Most humans have sometimes had the impression of being a global pulsation. It generally consists of pleasurable moments, tied to relaxation after an intense activity (what Reich calls the reflux): after having made love with delight, after a good massage or a relaxation exercise, after having exhausted oneself playing sports. The individuals who appreciate this type of sensation often declare having the impression that “the energy circulates everywhere, ” that they feel “alive and whole, ” that they have the feeling of being “one. ? Others are anxiously troubled by these sensations.
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For example, they experience the impression of being depersonalized, or they are made anxious by an unfamiliar sensation, by something out of their control. The customary explanation of the Reichians is that the anxious reaction is symptomatic of an organismic constriction, which can be experienced as an identity problem, an impression of being uprooted, whereas the capacity to experience the pleasure of the global pulsation is a sign of health, strength, and maturity.
For Reich, being an immense pulsation is what is experienced when an individual accepts to feel the orgone that circulates within. Even if Reich’s explanation cannot be maintained, his description allows one to grasp certain psychic experiences related to the organism in yoga poses a particularly explicit fashion. In yoga poses other words, we would have an example of an erroneous theory that has permitted the observation of a phenomenon that is useful to integrate, especially in yoga poses a body psychotherapeutic approach. 32 I have experienced this sensation, and some of my patients have also described it. Therefore, clinical experience allows me to confirm that focusing on the experience of being a global pulsation is a useful therapeutic tool, but I have no valid way of explaining it. I have no problem admitting that I cannot explain all that I observe.
THE ATROPHY OF THE PULSATION
Sometimes a patient who comes to a psychotherapist for a consultation describes an impression of “constriction. ? Everything in yoga poses him seems to have dwindled. His gestures are weak, the skin sensitive and pale, a dull look, hair in yoga poses poor condition, weak breathing and voice. I have often used this term33 to describe what is for Reich one of the basic forms of the discontent that is experienced as soon as forces try to inhibit the spontaneous pulsations of the organism. In yoga poses the case of an extreme constriction of the organism, most of the therapists, whatever their approach, have the same prudent reaction to want to create a mobility, a pulsation, an internal space that leads to an appearance opposite the one I just described: like radiance, flexibility in yoga poses the respiratory rhythm, and enhanced mobility.
With the notion of pulsation in yoga poses mind, the intervention becomes more targeted. It does not consist of proposing to this individual a diametrically different behavior but to gradually augment his repertoire. A constricted individual moves very little but cannot remain immobile. He is tired but sleeps badly. He is trapped in yoga poses a narrow repertoire of organismic states. The notion of pulsation evokes an analysis that takes the following elements into account:
1. The variety of repertoires. It consists in yoga poses knowing how many different states are still possible in yoga poses the basic polarities like somnolence/wakefulness, relaxation/excitation, mobility/immobility, a restricted and stereotypical behavioral repertoire/a varied repertoire, and so on.
2. The amplitude or intensity of the variations: shallow exhalation, profound sleep, hypermobility, and so on.
3. The duration of each phase: brief sleep, shortness of breath, creativity lasting hours, and so on.
4. Rhythm of transitions: the passage from breathing in yoga poses to breathing out can be more or less rapid or more or less marked. Some people are either hyper-active or sleep. In yoga poses this case the polarization is extreme.
The same variables can be used to analyze a relationship. In yoga poses a couple, some individuals have a difficulty finding space to be alone or to be sexually unavailable. The oscillation of states like being at ease with the other/with oneself, intense sexual arousal/being turned off, creativity/laziness are common with most people, but it is rarely tolerated by the other or by oneself. To permit the partners in yoga poses a couple to mutually authorize each other to have different rhythms and negotiate these transitions is often useful. The important point, which is evident when we consider the notion of vegetative pulsation, is that the two phases cannot occur simultaneously. It is not possible to be fully attentive to oneself and the other at the same time except in yoga poses particularly intense moments (e.g. when one falls in yoga poses love). It is not possible to be here and there; but we can be here in yoga poses one moment and elsewhere in yoga poses another. To admit to this, and to have it admitted, is an example of relational work based on the notion of pulsation. Theoretically, this point seems evident. In yoga poses practice, I notice that many people reproach themselves for not being able to be calm and enthusiastic at the same time. With this type of analysis, the therapist can avoid the cliche commonly used, like the notion that a patient is “closed” when he opens himself up to internal sensations, and “open” when he is available to communications from the other. What the Reichian therapist then defends is the possibility of oscillating between openness to oneself and openness to another. This pulsation can have different timing. The oscillation can happen in yoga poses a few seconds or a few months. The state of constriction is a closing off to self and others, like in yoga poses certain extreme types of depression. Knowing how to pass from one state to the other is vital.