What is Breathwork?
Breathwork is a process that increases our ability to feel and resolve the effects of our past. It involves breathing in a full, free manner guided by a trained breathworker. The result is an increase in the level of physical and spiritual energy in our body, thus cleansing the many tensions held there. By learning to breathe consciously and fully, we discover and release the core issues now held in our mind and emotions.
This process was developed it in the early 1970s and named rebirthing by metaphysical teacher Leonard Orr when both he and his first clients relived their births while engaged in the breathing. Rebirthing has since undergone many changes to become a more holistic process, addressing our entire childhood and life experience. Thus, many practitioners have stopped using the term rebirthing and embraced the name breathwork. However, understanding the birth experience is still one of the valuable results of breathwork.
Breathwork's contributions to psychology and personal growth include helping us to understand the effects our birth has had on individual self-esteem, relationships and family dynamics, as well as more specific issues like the addictive process and abuse. Breathworkers assist their clients with a wide variety of counseling tools and perspectives including the breathing process, as well as a general discussion of feelings and family knowledge that helps to get a picture of what occurred at the time of their birth. Our background is with many nontraditional ideas and approaches to healing, and we have learned to value and respect some of the more traditional ideas and tools as well.
A key to all personal healing is to learn to feel again. As a result of early life being too traumatic or intense for us to stay “present,” we learned to numb ourselves to avoid feelings. Some of us used substances and behaviors to accomplish this; others just used behaviors. It is our feeling that virtually all of us have this issue. We call it addiction—the habit of not feeling or not being present. This is a slightly broader definition of addiction than you may be used to, but the inability to feel and be present is an addiction in that it’s a habit that we don’t know how to change and we subconsciously think we need it to survive. Our culture has supported this greatly by suggesting that the source of happiness is outside of us, in things. The subconscious communication is that these things would “fix” our pain. You don’t need to be drug-addicted to avoid feeling in a materialistic and sexualized society. There are millions of ways to avoid feeling and not be present with yourself. Breathwork is the most powerful healing tool we’ve ever experienced. It gives tremendous support in learning to feel and be present. After doing the process for a while, breathing becomes a moment-by-moment ritual for feeling, healing, and disengaging control. It’s very all-encompassing and can assist in all aspects of personal growth. It offers a major contribution to psychology in that it provides a nonverbal way to heal and it takes most people way beyond more verbal and cognitive therapies. It also results in such powerful emotional and spiritual releases that it addresses one’s whole process, from releasing traumas to healing relationships.
Breathwork sessions are two hours in length and consist of counseling and the breathing process. We recommend weekly sessions for the first 10 to 20 sessions. After about 10 sessions, most people can get value from doing breathing sessions on their own, and can start to see their breathworker less often. We also recommend people train to become a breathworker at any point in their process, as it enhances their personal process and assists them in learning more about breathwork. We also offer weekend intensives on relationships which are very breathwork-based and provide a group environment to support individual healing.
Breathwork Questions and Answers
What is breathwork?
What is a session like?
Why do I need a facilitator?
How many sessions should I do?
How does breathwork relate to childbirth?
Why did you change the name from “rebirthing” to “breathwork”?