Birth

From "Bad" Ritual to "Good" Ritual: Transmutations of Childbearing Trauma in Holotropic Ritual

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December 2007

In this article a tentative and provisional theory is advanced on the treatment of birth-giving trauma. ?Birth-giving-trauma? here refers to women (and men) psychologically, physically or emotionally traumatized during birth-giving. In the first part of this article I outline anthropologist Robbie Davis-Floyd?s argument that Western medicalized birthing can be constructed as a ?modern? rite of passage which can negatively imprint disempowering images into women?s minds, reinforce messages of inferiority, and traumatise the birth-giving mothers.

References: 

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Biesele, M. (1997). An ideal of unassisted birth: Hunting, healing, and transformation among the Kalahari Ju/Tioansi. In R. Davis-Floyd & C. Sargent (Eds.), Childbirth and authoritative knowledge (pp. 474-492). Berkeley: University of California Press.

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Davis-Floyd, R. (1992). Birth as an American rite of passage. Berkeley: California University Press.

Davis-Floyd, R. (1994). Rituals of the American hospital. In D. McCurdy, (Ed.) Conformity and conflict: Readings in cultural anthropology 8th ed (pp. 323-340). Harper/Collins.

Davis-Floyd, R., & Sargent, C. (Eds.) (1997). Childbirth and authoritative knowledge: Cross-cultural perspectives. University of California Press.

Davis-Floyd, R. (2002). Knowing: A story of two births. Unpublished manuscript.

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Investigation by Questionnaire Regarding Fetal/Infant Memory in the Womb and/or at Birth

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Publication Date: 
December 2005

The purpose of this study is to clarify the possession rate of fetal/infant memory in the womb and/or at birth and to validate its characteristic. A total of 1620 answered questionnaires of the 3601 distributed were returned, giving an overall recovery rate of 45.0%. The possession rates of womb and birth memory were 33.0% and 20.7%, respectively. Parents, too, responded with regard to their own memory from birth, and 1.1% appeared possessing such memory.

References: 

Chamberlain, D. (1988). Babies remember birth. New York: Ballantine Books.

Chamberlain, D. (1998). The mind of your newborn baby. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books.

Gulpinar, M.A., & Yegen B.C. (2004, Dec). The physiology of learning and memory: role of peptides and stress. Current Protein and Peptide Science, 5(6), 457-473.

Heinrichs, M., Meinlschmidt G., Wippich W., Ehlert U., & Hellhammer D.H. (2004, Oct). Selective amnesic effect of oxytocin on human memory. Physiology and Behavior 30; 83(1), 31-8.

Verny, T., with Weintraub, P. (2002). Pre-parenting nurturing your child from conception. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Verny, T., with Kelly, J., (1981). The secret life of the unborn child. New York: Dell Publishing.

Akira Ikegawa, Administrative Director of Ikegawa Clinic

Send correspondence to Akira Ikegawa, MD, PhD, Administrative Director of Ikegawa Clinic. Address: 2-5-13 Daidou Kanazawa-Ku Yokohama Japan 236-0035. Email: aikegawa@seaple.icc.ne.jp

The Origin of Anxiety: A Synopsis

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Publication Date: 
December 2002

For thousands of years, in all developed societies throughout the world, mothers have been separated from their babies-as an emotional adaptation to a life of alienation. The first advanced civilizations which can relate this to us are the Sumerians-and their successors the Babylonians. Five thousand years ago they developed the cuneiform writing system and then recorded the oldest stories in the world. I understand their mythology as the 'great dreams' of these peoples.

References: 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Renggli, Franz 1974: Angst und Geborgenheit. Soziokulturelle Folgen der Mutter-Kind Beziehung im ersten Lebensjahr. Ergebnisse aus Verhaltensforschung, Psychoanalyse und Ethnologie. Hamburg. (*Anxiety and security. Socio-cultural consequences of the mother-child relationship in the first year. Findings from behavioral research, psychoanalysis and ethnology.)

Renggli, Franz 1992: Selbstzerstorung aus Verlassenheit. Die Pest als Ausbruch einer Massenpsychose im Mittelalter. Zur Geschichte der friihen Mutter-Kind Beziehung. Hamburg. (*Self-destruction due to Abandonment. The Plague as an eruption of a mass psychosis in the Middle Ages. On the history of the early mother-child relationship).

Renggli, Franz 2000: Der Sonnenaufgang als Geburt eines Babys. Der pranatale Schlussel zur agyptischen Mythologie. Eine Hommage an den hollandischen Religionshistoriker Bruno Hugo Stricker. (**The sunrise as the birth of a baby. The prenatal key to Egyptian mythology. Homage to the Dutch historian of religion Bruno Hugo Stricker.) In: The International Journal of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Medicine, Band 12:365-82.

Renggli, Franz 2001: Der Ursprung der Angst, antike Mythen und das Trauma der Geburt. Dusseldorf. (*The origin of anxiety, ancient myths and the trauma of birth.)
Renggli, Franz 2002: Tracing the Roots of Panic to Prenatal Trauma. In Brooke Warner (Editor): Panic: Origins, Insight and Treatment. Berkeley, California, North Atlantic Books.
Franz Renggli, Ph.D.

This paper is the first synopsis in English in which the author, Franz Renglli, introduces the major themes of his scholarly work published in German in 2001: Der Ursprung der Angst, antike Mythen und das Trauma der Geburt (The Origin of Anxiety, Ancient Myths and the Trauma of Birth). The German edition was published in Dusseldorf. Correspondence to: Dr. Franz Renggli, psychoanalyst and body psychotherapist, Nonnenweg 11, 4055 Basel, Switzerland. Email: the_nyfelers@bluewin.ch.

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