Treating PTSD with connected breathing: A clinical case study and theoretical implications

European Journal of Trauma & Dissociation

Volume 5, Issue 3, September 2021,

Extended connected breathing (Rebirthing-Breathwork) has been popular as a self-development tool for more than 4 decades, but has been subjected to minimal scientific research. Similarities between connected breathing and two therapeutic modalities used to treat <a class="topic-link" title="Learn more about posttraumatic stress disorder from ScienceDirect's AI-generated Topic Pages"

href=”https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/neuroscience/posttraumatic-stress-disorder”>posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)—Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing and Somatic Experiencing—suggest connected breathing to be efficacious in treating PTSD.

The underlying theoretical model in these three approaches suggests that trauma is a result of the blocking or repressing of spontaneous somatic and cognitive processing. This study investigated the efficacy of connected breathing to treat PTSD in a firefighter.

Pre- and posttreatment measures consisted of instruments to measure PTSD symptom-severity, anxiety, depression and heart rate variability (HRV). After 8 connected breathing sessions the participant’s PTSD and comorbid symptoms were in complete remission. Subjective reports and HRV data-analysis support the blocking/repression theory and suggest a role of the parasympathetic nervous system in the blocking of spontaneous trauma processing. In this case the original trauma appears have been a traumatic birth.

Autumn 2020 Update

Just as I was about to return to 121 Breathwork Sessions –

“London Covid-19 outbreak sees 12 boroughs breach key infection threshold of 100 cases per 100,000 people as London Mayor Sadiq Khan warns Tier 2 restrictions for capital are ‘inevitable’ ” screams the media on October 14th.

This has not happened yet but Tier 2 indicates :

Tier 2: High alert level :

‘Restrictions will prevent interactions between households in indoor venues.’ 

If anyone wishes to take Face 2 face Breathwork 121 sessions or start the process, contact me to arrange details, including covid measures, as they stand now or during expectant Tier 2.

I don’t offer any standard 1 hour ‘conscious connected breathwork’ sessions on ZOOM as I see it as unethical without immediate physical support, but I have already started Addiction Recovery & Relationship Coaching ( without breathwork ) Face2Face or ZOOM. Contact for details. 

https://rebirthyourlife.me/contact/

All Groupwork is lockdown suspended.

February could be the month you actually do it.

Change your stance, patterns and face procrastination.

Any Personal Development Programme like Coaching, Bodywork or weekly conventional 50 min Psychotherapy, costs time and money, and in these trying austere BREXIT times, time and money can be high on scarcity and low on action. Getting through the month in London is a miracle in itself for many. 

Not everyone can afford £240 a month for weekly visits to a therapist, so a new wellness vehicle is ready to ride here if you keep reading, combining COACHING & emotional releasing SOMATIC BREATHWORK from £150 a month. That’s one individual two hour Coaching Session, ( with or without Breathwork once a month), and one monthly 2.5 hour group evening session, both close to Euston Zone 1 station. So you get to work on yourself twice a month, with no charge support in-between.

Work out what you spend £150 on per month getting nowhere fast. You will be surprised how it adds up. Pubs, Clubs, dining out, taxis, retail and common outlets, booze and chems. They are not always friendly companions.

A FREE 2 hour Intro Session with David is always available. There are no signups, or obligation to continue anything after, but it gives you a chance to try breathwork or detail the issues that require attention. If you do consider MAKING CHANGES here are your options for CHANGE.

You can pick & mix where you start, do 121 or groupwork separately, both together or the MONTHLY Saturday 4 hour Group is a good entrance point.

Here are FEBRUARY GROUPWORK dates :  

MAX 5 participants in group for individual attention :

TUESDAY EVENING February 11 : 7 – 9.30 pm £30  . . . NOW FULL! 

THURSDAY EVENING February 13th : 7 – 9.30 pm £30  . . . Spaces

SATURDAY AFTERNOON February 15 : 12 noon – 4pm £50 . . . Spaces

( Each group contains a 1 hour Somatic Breathwork Experience )

   

Payment : Cash, PAYPAL or Bank Transfer. It’s your choice.

Further info, on the £150 per month deal, details and questions answered can be found here :

https://rebirthyourlife.me/contact/ 

“I CANNOT recommend David Parker and his sessions more. I attend a monthly group and I get SO much – support, love, release and awareness and friendship. David is an amazing coach and just a wonderful person. Seek out his story and you will be astonished and humbled.” – Wendy, Berkshire

Boss into 2020 with a Coaching & Breathwork Group in Central London. *Extra Monthly Thursday Group added in FEBRUARY as well as Monthly Tuesday and Saturday.

It’s going to be a tough year ahead so get prepared for its impact.

On January 31st we leave the EU, and although BREXIT is the name of the game, no BIG BEN BONGS will take away austerity and the uncertainty of 3 years of political shenanigans just passed.

We are leaving with a new right-wing majority government in place, expert predicted low economic growth, job losses, affected industries and aborted currency exchange issues for trade and travel.

It will also be the right time for everyone to view, check-in with, wake up to and deal with personal debt. Work out what you spend on the usual escape routes, booze, drugs, food, retail and secure £30 – £50 per month to enter a Personal Development Process to turn a corner in small tutorial groups once a month.

Each group focusses on a discussion period, covering codependency, compulsive patterns, work relationships, adopting healthy communications and addressing next moves into wellness.

Followed by a 1 hour Conscious Connected Breathwork Session laying flat on the floor fully clothed, on a supplied yoga mat for comfort, taking you into a space of body meditation and an altered state of consciousness, getting you HIGH naturally, shifting energy blocks and negative thoughts. Reading blogs and pages on this site will fill you in.

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THREE Breathwork Groups are available each month to choose from / Venue : Euston or Mornington Crescent tubes

NEW BREATHERS & REGULAR BREATHERS:

Each Saturday Group 12 noon – 4pm gives those who travel from afar a chance to attend. This group involves a Group Discussion before a I hour GROUP BREATHE.  Perfect for those new and interested or curious about benefits of Breathwork, Relationship and Codependency Recovery plus those already practiced over 5 sessions in group or 121.

Fee £50.  5 participants max for individual personal attention.

SATURDAY FEBRUARY 15th, MARCH 14th, APRIL 18th & MAY 9th

The MONTHLY EVENING BREATHES are from 7.00 – 9.30 pm, giving time to get home in in a reasonable time. This 2.5 hour group will include a discussion period before Breathing. Perfect for those who need a TOP-UP BREATHE once a month. After introductions the 1 hour Breathwork session will start @ 8pm and finish one hour later, leaving 30 mins to share, eat fruit and leave for home.

Fee £30.  5 participants max for individual personal attention

TUESDAY EVENINGS : FEBRUARY 11th, MARCH 10th, APRIL 14th, MAY 12th

THURSDAY EVENINGS : FEBRUARY 13th, MARCH 12th, APRIL 16th, MAY 14th

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Contact us on urbanlifeclass@gmail.com or call David on 07483 287470 to secure your place on this session. 

Paypal, Cash on the day or Bank transfer

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As standard with a small group, if you have confirmed attendance and you cannot attend for any reason PAYMENT must be paid, if you or we cannot fill the place.

 

Tales of the Unexpected

Tales of the Unexpected was a UK 1970’s telly series that was a mustn’t miss weekly event. It told a different story every week and each episode was introduced by Roald Dahl himself sitting in a comfy armchair. Dahl wrote Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, Matilda and other classic children’s books, but also became a master of short stories for adults, most were very dark and had a twist in the tail. And that’s precisely what this series was based on – the UNEXPECTED. 

And so is LIFE.

In mid July I had a few blips going on with my heart, low heart rate mainly, called Bradycardia which needed A&E attention. A need for a pacemaker was discussed but not carried through as more tests were required over a period of time. A week away from August I collapsed at home and ambulanced into a truly unexpected dilemma that was certainly not part of my plan.

I was due to be in Athens early August for starters on a 10 day break. I didn’t make it. Nor the Athens 10 day trip in October. The Universe had other plans.

After a few days of observations, scans, X-rays and the like I was whisked off to Barts Heart Centre in Central/East London for a more detailed angiogram examination where I was told I needed triple heart bypass surgery within 48 hours to avoid heart attack. Thus began almost 3 months of complications, starting with another heart operation 2 weeks after the first. The whole scenario became a lesson in powerlessness, vulnerability, trust and avoidance of projection, keeping it all in the day, hour, minutes. I am only just coming out of it, knowing it will take a while to recover fully and start a 3 month Cardio Rehabilitation Programme next week. Game ON.

Meanwhile in November I will be gradually getting back to clients and small groups which is manageable carefully paced, doctors suggest going back to work or other practices after 3 months, so here I am with clients already on hold booking in. Group dates for Nov, Dec & Jan will be up in a few days.

BESPOKE COACHING & BREATHWORK assists dealing with the unexpected. Coaching can unravel what to do next in emotional circumstances – loss of a job, a sudden health diagnosis, relationship difficulties or compulsive habits of escape – food, booze, recreational drugs or sex addiction. 

SOMATIC EVOLUTIONARY BREATHWORK EXPERIENCE : I have practiced and taught for over 30 years assisting those with trapped emotional trauma, shallow breathing, anxiety, depression and anyone stuck in a rut. Breathwork unblocks thoughts, habits and realities freeing up the body and mind to experience less worry and more joyful conscious living. You deserve it.

So do check out blogs and pages on this site for solutions, and how you can switch from panic REACT to healthily RESPOND to unexpected scenarios, learn how to handle life’s twists and turns more ably. Oh and have regular BP and Heart checks. You never know. 

Kundalini Ecstasy

I am one of the few Breathworkers in the UK specialising in addictions, including recreational drug and alcohol abuse, in fact TIME OUT London Magazine called me ‘CLUBLAND’S THERAPIST’ in Millennial year 2000 due to my clientele using club drugs like coke and ecstasy ( MDMA ).

https://www.talktofrank.com/drug/ecstasy

Not all clients arrive with these issues, relationship stuff, including codependency or stuckness in some way, is the number one problem.

Achieving a HIGH somewhere, is an example of success for many, a result, an intention to remove oneself from depression, life struggles or the need to ‘get out of it’, especially in tough economic times but continuous demand for entering an altered state of consciousness can create a habit. A second bottle of wine, a spliff to wake up to, a valium to get to work and a line at lunchtime to cope, are not unusual companions in urban Britain.

Having experienced drug addiction myself ( my last drink, drug and nicotine hit was October 25th 1982 ), all on the same day, not recommended without emotional and physical support, but I missed the HIGHS, escape routes and the RELAXATION of it all. So quick, so easy, so fulfilling.

Six years clean of all mood altering substances I came across ‘Conscious Connected Breathing’ while residing in Australia for 3 months. Then called REBIRTHING. I came back to to the UK and found myself a Rebirther to work with, and over the recommended 10 sessions to clear baggage, discovered ECSTASY in the form of emotional release and healing the body.

What a natural HIGH.

Ironically, this being 1988, ECSTASY the Love Drug arrived in Clubland and many of my future clients were taking it. Even now clients will often say “this Breathwork feels like taking Ecstasy”. With no comedown I might add, or the consequences of habitual drug use. 

I am blessed having Gunnel Minett as my mentor since 1994. Gunnel came to Rebirthing in 1978 and I started my training a decade later with Diana Roberts under Sondra Ray’s Loving Relationship Training ( LRT ) from America.

Gunnel has given me permission to reproduce sections of her book  the definitive BREATH & SPIRIT / Rebirthing as a Healing Technique published in 1994, including this chapter on Kundalini, a natural exploration of ECSTASY, so do give it a read and find out what Breathwork is about.

Kundalini

There is, as yet, no scientific explanation for the reactions which occur during conscious breathing sessions, or for what controls the length of the energy cycle. The closest we can get is to compare rebirthing phenomena with the reactions described in the various Eastern breathing exercises. So far, we have looked at some Chinese Chi Gong exercises. The other great area for comparison is yoga.

One major purpose of yoga exercises is to awaken the body’s in a life energy – the kundalini. in order to expand consciousness and reach a higher state of mind, the body’s own life energy has to be awakened and activated. According to Indian tradition, a person is not ready to experience altered states of consciousness before the kundalini is awake and allowed to flow freely in the body. The yoga trainer has to prepare the body and psyche to adjust properly to this expansion beyond the normal. The exercises of hatha yoga (physical yoga) and pranayama (breathing exercises) are specially designed for this purpose.

The word kundalini comes from yoga, but there a similar concepts in most breathing techniques. The awakening of life-energy is an important factor in the various physical and psychological cleansing processes. When the body and mind have been cleared of blocks and ‘impurities’, the person will enter a new phase where body fluids flow so freely that more life-energy can be absorbed. this leads to an awakening of the body’s kundalini, which in most adults is dormant. when the kundalini is released it produces an expansion of the mind, often resulting in the development of ‘supernatural’ abilities. This can include physical changes, for example less need for sleep and food, greater physical endurance and a capacity for self-healing.



Most descriptions of the awakening of kundalini are very similar, regardless of the cleansing method being used. The process can take anything from a couple of months to several years. One effect of the process is the experience of non-normal states of mind. These experiences go totally beyond everyday mental life, though they rarely result in loss of contact with reality or disorientation severe enough to be called psychotic.

Accounts of the awakening of kundalini have many similarities with the reactions observed during rebirthing sessions. Several scientific studies of the body’s reactions to yoga exercises have been published. Here we will not, however, go into detail regarding the physical changes in the body. (Those interested should see, for example, James Funderburk, Science Studies Yoga, 1977.) we will concentrate here on descriptions of the various physical and psychological phenomena reported from the process of awakening kundalini in various yoga practices.

Many of the symptoms and bodily reactions connected with the awakening of kundalini have been described by Sanella (1977). all of the following bodily sensations have also been observed in somatic conscious connected breathwork, and may occur from the very first session.

Experiences of expanded consciousness e.g. (visions, sounds, out of body) normally occur only after a person has completed at least ten sessions, and often at an even later stage. A precondition is the one should have cleared out a substantial part of biographical memory experiences. This normally involves having had at least one experience of birth memories. The examples listed below range from physical experiences to ‘supernatural’ phenomena, but they do not necessarily appear in this order.

Body Movements 

The body often starts to move spontaneously. The movements vary greatly from person to person. They can be soft, curling, jerking, twitching [sic] or vibrating. the physiological explanation is that the breathing exercise affects the cerebellum, the part of the brain that coordinates muscular movement.



Breathing 

So-called spontaneous rebirthing, with rapid shallow breathing, deep powerful breathing or spontaneous breathing patterns, occurs frequently. The practice of various breathing exercises may trigger and natural breathing cycle, which will normally be completed before returning to normal breathing. This spontaneous breathing reaction is originated in the hypothalamus, which monitors and controls the blood and its oxygen content. It does this by regulating the impulse to breathe. 

Cramps 

Various states of cramp occur often, affecting all parts of the body. They can last for short period or persist over a longer time, affecting mobility. States of cramp are normally preceded by fear or hysterical states. This is often referred to as tetany in other Breathwork publications and with an experienced breathworker as breathing coach it soon passes.

Body Sensations 

The skin or the whole body is often felt to vibrate or itch. It is usually described as ‘bubbles’ in the body, or stitches and bubbling. Sometimes these experiences are perceived as sexual, similar to pre-orgasmic feelings. A physical explanation is that this is mainly caused by stimulation of the sensory cortex. The vibrational sensation often moves from the feet upwards (the way the kundalini is said to move through the body). The left big toe is often said to be the starting point. This toe has a direct link with the cerebral cortex. (The big toe plays a special role in yoga exercises. Hindu mythology states that the holy River Ganges emerged out of the big toe of the Creator.)

Changes in Temperature 

Body temperature can rapidly change from very hot to very cold. Sometimes, this is purely a subjective experience but there may also be objectively measurable changes in body temperature. A possible explanation is that when the kundalini force encounters a blockage in the body, friction is generated leading to localised temperature rise. This affects the hypothalamus which, in turn, will have effects on the body temperature as a whole, causing rapid changes.


Experience of Pain 

Sudden pain may be felt in the head, eyes, spine or other parts of the body without apparent reason. The pain usually remains for only a short period. A traditional explanation is that the kundalini force becomes intensively concentrated when passing through a ‘blocked’ part of the body. People who resist the process with a subconscious wish to retain control over the body are likely to experience these phenomena as painful.

Light and Sound Experiences 

There are many descriptions of a wide range of light and sound experiences: colours flowing freely, illuminating or flowing from various parts of the body; voices, music, whistling or strong roaring or hissing. These phenomena may be caused by wave movements in the ventricles (cavities of the brain). This area influences the auditory cortex in the back lobe of the brain, which controls hearing and vision.

Emotional Experiences 

Most emotional experiences are very intense, ranging from anxiety, fear, hate, depression and confusion to states of total bliss. The negative feelings are mostly experienced in the beginning of the session. They are later normally replaced by feelings of peace, harmony and love, at the end of a completely worked through session. It is influence on the thalamus which probably causes these intense emotions. This area transport information to various centres in the cortex, in cooperation with the reticular and limbic systems. The latter has great impact on the emotions and motivation.

Thought Experiences 

People often report a change in the thought process itself. Thoughts pass through the mind faster or slower than usual and thought can even stop completely at times. Thoughts can also appear irrational, strange or unbalanced. These states can sometimes resemble mental illness, trance, impulsive actions or confusion. 

Distancing 

Another common experience is a feeling of separation from the actual event. ‘What is happening has nothing to do with me’. This can also be described as being outside, observing the events, thoughts and feelings. This is known in yoga as ‘witness consciousness’. In some cases, especially when there is an underlying imbalance in the person, this state may resemble schizophrenia. With the right type of guidance, it usually disappears rapidly and completely.

   Out of Body Experiences 

In this kind of experience one’s own body appears distant. There is a feeling of being outside the body and the person can experience moving to various places while leaving the body behind. This is a sharp distinction between this type of experience and ordinary dreaming. The person can actually ‘see’ their own body from the outside, and be able to describe places without having physically been there. This distinguishes the phenomenon from dreaming or visualisation.

Supernatural Experiences 

In the latter stages of the kundalini process a capacity for ‘supernatural’ skills often appears. The most commonly occurring skills are clairvoyance, clairaudience and the ability to see the aura (the body’s energy field) but other, even more remarkable skills may develop.

 

And here we are in June 2019 experiencing the kundalini of REAL LIFE

Gunnel Minett & David Parker with a selfie.❤️

 

 

 

Ted Roger’s confirms the value of Breathwork for mental health issues.

 

10570275_10152898518950149_332370818695223401_nI’m Ted, 23 years old, and I first discovered ‘New Style’ Rebirthing Breathwork through David Parker, ( here on the right of this pic ) a Breathworker with 30 years experience, after he suggested I try breath work and I trust his sound judgement so I decided to come to an individual 3 hour session and give it a go.

But from someone who has been diagnosed bi-polar (rapid-cycling) for 7 years and suffered many ins and outs of depression, medication, therapists and institutions, at first I was sceptical and I also find communicating with people and systems somewhat of a task due to my Aspergers (High-Functioning) syndrome, diagnosed in my teenage years. I was not convinced that breathing would really have that much of an impact on me. I had done meditation and Bikram yoga which both centre heavily around breathing and mostly the outcomes of these activities had been a headache or general exhaustion.

Most importantly I have found Rebirthing breath work to be the most effective form of therapy in helping me through tough patches of depression. And if we consider that I have been through many a psychiatric professional, various institutions and 13 different medications over 6 years I think you can agree that this is somewhat of a profound discovery.

What Breathwork does is it gets you past your intellectual barriers and complicated head based reasoning and puts you into your body. It reaches deep into your soul and gives it a good massage and a shake. What this allows you to do is become unstuck. One of my biggest difficulties with depression is getting stuck. Either in a hole or a loop or a sticky pool of mud. Regardless of the work I have done the day before I wake up the next day in the same pool of shit I started in the day before. This winter I experienced this cycle for an excruciating 4 months and I am still not entirely free of it. However, when I have attend a breath work session it has always shifted something. I can’t always put my finger on what but I can feel that within me something has moved. This in turn has helped to remove me partially if not entirely out of my loop/whole/pool of mud in the space of a few hours.

This is incredible!

Never before could anything get me out of these ruts. Only recreational drugs or extreme life situations ever had any effect; and these two options come with negative longterm consequences whereas breath work does not. Price wise it is even reasonable. Especially compared to other alternative therapies and private medical care. For me I have found accessing therapies through the NHS extremely traumatic and the end result was that I was left on drugs without monitoring or any sort of talking/holistic therapies. Rebirthing breath work has begun a process in me. And I will continue to use it as therapeutic tool for as long as it serves me. I have huge gratitude for David and the assistants who help him in URBAN LIFECLASS group sessions, for showing me breath work and allowing me some release and progress from depression. This is how Breathwork makes me feel : Refreshed, ALIVE, Energised and FREE . . .

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by Ted Rogers : Dancer/Performer/Writer/Artist/ Blogger/Poet/Model/Stylist

 

 

Evening Breathwork Groups in London

Since our January Breathwork Retreat in Marrakech, the regular MONTHLY London Evening groups have built up to adding an extra one ( now 3 groups every Month ) but even these have become FULL UP a month before they occur. We also have been adding new people, bringing in exciting new energies and experiences.

#BreathworkWORKS  JUNE is NOW FULL, but do contact us for JULY & AUGUST or get on our mailing list and FB pages.

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Back to Regular Breathes!

Having rested since July, over the summer, we had a rethink after 18 months of URBAN Lifeclass Seminars and created smaller, more intimate EVENING BREATHWORK GROUPS in October, which proved very successful, so much so that the first one in November is FULL and and only 2 places left for the second November date, Tuesday 24th. 7-10pm Euston Venue.

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People have asked for a weekday evening slot to experience Breathwork for the first time or maintain what they have achieved already, so I have created some small intimate COACHING/BREATHWORK groups for max of 5 people with a CODEPENDENCY RECOVERY theme. Each 3 hour group session is £30, no more than an evening out these days, but you will feel better for it, working on yourself, instead of working up worry, tension, projection or getting wasted. All for less than £8 a week!

I use my own home, my own *womb space* as many have called it, and all monies go to the Urban LIFECLASS pot to bursary our assistants to attend January’s MAROC Retreat in Marrakech.

The first 90 mins is taken up with Codependency Coaching in some form, followed by ONE HOURS BREATHWORK that puts you into a total space of relaxation and altered states of consciousness. The remainder brings you down, back into your body, leaving you rejuvenated ready to MOVE FORWARD. It is suggested to do ONE GROUP A MONTH ( a Tuesday or Thursday ) or both if you prefer. This space gives you a chance to get back on track with feelings, emotions and solutions to life problems that appear from nowhere.

The aim is to provide 2 BREATHWORK evenings a month . . . More dates and news soon!