Joy Manne (Ill.: Hentet fra Internett)
The Healing Breath
a Journal of Breathwork Practice,
Psychology and Spirituality
General Editor: Joy Manné, Ph.D.
Treatment of People with Cancer
Piotr Rajski, M.A., Chartered Psychologist
Keywords: Cancer; Conscious Connected BreatRationale
for the Use of Conscious Connected Breathing
hing; Rebirthing; Intuitive Energy Breathing; Circular Breathing.
Cancer is believed to have multiple, interacting causes. Many interdependent factors, such as environmental pollution, unhealthy life styles (e.g. tobacco smoking), improper diet,
chronic stress, etc., in various combinations can contribute to the development of cancer. Cancer is treated in many ways, but most of them, through failing to take into account the complexity of cancer causes, do not produce satisfying results. This paper
offers a rationale for the use of a little known breathing technique as a holistic, complementary treatment of cancer.
Conscious Connected Breathing, known also as Rebirthing, Intuitive Energy Breathing or Circular
Breathing is a self-healing skill which originated in the USA in the 70s and was invented by Leonard Orr. Most people can learn it in ten one – two-hours breathing sessions. It is the ability to breathe energy as well as air. It involves merging of the
inhalation with the exhalation in a gentle relaxed rhythm in an intuitive way. This method of breathing floods the body with energy, which cleans and nourishes it physically, emotionally and spiritually. One potential result of this way of breathing is relaxation,
enhanced contact with one's body, peace and contentment. The advantages of this approach are presented in the context of four hypotheses of cancer, namely metabolic, toxicity, energy and psychosomatic.
Hypothesis of Cancer and Oxygen Therapies
The metabolic theory/hypothesis of cancer maintains that cancer cells only grow in the absence of oxygen. According to this theory cancer cells exhibit the anaerobic
mode of metabolism. This means that they thrive under conditions of high-sugar low-oxygen, but fare poorly under low-sugar high-oxygen conditions.
This hypothesis led to the development of oxygen therapies
of cancer. In these therapies one tries to introduce sufficient oxygen into the body's cells to reverse the cancer process and "suffocate," so to speak, the tumor with too much oxygen.
According to Diamond,
Cowden & Goldberg (1997), there are two principal types of oxygen therapy, classified according to the chemical process involved. These are oxygenation and oxidation.
Oxygenation is the process
of enriching the oxygen content of the blood or tissues. One oxygenation therapy is known as hyperbaric oxygen therapy. It introduces oxygen to the body in a pressurized chamber. Pure oxygen is delivered to the patient inside sealed chamber at high
pressure for 30-60 minutes. The patient absorbs concentrated oxygen through the skin as well as through inhalation. Manfred Von Ardenne (1990) who investigated use of oxygen in treatment of cancer patients found it to be most effective when used in combination
with regular aerobic exercise, hyperthermia, intermittently induced hyperglycemia, daily administration of vitamins and other agents.
Another oxygen therapy uses ozone and relies on both oxidation and oxygenation
pathways. According to Diamond and associates, ozone is used primarily to kill viruses, destroy bacteria and eliminate fungi. Ozone produces important benefits in the human body, including the oxygenation of blood, improved blood circulation and stimulation
of the immune system. It can be administered intravenously, intra-arterially, intra-muscularly, intra-articularly and subcutaneously. These authors quote research in which ozone was found, i.a., to: (1) selectively inhibit cancer cell growth in tissue culture
for cancer of the lung, breast and uterus; (2) enhance the tumor-fighting ability of standard cancer drugs; (3) reduce pain while increasing energy levels and appetite. For instance, practitioners at the Hospital Santa Monica in Mexico have reported a 3-year
remission rate of 70% with advanced cancer patients who were treated with ozone, botanicals, nutrition, DMSO (Dimethylsulfoxide), hyperthermia and other natural modalities (p.926 ).
Diamond, Cowden & Goldberg
caution about some adverse effects associated with intravenously administered ozone, such as inflammation of veins, chest pain, shortness of breath, cardiac arrhythmia, etc.
Breathing (CCB) as an Oxygen Therapy
As indicated earlier CCB is most often used as a method of deep breathing and relaxation. Clients are asked to connect his/her inhalation and exhalation in a smooth rhythm.
This kind of breathing intensifies the circulation of oxygen and energy throughout the body. Clients typically report having physical symptoms, such as vibration, tingling, muscle spasms, emotional symptoms that are most often discharged through crying, laughter,
angry outbursts or bliss, and, after the cycle is completed, a sense of profound peace and relaxation.
CCB is mainly used as a form of individual psychotherapy or during self-improvement seminars. In this writer's
opinion it has a greater therapeutic potential than its New Age reputation (see, for instance, Orr & Ray, 1983). Dowling and Manne (2001) give an extensive list of Rebirthing and other breathwork related bibliography, while some of the
studies on Rebirthing are quoted in the master thesis of Heyda (2000). Among these studies the most interesting appears that of Rubin (1983). Rubin investigated cognitive, affective and physiological outcomes of Rebirthing on a sample of students. She reported
short and long term improvement in locus of control, self-esteem, anxiety reduction and more positive thinking in the subjects tested. According to her, physiological measurements of air volume exhalation, oxygen and carbon dioxide expiration, pulse volume,
pulse propagation time, skin potential response and electromyograph all showed significant changes during the breathing process.
To the best of my knowledge Rebirthing has never been systematically used in treating
cancer. There is much anecdotal data that shows that many people respond well to this method of breathing. I myself had one case in which a non-malignant tumor had disappeared after six breathing sessions. I have heard a few anecdotal reports of "cured cancer"
from fellow CCB instructors (see, for instance, Manne, 1997).
Regardless of the lack of scientific evidence for its effectiveness, CCB deserves a serious chance as one of the oxygen therapies of cancer. The method
is natural, fairly simple and does not require any expensive instruments. It can be done in group settings, which further reduces costs. It is a more natural way of providing cancer patients with oxygen than hyperbaric oxygen therapy or ozone therapy. More
important, after mastering the technique patients can practice it on their own, thus becoming more active agents in their healing process.
Toxicity Hypothesis of Cancer
"Why is there so much cancer today?" asks Goldberg. "In simple fact, we are being slowly poisoned to death. The list of poisons includes pollution, pesticides, carcinogens in our food, air, water, electromagnetic radiation,
tobacco smoke, antibiotics, conventional drugs, hormone therapies, irradiated foods, nuclear radiation, mercury toxicity from dental fillings, diet and nutritional deficiencies, parasites, X rays, toxic emotions, and more." (Diamond, and assoc.; P.11). Many
therapies attempt to treat cancer through detoxifying the body of the patient. Among these are Gerson Diet Therapy, Metabolic-Nutritional Therapy, Biological Dentistry, Chelation Therapy, Kelley Metabolic Therapy and others. What these therapies seem to overlook
is that approximately 70% of body toxins are released through the breathing process (Jones, 1982). From this point of view CCB is uniquely suited to respond to the needs of cancer patients as it not only detoxifies the body, but also the mind and emotions
of the cancer patient.
This writer who has been practicing CCB since 1983, employed the method in the treatment program for alcoholics in the Day Psychiatric Division in Siemianowice, Poland. Seven 4-week long day
treatment programs were offered in 1986-87 to 70 persons. The results of the program were quite encouraging. Self-reported abstinence one year after the treatment ended was above 50%. Many clients reported reduced cravings, which would suggest that CCB had
an impact also on physiological level. With the group of co-workers we considered CCB to have had a "vacuum cleaner" effect on the body. The level of detoxification achieved by some of them was of such intensity that they could no longer visit their favorite
bars or even associate with their drinking companions (for more details see, Rajski, 2001).
Energy Hypothesis of Cancer.
According to this
hypothesis, imbalances of energy, which acts on a deeper cellular level than biochemical, can precede disruptions in biochemical balance and lead to disease. This notion is characteristic for so called "energy medicine" or "bioenergetic medicine" (Diamond,
and assoc., 1997, P.1022). It "refers to diagnostic procedures and therapies that use an energy field – electrical, magnetic, sonic, acoustic, microwave, infrared – to screen for health conditions by detecting imbalances in the body’s energy
fields, and then correct them." (Ibid.).
It sounds very difficult, but in fact is much simpler. People, who try CCB for the first time, often report that it was their first experience of feeling the energy of the
body. As was said, in CCB the client is "flooded" with energy, and even the most alienated persons cannot ignore something so intense. A CCB session not only cleans and restores their energy fields, but makes them more aware that they are, as Manné
(1997) refers to it, "energy beings." In the result, they are more willing to consciously take care of the energy of the body by avoiding harmful life styles and practicing "cleanliness."
In this regard CCB instructors
typically recommend taking a bath or a shower twice a day, physical work or exercise, vegetarian diet and spending time with a natural, wood-burning fire. All these activities can be practiced by the clients themselves. They can also be seen as detoxification.
Psychosomatic Hypothesis of Cancer
Ever fewer people now question that there is a connection between emotions and cancer. Cancer patients seem to have
tendency toward resentment, low self-esteem, inhibition of feelings, especially anger and grief, difficulty developing and maintaining meaningful and lasting relationships (findings of Carl and Stephanie Simonton, quoted in: Minett. 1994). If combined with
a loss or accumulated stress, these dispositions may lead to disturbances in the body’s immune defense system. CCB, by influencing both the body and the emotions of the patient may prevent these dynamics. It also seems to restore our vitality. The sense
of contact with the body and emotions achieved through CCB sessions is impressive.
Relaxation provided by CCB can reduce fear and depression. The expression of feelings, which typically takes place during CCB, helps
to release so called "toxic emotions," such as anger, grief, guilt and perceived lack of self-worth. Comfort and the sense of well-being achieved through CCB could help patients to get rid of the negative thinking, thus to create better conditions for a more
positive and assertive attitude toward one's own life and treatment. If done in groups CCB provides an occasion for "social connectedness." This was found to contribute positively to longevity of cancer patients (see the landmark study by David Spiegel, which
showed that breast cancer patients who underwent support group therapy lived nearly twice as long as women with breast cancer who did not. Quoted in Diamond and assoc., p.459). In other words, CCB could also offer advantages of a weekly support group.
CCB seems also to satisfy and make our clients more aware of their regressive needs. By this I understand the natural desire to be taken care of by somebody which is present to some extent in every sick person. Occasionally,
however, it may lead to the situation in which the patient may be interested in maintaining the symptom. CCB appears to be one of the most interesting and constructive ways of addressing the issue. People, who breathe with this method, not only have a chance
to achieve a sense of being comforted by someone, but learn practical skills (relaxation, contact with one's own body) and insights that help them to cope by themselves.
In summary, CCB deserves serious clinical attention and a part in a holistic treatment of cancer because:
- It is a natural method of providing the body (tumor cells) with extra
volumes of oxygen
- It helps to get rid of body toxins and so called "toxic emotions"
- It reduces fear and improves sense of well being
- It satisfies and makes a person more aware of regressive needs
- It provides opportunity for "social connectedness"
- It is easy to master and can be self-employed
by a recovering cancer patient.
Ardenne Von Manfred. (1990). Oxygen Multistep Therapy, Physiological and Technical Foundations.
New York, Thiene Medical. Quoted in Diamond and assoc., 1997.
Diamond John W., Cowden Lee W., Goldberg Burton. (1997). An Alternative Medicine Definite Guide to Cancer. Tiburon, Future Medicine Pub.
Dowling, Catherine, Manne, Joy. (2001). An Annotated Book List For a Breathwork Training. The Healing Breath. Vol. 3, No. 2. www.i-breathe.com/thb32/index.htm.
Gunnel Minett. (1994). Breath & Spirit. Aquarian/Thorsons
Heyda A. (2000). Wpływ Treningu Swiadomego Połączonego Oddychania na Stany Emocjonalne. [An Impact of the Conscious
Connection Breathing Training on Emotional States.] Master thesis under Łosiak W., Jagiellonian University, Cracow, Poland.
Jones Eve. (1982). An Introduction to Rebirthing for Health Professionals. In: Sondra Ray.
(1982). Celebration of Breath, Celestial Arts.
Manné, Joy. (1997). Soul Therapy, North Atlantic Books, CA.
Orr, Leonard, Ray, Sondra. (1983). Rebirthing in the New
Age. Celestial Arts, Berkeley, CA. (Revised edition, first published 1977)
Rajski, Piotr. (2001). Alcoholism and Rebirthing. Unpublished manuscript.
Rubin Beverly K. (1983).
Cognitive, Affective and Physiological Outcomes of Rebirthing. Washington, American University.
About the Author
Piotr Rajski. M.A., Psychologist. Piotr graduated in 1978 from University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland. In 1982 he met Leonard Orr for the first time and later trained with him extensively (in 1983-4, 1986, and 1990). His Rebirthing formation included
also training with other prominent American and European Rebirthers, like Joe Moriarty, Bonnie Nixon, Peter Kane, Sharda and John Paul Collard, Villem Van Diest and others.
Piotr has been a Registered Rebirther with
the Association of Polish Rebirthers since 1983 (currently an honorary member of this Association). In the years 1986-87 Piotr ran a program for alcoholics based on Rebirthing. He taught Rebirthing as a part of the Clinical Psychology Practicum in the University
In 1989 Piotr immigrated to Canada. He is chartered with the College of Alberta Psychologists. Currently in private practice in Edmonton, Alberta, Piotr provides training for rebirthers through his Edmonton
School of Rebirthing.
First version, 1999-04-08. Revised 2002-02-18.