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Holotropic Breathwork is a psychotherapeutic approach developed by Stanislav Grof, M.D. which allows access to nonordinary states of consciousness. The method combines deep breathing and relaxation with evocative music in a supportive setting. This state activates the natural inner healing process of the individual's psyche, bringing him or her a particular set of internal experiences. With the inner healing intelligence guiding the process, the quality and content brought forth is unique to each person and for that particular time and place. While recurring themes are common, no two sessions are ever alike.
Additional elements of the process include focused energy release work and mandala drawing or other art technique, such as working with clay or SoulCollage®. Holotropic Breathwork is usually done in groups, although individual sessions are also possible. Within the groups, people work in pairs and alternate in the roles of experiencer and "sitter". The sitter's role is simply to be available to assist the breather, not to interfere or interrupt the process. The same is true for trained facilitators, who are available as helpers if necessary.
Holotropic breathing has some similarities to rebirthing, but was developed independently. There is an Association for Holotropic Breathwork International and an extensive training and certification program for facilitators. There are currently more than 1000 trained facilitators located throughout the world.
Holotropic breathwork is a form of psychological therapy developed by Dr Stanislav Grof. In practical terms, it involves deliberately hyperventilating while listening to particular music sequences. This method is based upon Grof's 50 years of intensive study of "nonordinary states of consciousness."
One small aspect of Grof's extensive theorum is the belief that there is a connection between the actions in our lives and our experiences in the birth process. In his book "The Holotropic Mind", Grof separated this process into 4 cycles. These cycles are known as the Perinatal Matrices, and they are defined as follows:
1. Amniotic Universe - The womb. The only world that life knows at this point.
2. Cosmic Engulfment; No Exit - Equilibrium disturbed; begin contractions.
3. Death Vs Rebirth Struggle - Second clinical stage of childbirth; struggle for survival.
4. Death Vs Rebirth Experience - Expulsion from paradise. New world begins.
Let's take a moment to put ourselves into the mind of a fetus. The only world we know is one of singularity and physiological comfort(amniotic paradise if you will). One could assume that the psychosocial effects of birth could be devestating to say the least.
Out of nowhere you are pulled from the only world you have known to be introduced to a world larger than anything you can imagine. Alien creatures all around you moving and producing sounds you have never heard before. Where is mother's heartbeat? Is she ok? Up until this point; mother and child have sustained as one. What is there to be done? Maslow's hierarchy of needs must now be met. Upon physiological sustanence; external safety needs have to be met. afterwhich; psychosocial developent will begin before long.
The home page on the topic, by the founder, is: http://www.holotropic.com/.
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