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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

The Questions:

Q1. What is conscious breathwork?
Q2. Is Rebirthing the same thing as breathwork?
Q3. Why is it called Rebirthing?
Q4. What kind of people practice conscious breathwork?
Q5. Can breathwork help with pain in my physical body?
Q6. Why do you have to start with a practitioner, is it dangerous?
Q7. How many breathwork sessions should I have?
Q8. How can I find a practitioner in my area?
Q9. Are there some people who shouldn't practice conscious breathwork?
Q10. What is the difference between conscious breathwork sessions, and any other therapy available?


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The Answers:


Q1. What is conscious breathwork?

A. Conscious breathwork is the practice of clearing blockages in the mental, physical, emotional and spiritual bodies through undertaking a simple and yet highly effective breathing pattern. There are numerous forms of conscious breathwork such as Holotropic, Transformational and Pranayama of the Yoga tradition. The type of breathing I teach is called conscious connected breathing and originates in the rebirthing tradition.
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Q2. Is Rebirthing the same thing as breathwork?

A. Rebirthing is a type of breathwork, established by Leonard Orr in the 1970's in the USA. It has since spread globally and there are now practitioners all over the world from Argentina to Estonia. Practitioners who use conscious connected breathing may call it Integrative Breathwork Therapy, Rebirthing Breathwork or simply Conscious Breathwork. It has been controversially wrongly associated with a practice evolved in the United States, which evolves re-enacting the birth. This re-enactment of life circumstances forms no part of the Rebirthing practice as evolved by Leonard Orr.
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Q3. Why is it called Rebirthing?

A. There are a couple of different ideas about this - and I feel they both have validity. One reason for the Rebirthing name is that when a person undertakes a committed period of breathwork with a practitioner it is likely that at some point they will access deeply suppressed memories of their birth experience and their first breath. These recollections are particularly likely to surface when breathing in the hot tub environment. Clearing the birth trauma means getting in touch with deeply suppressed memories from birth and allowing yourself to acknowledge them in the present moment. It has become a significant aspect of the rebirthing movement due to the immense physical and psychological benefits people have experienced through releasing this deeply held experience. Some practitioners are very committed to working with birth experience and others have a different focus. For some practitioners therefore, the Rebirthing term is more about referring to the sensation of lightness and freedom in the body and mind once a breathing cycle is completed . This liberation from dense energy in the physical and emotional body can feel literally like a rebirth, hence the name.
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Q4. What kind of people practice conscious breathwork?

A. Breathwork attracts a broad range of people - men and women, young and old. Some people come to breathwork because they have read a book and are curious to try it for themselves. Others may have a particular issue or ailment which they wish to work on. Breathwork is an extremely versatile tool - it is as capable of addressing self-esteem issues as it is relieving lower back pain or migraines. In my practice I see an equal balance of men and women, and clients occupations have ranged from housewives; financiers in the City of London; a self-employed beauty therapist and the assistant-manager of a Casino.There really does not seem to be a hard and fast rule about who breathwork appeals to - simply anyone seeking to achieve more out of their life.
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Q5. Can breathwork help with pain in my physical body?

A. Conscious breathwork supports the principal that pain in the physical body is caused by a lack of resolution in the emotional body. In short, at the root of most physical illness is emotional disharmony, which may be held in the conscious or sub-conscious mind. The energy or life force which is drawn into the body in large quantities during a breathwork session will automatically congregate at any area which is blocked or in physical pain. As a result of this increased energy many physical ailments or blockages can be shifted through consistent use of conscious breathwork. Symptoms from asthma to epilepsy have been known to clear up after a few sessions and never return. For more information on how the emotional body relates to physical pain and disharmony I highly recommend reading Louise.L.Hay's excellent book 'You Can Heal Your Life' published by Hay House and available on www.amazon.co.uk
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Q6. Why do you have to start with a practitioner, is it dangerous?

A. Breathwork is a practice which will increase the energy levels which your body is usually accustomed to. As a result it is not unusual to experience a higher level of physical or emotional intensity than usual. Under these circumstances it is supportive to have a trained breathworker with you during your initial sessions. Also, the company of a trained breathworker who has dedicated him or herself to clearing their suppressed negativity can create a conducive environment to open up to your own experiences. It is widely held that a breather never surfaces emotions or experiences that they are not equipped to deal with and successfully integrate. I have always found this to be the case.
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Q7. How many breathwork sessions should I have?

A. Depending on your previous experience and personal constitution it could be anything from one session to several years. The first 10-20 sessions can be more physically intense as the initial layers of consciousness are being raised, and therefore it is usually advised to be supported by a trained practitioner for this period. It is a vital opportunity to practice breathwork in a supported environment until you reach a standard where you can confidently practice with this dynamic tool in your own life. Most people will begin to benefit from doing breathwork sessions on their own after 5 - 20 sessions. The initial supported sessions are a chance to guide clients through major areas where energy can easily become blocked throughout our development from infancy to adulthood. These areas include self-esteem issues; family patterns; negative self-belief; prosperity consciousness; birth patterns and any anti-life thoughts of feelings which may have been suppressed.
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Q8. How can I find a practitioner in my area?

A. Many Conscious Breathwork practitioners are registered through the British Rebirth Society, the governing body for Rebirthing in the UK. Practitioners can be found through the BRS.Another organisation dedicated to representing breathworkers globally is the International Breathwork Foundation (IBF) which lists practitioners worldwide on the IBF website.
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Q9. Are there some people who shouldn't practice conscious breathwork?

A. Experienced practitioners will offer a free introductory session where an individuals requirements are discussed. The first session will also include an investigation into the personal history of the client. Sometimes it is not appropriate to work with individuals who have a history of extensive drug use - particularly if they are still using substances. Prescribed medication will also be taken into consideration but is unlikely to interfere with the breathwork. Some asthma sufferers have been able to reduce their medication radically after undertaking breathwork sessions, but reducing medication is always in consultation with their doctor or health professional. In some cases a person who has experienced severe psychological disturbances, such as periods of psychosis may be advised against breathwork sessions. This decision is at the discretion of the practitioner. Unlike some therapies, conscious breathwork is highly beneficial to women who are pregnant. It has the dual benefit of addressing fear or uncertainty about the pregnancy, and teaching breathwork techniques which are helpful during the actual birth. It is worth finding a practitioner who specialises in supporting couples through pregnancy. For more information contact the British Rebirth Society.
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Q10. What is the difference between conscious breathwork sessions, and other therapies available?

A. Many people who come to breathwork therapy for the first time, have tried other approaches and not reached the level of emotional release that they had hoped for. In some cases this is because they are attempting to address deeply held sub-conscious material through discussion with the conscious mind. Talking therapies are essentially mental activities dependent upon getting past the defences of the conscious mind. While conscious breathwork does involve an element of counseling, it is predominantly non-dialogue based. Because it does not require the understanding of the conscious mind it allows faster release of deeply held sub-conscious beliefs. Frequently people who have tried breathwork sessions will say how much further it has taken then than previous therapies. It is worth noting however, that a person will only move towards resolution or release when they are completely ready to do so. This applies to breathwork as much as any other therapy.
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