Healing and Transformation through Holistic Therapy

by | Apr 23, 2022 | Article, Holotropic Breathing | 0 comments

This article is primarily about how we can experience healing and transformation through holistic therapy. This treatise is part of a series of articles in which I describe the entire spectrum of how we can reach transpersonal dimensions that remain hidden in our everyday consciousness through methods such as CranioSacral Therapy or Holotropic Breathwork. We find repressed traumas and imprints that keep us from unfolding our full human potential on these levels.

In a previous article, I already discussed the definition of Holotropic Therapy. I want to explain applied holotropic therapy using my favorite methods as an example. With the help of CranioSacral Therapy (CST) and Holotropic Breathwork, one can very effectively reach, for instance, repressed birth traumas, which Stanislav Grof describes in his perinatal matrices. Experiencing healing and transformation in this area can help each person enormously on their path to individualization. But we can go even further.

The Therapeutic Potential
of death and rebirth processes

CranioSacral Therapy

Pursuing healing and transformation in holotropic therapy, it can happen that already in the first CranioSacral Therapy session, events from early childhood or processes during biological birth are relived. A death and rebirth process holds therapeutic potential. Such a session can be an essential turning point in the client’s life. It is no exaggeration to say that after an excellent self-exploration session, there is a clear feeling that something important has been achieved and that one feels better than before. One can speak of healing.

Personality changes and important decisions leading to the transformation of lifestyle and habits can also occur after such an experience.

According to Stanislav Grof, intense experiences of dying and being reborn can also lead to massive improvement of various emotional, psychosomatic and interpersonal problems that previously stubbornly resisted all psychotherapeutic attempts focused on the person’s biography in question.

Perinatal matrices, according to Grof

The negative perinatal basic matrices (2nd & 3rd Matrix) play a role as repositories of emotions and bodily sensations of extraordinary intensity. They are the source of many psychopathological syndromes.

Clinical forms of anxiety, aggression, depression, fear of death, guilt, sadomasochistic tendencies, general emotional and physical tension, or feelings of inferiority seem to be rooted in the perinatal level of the unconscious. Also, various psychosomatic symptoms can be traced to different aspects of the death and rebirth process.

These include, for example, common headaches, migraine attacks, muscle spasms, muscle aches, tremors, and dyskinesias. Perinatal factors caused other physical symptoms, including heart trouble, nausea and vomiting, neurotic sensations of oxygen deprivation, psychogenic asthma, and cramps during menstruation.

Treatment of depression

It is usually necessary to penetrate to the perinatal level in self-awareness therapy to affect inhibited or agitated depression, self-hatred, and self-destructive biases with any prospect of success. An intense experience of ego-death and rebirth seems to completely eliminate suicidal thoughts and tendencies, or at least to a large extent.

Individuals who experience death and rebirth tend to develop negative attitudes toward the states brought about by alcohol and narcotics. This is very valuable in addiction therapy.

Therapeutic Mechanisms
in transpersonal experiences

Holistic healing and transformation

It has been noted that the most exciting observations in self-awareness therapy are probably those related to the healing power of transpersonal experiences. In many cases, specific emotional and psychosomatic symptoms and disturbed relationships with others have their roots in dynamic matrices of a transpersonal nature. They cannot be resolved at the biographical or perinatal level alone. Under such conditions, confrontation with transpersonal experiences is required for any prospect of healing and transformation.

Sometimes emotional disorders or psychosomatic complaints can be traced back to various embryonic and fetal experiences. They disappear entirely or are considerably attenuated when various traumata are relived during existence in the womb, such as a threatened miscarriage or attempted abortion, illnesses or emotional crises of the mother during pregnancy, toxic impairments, or the feeling of being undesirable (the “bad” or the “rejecting” womb). In such a case, the therapeutic use of body contact (“union therapy” in CST) can be of particular value.

When healing happens on the way to wholeness

Once the psyche is activated, and symptoms are transformed into a flow of experience, significant therapeutic changes can occur by reliving childhood traumas, various perinatal experiences, and many different transpersonal phenomena.

This phenomenon raises an interesting question: whether these patterns of experience, so widely dispersed, can be reduced to a common denominator. Undoubtedly, the mechanism responsible for such a wide variety of phenomena and processes at so many different levels must have an extraordinarily, even universal, character.

A new paradigm

The concept of such a general healing mechanism requires an entirely new understanding of the nature of man and a radical transformation of the scientific worldview that dominates in the Western world. Thus, it requires a new paradigm of healing and transformation and how we can effectively accompany this process with holotropic therapy.

The fundamental aspect of this new paradigm for self-awareness therapies, psychology, and science, in general, is the recognition that consciousness is a feature of existence that has existed from time immemorial, not a concomitant of matter. However, this discussion had Plato long ago with Democritus does not seem to have changed.

Continuation of Holistic Therapy


Ultimately, holotropic therapy is another variant of holistic healing methods, which aims to support the individualization of the human being through healing and transformation of pathological blockages. Most holistic approaches understand that physical manifestations are always due to a psychological conflict. However, if this disharmony in suppressed trauma has been shifted into the subconscious, even many alternative methods reach their limits. They, too, can only temporarily counteract inevitable energetic or physical consequences through compensatory measures but not neutralize the root of the pathology.

In my experience, with such deeply buried traumas, only holotropic therapies such as CranioSacral Therapy or Holotropic Breathwork can initiate lasting healing and transformation. This correlation is especially true for phenomena like birth trauma, which unfolds its imprints in the individual’s subconscious. But I will come to that in another article.

Questions about the topic

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