The Story Behind the Pain
Bodywork theory suggests that our bodies hold within their physical structure the story of
our unresolved issues and past traumas, physical and psychological.
Bodywork emerged from the insights of Wilhelm Reich, a 20th century psychoanalyst. He was the first to identify what he called "character traits," and he decided that such traits were reactions to the person's rejected emotions.
The character traits were, in a sense, maintained in place by "character armour." His idea was that people developed rigid personalities made up of various internal aspects - these aspects, if left unexamined, became rigid states as opposed to flexible choices.
Reich decided that character traits were held in place by the person's "character armour," which is an actual tightening of the muscles of the body. He further discovered that guiding clients into their tightness, (through Breathwork and applying pressure to the body) helped clients to break through the character armour, and from there to begin to disassemble the ineffective character traits.
In the following pages, we explore The Phoenix Centre's approach to Breathwork and Bodywork. This overview will be helpful for beginning students of Bodywork, and practitioners alike.
From our perspective,Bodywork almost always involves teaching clients to breathe properly (a great way to get people "into their bodies") and deep, hard pressure into the blocked areas of the body. This helps the client to release the pent up emotion, often through yelling and crying, followed by a muscular shaking and release, often followed by a sense of well being and laughter. This process often takes multiple weekly sessions.