Holotropic Breathwork


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Holotropic Breathwork™

Alternative medicine
A technique developed in 1976 by Czech-American psychiatrist Dr Stanislav Grof as a means of self-exploration, based on ancient spiritual practices and modern conscious research and combining breathing, evocative music and a specific form of bodywork.
Holotropic Breathwork is presented in a two-day workshop by Grof-certified “facilitators”, many of whom are mental healthcare professionals. In the sessions, participants lie flat in a dimly-lit room, and learn breathing techniques while listening to the pounding of African drums; incorporated into the process are focused bodywork and mandala drawing. The participants are encourage to access four “levels” of experience: sensory, biographical, prenatal and transpersonal, as well as “buried” memories.
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Stanislav Grof is often singled out, along with his wife Christina, for the development of holotropic breathwork. The term "holotropic," which they coined, means "moving toward wholeness," and it is meant to label a large subgroup of non-pathological, non-ordinary states that are capable of producing healing through transformation and evolution.
Holotropic Breathwork was offered to psychiatric patients at the Stress Center of Hyland Behavioral Health, Saint Anthony's Medical Center (St.
Holotropic breathwork, for example, may be just what is needed for a person having an ongoing spiritual experience or emergency mimicking psychosis.
Holotropic breathwork; a new approach to self-exploration and therapy.
Stanislov Grof (1988), a Czechoslovakian psychiatrist who developed one approach to breathwork (i.e., holotropic breathwork), provided a map of the levels of consciousness that serves as a template for common breathwork experiences.
As well as more common alternative therapies, the book covers more unusual therapies such as holotropic breathwork, Rolfing, metamorphic technique and Tragerwork.
He has had all kinds of therapeutic and growth experiences: gestalt, rebirthing, Jungian analysis, holotropic breathwork, bioenergetics, the Course in Miracles, twelve-step recovery groups, Zen meditation, Ericksonian hypnosis.
Grof first conceptualized it as an alternative way to achieve altered states of consciousness without use of psychedelic drugs and termed it "Holotropic Breathwork" (Girlando, 2011).
But the "substance" could in fact be any state-altering technique, be that LSD, holotropic breathwork or the ganzfeld.
This technique became widely known as rebirthing in the late 1960s (Begg, 1999), and a derivative of it is now known as holotropic breathwork (Grof, 1992; S.
Taylor (1994:8) states that Holotropic Breathwork operates under the principle that we are our own best healers.
Alexander Lowen's bioenergetics approach (Lowen, 1994), Leonard Orr's rebirthing techniques (Orr, 1977), Stanislav Groff's Holotropic Breathwork (Groff, 1985), and Gay and Kathlyn Hendricks' relationship work (Hendricks & Hendricks, 1998) have all provided rich clinical observations regarding the effectiveness of breathwork therapy.