Updated: Nov 5
The purpose of my work with bioenergetics and touch therapy is to allow free movement in the body. The bioenergetic approach integrates Western and Eastern points of view to understand the tensions that restrict the body.
Free movement is the expression of released energy. Emotions, sensations and sexuality are reflections of energy flows in the body. Being healthy means having the ability to surrender to these movements without fear.
Belief in the supremacy of the mind over the body results in spirituality becoming a mere intellectual conviction, rather than a vital force. A body without energy is characterized by a relative absence of vivacity, grace and sensitivity. Understanding the true essence of bodily grace involves exploring feelings and expressive movements, without the need to draw on mysticism.
Mental health is tangibly reflected in bodily vitality, reflected in the brightness of the eyes, the tone and warmth of the skin, the spontaneity of expression, the vibrancy of the body and the elegance of the movements. When a child can cry freely, their body remains flexible. Soon, the child's chin begins to tremble and they burst into sobs. As the waves of crying pass through the baby's body, the tension and rigidity gradually dissipate.
"Crying loosens the grip of the contraction and restores the body to a more fluid condition.
As the pulsations regain strength, the waves of excitement reach the surface of the body and extend beyond it."
The depth and intensity of an individual's feelings are often expressed through bodily responses. To contain emotional impulses, the related muscles need to contract and remain so until the impulse dissipates. However, the impulse doesn't disappear completely; it withdraws into the body. And the muscles involved remain in a chronic state of tension. This impulse can be reactivated during therapy or in the face of an intense experience.
"Reich considered the energetic process as pulsation - expansion and contraction - and a propagation of waves of excitement that can be felt as flows through the body.
Libido as physical energy in the body, demonstrated that the electrical charge on the surface of an exogenous zone increased when it received pleasant stimulation. Painful stimulation promoted a decrease in the charge. Pleasurable arousal increases blood flow to the aroused area.
We know that energy is produced in the body by chemical reactions related to the metabolism of food. Energy is produced and used by the body to promote its vital functions, and this is protected by a membrane that is sensitive to the environment. In this process, the organism is constantly probing and testing the environment. These expansions and retreats are part of a pulsatory activity inside the body, which includes the heartbeat, the filling and emptying of the lungs and the peristaltic movements of the digestive tract. The process is triggered by a state of excitement in every cell and organ of the body. Thus, life can be defined as a state of contained arousal in which the energy that drives internal processes and sustains vital functions is produced.
As we get older, the loss of excitability is explained by an increasing structuring and rigidity of the body over time. The body becomes so rigid that it can barely move.
We all have a need for some kind of caring connection to maintain the body's excitability, which stimulates the body's vital activities." (Lowen, 1977)
Written by Juliana Lopes
Photo Carolina Huang, 2018, Montreal Cirque
Image description: 4 aerial acrobats hold fabrics in their hands, these fabrics are attached to steel cables about 15 meters high. Tree tops and building roofs can be seen at the bottom of the image.