The Orgastic Reflex
THE EARTHWORM: THE ORGASM AS THE GLOBAL REACTION OF THE ORGANISM
Faithful to his sexological point of view, Reich attacked this new series of clinical research by identifying the status of the orgastic reaction in yoga poses the organism He had many good reasons to begin from there:
1. There are already many experiments in yoga poses this domain.
2. According to Freud, the libido is the watershed plate of the vegetative dynamics and the bridge between the thoughts, behavior, and metabolism
3. He can identify the vegetative dynamics around this theme in yoga poses the individual and social functioning.
The sexual satisfaction appeases vegetative demands first and then the psychic ones. Consequently, it consists of finding a model of sexual behavior that satisfies the neurological and chemical exigencies of the vegetative system Inspired by dance and Gindler’s method, Reich tackled the orgasm as vegetative discharge that manifests itself by coordinating the movements and the breathing of two partners.21 He tried to identify the coordination of the body segments during the orgasm, as well as the involuntary dimension that takes hold of the lovers during climax: something which sexologists briefly describe. Reich goes from the idea, close to that of the ethologists, that there must be an innate organization that is unleashed during coitus, and its core mechanisms are consequently universal. The shape of this spontaneous reaction therefore does not depend on what the mind imagines. The conscious mind can only follow or inhibit the orgasm This is what Reich calls the orgastic reflex.
To describe an uninhibited orgastic reflex of a person stretched out on his or her back, Reich thinks of a movements of a snake or an earthworm, of a fluid undulation which involves the whole body (Reich, 1940, VIII.4, 227), going through the head, the neck, the chest, the belly, the pelvis, the legs, and the feet. This engages the heteroclite mechanism of the body in yoga poses a movement that has a coherence that functions as a whole. This apparently fluid movement is made up of a rhythmic, pulsating succession of expansion and contraction of each segment.
OPENING THE SPONTANEOUS EXHALATION
The blockage of a segment of the body impedes the propagation of the fluid movement of the earthworm On each side of the blockage, two independent fluid movements are created without any coordination between them The case of an alcoholic, about which I speak later, shows what happens when the segment of the abdomen is blocked. Reich observed two spontaneous movements:
1. An upward movement that links the diaphragm to the head.
2. A downward movement that links the pelvis to the feet.
Each of these movements is activated independently and in yoga poses a nonsynchronistic fashion. According to Reich,22 the same thing happens when a thread is attached around one of the rings of the earthworm: on each side of the thread, a different movement is activated. in yoga poses humans, a muscular block breaks up the global orgastic reflex and the sensations it generates.