www.babystepsonline.net, which is a company offering Intuitive Birthing classes.  Their links/resources page is great!  I plan to contact these powerful women and work with them to share rebirthing with their clients.

The second site is www.terrylarimore.com, who is an LMSW (Licensed Master Social Worker) among other certifications.  Her collection of readings and writings is wonderful.  I highly recommend the article “Babies Are Conscious”, by Dr. David Chamberlain.

The last piece I wish to share with you is some information about water birthing.  I began my education about water delivery in 2006, when I first attended an LRT, Loving Relationship Training.  Not a lot ws discussed about it at that point, but I remember a seed was planted.  While training to become a Certified Breathworker/Rebirther, we talked extensively about the subject and saw footage of a live water birth and a live hospital birth.  The difference in the reactions of the baby were incredible!  In the water birth, the baby was so calm and peaceful versus the hospital delivery in which the baby was tense and anxious.   I knew then that I wanted to share this information with other medical professionals.  I also knew that I would deliver this way if I ever were pregnant (the training was in January and I conceived in February).

Today, I found a wonderful waterbirthing site for your review.  Should you want to investigate the benefits of this form of delivery or know of someone who would benefit from this information, this is a great site to go to:  http://www.waterbirth.org/

Here are some of the FAQ’s:

Why is water birth not available in more hospitals?

Waterbirth International works diligently with couples who want to use warm water during their births in a hospitals. We have been very successfully with obtaining approvals for our portable pools in many hospitals in the last ten years. Hospitals are more cooperative today than ever before as doctors and midwives begin to see the benefits of allowing women to make their own choices.

 

Waterbirth profoundly demonstrates that a woman is empowered by “giving birth,” not “being delivered”. Many health care providers are seeing women take charge of their birth experiences and welcome this attitude and do what they can to facilitate a gentle birth. But others are still “locked into” the medical technological model of birth and have a harder time being convinced of the efficacy and safety of waterbirth. As couples become more informed of their options, they are assuming more responsibility for their own birth experience. If you would like one of Waterbirth International’s midwife or physician consultants to work with your doctor or hospital, simply contact us. We’ll call and discuss the approaches to take and the steps that are necessary to change policy.

 

 What prevents baby from breathing under water?
There are four main factors that prevent the baby from inhaling water at the time of birth:

1.  Prostaglandin E2 levels from the placenta which cause a slowing down or stopping of the fetal breathing movements. When the baby is born and the Prostaglandin level is still high, the baby’s muscles for breathing simply don’t work, thus engaging the first inhibitory response.

2.  Babies are born experiencing mild hypoxia or lack of oxygen. Hypoxia causes apnea and swallowing, not breathing or gasping.

3.  Water is a hypotonic solution and lung fluids present in the fetus are hypertonic. So, even if water were to travel in past the larynx, they could not pass into the lungs based on the fact that hypertonic solutions are denser and prevent hypotonic solutions from merging or coming into their presence.

4.  The last important inhibitory factor is the Dive Reflex and revolves around the larynx. The larynx is covered all over with chemoreceptors or taste buds. The larynx has five times as many as taste buds as the whole surface of the tongue. So, when a solution hits the back of the throat, passing the larynx, the taste buds interprets what substance it is and the glottis automatically closes and the solution is then swallowed, not inhaled.

For a more complete description, please read Barbara Harper’s Waterbirth Basics

 What is the temperature of the water?
Water should be monitored at a temperature that is comfortable for the mother, usually between 95-100 degrees Fahrenheit. Water temperature should not exceed 101 degrees Fahrenheit as it could lead to an increase in the mother’s body temperature which could cause the baby’s heart rate to increase. It is a good idea to have plenty of water to drink and cold cloths for the mother’s face and neck. A cool facial mist from a spray bottle is a welcome relief for some mothers as well.

 How much does a waterbirth cost?
If you rent a portable poolfor either home or hospital birth, it usually costs about $375, which includes the rental fee, shipping both ways, and all the extras that you might need. Some insurance companies do reimburse for the expense of the pool rental. If the hospital has permanent birth pool equipment, there is not really even any need to let your insurance company know that you have had a waterbirth. Just in case they may object to the process, it is always safe to inform the insurance company that the baby was born vaginally. It really doesn’t matter if the baby was born in the bath or on the bed – it is still a vaginal birth.

  Can I have a water birth at my local hospital?
Waterbirth International diligently works with families who want to have a water birth in a hospital environment. Hospitals are more cooperative today than ever before as more and more women have made their choices heard. Many people start the process by inquiring if they can bring in a portable pool kit for labor.  There are a series of steps that need to take place in order to assist hospitals and providers in adopting protocols for water labor and birth and the use of a portable pool. Our Gentle Birth Pool Kits have been used in hundreds of facilities, including several military hospitals (no easy task!). 

Our Executive Director, Barbara Harper, is available to work with each family to assess how much is needed to get policies changed or established.  Our success rate with hospitals and providers is about 95%. Call to discuss this aspect of our work if you want to help your local hospital institute a water birth policy. We ask that you become a memberof Waterbirth International or provide a donation in order to help us with the cost of effecting these changes.

  How long is baby in the water after the birth?
Here in the US, practitioners usually bring the baby out of the water within the first ten seconds after birth. There is no physiological reason to leave the baby under the water for any length of time. There are several water birth videos that depict leaving the baby under the water for several moments after birth and the babies are just fine.

Physiologically, the placenta is supporting the baby with oxygen during this time though it can never be predicted when the placenta will begin to separate causing the flow of oxygen to baby to stop. The umbilical cord pulsating is not a guarantee that the baby is receiving enough oxygen. The safe approach is to remove the baby, without hurrying, and gently place him into his mother’s arms.

  When should I get into the water?
A woman should be encouraged to use the labor pool whenever she wants. However, if a mother chooses to get into the water in early labor, before her contractions are strong and close together, the water may relax her enough to slow or stop labor altogether.  That is why some practitioners limit the use of the pool until labor patterns are established and the cervix is dilated to at least 5 centimeters. 

There is some physiological data that supports this rule, but each and every situation must be evaluated on its own.

Some mothers find a bath in early labor useful for its calming effect and to determine if labor has actually started. If contractions are strong and regular, no matter how dilated the cervix is, a bath might be in order to help the mother to relax enough to facilitate dilation.

Therefore, it has been suggested that the bath be used in a “trial of water” for at least one hour and allow the mother to judge its effectiveness. Midwives report that some women can go from 1 cm to complete dilation within the first hour or two of immersion.  The first hour of relaxation in the pool is usually the best and can often help a woman achieve complete dilation quickly. 

I am so honored and grateful be able to make this decision for myself and my baby.  It’s exciting to think about how easy and gentle the experience can and will be.  Now, because I am aware that thought is creative and that the baby is a divine child of God, he/she may have the desire to have another kind of experience for his/her own life lessons.  I am respectful of what is meant to happen as part of the Divine plan for my life and for the baby’s life.

The First Step to Understanding Breathwork

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Over a period of twelve years, between 1962 and 1974, Leonard Orr discovered and developed the “spiritual power of the human breathing ability”.  In ’74, he perfected the training of Breathworkers, also called Rebirthers or Breathing Guides.  Today, over 10 million people have experienced the power of breathwork, without a huge amount of advertising or marketing, but through the simple art of sharing testimonials.

Leonard said about breathwork that it’s, “perhaps the most valuable gift you can give yourself for emotional and physical health.”  Rebirthing breathing is the ability to breathe energy as well as air.  It supplies us with spiritual energy and power that enables us to move and be healthy. 

Most adults think they know how to breathe although they rarely think about it.  However, almost none of them truly know until they’ve had 10 sessions with a trained Breathworker.

Breathing sessions are for anyone who ever has tension, stress or pain.  Rebirthing enables us to relax, experience peace, tranquility and freedom from pain.  We can breathe ourselves out of anger, depression, and troublesome feelings into peace, clear and pure Life energy.

The philosophy of breathwork includes the concept that thought is creative and that we are conscious from the moment of conception.  As we begin to experience life in the pre-verbal form, we collect ideas about ourselves, our parents, authority figures, our siblings and even God.  These collected thoughts are stored in our subconscious mind and form the basis for our present and future external reality.

Because we are unable to comprehend what is happening around us or ask for clarity about it, we make decisions such as, “I am unwanted”, “Men hurt me”, “Life is hard”.  We then, through the Law of Projection, do one to three things with these thoughts:

*We act them out.

*We project them onto people, places, or things.

*We overcompensate for them.

These behaviors in turn can make one’s life less than satisfactory and can manifest in difficulty with success, wealth, relationships and family harmony. 

The result of working with a Breathworker is that you uncover the unconscious thoughts that may have been sabotaging your life and are able to change your thinking to produce more desirable results.  You begin to experience more peace and balance in your life, in your health, your family and in your career.

The process begins with an initial discovery session to determine the circumstances present at your birth, the elements of your life which are not working for you now and your goals for your own change.

Subsequent sessions begin with discussion of how your life is progressing and how the suggested homework is going.  Homework is typically the request that you write one or more affirmations about 15 times daily to turn around a particular thought.  These are powerful accelerators!  After the discussion, you breathe for one hour in a connected breath pattern, through your mouth while in a comfortable position. 

The characteristics of the rebirthing breathing technique are different than any other breathing technique.  You are guided to breath into your upper chest, into your heart, like you did when you were a baby.  This naturally will liberate thoughts and feelings from your childhood and beyond.  Your trained Breathworker will gently assist you in easily moving through these as they arise.  Your pace will be guided so that your cells become completely oxygenated, releasing any stored toxins.  Breathwork will bring a greater sense of vitality to your entire body!

Following the breathing session, your Breathworker helps you to integrate your thoughts and feelings and gives any suggestions for the next session.  Weekly sessions are recommended in the beginning.  It is also suggested that 10 sessions be attended with a male Breathworker and 10 with a female Breathworker, in order to address your paternal and, respectively, your maternal patterns which may be present.

Benefits from consistent breathwork include: 

improved mental clarity and focus,

a greater sense of well-being and balance,

the reduction of stress,

a more youthful feeling and appearance,

reversal of some health conditions,

improved relationships,

and greater prosperity