The Calm Birth Method
Calm Birth: Empowering Preparation for Childbirth
Practice of Opening
This practice is based on progressive relaxation techniques developed by Edmond Jacobson, M.D., at the Harvard University Medical School and at the University of Chicago in the 1920’s and 1930’s. The practice was then further developed in the University of Massachusetts Medical Center medicine/meditation program, starting in 1979. In the present use for childbirth, refined through twelve years and more than 12,000 births, the practice systematically brings attention through the whole body, specifically releasing tension that restricts nervous system function. Women practice healing their nervous system and their infant’s nervous system of prenatal disturbances. This practice offers prenatal bonding new potential.
This is a method of toe to head progressive release into life force at the cellular level, for increase of vitality, function, and awareness. The progressive release of neuromuscular stresses that impact the nervous system frees neural function. The progressive calming of the mind gives increased tolerance and capability in labor.
This deep breathing visualization method is based on the practice of Vase Breathing in Tibetan Buddhism. Womb Breathing is similar in many ways to Buddhist mindfulness meditation used extensively in medical application because of its proven effectiveness in pain management and immune system enhancement. Womb Breathing has additional effectiveness through energy breathing and visualization. Refined through twelve years of application in childbirth, Womb Breathing has the following characteristics:
It’s a sitting meditation based on breathing vital energy. The woman absorbs full oxygenation plus vital energy from the air. The breathing of vital energy from the air is an element of Buddhist, Tai Chi, Qi Kung, and Hindu meditation science. In traditional medical arts, the body is alive with energy centers and channels, used as a basis for acupuncture and other therapeutic systems. In Womb Breathing, visualized features of the human energy body include a vertical central energy channel along which are formed various radiant energy power centers or “chakras”, and a luminous vase, the life vase, located at the bottom of the central channel in the navel center, in both men and women. The central psychic channel rises from the life vase to the crown. The vase is very near the uterus in the woman’s physical body. Vital energy present in the air is breathed down into the vase to be absorbed up into the central channel for greater function. When a pregnant woman breathes life-enhancing vital energy, breathing it down into the life vase so near the womb child, for child development and evolution.
The vital energy in the air, traditionally called prana or chi, is life-giving energy of the universal field. The energy is present everywhere and may be directly sensed and breathed. We are made to breathe it. People have been intentionally breathing it for centuries in various traditions. Applied to childbirth, breathing vital energy from the air into the life vase helps women shift from mind to awareness, bringing two remarkable assets to childbirth: a method to see and release any anxiety and fear may arise, and for increased ability to keep calm throughout labor pain. Womb Breathing strengthens the woman’s immune system, and importantly strengthens her ability to distinguish between pain and suffering, to prevent herself from suffering. The practice brings a fourfold energy gain for increased function and increased choice of birthing options. For the many women who chose medical birth, Womb Breathing is perfect complementary medicine. It strengthens immune function to manage the side effects of medication, and it helps women heal faster from the wounds of birth-related surgery.
Womb Breathing offers pregnant women a new and empowering sense of childbirth anatomy and its potential. Its guided meditation encourages women to realize life in giving birth, and to help the child access full potential.
Giving and Receiving
Giving and Receiving is a legendary practice from meditation science applied to childbirth for the first time, to bring the practice of healing and the experience of healing into birth. It’s a profound method of breathing into the energy body to experience a revolutionary sense of body and capability. For centuries Giving and Receiving has been known to have extrordinary healing potential. In its application to childbirth, in prenatal care it is used to remove somatic memories of shock and trauma which may still be present from the pregnant woman’s own birth, and it also may be used to directly benefit fetal health and development. It works with Womb Breathing during labor as a dual means of labor pain management.
Calm Mother: Empowering Postnatal Methods
This reclining progressive relaxation meditation is based on the work of Edmund Jacobson, M.D., whose groundbreaking work at Harvard Medical School and the University of Chicago Medical School in the 1930s and 1940s earned him worldwide recognition as an important leader in the emerging field of self-care. Jacobson instructed his patients to treat their own medical conditions by healing nervous system correspondences to those conditions. In 1979, Jon Kabat-Zinn, at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center (UMMC), advanced Jacobson’s work by applying mindfulness meditation to it, in a renowned meditation/medicine program, making progressive neuromuscular release more effective by improving the quality of attention.
In applying the practice to postnatal care, it offers a reclining meditation based on a progressive relaxation method healing for the nervous system. This practice offers systematic release of neural stresses and entrance into the unconditioned state, enabling restoration on a cellular level. Energies of healing and blessing are intended into the organs of reproduction. This method strengthens immune system function, good for mother and child, and can be important for treating side effects of drugs and anesthesia if the birth was medicated.
Sitting into Energy Body This audio guide transmits a profound deep breathing method from ancient wisdom, for empowerment of the womb after giving birth. It teaches breathing into the physical body and the energy body at once, for vital energy and full oxygenation. It instructs how to breathe energy from the air into the life vase in the navel center, for greater function and health.
This is a sitting meditation practice that offers transformational breathing. Based on the Tibetan Buddhist practice of Vase Breathing, this method gives women a proven way of breathing energy into the navel center, for empowerment of the womb after giving birth, for vitality, and for greater function. Sitting into Energy Body offers women a self-empowerment method based on a new vision of woman’s body and potential. This practice strengthens the immune system and activates latent biological systems and psychological capability, so that inherent abilities may come to life.
Breath Feeding / Breast Breathing
This is a new method of breast-feeding. It offers the child optimal nourishment, mother’s milk enriched with meditation hormones and vital energy breathed from the air. This practice offers the mother entrance into a new domain of capability and a sense of sacred body.
Practice of Healing
Based on the famous method of Ton Len from Tibet, this practice has been responsible for countless healings throughout the centuries. It is a practice of compassionate breathing that transforms the sense of body and breathing. In postnatal care women can use the practice for themselves, for their children, and for others, experiencing empowerment as they develop their inherent healing genius. Practice of Healing is a method to give women a sense of increased capability in the face of increased responsibility.
Mother and father sit in meditation on either side of the baby, while the child sleeps. They learn to breathe with the babe, to give and receive peace, to give and receive the gift of life, to be in the presence of life itself. Their child is their teacher. A teacher worth praying for has come.