..The Intuitive Times
Complementary Therapies


Bioenergetics: A Body/Mind Approach to Health and Wellbeing

by Bethany Doyle, CSM, CCC

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What is Bioenergetic Analysis?
Bioenergetic analysis is a holistic form of psychotherapy that combines work with your mind and your body to reduce emotional stress, and to increase your potential for pleasure and joy in living.

This therapy is based on the premise that there is a fundamental connection between your mind and your body: that psychological stress reflects and creates what is happening to you physically, and that physical/somatic experiences both reflect and create your mental and emotional states. For example, emotional stress from relationships, family crises, jobs, sickness, etc., can produce tension in the body. When these emotional issues are unresolved, such muscular contractions often become chronic, diminishing your energy level, and your capacity for spontaneity, joy, creativity, and feelings of well-being.

Bioenergetics listens not only to your words but also to what your body has to say. If a person is suffering from some emotional difficulty such as anxiety, a bioenergetic therapist is trained to work in a traditional verbal way with this. The bioenergetic therapist is also trained to work with such problems at a body level, and may, for example, create exercises to deepen and increase breathing, and loosen chronic tensions in the jaw, throat and diaphragm. After such bioenergetic work, clients often experience the feeling of having the "space to breathe," and sense a letting down and a relaxation. There is body/mind/spirit relief.

Most of us sense that there is an intimate connection between many of the physical symptoms that trouble us, and the emotional stresses and strains of our lives. Taking a mind/body approach to such distress as headaches, low back pain, bowel dysfunction can increase the depth and effectiveness of healing work. Bioenergetics is particularly useful in working with abuse issues because the memories of such trauma are deeply etched in the body as well as the spirit.

A Bioenergetic Sampler
It is a fundamental bioenergetic principle that no one can force a tension to release. The use of willpower creates tension rather than releases it. Here is a very brief description of four key habits you can work with to allow your body to let go:

1. Let your knees be soft. Locked knees are a common cause for feelings of unbalance both emotionally and physically.

2. Let your abdomen out. The sucked-in abdomen constricts breathing, cuts off feelings and uses energy needlessly.

3. Let yourself breathe. If you become aware that you are holding your breath, give a sigh.

4. Let yourself have a voice. This means letting yourself be heard. If you make a sigh, make it audible.

How a Bioenergetic Therapist is Trained
Becoming certified as a bioenergetic therapist involves an intensive, postgraduate, part-time, 5-year training program. This rigorous certification process not only teaches practitioners bioenergetic techniques but gives them an in-depth knowledge and understanding of how, when, where and why interventions should be applied.

Bioenergetics in Atlantic Canada
In Atlantic Canada, there are certified bioenergetic practitioners working in each of the maritime provinces. If you would like further information, call Rosalind McVicar in Saint John, (506/657-5172); Pauline Dalton in Halifax, (902/429-0230); or Bethany Doyle in Charlottetown, (902/894-3244). The Atlantic Canada Society for Bioenergetic Analysis may be found at: www.isn.net/bioenergetics, or e-mailed at bdoyle@isn.net.

Bethany Doyle, CSM, CCC is a Certified Bioenergetic Therapist whose private practice is in Charlottetown.


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