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Rebirthing Explained
A form of therapy for mind, body and soul
Ankita Ashok Chaurasia (cuteanku)     Print Article 
Published 2006-09-12 19:34 (KST)   
Reincarnation is the concept of life after birth. Rebirthing, though appearing similar, has a completely different idea. It is a form of communication with the subconscious where the subject experiences, in the present, the traumas, which were hidden due to their unpleasant nature, in the past.

Rebirth is a form of therapy which relates the mind, body and soul together with the help of deep and connected breathing exercises, and thus brings out all the suppressed feelings accumulating in the subconscious since birth. This helps the individual undergoing the process to connect with their inner self.

It can be said to be a cleansing procedure wherein the hidden fears, insecurities, and problems of the subject from the past are detected and positive feelings are incorporated in the present.

This may sound very whimsical, only the people, who have experienced this, know the joy of rebirthing. This concept was formulated by Leonard Orr in San Francisco in the early 1970s.

While breathing in bathtubs and hot-tubs, he explored conscious birth memories by deep connected breathing. With the help of other experimenters he discovered that breathing lying down "in the dry" could also be effective.

Earlier, processing birth trauma was seen as particularly important. Later, the integration of painful material from any period in a person's life, and the way it was suppressed, was explored in greater detail.

At rebirthing sessions there is a rebirther, that is the person who assists in the process of rebirthing. Rebirthing sessions can be carried out in groups or with just one person only. However the latter is preferred and is more effective, the only difference being that the subject receives the personal attention of the rebirther.

The session proceeds in a calm atmosphere with soft lights and soothing music. The subject is made to lie down on the floor and is cocooned with soft quilts all over except the head, shoulders and neck, in order to create a womb-like atmosphere to make the subject feel safe, calm and relaxed.

The posture is to lie on the back with arms stretched out in an open position so that the diaphragm, chest and the respiratory organs are made use of. The subject is then asked to breathe, at the onset the breathing is slow where the subject hardly breathes and then there is an increase to long breaths. This is called connected breathing as there is no pause at the end of inhalation and exhalation of the air. However, this breathing technique should not be confused with hyperventilating where the lungs struggle for air.

The inhaling of air can be deep and strong and the exhaling can be relaxed and comforting. The breathing process triggers a variety of sensations physically as well as mentally in the body of the subject and instead of trying methods of suppressing them, they should be expressed.

The procedure is to make the individual feel the trauma, which has been suppressed by them all through their life. This can be the trauma undergone unconsciously at the time of birth, i.e. the fear of coming out from the safety of the womb or the obstetrician etc. While practicing these breathing exercises the subject may feel that he has never breathed like this in all his life. This can be due to the fact that on being delivered by the mother the baby was forced to breathe and the lungs, which are fluid filled in the womb, had to struggle, which was induced as a fear in the subconscious and thus henceforth, the individual was not able to breathe freely.

The breathing procedure does not burn energy as a physical exercise might do, but releases energy in large amounts, this energy can fuel negative emotions if used inappropriately; it is the role of the rebirther to assert the subject to direct the useful energy towards achieving positive goals.

The rebirther is usually a sensitive person with an understanding of the psyche. Rebirthers believe that thinking is a creative process and that what an individual does is based on the way it is thought.

Every person is equally talented, only the thinking process produces different results. Hence, rebirthers provide affirmations to help the subject face the trauma which has resurfaced during the session.

For example, if a person has somewhere in the past decided that no one loves them and has begun to live with it by avoiding interactions with others, the session will remind him of the incident where the thought was formed. It is then the job of the rebirther to optimize the subject by saying things like "you are loved," "everyone loves you." These affirmations can help the subject get out of the trauma, change the thinking process and thus lead a healthy life with positive emotions.

The results of the rebirthing session vary from person to person, for some the experience is ecstatic while for others it may be rejuvenating, some may cry during the procedure or many individuals may even express rage.

The consequences are directly proportional to the trauma faced. Some people actually re-experience their birth and seem to be overjoyed while others may experience an extremely traumatic condition and may get sad or violent.

Rebirthing can also be said to be an extended form of counseling as the subject is counseled but at the same time assured and energized. While psychiatrists help the subject by providing them a view of their subconscious, the rebirthers help them heal their inner self.

After the affirmations are given and the subject is stabilizing, the rebirther has the role of bringing the subject back to the present so that the past life of the subject does not interfere with the daily life, and so that they do not feel spaced out and distant from the rest of the world.

The number of sessions that are to be taken depends entirely on the rebirther. However, a follow up session is of extreme importance where the subject registers the thoughts he has been having since undergoing the session, and the various dreams he has been getting.

These responses are usually good. The subject feels extreme delight, and the joy of indulging in things which he or she has never had before. He may wish to get pampered, be near someone special or also behave childlike. The person feels free as the burden his unconscious was carrying has finally been taken off. This acts as a feedback for the rebirther, helping him or her to detect flaws or mistakes committed during the session which might be improved in the future.

Though it is a miraculous therapy there are many controversies attached to it. A 10-year-old adopted girl in Colorado was a victim of the wrong method of rebirthing. Her foster parents wanted her to adjust to the surroundings that they provided her and hence opted for rebirthing. However the therapists appointed for the purpose were not trained and killed her unintentionally in the process. They covered her with blankets and pushed her face with pillows to create a labor like experience. The girl suffocated to death in the presence of her adopted parents.

This is a very heart rending event and rebirthers, the world over, condemn this kind of act and say that it was caused by a lack of knowledge of rebirthing. After this incident rebirthing was banned in Colorado and the rebirthers were jailed with a charge of child abuse. It should be kept in mind that surfing the Internet cannot teach the therapeutic techniques and without proper information treatment would be dangerous.

Thus rebirthing can be said to be empowering ourselves through surrendering, with the help of an adequately trained rebirther. It is a process of accessing the inner self and getting rid of the unwanted thoughts and blocks of stress to create a healthy body and mind.
©2006 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Ankita Ashok Chaurasia

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