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What is Bioenergetics?

Bioenergetics is a form of therapy that involves work with both the energetic processes of the body as well as understanding of the personality. Dr. Alexander Lowen, founder of Bioenergetics, has said, "Every stress produces a state of tension in the body." Normally, the tension disappears when the stress is relieved. Chronic tension, however, persists after the provoking stress has been removed as unconscious bodily attitude or muscular set. Such chronic muscular tensions disturb emotional health by decreasing an individual's energy, restricting his or her motility, and limiting his or her self-expression. It becomes necessary, then, to relieve this chronic tension if the person is to regain his or her full aliveness and emotional well-being. This is "Bioenergetics."

Every issue is a tissue issue. Bioenergetic analysis has two main principles. First, any limitation of motility is both a result and a cause of emotional difficulties. It arises as a result of an unresolved infantile/childhood conflict, but the persistence of the tension creates present-day6 emotional difficulties that clash with the demands of adult reality.

Second, any restriction of natural respiration is both the result and cause of anxiety. Anxiety in childhood situations disturbs natural respiration. If the anxiety-producing situation persists the disturbance becomes structured in the thoracic and abdominal tension. The inability to breathe freely under emotional stress is the physiological basis for the experience of anxiety in initial and subsequent stressful...