If the headline alone has you stumped, we’re about to dive into all things bioenergetics. According to the Nature Research, it’s a “branch of biochemistry that focuses on how cells transform energy, often by producing, storing and consuming adenosine triphosphate.”
Still with us? The easy translation is that it involves cells, energy relationships, energy transformations.
And then there’s bioenergetic analysis or bioenergetic therapy. It was developed by Dr Alexander Lowen in the 1950s — he established the Institute of Bioenergetic Analysis in 1956, and published the first training manual in 1972. It “uses the language of the body to heal the problems of the mind” — which we’re about to dive into.
Those who practice it believe that your body has an energy imbalance — tension — built from experiences of suffering, stress, and trauma. People who can benefit from it include those who suffer from anxiety, phobias, obsessive disorders, depression, shyness or insecurity.
Apparently, when you store trauma in their body, it, in turn, alters your musculature and fascia, according to The Guardian. It then comes out in recognisable ways, such as muscular tension, postural problems, breathing inhibitions.
So practitioners aim to heal this stress and trauma. They do it through a variety of ways, including talk therapy, deep breathing relaxation methods, gentle movements and exercise, and massage.
It claims to be very useful for back pain, stiff neck and shoulders, and even grief of any sort. SHA Magazine says bioenergetic therapy will “help you recover your connection with yourself and clarify your life plan.”
As for how you can do it at home? There’s a particular exercise called the ‘Bow and Arch’. According to one man who practises it, you bend your knees slightly, lean back, and push your fists into your lower back. Then, relax the muscles in both your back and chest, look ahead with your mouth open wide — and take deep breaths through the nose. Expand your diaphragm fully, and release your breath forcefully.
As for the arch, stand with your feet parallel (30 cm apart), drop your head to your chest and roll down until your tailbone is pointing to the sky and your thighs have a slight stretch. Make sure not to lock your knees, and you can hand your hands on, or near, the floor. Here’s an easy YouTube tutorial, if you’re interested in trying it out.