Dr Wilheim Reich the father of this therapy believed that Bio-energy flowed through the body and considered that the repression of the emotions and sexual instincts could lead to blockages resulting in various rigid patterns and behavior and the tightening of specific muscle groups. As such blockages increased, the energy flow in the organism was impeded and chronic instances led to a marked deterioration of health. For Reich sexual energy was the essence of our existence and the climax experienced during the organism was essential to maintain positive health. Reichian therapy dismantles the layers of pent up emotions.
The Reichian Body work therapy:
Dr Reich divided the body into seven zones at right angles to the spine and centered in: the eyes, mouth, neck, chest, diaphragm, abdomen and pelvis including the legs. His bodywork therapy included:
- Deep breathing which helps the patient feel the stream of bio-energy flow in the form of tingling or pricking sensation.
- Deep massage, which is applied to spastic muscles so that they become loosened up.
- Facial expressions, Here the patient is taught to ‘make faces’ expressing certain emotions, while keeping eye contact with the therapist and maintaining certain patterns of breathing.
- Chest work. The therapist pushes the chest while the patient exhales or screams.
- Convulsive reflex work. This helps breaking the body Armour.
- Stress positions. Stress positions are pointed out and the patient is taught how to reduce body irritation and increase the sense of relaxation.
- Active exercises help the patient to loosen up the body.
- Eye exercises. The patient rolls the eyes and opens them wide, as if in sudden amazement.
- The mouth. The patient makes crying, shouting or sucking motions and moves the lips in various ways.
- The neck. The patient is encouraged to yell to release pent up tensions.
- Correction of the chest, diaphragm, abdominal movements and pelvic movements. These special exercises are done to release negative emotions.
Reichian therapy is a systematic loosening of body tensions and is holistic in its approach to increase the natural energy flow in the body.