A Healing Journey with Michele's Unique and Effective Approach by James Miller -
Back in 1977, or thereabouts, I went to my first neo-Reichian bodywork weekend with Al Bauman who had worked with Reich in New York and ended up working with musicians to open their bodies to the deep energy flows so their playing music was fuller and more captivating. Al's wife was also working with dancers to open their bodies so their movements were more flexible. It was this introduction that really made an imprint on me, particularly after 12 years of Freudian talk therapy, that later I said only sharpened my pencil. I was hooked after that first session with Al that opened my feelings and repressed memory of being choked by my brother years earlier as a child. I was hooked! So began many years of working with Al in a group therapy setting, until I experienced Radix, another Reichian form of bodywork. Radix was started by Chuck Kelley who had gone to work with Reich himself to cure the problems of Kelley's blindness, which was healed. Kelley was one of the last students to Reich in Maine and witnessed the US Government burning Reich's papers, mainly, in part, because Reich knew how to change the weather. Kelley also knew how to use pipes and later came to document changing the weather over Long Island. I liked the organic bodywork that I experienced with various Radix teachers over several decades. I learned a lot about my body's deep and heavy armoring and that I had developed a head defense toward feelings, which even today I am still working to open up to.
Today, even at my age of 80, having been diagnosed with PTSD two years ago, the early childhood terrors that seemed endemic and never ending are being addressed, with therapist Michele Newmark, another Reichian teacher, with whom my work to untether the iron prison I had put around my heart is slowly progressing. Her approach with specific breath work is yet deeper and more comprehensive than previous teachers' approaches. Un-armoring the heart has been difficult even at my senior age. It seems my work is never finished. Grief seems to be one of the more difficult keys to the life of the heart. The many new-Reichian teachers that are out there all have their own styles and approaches to bodywork, which is never ending and not fixed in a specific mold. And Michele follows the ancient path of deep belly then upper chest breathing to loosen the armoring of the intercostal muscles of the heart. The deep energy of the body is something ecstatic and sacred, so terribly repressed by our culture for 2,000 years, that it will take many generations of allowing children to pursue their own unique physical pursuits that open their deepest experiences to the deep flows that lead each individual to a sweet sexual satisfaction. Michele's approach is deeply organic and one needs to trust her guidance to reach the golden gates of one's heart, long imprisoned by my repressive history.
Yes, our culture's sexual repression is like a cancer, eating away from a child's authentic body of feelings. When a woman is repressed, abused sexually, verbally, or psychically, how that repression is manifested in a young girl's body is unique to each individual, but what gets passed down into the next generation is a replicate of the mother's deepest pain suffered years earlier and learned to be buried beneath years of denial and lies. The resulting repressed anger is a root of the cancer eating away of life's beauty that sex is. Contrast the images of couples copulating in the stone sculptures of Cambodia's Angkor Wat, or other sites in South East Asian countries, where sweetness of inner joy is obvious as opposed to the sexual imagery of western sexual images that reveal a tightness, rooted in anger, not love or joy. As Raine Eisler points out in her book, Sexual Pleasure, the three main religions of the West - Judaism, Island, and Christianity, are all based on patriarchal theocracies, share the same root: repression of woman's sexual energies. No wonder there are so many wars!