The process of Rebirthing Breathwork was created and developed by Leonard Orr, who realized it had the power to purge repressed traumatic childhood memories as well as to cure pain and disease. Following Orr’s discovery, the techniques were further refined over the next 10 to 15 years into a system representing a complete spiritual, mental, and physical experience which often facilitates dramatic healing.
The seminal moment of this breakthrough occurred on a morning in 1962 as Orr was taking a bath. At some point he began to experience a state of regression accompanied by a feeling of weakness, so he lay transfixed in the bath tub for the next three hours. During the weeks that followed, he would often lay in a bath for long periods before finally surrendering to the urge to get out. This urge is referenced as an Emotional or Psychological Urgency Barrier. Later he experimented by sitting longer and longer in a bath, thereby pushing through this barrier. He came to notice that by doing this he would glean fascinating and revealing insights about himself and his life.
In 1973 at one of his spiritual-physiological seminars in California, he spoke of his experiences and many of the gathered participants were eager to discover more about his Rebirthing work. He began to facilitate hot tub rebirths and made the key observation that all participants were breathing in a similar connected rhythm, merging the inhalation with the exhalation.
Orr delved further into the development of his techniques by creating a snorkel and nose clip method so that people could be completely immersed in the water, an experience that replicated a more womb-like environment. Although using the breath hadn’t occurred to him yet, he still felt within his own body that his breathing was helping him release blockages faster.
With practice he realized it was easier to control the breathing and the demeanor of the receiver if he removed the need for the tub and water, and thus he began trials using the Connected Breathing Rhythm without water. Orr found it was better for participants to do 10 one- to two-hour Connected Breathing sessions outside the water before beginning a hot tub treatment. This was the origin of the Dry Rebirthing method, which enabled Rebirthing to reach a broader audience, as climbing into a hot tub went a little too far for many people. With this new system all people had to do was lie down, relax, and breathe.
By 1975 he had devised a training system so that others could become Rebirthing facilitators.
Since then, Rebirthing or Conscious Connected Energy Breathing has gone global and today it is estimated that 10 million people have experienced at least one session of this valuable therapy. There are now thousands of both Rebirthing Facilitators and Rebirthing Teachers worldwide. Many of these practitioners use a variety of names for their work, but all owe a debt of gratitude for this phenomenon to the same person.