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SURVEY:
What do you want to know about breathing? Answered in our newsletter

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"Rebirthing" Death

A psychotherapist colleague once told me that he thought that teaching someone some "Rebirthing " type techniques was like giving a 357 Magnum to a five year old.  Another said the "rebirthing" was like setting a bomb off in the basement, you will blow something loose but what do you then do with it?

My only question is "is this the only incident that has occurred?"  I strongly suspect that similar others have occurred. 

If it IS the only one it is still a tragedy.  In either event it invites further exploration as to the accountability of the practitioner.  An even bigger question is how do we track the offshoots of  this process? Especially when  anecdotal hyperbole runs amuck.  What is even more confusing is that some of the hyperbole ISN'T hype at all. It is true. some or many of those good things really happen.  The key is the BREATH.  

Clearly there is ever present personal risk in the process of intense emotional release or process that often accompanies what I call "cathartic breathing aka 'breathwork'".

"Mom faces charges in daughter's 'rebirthing' death"

I saved the article and it is a good thing because the newspaper did not maintain the link.

The few world class rebirthers I know, and there are very few of them, would probably not do what this mother did with the blanket and pillows. But it took some of them thousands of sessions to get as experienced and "intuitive" as they did.  What happens to people that are at the receiving end of  this process while the trainers are gaining the experience of a seasoned professional?  It is REAL scary to think of someone attending one of these sessions and then not having a professional therapist or spiritual counselor to help them deal with the emotional material that surfaces.   

I am as well trained in Rebirthing. I do not do it as a recipient or practitioner.  It is extremely powerful and should be addressed as such.  I sense that as with many other powerful techniques that Rebirthing will become a mainstream licensed modality with high practitioner accountability.  Just like chiropractic, physical therapy, psychotherapy and internal medicine. I would have the "seasoned" Rebirthers combine to form a teaching community for licensed health professionals before the Rebirthing process becomes fair game for well meaning people in high power positions, rageaholic bureaucrats, establishment good old boys wearing blinders, or do-gooder wannabes with unresolved emotional stuff.  Don't let this process get tabled like tryptophan and laetrile. Let them learn from the plight of the Chinese Falun Gong members.  And it had better be soon. 

This recent death just makes me want to shout even louder about safe alternative ways to work with the breath and breathing.   

From a Breathing Times subscriber:

Breath is the unifying principal of the three systems of mechanics, metabolism, and mentality. It is the psychopharmacological link between conscious and unconscious states. Each of the three mechanical aspects of the breath have specific neurotransmissional function. Any technique that  emphasizes one aspect of the mechanism exclusively will shift neurometabolism accordingly. Since neurometabolism is a volatile equilibrium, this is not trivial. Yoga practices are designed for this  purpose, stimulating a specific aspect or relationship of aspects. I realize that contemporary yogis don't always explain it this way, and I think that also leads to misuse and abuse. Right knowledge is yoga or union. That union is from bringing together all aspects, and applying discernment.
 
Jim Nettles, Incorporated  See Molecules of Emotion.

 

From a Master Rebirther.
Please note that although the center and the psychologists responsible for the event called what they did "rebirthing," they neither taught, practiced, nor applied any breathwork whatsoever in this case. They were working with an adopted child on some type of dis-attachment or bonding inability. They wrapped the child in a blanket, surrounded her with pillows and people, and attempted to get her to fight her way out of this "simulated womb."

What they did has about as much to do with the "rebirthing" technique (which is a gentle, conscious, connected, circular, rhythmic breathing method) as it does with "optimal breathing" or "natural breathing," or SIMBIC, or "prana yoga," or any other "transformational" breathing method. Dan Brule

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The breathing improvement techniques, practices and products outlined in this publication are extremely gentle, and should, if carried out as described, be beneficial
to your overall physical and psychological health. If you have any serious medical or psychological problem, however, such as heart disease, high blood pressure,
cancer, mental illness, or recent abdominal or chest surgery, you should consult your health professional before undertaking these practices.

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