When it comes to alternative forms of therapy, more and more people seem to be turning towards something called ‘rebirthing breathwork’. But, what does this even really mean?
There are so many different methods of working through past traumas and incidents out there, that it can be difficult to discover ones that really work.
Many people who have tried rebirthing breathwork, or have been practicing it for a long time, say that it’s an excellent mode of release, and in many senses, far better than CBT or talk therapy.
So what really is rebirthing breathwork, and could it help you on your mental health journey? The practice itself seems to be shrouded in mystery, so we’ve done some research to give you the answers you need.
That’s why we’ve compiled this handy guide that we hope will provide you with all of the information you need to know regarding rebirthing breathwork, and whether or not it’s something you’d like to try.
To find out more, simply keep reading below, as we take a closer look together.
What Is Rebirthing Breathwork?
So, why not just jump straight into the titular question, and take a closer look at the practice of rebirthing breathwork. What is this type of breathwork, and what kind of issues does it claim to solve?
Well, rebirthing breathwork is a method used by therapists in order to help their patients to overcome emotional trauma (see also: Trauma Release Exercises: Therapeutic Movements To Aid Healing) (see also: Trauma Release Exercises: Therapeutic Movements To Aid Healing) (see also: Trauma Release Exercises: Therapeutic Movements To Aid Healing).
As many of you reading this article will already know, all of the responses that we have as adults are in some way related to experiences we had in our childhoods.
Rebirthing breathwork helps to channel these early experiences, and help us to understand why we react the way we do in the present.
It was first developed during the 1960’s, by a gentleman named Leonard Orr, in order to help his patients tap into a greater level of awareness about themselves, and their past memories.
By delving into these traumatic experiences via the subconscious mind, Orr found that he could help to release some ‘blockages’ that kept coming up for patients.
It is now practiced by over 10 million people the world over, and is considered to be a highly beneficial therapeutic tool.
Who May Benefit From Practicing Rebirthing Breathwork?
So, who is rebirthing breathwork really designed for? Well, the simple answer is, everyone! Everyone has some issues that they need to work through accumulated during childhood, even if they consider themselves to be in perfect mental health.
There are some people who may benefit greatly from this type of therapy however, and these are people who have attachment disorders developed during their younger years.
If you’ve never heard of attachment theory before, it essentially states that each of us has an unique attachment style that we formed with our primary caregivers during early childhood.
The way in which our parents responded to us when we were babies and children determines our responses to individuals as adults.
There are three different kinds of attachment styles that include secure attachment, anxious attachment, and avoidant attachment.
People who have secure attachment styles find it easy to form relationships with others, and give their love and attention freely to those around them.
People who have this kind of attachment style had attentive caregivers, who always ensured that their needs were met as children.
The second attachment style is called anxious attachment. People with this attachment style will often develop intense and very clinging relationships with others as adults, fearing that those around them are sure to abandon them at any moment.
They display this attachment style because their parents practiced a very dubious form of caregiving, sometimes responding to the child with love and affection, and other times with complete withdrawal.
The third attachment style, termed ‘avoidant’, pertains to individuals who find it difficult to form close relationships with other people as adults, withdrawing when they seem to get too close. These individuals often had negligent caregivers as children, who often ignored their needs and feelings.
Those with both anxious and avoidant attachment styles could benefit from rebirthing breathwork, as this type of therapy can help to demonstrate to individuals why they display certain unhelpful reactive traits as adults.
Recognizing some of these behaviors can subsequently lead to a more controlled emotional response, and eventually help to guide the individual into a more secure form of attachment.
How Does Rebirthing Breathwork Actually Work?
Now that we’ve covered some of the individuals who may benefit from rebirthing breathwork, we can move on to discuss how it all actually works. A typical rebirthing breathwork session will last approximately 50 minutes in total.
This will be conducted by a professional therapist, who in these sessions, is known as a ‘rebirther’. The rebirther will tell you to lie down in a comfortable position, and consciously focus on your breath.
For the entire session, the individual must pay closer attention to their breathing, and also any sensations that they’re feeling in their bodies.
The client will experience a feeling of clarity, wisdom, and peace as the session moves along, and after this has been achieved, the rebirther will instruct them to release any negative emotions they harbor from childhood.
You’ll be told to breathe in the energy of these emotions, and release them in the same breath. Sometimes, in order to create a safe and ‘womb’ like environment, patients are told to lie in a bathtub for the session, or they’re enclosed with lots of comfortable items such as blankets and pillows.
As these sessions move on, patients should be able to gradually unlock more and more memories throughout the process, thereby releasing many suppressed negative experiences.
Does Rebirthing Breathwork Really Work?
This is the million dollar question, and probably what each of you reading this article really wants to know the most. Does rebirthing breathwork actually work, and can it help you to overcome some of the traumatic experiences from your childhood?
The answer is yes, rebirthing breathwork has and does work for many individuals, as there are millions of testimonials out there from people who have undertaken these sessions regularly and have found that it’s benefitted them immensely
Despite this however, we are still waiting for scientific data to back up these testimonials, and show the true changes that this type of breathwork can make in the lives of individuals.
Despite that there is no specific scientific evidence to back up the positive effects of rebirthing breathwork, there are many studies out there that show the immense benefits of breathing techniques (see also: Belly Breathing Vs Chest Breathing) (see also: Belly Breathing Vs Chest Breathing) (see also: Belly Breathing Vs Chest Breathing).
Rebirthing breathwork is essentially a form of meditation, and meditation has been proven to help immensely with things such as anxiety and depression, clarity, focus, stamina, and respiratory health.
However, if you are considering trying rebirthing breathwork yourself, we would recommend that you make sure to seek out the advice of a medical professional first.
In addition to this, the person conducting the rebirthing breathwork should have suitable credentials, and a long string of positive feedback from customers in order to make sure that they’re legitimate.
Is Rebirthing Breathwork Safe?
The reason why we stress the importance of seeking out the advice of a medical practitioner before undertaking a rebirthing breathwork session, is that it can prove to be unsafe for some individuals out there. For example, if you have any respiratory issues, this form of therapy could be harmful for your health.
In addition to this, rebirthing breathwork isn’t generally considered to be safe for those suffering from extreme mental health conditions, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, or paranoia. Again, if you suffer from any of these conditions, make sure that you speak to your medical practitioner first.
In some states, the practice of rebirthing is actually considered to be illegal. This is true for Utah, New Jersey, Florida, and Colorado.
The reason why it’s considered to be illegal in these areas is because of an incident that occurred during a rebirthing breathwork session in the early portion of the 2000s. A ten year old girl tragically passed away during a particularly intense one hour session.
Rebirthing breathwork sessions can get more extreme as time moves on, and in some practices, they will install a physical barrier over you as you lie down that you have to push against.
This is meant to represent the ‘birth canal’, which you have to move through in order to be rebirthed again. This can obviously be dangerous for younger children, as well as teenagers.
In addition to this, some rebirthing breathwork sessions take place underwater. Instructors will give their patients a snorkel so that they’re able to breathe for an extended period of time. This again, comes with its dangers, and isn’t suitable for those suffering from certain conditions.
It’s important to find out what kind of sessions your local rebirthing breathwork therapist offers, and whether or not they’re safe to take part in.
To sum up rebirthing breathwork is a type of meditative breathing session that allows patients to explore past traumas. Patients will be told to lie down in a comfortable position, and consciously focus on their breathing.
Whilst they’re doing this, the therapist, or ‘rebirther’, will then instruct the client to consider any traumatic childhood experiences, that they can then breathe through throughout the session.
With more and more sessions, the patient should then be able to access further memories that they’d previously suppressed, releasing them with their breath.
Rebirthing breathwork is considered to be a good practice for those who suffer from avoidant and anxious attachment styles, as it can help to eliminate negative emotional responses in the present.
Although it’s practiced ubiquitously, with over 10 million people participating in rebirthing breathwork, there’s no real scientific evidence to back up the claims that this popular form of therapy actually helps individuals in a lasting and tangible way.
If you want to try out rebirthing breathwork yourself, make sure you contact your primary care physician first, as it’s not suitable for everyone.
Those suffering from certain mental health conditions of respiratory problems should not partake in rebirthing breathwork.