Reich on Armoring

“A useful model of what occurs during the MDMA experience can be found in the psychology of Wilhelm Reich. Reich, a student of Sigmund Freud, developed a theory centered on the body and movements of biological energy within the body. In a normal, healthy individual (a rare bird in our society) the energy moves throughout the body in pulsations. In this state of free-flowing energy, which Reich labeled “orgastic potency,” a person is capable of expressing emotions and of full sexual orgasm.

However, for most of us, the traumas involved in growing up in our society, with its restriction on sexual expression, leads to blockages of bioenergy in the body, which Reich called “character armor.” This muscular armoring occurs in certain parts of the body. These regions of armoring include the pelvis, the chest, and the face. Orgasm is restricted to the genital region and does not extend throughout the body, as in a healthy person. Reich departed from Freud’s verbal couch therapy by actually attempting to manipulate the body in order to break down the armoring.”1

  1. Bruce Eisner, Ecstasy: the MDMA Story, p. 41, pub. A.D. 1989 []
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