Friday, November 2, 2007

Body Mind Spirit Centered Therapies: Wilhelm Reich

The Lomi School was the first to synthesize different approaches of body-centered therapies into one curriculum. The importance of attention, or focus, lay at the center of Lomi proficiency, but the ideas of Wilhelm Reich, Fritz Perls, and Asian training in meditation and aikido also influenced the method. Additionally, Lomi co-founders Robert Hall and Richard Heckler borrowed from Randolph Stone’s Polarity Therapy and the structural massage work of Ida Rolf.
Wilhem Reich
Wilhelm Reich (1897-1957), known as the grandfather of somatic psychoanalysis, was an Austrian psychiatrist trained by Sigmund Freud in Vienna. In 1922, Reich established a private practice in psychoanalysis as part of Freud’s Polyanalytic Clinic, where he researched the social causes of neuroses. Individual neurotic symptoms comprised the focus of early psychoanalysis.

Reich came to believe, however, that a person’s entire character or personality could be examined and treated. Reich’s first book, Character Analysis, outlined his theory, called “ego psychology,” and started a small revolution in psychoanalysis. Reich also discussed what he called “body armoring”: the theory that unreleased emotions, especially those related to sexual energy, actually produced “armor,” or blocks in the muscles and organs, and became stored in seven parts of the body—eyes, jaws, neck, chest, diaphragm, belly and pelvis—preventing the release of energy. Reich believed that orgasm as part of a healthy, mutually satisfying sex life was one way to break through the body armor—a seemingly simple solution that initiated a great deal of controversy among his peers. During the 1930s Reich also claimed to have found the physical energy orgone, which he said was contained in the atmosphere and in all living matter.

Love your way,

Alan Davidson, founder of
and author of Body Brilliance:
Mastering Your Five Vital
Intelligences (IQs)’

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