body-workers I have ever met. Having the opportunity to work with him must be regarded
as a sacred time: he is truly a bodywork master. I call him Master Usem!"
~ Bruce Lano,
CREATING LIVES WITH LESS PAIN - GOING BEYOND WORDS
From Reich to Radix: The History and Relevance of Somatic Therapy
The Radix story starts with the work of Wilhelm Reich, M.D., a founder of somatic
therapy. Reich was a well-known psychoanalyst of Freud's inner circle who started
observing the body and breath, while adding touch to his therapeutic methods. Reich
discovered that people's problems were connected to disturbances in the body's energetic
pulsation - the flow of breath and life energy. He adopted the word "armour" to describe
the body's chronic muscular tightness that holds emotional memories and tensions
that block the free flow of life energy.
According to Reich's research the body is divided into seven segments that each have
their own pattern of creating muscular armour and are somewhat similar to the chakras
- energy hubs identified in Asian culture. Blocked muscular segments each produce
typical holding patterns that restrict energy flow, circulation, movement, breathing
and/or suppress feelings. Muscular armour not only "protects" people from unwanted
emotional pain, fear and anger; it also may be the source of a wide range of maladies
including hypertension, chronic pain, gastrointestinal disorders, and immune dysfunction.
Muscular armour can begin to build up in the body at a very young age. When children
are denied their natural and spontaneous reactions, they learn to hide and suppress
true feelings in order to feel safe or to behave. Commands like don't shout; don't
cry; don't laugh or get excited; don't stare, cause children to shut off feelings
and self-expression. Thus begins the body's unconscious pattern of stopping or blocking
the natural biological pulsations that accompany strong emotions. Furthermore, the
same blocking patterns can affect one's ability to fully experience feelings of love,
trust and joy. Most people have no memory of these spontaneous energy pulsations
that were lost in their youth.
Personal success or a comfortable lifestyle can contribute to covering up one's inner
longing and emptiness. While talking about past events and analyzing connections
between a person's current situation and their personal history can have positive
results, it often requires more than words to restore one�s natural well-being and
energy flow. The difference can be illustrated by some practitioners who believe
"it's all in the mind," whereas somatic practitioners believe the answers are in
the body�s blocked pulsations and energy flows.
Charles Kelley, an aeronautics scientist and Bates Vision Improvement instructor
who studied with Reich before he died in 1957, used these concepts in the 60s to
develop individual, small group and workshop methodologies currently known as Radix
education. Kelley chose the word radix, an old English term meaning root or source,
that can also relate to the energetic concept of "chi." Kelley died in 2005.
To keep Reich's legacy alive and expand the use of Kelley's methodologies, the Radix
Institute continues to provide training and certification for teachers from around
the world. Radix teachers utilize the breath combined with a variety of physical
and verbal exercises to increase body awareness and grounding, as well as to open
the different body segments and layers of blocked perceptions, feelings and expressions.
Frequently, assistance and guidance from a Radix teacher using various forms of touch
can provide the catalyst for achieving deeper feeling and surrender.
Contact: Randy Usem, Radix Teacher and L.M.T
About Randy Usem
Randy is the only practicing Radix Teacher in Arizona. His practice focuses on serving
those who have sought professional therapeutic solutions and are looking for a more
body-centered approach to healing. He has had particular success with those who suffer
from chronic pain and emotional issues. Randy's studio is located near Alvernon and
Broadway in central Tucson. Call 520-207-7911 for a free introductory Radix session.