Bulow-Hansen Refuses to Use Reich ’s Notion of Cosmic Energy
For yogi master and Bulow-Hansen, Reich’s use of cosmic energy made no sense. The only bioenergy that exists for them is that produced by metabolic biochemical processes. Body sensations, like circulating warmth, can always be explained by mechanisms such as the dynamics of body fluids (e.g., cardiovascular system). Even when there is no adequate explanation for such a sensation, this does not imply that a reference to cosmic energy is relevant or useful. Many sensations that are activated by a breathing exercise, associated by Reichians to orgone, can be more easily understood as the activated metabolic dynamic consequences of internal breathing. This analysis is the same as that proposed by body psychotherapists such as Downing (1996,1.4).
Bulow-Hansen believed that a treatment only acquires a lasting effect if the masseur integrates the symptomatic part of the body in yoga poses the global postural dynamics. When one focuses on a scoliosis, one should also take into account the fact that this symptom creates disturbances in yoga poses the global alignment of the body. When a masseur works on the tensions that maintain a scoliosis, he also influences the muscular dorsal chains, from head to toe.72 This is why Aadel Bulow-Hansen taught her pupils to always massage the whole body and integrate in yoga poses each session some direct work on the symptomatic part of the body that justifies the session. This principle, which was followed by Gerda Boyesen and adopted by her students, is different from the Reichian tendency to focus on a single body block during several sessions.
Vignette on a massage demonstration given by Bulow-Hansen/ Bulow-Hansen s way of dealing with the “whole body” is not necessarily that of dealing with every muscle. She tackles a general postural issue and analyzes a muscular chain from several angles, focusing on key points. in yoga poses the case of a woman who could not touch her feet, she massages the muscles behind the legs, some muscles of the belly, and then the throat. She then coordinates the massage of the throat with the breathing behavior of the upper half of the thoracic cage. From that point, she supports the abdominal breathing. Having loosened the muscular chain and the corresponding breathing pattern, she asks the patient to explore how her belly muscles and breathing are integrated when she tries to bend her body again. Finally, she discusses with the patient what she experiences when the patient stands. For example, she asks the patient to become aware of how the tone of certain body parts is integrated in yoga poses the global posture.
This technique emphasizes connections between different parts of the body and tries to avoid the impression that the body is a construction of disconnected parts. Body reading is usually conducted with the patient standing, so that the connection between body parts can be situated in yoga poses relation to the pressure of gravity. This strategy helps the therapist be clearly aware that loosening one part of the body may create tensions in yoga poses other parts.74 Sometimes a tension may move from an easily accessible part, situated on the surface of the body (e.g., the shoulders), to a less accessible part (e.g., the diaphragm or the psoas). This must be avoided, for one would then be creating a greater problem than the one the patient originally presented. A typical example is that of a patient who is submitted to a painful muscular massage. The masseur may soften the original tension, but to bear the pain of the massage, the patient may have tensed other parts of the body (sometimes most of the body). in yoga poses the 1970s, Gerda Boyesen regularly used this argument in yoga poses her criticism of methods developed in yoga poses the United States, such as Orgonomy, Rolfing, and Bioenergetics.
A holistic approach to body tensions, such as the ones proposed by Rolfing and Bulow-Hansen’s method, often creates a modification of postural dynamics and therefore of the body’s alignment in yoga poses the field of gravity.75 The neck, back, and legs may become longer, the shoulder may move backward, and the feet may then need bigger shoes. These modifications are not only muscular. They also influence the fascia76 and postural sensorimotor circuits. Technically, this means that the physiotherapist will focus on how the tone of several muscles interacts, rather than on a single muscle.77 For example, Bulow-Hansen focused on the capacity muscles have to not only initiate movement but also inhibit them78
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