It is not pretentious to start this text with an affirmation: I'm sure that you have already seen a child jump for joy. Children are known for, literally, jumping for joy. For them, this feeling is very abundant and they are receptive to it, they are given to life. However, adults tend to be more reserved in their demonstrations of joy and various other feelings, which limits the intensity of pleasant sensations on them. The closest an adult can get to joy is through dancing.
Joy can be experienced in a few simple situations, which is driven by two inherent characteristics of childhood: freedom and innocence. Deep inside of us is an innocent and free child who knew that the gift of life was the gift of joy.
The importance of freedom for the feeling of joy, practically, needs no explanation, and I'm not only referring to external freedom, such as freedom of movement, but also internal freedom, the freedom to openly express feelings.
And you may wonder: "but if I openly express my feelings, I will become a savage". And Alexander Lowen in his book "Happiness" mentions: "on the contrary, freedom of feelings allows us to be responsible and worthy individuals, because only free individuals are capable of respecting the rights and freedom of others".
We recognize that for a harmonious social life, we need social conducts which regulate social behavior, but it does not for feelings. Feelings have been regulated by stories, such as the biblical story of Adam and Eve.
It is necessary educate a child to behave civilly for social life, with this, the child will naturally try to conform to what is expected of them, as long as this expectation does not violate their integrity.
Violation of integrity occurs when there is a fight in which, in this case, the child cannot win, and submission to this "war" disintegrates their spirit. The child loses the sparkle in their eyes, and becomes an adult who is capable of winning, but not capable of feeling.
Those who seek for therapy, however successful they may be, have had their spirits nullified to the point that joy becomes a strange feeling, they have suffered a considerable decrease in the ability to live and enjoy life due to a childhood trauma, due to this, there was a loss of self:
and reduced sense of self-mastery.
The path of body therapy is a path back to the body, it is to let go of the identification with the ego, and to be aware of the identification with the body and feelings. "The surrender to the body implies the surrender to sexuality".
In this part Alexander Lowen explains to us: "What happens in the mind is also happening in the body. Thus, if a person is depressed, with thoughts of despair, helplessness and failure, his body will manifest a corresponding depressed attitude, evidenced in low impulse formation, reduced mobility and limited breathing.
It is obvious that the mind can influence the body just as much the body can influence the mind, it is possible in certain cases to improve an individual's bodily functioning through a change in their mental attitude, but any change brought in this way will be temporary, unless fundamental bodily processes are significantly modified. On the other hand, working directly on restoring bodily functions such as breathing, movement, sensory perception and self-expression has an immediate and lasting effect on your mental attitude."
Chronic muscular tensions in different parts of the body constitute the prison that prevents the free expression of an individual's spirit. These tensions are found in the jaw, neck, shoulders, chest, lumbar and legs, which manifest impulses that the person cannot express, as there is a fear of verbal or even physical punishment, as we see through history the oppression of women.
These punishments are a threat to an individual's life, especially in childhood, where repression becomes a means of survival, resulting in the split between body and head, between thinking and feeling.
Most people are not aware of this involuntary muscle control, and through the pain they realize that there is something strange. They don't know that tension and pain are the result of their way of acting and holding back.
A tense muscle is a frightened muscle, and it defends itself very tenaciously against the flow of feelings and life. Through breathing, movement, in the cultivation of spontaneous natural expressions, the individual recovers the full potential of their being, allowing contact with the inner child, and integration of these attributes, such as joy, into adult life.