Tilke Platteel-Deur

The Art of Integrative Breathwork Therapy

Inner Qualities of a Professional Breathworker

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After I finished High School, in 1956, I went to the ‘Rotterdamse Dans Academie’. Modern Dance was what I loved most. I took exams in it and I taught it. All movements in this type of dance, which is Martha Graham style, are built on breathing. This technique uses the inhale to stretch the body and the exhale to contract the body and the movement evolves out of the exhale. This technique helped me enormously to get a deeper contact with my body, my feelings and with life itself.

In 1978 I had my first Rebirthing session.

It was a revelation. It felt like coming home in my body and in myself. I understood on a very deep level the contractions and the stretching that I had been doing for all those years at the dancing academy. I knew with a strong inner knowing how my body had been meant to move, and what it was capable of. I had a strong sensation of oneness, of being connected to something that I felt was the source of my being. I felt that I was love. I experienced my inner God. I was elated.

I didn’t have the slightest idea what had happened to me, but I felt certain that something very important had occurred, something that was going to change my life. The thought that popped into my mind was: “This is going to be my second career, no matter what”.

In those days we just knew that ‘it’ worked, but not exactly how it worked. So, when I myself started to give sessions – after some rather superficial training – I was everything, everything except a professional. I was simply acting on Leonard Orr’s positive feedback and on this idea that having had about ten sessions was enough to start working. Today I know that it was not. I was a pioneer in those days, and God saved me hundreds of times from all kinds of disasters.

Having been a professional dancer however, I knew very well about the advantages of having a good technique. Since in those days there were no long term training programs, I started to travel around the world to try to get some technique and knowledge together. As Richard Bach says: “Teach what you need to learn.” I worked, I learned, I got paid, and I slowly learned about what was to become my new work, work which would become a very fulfilling part of my life.

Today, after having trained several hundred therapists over the last 18 years, I most strongly recommend people not to start working the way I did, but to get a really good, thorough training.


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