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MoonDragon's Alternative Health Information
BIOENERGETICS
Touch & Movement Therapies


For "Informational Use Only".
For more detailed information, contact your health care provider
about options that may be available for your specific situation.





  • Bioenergetics Description
  • History
  • Evidence & Research
  • Conventional Medical Opinion
  • Consulting A Practitioner




  • BIOENERGETICS DESCRIPTION

    Bioenergetics is a body-oriented form of psychotherapy developed in the US in the 1960s by Dr. Alexander Lowen. An individual's history of dealing with stress or trauma is thought to be "programmed" into the muscles, and practitioners believe that posture and physical tension provide clues to mental attitudes and psychological problems. Bioenergetics exaggerates, then releases, tensions linked with buried memories, enabling past traumas to be explored. Known as Bioenergetic Analysis in North America, where most practitioners are based, bioenergetics is also practiced in Europe and New Zealand.


    MAIN USES OF BIOENERGETICS

  • Stress-related conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome, peptic ulcers, migraines, asthma & fatigue.
  • Some mental health problems.
  • Persistent pain.
  • Personal development.


  • MoonDragon's Womens Health Information: Stress
    MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Irritable Bowel Syndrome
    MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Indigestion
    MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Migraine
    MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Asthma
    MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Fatigue
    MoonDragon's Health Therapy: Pain Control





    HISTORY

    The term "bioenergetics" was first coined by Dr. Alexander Lowen, an American psychotherapist practicing in the 1960s. He was a student of Wilhelm Reich, a follower of Freud who believed that the body, mind, and emotions are closely interrelated. To develop bioenergetics, Dr. Lowen adapted some of Reich's ideas, including his theory of "body-armoring" (adopted defensive postures because of past events). Someone hurt a child, for example, might hold herself as if warding off blows. Following Freud's practice of encouraging people to relive repressed traumas, Dr. Lowen devised exercises from sources such as t'ai chi ch'an and Pilates.




    EVIDENCE & RESEARCH

    A number of papers on bioenergetic theories and practice have been published by psychotherapeutic journals, but most evidence is anecdotal: six sessions can be life-changing for some people, while others continue for years.

    MoonDragon's Alternative Health Therapy: Mind & Emotion - Psychotherapy





    CONVENTIONAL MEDICAL OPINION

    If body and mind are as closely linked as practitioners suggest, then the theory of bioenergetics seems plausible. Any conventional practitioner would appreciate that strong feelings may manifest physically - we talk of "tension" headaches, "irritable" bowel, and "nervous" stomachs. But the defenses that lead to feelings being expressed through the body, rather than verbally, are very important, and should be dismantled only at a pace that the patient can handle.




    CONSULTING A PRACTITIONER

    After an initial one-to-one assessment, the practitioner may recommend individual therapy sessions, joining a group, or a combination of the two approaches. A session may last roughly 50 minutes, and comfortable clothing should be worn.

    Workshops usually contain between 12 and 20 people, and may begin with warm-up movements before a sharing of experiences. Exercises focus on tense areas, such as a "frozen" chest, "locked" pelvis, and tension in the jaw. Attention is paid to "grounding" - the way you stand and balance; practitioners believe that if you are in firm touch with the ground, you will also be in touch with your body and emotions. Key "stress positions", like lying backward over a stool, are often used to build up and unlock emotional energy. Repressed memories may surface, and there may be outpouring of emotion.


    releasing emotions
    RELEASING EMOTIONS: Physical tension is released in exercises like wringing a towel, or hitting a bed with a bat or racquet, which allows the patient to vent her emotions. Such confrontational work can release anger, frustration, or grief. In this image, the patient pulls and wrings a rolled towel to release emotions or aggression while the practitioner encourages the patient to express her feelings.


    grounding
    GROUNDING: The patient stands and stretches upward, supported by the practitioner. She focuses on feeling the ground beneath her, and on her body and emotions.





    ALTERNATIVE TOUCH & MOVEMENT THERAPIES

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    MoonDragon's Alternative Therapy: T&M - Bioenergetics
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