This is a form of bodywork derived from the yoga technique Pranayama, which uses controlled rhythmic breathing to raise kundalini energy in the body. By breathing in such a way that there is no pause between inhalation and expiration of air, hyperventilation occurs and a cathartic emotional state is induced. The therapist guides the patient through this experience. Some therapists believe that traumatic experiences at birth can lead to psychological problems later in life and that the rebirthing process can release and overcome traumas and associated emotional blockages.
Rebirthing can be undertaken while lying on a mat or table. Sometimes a therapist may get patients to float face down in warm water, using a snorkel to breathe, so that the experience will more closely resemble that of the foetus in the womb.