A descendant from the ancient styles of yogic breathing, Rebirthing was discovered by Leonard Orr in the early 1970s. Leonard was a mystic, healer, and a teacher of Metaphysics, living in San Francisco. He was very much into meditation, and it frequently was his practice to do lengthy meditations in his bathtub at home. He began experiencing some profound effects during these sessions---due, he believed at the time, to the heat and conductivity of the water. His breath was also affected, but it wasn't until much later that Leonard realized that a great deal of these profound effects could be reproduced simply by breathing in a certain way, relaxing, and allowing his body to be filled with divine energy.
Leonard called his new technique Rebirthing because, in the beginning, he and many of his friends relived their births while practicing it. It was later found that many of our collective habits of emotional numbness and suppression of energy began with what is called the "birth trauma," and that practicing this simple breathing technique can not only clear that pattern, but greatly assist in the development of a whole new set of patterns that embrace life rather than rejecting it.
The Rebirthing Breath is definitive. It is quite distinctive from other forms of Breathwork that proliferate today. In order to gain the full benefit from it, the early sessions require the assistance of a trained Rebirther, who provides guidance and support for the client as he places himself and his nervous system fully "online," sometimes for the very first time. Sessions usually last about an hour to 90 minutes, and include some pre and post conferencing---during which the client and the Rebirther discuss what issues and feelings seem to be coming up at the moment.
The feelings that come up during the sessions are incredible. Most common, in the early sessions, are sensations of numbness and tingling in the limbs and face. These sensations arise when the body begins to respond to an increase in oxygenation, and the release of stored CO2. Some of the first experiences can cause a bit of uneasiness. Most of us are not used to having this amount of energy flowing through our bodies while we are lying still and paying attention to feelings. In modern society, we frequently encourage "aerobic" activity, but the increased movement that accompanies it stimulates the flow of endorphins (the body's natural pain reliever), so even well-trained athletes get numbed out to the effects of their breathing.
The symptoms of that most medical practitioners refer to as "hyperventilation" are truly nothing more than a Rebirth that is trying to occur, but is being hindered by fear and control issues that almost always can be traced back to birth. In truth, most of us sub-ventilate most of our lives and call it normal. As we continue to say "yes" to life, and to fully allow in the breath, the symptoms subside and are replaced by a wonderful sense of well being and peace. At the end of my third session, I exclaimed to my Rebirther: "This is better than sex!" Since that time, I have heard that statement made by many others as well.
Truthfully, there need be no comparison made between Rebirthing and any other function of life. It all begins with a breath, and ends with a breath. What happens in between is up to us. As we choose to return to an ever-expanding breath, and allow the energy to have it's way with us, we experience wonderful joy and a whole new sense of purpose. It is usually recommended that a Rebirthee continue through at least 10 sessions before beginning to attempt to Rebirth him or herself. After that, we encourage that he or she continues to receive sessions and personal coaching on how to refocus the newly expanding energy that will be filling his life. We even encourage many to become Rebirthers themselves---where they can, either professionally or as a gift of love, share The Activation of Breath with friends and loved ones.
Rebirthing has been international for many years. There are Rebirthers in many countries, and each year more books appear on the market describing new ways to facilitate and benefit from the wonderful effects of The Activation of Breath. There is a yearly meeting of The International Breathwork Foundation, that rotates the locations of its gatherings all around the world. The most basic of these books is "Rebirthing in the New Age," by Leonard Orr and Sondra Ray, and "Celebration of Breath," by Leonard Orr. Although these particular books feature a distinctive Eastern flavor in their approach to spirituality, there is no mandate that Rebirthing be practiced in that format. Many Rebirthers are training psychologists, who blend the technique with other powerful therapies to produce maximum results in personal transformation.
I have received training, and will continue to expand my training as a Rebirther because so much has been learned these last 25 years, that I would be foolish to try and re-invent the wheel before attempting to open myself to receive the rest of what The Reconnections have told me is to come upon our planet. Before we can truly begin to think about Ascension from the third to the fourth dimension, we must first allow ourselves to *arrive here,* into physical form. That requires a whole lot of release, forgiveness, acceptance, and simple habit of letting go. In my experience, Rebirthing provides the quickest and most comprehensive version of that "letting go" that I have ever experienced.
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