THE BODY REGULATORS OF THE PSYCHE
Fenichel’s key idea was that the poorly developed bodies the gymnasts attempted to correct and reeducate were probably full of symptoms that psychoanalysts called neuroses. 75 There may be social mechanisms that educate the masses to become easier to handle by creating chronic defense systems that simultaneously structure themselves in yoga poses the mental and body dimensions of the organism. Around this foundation, the repression of the affects, the reduction of the physiological vitality, and the reduction of the mental imagination can help create behaviors that are compatible with the ideology in yoga poses power. This key idea for the history of body psychotherapy was set forth by Fenichel as a possibility and then developed by Reich.
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Here is a summary of the arguments expressed by Fenichel in yoga poses 1928.
1. Fenichel associated the lasting restrictions of muscular tone (dystonia) and respiration to the neurotic defense systems. For him, the hypotonus is as pertinent as hypertonus, in yoga poses the sense that every reduction of the flexibility of the motor system permits the inhibition of the expression of needs and affects. In yoga poses the last analysis, a restriction of motor activity is a resignation of the ego of the psychoanalysts, an abandonment of the hope that some drives can express themselves and develop with other persons. The connection between muscular tension and the defense system is evident when a patient newly feels repressed drives but does not yet dare to express them He cited a patient for whom this conflict is experienced as exhausting. The defenses, by definition, mobilize the metabolic resources. These resources must be at least as important as those mobilized by the repressed need. This conflict deprives the organism of the energy mobilized by the repressed need and its repression, which explains the conscious sensation of having fewer resources, of being tired. 77
2. Fenichel, as a good Marxist, maintains (as does Reich at this time) that the relation between the body and psyche is dialectical. There can be several kinds of relations between body and mind, considered as two distinct subsystems of an organism, which is their emerging synthesis. He assumes that there are different types of links between the defense system and the muscular tension, 78 because each of these dimensions is submitted to a distinct causal system He shows especially that the muscle tone is as much influenced by the brain as by the way the tissues are irrigated. 79 These links would be more thickly packed in yoga poses hysterical patients than in yoga poses persons who suffer from compulsions. Given the immense variety of mechanisms that form the context (organic and situational) of an affective dilemma, it is unlikely that the same dilemma inscribed itself in yoga poses the same fashion in yoga poses many organisms. This analysis is clearly different from theories like that of Kretschmer, who supposes that there is a direct connection between a mental and a body tension. 80
3. Fenichel proposed a model of the somatic dimension of the ego that constructs itself around not only some inhibitions and motoric activations but also the quality of the body sensations. 81 These sensations can be inhibited (hyposensitivity), felt in yoga poses an amplified manner (hypersensitivity), or experienced in yoga poses a relatively integrated way. The construction of the somatic ego would be part of the construction of the psychic ego already defined by Freud. 82