Reichian Breathwork is a somatic processing technique which can help people feel their emotions more deeply and naturally. Reichian Therapy can be extremely effective for healing developmental trauma.
Below are a list of common questions people ask me about Reichian Breathwork
Reichian Breathwork is based on the work of Wilhelm Reich. Reich’s research and understanding of how trauma is stored in the body was groundbreaking in the 1930, 40s and 50s and the philosophies and teachings of most contemporary somatic therapy practices are rooted in his discoveries.
Reichian Breathwork focuses on developmental trauma and how we armor ourselves in our emotions and thoughts and also in our bodies to protect ourselves during our growing up years. Armoring is usually experienced as systemic habitual tension. This tension varies from person to person depending on what kind of self-protection was needed developmentally.
Ideally this therapy takes place with the client lying down. After engaging in body mindfulness, i will ask you to begin breathing through your mouth. Mouth breathing is an important part of the therapy because as opposed to nasal breathing, mouth breathing is more activating and excitatory and gives us an opportunity to work with repressed feelings and to become aware of where the armoring is located.
I will then work with you to try and make adjustments to your breathing and areas which are tense to help you breathe in a more full and relaxed way. If we are successful in doing this there may be some sort of a release and falling into the emotion that you are with such as sadness, fear, anger, joy and shame etc. I will then support you in processing whatever emotions come up through psychotherapy.
The short answer is, sometimes. It depends very much on your comfort level and if touch is warranted for a specific client in a specific process.
Because we’re working with the body, there are some instances in Reichian Breathwork where working with touch makes sense. If touch were to be used, I would discuss it with you beforehand so written consent was clear and obtained.
In virtual sessions of course, I work without physical touch.
Touch is never sexual and always within the bounds of my training and ethics of my profession.
Reichian Breathwork is a bottom-up approach meaning that we use the breath in the body and somatic sensations in order to bring awareness to emotions and thoughts as opposed to traditional psychotherapy which is a top-down approach, meaning beginning with words and then using words to describe feelings and sensations.
Reichian Breathwork does not only consist of somatic breath work. It is an integrative approach which includes traditional talk therapy using somatic breath work when indicated and only when a client can handle the increased level of feeling which comes with the increased respiration.
Almost anyone who would like to be more in touch with their feelings can benefit from Reichian Breathwork. This therapy can be especially helpful for individuals who often experience chronic tension in their bodies due to anxiety or depression.
Most of my clients have experienced more traditional talk therapy in the past and are looking for therapy which is more holistic and includes somatic processing, breath work and emotional release
If after reading all of this you’re interested in exploring Reichian Breathwork, please schedule a free consultation call with me so we can talk over your specific situation and see if working together makes sense for us both.