Here's a recent episode from Sean Croxton's Undergound Wellness podcast. Sean is actually on holiday, but his guest presenter came up with a really interesting show. Here it is:
The Strongest Version of YOU w/ Elliott Hulse and Dr. Glazer 08/10 by Underground Wellness | Blog Talk Radio
I'm somewhat skeptical of the Reichian stuff--the body holding "stored emotions" and so on. However, there's surely something to be learned from all these different mind-body disciplines.
The basic premise that traditional psychiatrists (and psychoanalysts) tended to ignore the body is, it seems to me, a valid and an important one.
I recall the psychiatrist on the phone for a protracted time to a client who gave himself a stroke, because he was holding the phone between his chin and shoulder:
BBC News | Health | Cradling phone can cause 'mini-stroke'
If the mind and the body are not really as separate as we tend to assume, should one take advice on one's "mental" life from someone with as little "body" awareness as that?
I suppose we couldn't even learn the language we use to describe our emotions if we didn't (unconsciously) connect the words people use with the postures we see them in. So shouldn't people who claim to deal with emotions professionally be aware of posture? maybe even try to use some form of "body" work?
I think the bioenergetics stuff is on sure ground when it suggests that familiar emotional situations, since those have particular patterns of bodily tension associated with them, can through habit become "stamped on" a person as a "holding pattern". (Here, though, I'd want to suggest that the same might be true of familiar physical situations--say how a particular piece of furniture tends to make us sit.)
Where they lose me a bit is in saying that when a particular type of therapeutic exercise causes a specific emotional reaction this is "stored emotion" in the process of "coming out". I think people would find that kind of explanation satisfying, but it seems like a huge leap in logic to me, and I can't see how such an explanation could ever be satisfactorily established. Wittgenstein pointed out that with Freud on dreams what you really have is a case of someone's being persuaded to accept an interpretation. I think you may have the same thing here.
But whether you're skeptical or not, this is an interesting discussion. Among much else, there's talk of the importance of the breath--familiar from other "mind-body" disciplines. The interviewer says that after he learnt how to release his stomach muscles--and without doing that you can't breathe as deeply as you should--people began remarking that his voice had become deeper.