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Rebirthing

(Part 1 of 1 l 2 )

by Michael Braunstein


 

Central to the process of Rebirthing, is the process of conscious breathing. Breathing in birth is associated with pain and the clearing of amniotic fluid from the air passage is a frightening experience. By using what is often termed circular breathing, under the guidance of a Rebirther, one triggers the memories associated with birth and the primal thoughts that accompanied those first impressions.

 

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"Once more into the breach, dear friends! Once more!"
     -William Shakespeare, Henry V, Act 3, Scene 1

Many years ago, I picked up what many consider to be a seminal book of "new age" thinking. This book was published in 1979 and is so well-thought of, that it remains on the New York Times' Best Seller list to this day. I had every intention of reading this guide to a road purportedly less traveled. I stopped reading, though, after one sentence, put the book down, and was not to touch it again until several years later. (Whence I read a few more lines and once again retired the book.) The first sentence of the book read, "Life is difficult." I simply did not and do not affirm that reality and found no use for a book that begins in such a mind state.

There is a premise upon which the therapeutic practice known as Rebirthing is based. That is: that the event of physically entering this 3-D reality, this world, the moment of exiting the womb, is one of, if not the most, traumatic events in a person's life. Consider the change involved. One exits an environment that is comfortable and safe and enters one that is harsh and hostile in immediate perception. In birth, we leave a dark, warm and weightless world, one where we float oh-so-peacefully with every care and need met without any effort on our part. We exchange that for a bright, intensely cold, heavy world. Throughout those first nine months of our conscious existence in utero, our lungs have been filled with amniotic fluid and even breathing was not our job. Every molecule of oxygen was provided by the blood circulating through our umbilical artery. In birth, razor sharp, dry, cold air is forced in by our need for oxygen. From a quiet suspension within a caretaker's body, we are now thrust into a sound level totally unaccustomed. Birth, in one moment, takes us from dark, warm, moist, quiet and weightless to bright, cold, dry, loud and heavy. Add in the rough touch of a surgeon's gown, the impact of the scalpel on the umbilical and, if you happen to be born with a penis, the immediate mutilation of the foreskin. All this may even be happening to you as you try to determine the effects of any general anesthesia your mother may be circulating in your bloodstream. It does seem reasonable then to agree that the trauma of birth does indeed contribute mightily to the personal laws under which we operate later in life.

Rebirthers believe that the essence of this traumatic birth event must be resolved in order for us to remove the blocks that keep us from expressing Love. These blocks are evidence for the imbalances that we have created in our lives. These imbalances may hamper intimate relationships with people, obstruct our health, impede our progress toward prosperity and otherwise preclude us from enjoying and experiencing life to the fullest.

In Rebirthing, one re-experiences the event of one's birth in an environment of safety, encouragement and love in order to become clearly aware of the thoughts that we may have ingrained in our subconscious. Once those negative thoughts, those fears, are identified, they then can be released and changed to an affirmative thought that can help one realize (literally) goals.

It was in 1962 that Leonard Orr experienced his first spontaneous rebirth. Orr had grown up in the state of New York and by the '60's had moved to California. One day during a period of deep depression, Orr slipped into the memories attendant to his own, difficult breach-birth while lying in a warm water bathtub. Over many years he worked with his own Rebirthing to discover the mechanisms that would allow for this abreaction; this complete physiological, psychological, emotional and spiritual re-experiencing of the birth process. By the mid-Seventies, he had begun teaching these techniques to others and the Rebirthing Movement was itself born.

Central to the process of Rebirthing, is the process of conscious breathing. Breathing in birth is associated with pain and the clearing of amniotic fluid from the air passage is a frightening experience. By using what is often termed circular breathing, under the guidance of a Rebirther, one triggers the memories associated with birth and the primal thoughts that accompanied those first impressions. Upon discovering those thoughts and the impact they may have had in creating patterns reflected in present behavior and relationships, new thoughts can be programmed to change those patterns. Rebirthing is guided and conducted by certified Rebirthers who have trained under the auspices of one of two certifying organizations.

Be well.


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Michael Braunstein is Executive Director of Heartland Healing and certified by the American Council of Hypnotist Examiners in clinical hypnotherapy. He graduated from the Los Angeles Hypnotism Training Institute and was an instructor at the UCLA Extension University for 11 years.

Heartland Healing is devoted to the examination of various alternative forms of healing. It is provided as a source of information and not as medical advice. It is not meant as an endorsement of any particular therapy, either by the writer or by Heartland Healing Center, Inc.


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