Body therapies

baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
inhibition of automatic response
which links in with so many disciplines/ideas - mentalisation, practised through mindfulness, as the way to prevent one's emotional automatisms from escaping unbidden; the idea with yoga that you're tolerating -often mild - physical discomfort for long periods, and that this can have knock-on effects in terms of being able to tolerate the psychological discomfort of not following one's usual patterns of response....
 

Matthew

FKA Woebot
which links in with so many disciplines/ideas - mentalisation, practised through mindfulness, as the way to prevent one's emotional automatisms from escaping unbidden; the idea with yoga that you're tolerating -often mild - physical discomfort for long periods, and that this can have knock-on effects in terms of being able to tolerate the psychological discomfort of not following one's usual patterns of response....
very interesting. and good that you have brought up Yoga. i tried to lure danny on the crossover between reich and some of the experiences of the indian yogis but he was having none of it :D
 

baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
you'll break his resistance soon I'm sure! I don't know that much about yoga, but my partner says that (a vanishingly small) minority of classes she's been to did explicitly make the link between physical and psychological discomfort.

A quick google of the potential links between yoga and Reich brought up near the top of the results page an article in the ever-delightful Daily Mail entitled "How SS recommended yoga to death camp guards as a good way to relax". Being a bit slow this afternoon, I've only just realised why.
 

DannyL

Wild Horses
very interesting. and good that you have brought up Yoga. i tried to lure danny on the crossover between reich and some of the experiences of the indian yogis but he was having none of it :D
Do you mean the crossover between Reich's 7 armour segments and the 7 chakras? That's something a fair few people mention - doesn't totally work for me for various reasons.

Will try and expand on the above and reply to Baboon etc. in a bit - cooking for the fam.
 

DannyL

Wild Horses
tbh this is everything and all roads lead to rome.
I suppose so but what I find interesting is all this started with a movement discipline and only later mapped out in this way. Alexander didn't intend this, it was something he uncovered.
 

DannyL

Wild Horses
which links in with so many disciplines/ideas - mentalisation, practised through mindfulness, as the way to prevent one's emotional automatisms from escaping unbidden; the idea with yoga that you're tolerating -often mild - physical discomfort for long periods, and that this can have knock-on effects in terms of being able to tolerate the psychological discomfort of not following one's usual patterns of response....
Absolutely yeah.

Alexander people talk a lot about "analysing conditions present" and the corollary of that is that you are trying to work with these, not "conditions past". Psychoanalytical processes like projection and transferences would be "conditions past". My teacher has reported some amusing/deeply weird side-effects from using inhibition - he says that often when he teaches a daylong workshop, when he breaks for lunch everyone just sits there - 'cos they've been practicing inhibiting responses all morning. If you make it a more global response, "leaving it on like broadband" so to speak it can get quite odd. He reported that when working in his previous job, he'd sometimes finish work and feel like the day hadn't happened. He could remember seeing clients, writing case studies, etc but he'd taken his reactivity out of it. He had the same energy level as when he'd begun the day and felt as if in some way it hadn't occurred. This implies that a "normal day" is our reaction to it, and that when you're not bound by that, your experience changes. It allows room for more appropriate (less past-bound) and more creative responses. Alexander writes somewhere about his work appealing to the student's "latent powers of originality" and this is what he was getting at, I think.

I've had a parallel experience connected to my physicality. On a movement plane level, your habitual "doing of yourself" is often referred to as an interference, and a lesson might get rid of/reduce your level of interferences. After an hour long session, I once had the experience of feeling my back didn't exist! What had happened was that it'd become better aligned so all the normal nerve feedback that make up "my experience of my back" had diminished loads. Very odd. I recall walking to the pub and just feeling that that whole area of my body just wasn't there. There's an account in Missy Vinyeard's book "How You Stand, How You Move, How You Live" where that happened to her global sense of embodiment after working with Wlifred Barlow (a famous AT teacher). It just .... went away for a few weeks. Intriguing stuff.
 

baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
So interesting. I'm reading about Gestalt at the moment, and it very much posits itself as a present-centred discipline in contrast to the past-focus of trad psychodynamic therapies. What had escaped my attention previously was that Reich was one of Fritz Perls' ([co-]founder of Gestalt) analysts. Which now makes a lot of sense.

Opening up the space for choice, and opening up the range of choices that seem possible - otherwise you're only half-living.

When your back disappeared, how long did it take for your normal proprioception to return? And were you able to replicate the [lack of] sensation outside of the session (cos there seems to be a debate in Alexander Technique, which I think you mentioned upthread, about whether it is better to have sessions or 'do it yourself')?
 

DannyL

Wild Horses
Me and Luka discussed Perls on Facebook 'cos I think we were both shown the same video - Perls with Gloria, the women who was also analysed in a taped session with Rogers, and went on to be lifelong friends with him. IIRC Luka described Perls as a "horrible beady eyed cunt". What's your impression of what you're reading? I really like the "Gestalt Therapy" book by Perls and Goodman (and someone else?) 'cos it has load of interesting exercises in that one could try on your own though I've never worked through it systematically.

I still have residual effects with that back thing the next day though not much longer. I can't bring on that sort of experience on my own, no, but it's an aspiration. Alexander taught himself after all, but it took him a long time - people who've looked at his biography estimate it took him12-14 years to develop the technique IIRC. My teacher seems to self-generate a lot of that kind of stuff as a side effect of working with others, the feedback they give him as he works on them opens him up in turn.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
i love gestalt but yes perls is sinister. bartys daddy is a gestalt practioner btw.
as ive mentioned here b4 there is a direct line of descent that goes
freud-reich-perls-nlp
 

DannyL

Wild Horses
I read something in a therapy book recently with a guy describing his encounters with therapists after their initial training - he was mentioning some kinda follow up training IIRC - but he described people who'd been trained by Perls as "tiresomely manipulative". He was writing from a relational perspective.
 

baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
Me and Luka discussed Perls on Facebook 'cos I think we were both shown the same video - Perls with Gloria, the women who was also analysed in a taped session with Rogers, and went on to be lifelong friends with him. IIRC Luka described Perls as a "horrible beady eyed cunt". What's your impression of what you're reading? I really like the "Gestalt Therapy" book by Perls and Goodman (and someone else?) 'cos it has load of interesting exercises in that one could try on your own though I've never worked through it systematically.

I still have residual effects with that back thing the next day though not much longer. I can't bring on that sort of experience on my own, no, but it's an aspiration. Alexander taught himself after all, but it took him a long time - people who've looked at his biography estimate it took him12-14 years to develop the technique IIRC. My teacher seems to self-generate a lot of that kind of stuff as a side effect of working with others, the feedback they give him as he works on them opens him up in turn.
Oh, I think Perls looks like a total maniac, as do most famous psychoanalyst types. But I also think he came up with some very interesting ideas (as did Laura). He just should have been stopped from being a therapist.

The book I'm reading is a general one about Gestalt, by Petruska Clarkson. I think it's really good, full of great insight and clear ideas. She committed suicide in 2006 - https://petruskaclarkson.blogspot.com/ - which....well, makes me think lots of contradictory things. I don't know what I think about it, actually, except sadness.

Interesting about your teacher's experience - the healer gets healed too. Which I suppose is a part of the motivation for 95% of people who go into therapy training, whether it's in consciousness at the time or not.
 

Matthew

FKA Woebot
Do you mean the crossover between Reich's 7 armour segments and the 7 chakras? That's something a fair few people mention - doesn't totally work for me for various reasons.

Will try and expand on the above and reply to Baboon etc. in a bit - cooking for the fam.
no that isn't it.

i think my email to you must have gone into the spam bin danny. too many trigger/spam words no doubt!

muktananda the guru goes on about "the blue light" too y'see. so perhaps reich's experience of the orgone could be seen as *subjective* advanced spiritual gubbins rather than (as you described reich's approach to us) "plumbing"
 

DannyL

Wild Horses
No, I did get it, I remember now. I'll re-read and reply, sorry. Just got swept away with life.

The plumbing I kinda meant as a hydraulics metaphor - the energy is very literally and real for Reich and it's all "blockages" and "flows".
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
this is a little bit from a poem of mine i done 4 years ago

In the Room of Cosmic Plumbing,
Recalibration is in Progress.
The Recirculation of Cosmic Slop/pissing in the amitotic fluid.
‘Ok, just tuning you in now.’ Mild mannered technician turns dial, frequencies replace one another on a CONTINUUM OF INTENSITY.
Delectable fluid warmth, flow into and out of, release.
 

DannyL

Wild Horses
An attempt to get this thread going again - does anyone have anything to add or experiences theyike to share? Of the therapeutic or the somatic? Both could be useful points of discussion.

Just to develop the points I was talking to about with Baboon above re. how long this stuff lasts. I found when I was doing the Reichian stuff every week, it kinda became my baseline for judging how I felt. After a session, I'd feel like everything was alright, all problems were resolvable and could be approached with grace and good humour. The happiness I mentioned above. I might not be *in* that all the time, but after accessing it so regularly I felt that bad moods or just a general lack of good feeling were a result of physical contraction, rather than anything objective and "out there". And if I could expand again, they'd tend to pass extremely rapidly. The basic duality in Reich's work is expansion/contraction or pulsation to simplify further. He calls this "the red thread" that unifies his work.

I do actually need people to practice this stuff with btw, so if anyone fancies a session, HMU on the PMs.
 
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luka

Well-known member
Staff member
years ago the dmt told me to get into yoga and i did do a class but it
was one of the worst, most humiliating expereinces of my life, like
school, so i never went back. i suspect things like reich and alexander
are to yoga like how ts eliot thinks of blake in relation to dante.
eccentric, jerry built things becasue cut off from any cultural context.
full of genius but warped.

We have the same respect for Blake’s philosophy (and perhaps for that of Samuel Butler) that we have for an ingenious piece of home-made furniture: we admire the man who has put it together out of the odds and ends about the house. England has produced a fair number of these resourceful Robinson Crusoes; but we are not really so remote from the Continent, or from our own past, as to be deprived of the advantages of culture if we wish them. 7
We may speculate, for amusement, whether it would not have been beneficial to the north of Europe generally, and to Britain in particular, to have had a more continuous religious history. The local divinities of Italy were not wholly exterminated by Christianity, and they were not reduced to the dwarfish fate which fell upon our trolls and pixies. The latter, with the major Saxon deities, were perhaps no great loss in themselves, but they left an empty place; and perhaps our mythology was further impoverished by the divorce from Rome. Milton’s celestial and infernal regions are large but insufficiently furnished apartments filled by heavy conversation; and one remarks about the Puritan mythology an historical thinness. And about Blake’s supernatural territories, as about the supposed ideas that dwell there, we cannot help commenting on a certain meanness of culture. They illustrate the crankiness, the eccentricity, which frequently affects writers outside of the Latin traditions, and which such a critic as Arnold should certainly have rebuked. And they are not essential to Blake’s inspiration.
 
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luka

Well-known member
Staff member
but ultimately the important thing is that this stuff is real
and that you are better off grappling with it than in ignoring it
however you choose to approach it, whatever door you go through
 

DannyL

Wild Horses
I think it's an apposite analogy especially with the more crazy end of Reich's stuff - not so much him but the people who pick up some vague ideas 4th hand and end up selling orgonite pyramids from their Etsy store (literally jerrybuilt). People like Van de Kolk et al are taking bodywork back into the psychotherapeutic mainstream but this is very limited compared to the breadth (and difficulty) of Reich's thinking.I kinda like that about him and Alexander - they have this great sweeping concepts where the ideas are allowed to touch on the whole of life. Seems very Modernist to me.
 
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