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Encyclopedia > Rebirthing
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Please see the discussion on the talk page.
Rebirthing
This article is part of the branches of CAM series.
CAM Classifications
NCCAM: Mind-Body Intervention that is centered around roleplaying the birth experience.
Modality: Professionalized
Culture: Western

Rebirthing is a branch of alternative medicine which postulates that human birth is a traumatic event (see birth trauma) and that a discipline consisting of a combination of connected breathing techniques, relaxation and focused awareness can have therapeutic benefits. Image File history File links Stop_hand. ... Terms and concepts in alternative medicine provides a glossary of quick and to the point definitions of important terms and concepts unique to alternative medicine (CAM). ... Terms and concepts in alternative medicine provides a glossary of quick and to the point definitions of important terms and concepts unique to alternative medicine (CAM). ... Terms and concepts in alternative medicine provides a glossary of quick and to the point definitions of important terms and concepts unique to alternative medicine (CAM). ... In role-playing, participants adopt characters, or parts, that have personalities, motivations, and backgrounds different from their own. ... Terms and concepts in alternative medicine provides a glossary of quick and to the point definitions of important terms and concepts unique to alternative medicine (CAM). ... Terms and concepts in alternative medicine provides a glossary of quick and to the point definitions of important terms and concepts unique to alternative medicine (CAM). ... For other uses, see Culture (disambiguation). ... Leonardo da Vincis Vitruvian Man, for many a symbol of the changes of the Western culture during the Renaissance Western culture refers to the culture that has developed in the Western world. ... It has been suggested that Complementary and alternative medicine be merged into this article or section. ... Psychological trauma is a type of damage to the psyche that occurs as a result of a traumatic event. ... Pre- and perinatal psychology is the study of the psychological implications of the earliest experiences of the individual, before (prenatal) and during (perinatal) childbirth. ...


Variations on these theories go by the names compression therapy, cuddle time and holding-nurturing process. Rebirthing is also considered an "appropriate" strategy for treatment of attachment disorder. Attachment disorder is based on the psychological theories that 1) normal mother-child attachment forms in the first two years of life and 2) if a normal attachment is not formed during the first two to three years, attachment can be induced later. ...


Rebirthing drew unfavorable attention in 2001 when several therapists (practising under the badge of "rebirthing", but in fact administering a form of "attachment therapy", and using techniques strongly opposed by rebirthing authorities) were sentenced to 16 years in prison for suffocating a 10-year-old Colorado girl during a session. Among other techniques, the session involved wrapping the girl in a sheet and having adults sit on her to simulate contractions and motivate the girl to "emerge from the womb".


In 2003, leading rebirthing pioneer Sondra Ray successfully convinced the Colorado State Legislature to delete the word "rebirthing" from legislation which bans dangerous and questionable therapeutic techniques.

Contents


Theories

The theories and assumptions behind rebirthing are:

  1. Human birth is traumatic, due to ignorance and misunderstanding on the part of most medical professionals (and parents/family)
  2. Humans never forget their birth - they just suppress the memory
  3. In addition to cerebral memory (based in the brain), humans also possess 'cellular memory', which is distributed amongst the body's cells, tissues, organs etc
  4. The trauma suffered during birth, and the specific nature of this trauma, has a deep effect on one's psyche and shapes one's perception and experience of life, self and the world in ways which one is mostly unaware of
  5. It is possible to gain recall of aspects of birth (also gestation and early childhood) and to release the accompanying emotions; such release usually becomes a decisive, influential and positive 'paradigm shift'
  6. Human breathing is almost universally inadequate; virtually all people are suppressing large amounts of emotional, physical and mental "tensions" and require relatively high levels of CO2 in their blood to keep these tensions suppressed
  7. The major causes of all human illness are these accumulated tensions; release of such tensions can cause physiological transformation to the point where permanent spontaneous remission from such illness becomes possible or highly probable
  8. The breathwork and awareness disciplines taught through Rebirthing practice can open a wide connection between the conscious and subconscious minds; and through this connection, a lifetime of trauma can be incrementally and permanently released from the mind and body
  9. Through ongoing release of blocked tensions, and mastery of several disciplines of physical/emotional/spiritual purification, it is possible to arrest the mechanisms of human degeneration, with vast extension of lifespan, even physical immortality, becoming a viable possibility

Claimed benefits

Rebirthing advocates claim that those practicing rebirthing experience

  • Deep and lasting inner peace
  • Heightened mental clarity
  • Greater insight into the human condition
  • Significant improvements in relationships - intimate, family, social and professional
  • Greater ability to manage the challenges of career and life in general
  • Elimination of negative patterns which had been limiting one's success in life
  • Significant and lasting benefits to health and general well-being
  • A sense of deeper insight into the purpose of one's existence; a greater sense of one's personal relevance to the world
  • Can lead to physical immortality. Many rebirthers are immortalists.

Immortality is the concept of existing for a potentially infinite or indeterminate length of time. ...

Criticisms

  1. While it is clear that prenatal events can have an influence on the subsequent development and life of the child, there is little scientific support for the claim that the birth process is inherently "traumatic". Studies comparing children born by caesarian section to those born through the birth canal have not found statistically significant differences.
  2. There is no scientific evidence to support the idea of cellular or other "non-cerebral" memory, but see Molecules of Emotion: The Science Behind Mind-Body Medicine - Candace Pert (Simon & Schuster, 0684846349)
  3. There is no scientific evidence that any birth memories can be recovered. In fact, the available research strongly indicates that the human brain is unable to form conscious memories until approximately the age of two. There is, however, strong evidence that false memories can be planted (either inadvertently or deliberately).
  4. There is little consensus for the position that normal breathing in a healthy human is inadequate.
  5. There is no evidence that maintaining high levels of CO2 has any effect on the suppression of tension.
  6. No well-controlled studies demonstrate the effectiveness of the technique.

A caesarean section (cesarean section AE), is a surgical incision through a mothers abdomen (laparotomy) and uterus (hysterotomy) to deliver one or more fetuses. ...

History

Rebirthing grew from the work of Leonard Orr on what is now called Rebirthing-Breathwork. It was so named because when he first started doing this kind of work he noticed that he would often have what he describes as memories of his birth. Orr developed his process between 1962 and 1974 as he (without any (then) awareness of yoga or breathwork disciplines) discovered that modifications to breathing practices could bring about improvements in health, mental clarity and emotional well-being. Leonard Orr (born circa 1938) is an American spiritual leader best known for developing rebirthing, a system or technique of breathing (pranayama) that can help one to overcome the trauma of being born. ...


Development of Rebirthing as a therapeutic modality in its own right peaked in 1974, and has been extended from that point since. Orr, accompanied by fellow researchers, refined it into a system that can be practised in the context of a professional therapy session and taught to clients over a series of sessions.


Proponents estimate that, since 1974, more than ten million people worldwide have learned the process, with more than one hundred thousand people completing practitioner training.


In Orr's Rebirthing-Breathwork, the main rebirthing breath technique is a connected breath where the breather does not pause between inhale and exhale. This causes a build up of oxygen in the blood and, according to practitioners, a build up of prana or life energy. Breathing sessions are done laying down and usually last one to two hours. In Hinduism, Prana is the infinite matter of which energy is born. ...


Philosophies

The philosophies which accompany Rebirthing appear to be a loose, intuitive mix of western metaphysics, gnosticism, hinduism, buddhism, and (what some may argue to be) original Christian teaching. Many are immortalists. Metaphysics (Greek words meta = after/beyond and physics = nature) is a branch of philosophy concerned with the study of first principles and being (ontology). ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ... Hinduism (Sanskrit/Hindi: ; also known as Sanatana Dharma - , and Vaidika Dharma - ) is a worldwide religious tradition that is based on the Vedas, and is generally regarded as one of the oldest religions still practised in the world. ... A replica of an ancient statue of Gautama Buddha, found from Sarnath, near Varanasi. ... Christianity is a monotheistic religion centered on the life, teachings, and actions of Jesus, the Christ, as recounted in the New Testament. ... Immortality is the concept of existing for a potentially infinite or indeterminate length of time. ...


External references

Supportive

Critical

  • Transcript of events sourding the death of Candace Newmaker (warning may be upsetting)
  • Attachment Therapy on Trial: The Torture and Death of Candace Newmaker, J Mercer, L Sarner, L Rosa, 2003.
  • http://www.ChildrenInTherapy.org

  Results from FactBites:
 
Rebirthing - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1037 words)
Rebirthing is a branch of alternative medicine which postulates that human birth is a traumatic event (see birth trauma) and that a discipline consisting of a combination of connected breathing techniques, relaxation and focused awareness can have therapeutic benefits.
Rebirthing drew unfavorable attention in 2001 when several therapists (practising under the badge of "rebirthing", but in fact administering a form of "attachment therapy", and using techniques strongly opposed by rebirthing authorities) were sentenced to 16 years in prison for suffocating a 10-year-old Colorado girl during a session.
The philosophies which accompany Rebirthing appear to be a loose, intuitive mix of western metaphysics, gnosticism, hinduism, buddhism, and (what some may argue to be) original Christian teaching.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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