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First posted: May. 18, 2000
Last Updated: Feb. 5, 2001
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Controversial new age therapy. Also called ''breathwork.'' Sessions can include breathing exercises, yoga, or a re-enactment of the patient's or counselee's own birth.

Claims made about rebirthing

Rebirthing is breathwork. In a rebirthing session the rebirthee focuses on maintaining a connection between inhale and exhale, breathing as fully as possible for an hour or more. Your body gets filled with energy and is nourished as it receives more oxygen than it is accustomed to.

Toxins are released from the muscles and cells, and exhaled. As the body and cells are cleansed and energized they also release emotional and mental "toxins" that are the result of emotions and traumas that have been suppressed and held in the body.

The rebirthee becomes more aware of thoughts, behaviors, and emotional patterns that are holding them back from living their lives the way they want. Many times just breathing through and releasing the suppressed energy is enough to create a profound psychological/emotional shift for the participant.

Rebirthing is called rebirthing because many times the suppression that comes up and is released is related to birth trauma. When a rebirthee has released enough suppression (usually in 10 to 20 sessions) they have mastered the breath and feel safe enough with the process to rebirth themselves whenever they want.
What is Rebirthing? By Russell J. Miesemer

Rebirthing is an American form of prana yoga that is closest to Kriya Yoga. It may be called scientific breathing rhythm or spiritual breathing. Simply described, it is a relaxed, intuitive, connected breathing rhythm, in which the inhale is connected to the exhale, and the inner breath is merged with the outer breath. This merging of pure life energy with air sends vibrations through the nervous system and circulatory system cleaning the body, the human aura, and nourishes and balances the human mind and body.

Rebirthing - is a safe and powerful breathing process that releases tension from the body, freeing it, so that we may live to our highest vision and unlimited potential. The breath is the ultimate healer. It is the umbilical cord to the divine. By using a variety of smoothly connected breaths, energy which may be called Prana, Chi or Ki, or life force, is taken into the body dissolving and washing away anything that is contrary to life. When this takes place we become aware of our blocks and what has been holding us back; an inner cleansing occurs.
Alternative Medicine Glossary, Life Enrichment Magazine

In a Rebirthing session - which lasts about 1 1/4 hour - you have the opportunity to clear completely all the negative patterns that you've built up, the fears of not feeling good enough, the destructive patterns, the behaviors that you've built up over time. It's like being a sponge and finally getting an opportunity to clear and release everything. You literally breathe underneath the pain, fear, trauma, and let it go. This is not a mind therapy, it works with and on an emotional level. Different people react in different ways: some people cry, some express anger, some are very quiet. It does not matter how you react, what matters is that the process works and works very quickly.
Rebirthing Psychic Petrene Soames

[R]ebirthing (circular breathing, conscious breathing, conscious-connected breathing, free breathing, vivation): A form of bodywork that uses hyperventilation. Leonard Orr developed rebirthing in the 1970s. Its purported goal is to resolve repressed attitudes and emotions that supposedly originated with prenatal and perinatal experiences. Practitioners, called "rebirthers," encourage patients to reenact the birth process.

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- Articles -
Secular What is Rebirthing? (Pro) By Russell J. Miesemer
Secular Rebirthing - Maha Yoga: Spiritual Breathing (Pro) by Leonard Orr


Secular Crazy Therapies by Margaret Thaler Singer and Janja Lalich Alien abduction therapy, channeling, inner child work, and flower essence therapy are among the alternative therapy methods that this book says are harming thousands of people every day. Margaret Singer, a clinical psychologist for more than 50 years, and coauthor Janji Lalich, tell the stories of the countless individuals who turn over their innermost thoughts to a trusted counselor, only to be exploited. Includes passing mention of rebirthing.

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- See Also -
» Alternative Healing

- Sites -
Secular The Cosmic Breath (Pro)
Secular Quackwatch (Skeptical/Counter) Operated by Stephen Barrett, M.D., this is "Your Guide to Health Fraud, Quackery, and Intelligent Decisions." Also available in French and German


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First posted: May. 18, 2000
Last Updated: Feb. 5, 2001
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