In the early nineties I went to a lecture by Ram Dass, a well-known spiritual teacher from the States. After he had spoken for some time he invited the audience to sing along with him. But apart from the occasional timid sounds of a few there was only silence and embarrassment in the hall. He then went on to speak about the time when as kids we were bubbling over with aliveness, joyfulness and spontaneity, never missing an opportunity to sing and play. He then asked: “What happened”?
This question hit me like a thunderbolt and I felt seen and exposed. How could it be that hundreds of adults were paralyzed with fear of being laughed at? The work of Wilhelm Reich, the founder of body psychotherapy and a student of Sigmund Freud, gave me an answer to this question. Reich had discovered that healthy babies are flooded with an energy he called life force. This “streaming” in the body allows every feeling, every sensation and impulse to be expressed by way of gesture, facial expression or sound. The baby has no concept of right or wrong, appropriate or inappropriate, when it feels uncomfortable or hungry it simply cries, and laughs when it is happy.
Over time though it learns that its unfiltered aliveness is not always welcomed, that the love of the parents is conditional. The baby’s natural expression of discomfort may be met with irritation and disapproval whereas being quiet and undemanding may bring the rewards of affection and praise and with it a sense of safety. As it needs the love of the parents as much as it needs food, the baby begins to hold back its anger, sadness, pride, lust or any other emotion that may lead to a negative response from the parents. In order to control these powerful energies within, it intuitively breathes less fully and contracts particular muscles in the body. Over years these contractions become chronic and grow into what Wilhelm Reich called the “character armouring”. The function of this "armouring" is to protect the child from being overwhelmed by pain and is vital for its survival of trauma, abuse, prolonged emotional neglect or abandonment. It helps the child to control the intenisity of its feelings. However, the armouring blocks the child's connection to its lively core that is the source of love, creativity and joyfulness. The life force is getting stuck and all the many “indecent” needs and impulses are being banned from consciousness, making room for “the good kid”.
But every emotion, every pain the child has denied and repressed for years and decades, is still present in the body as energy, profoundly inhibiting the free streaming of its life force.When a person has reached adulthood the armouring that once helped them survive pains and traumas has grown into a prison that obstructs their ability to feel deeply and to have fulfilling relationships.
Nevertheless in many people remains the longing to reconnect to their authentic core deep within and to live from a place of radical aliveness and sensitivity as an expression of their innate potential and beauty. SKAN Bodywork utilizes this longing and offers an effective way to dissolve the muscular, emotional and mental blockages. It helps people to let go of attitudes, beliefs and behaviour that are no longer reflecting their inner truth nor serving their well-being. Long held emotions can find their proper expression which allows a new and more fulfilling way of being with oneself and others. Skan Bodywork uses breathing rituals, movement, voice work and „Streaming Theatre“. It can be done individually and in groups.