“Dearmouring”: Coining the Term

Dearmouring has a long history…

Though there are many “dearmouring” rituals and practices the world around and dating back as far as people began using their hands to heal, the psychosomatic term “armouring” was coined by one of Freud top students Wilhelm Reich (Character Analysis 1933).  His insight was revolutionary in understanding that our body is part of our mind and that our muscular rigidities contain the history of their origin.  Meaning muscular tensions set in as people’s patterns for physical behavior form into bodily habits, such as posture, tone of voice, etc..  Reich called this physical rigidity “armour” and the corresponding psychological state “character armour”.  Reich would treat his patient’s body posture with corrective braces and even, to Freud’s great disapproval, push into their body’s sore spots to affect change in their character.

Reich Who?
Reich’s research into “character analysis” greatly furthered somatic psychology.  Generally termed “body psychotherapy”, recent advancements in neuroscience and cognitive science’s research into embodiment and consciousness has given it a true resurgence in the 21st century.  “Rolfing”, “Bioenergetics” or more recently “Mindfulness”, “Sensorimotor Psychotherapy”, “Myofascial Manipulation” and many other mind-body practices in Western psychotherapy either directly or indirectly owe their lineage to Reich.

Why Dearmour?
Be it through the use of verbal affirmations, affective expressions, physical exercises or bodywork these practices all see the mind and body as one (i.e. Embodied Cognition) and as such work on loosening, often subconscious, chronic muscle tensions and thought patterns which block emotional expression and wellness.  The intention and result is not only to set ourselves free from the weight of shame, guilt and trauma but to live and explore freely the bounds of our great potential for maintaining higher states of pleasure, joy, ecstasy and happiness in our everyday life.

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