Reichian Therapy and Bioenergetics
         and their Developmental Extension into                                           Bodywork

                 As practiced by Nicholas Evan O'Connor  Dip PHINZ


                          The art of movement from the source





14-The Understanding and Resolution of Retained Anger with Reichian Therapy, Bioenergetics & Bodywork

The holding of anger into the body state starts to happen in many family situations, within weeks or months of birth. It starts with the expectancy that our children will behave and act in a way that society at large, approves of. We train our children in the ways of what is acceptable and what is not acceptable, verbally and physically from the moment we observe their behaviour falling outside of the norms set down by the society. That society, can be the whole of the society we live in, the village we live in, the town, the street, the family as a whole or just the immediate family group. 

This training is dysfunctional because it stems from, and refers to, what is expected from forces that lie outside of the body state, not from what is right for the body in a way that harmoniously  upholds the nature of the human being and it's free expression. 

The starting point of the tendency to train our young in the ways of what is acceptable to the society, comes from the memory, and in some cases the actual experience of, having lived in a society that has been conquered by a superior force. We hold the memory of being conquered at a genetic level and we hold it only to ensure that we and our children survive the rigours of life in the society we inhabit.

The Conquered Society. Conquerers conquer for many different reasons but at the base it is probably for only one or two reasons. To either get some physical advantage that the object presents in the way of position or to have what the object has developed in the way of wealth and abundance. Whether it is in the material wealth of the society, the produce or the inhabitants themselves as concubines or slaves, conquering is a form of lazyness that stems from three human failings, envy, greed and jealousy. When a society is conquered, the survivors are expected to comply with the wishes of the conquerers, no matter how rediculous those wishes are, or face torture, persecution or death. To survive as the conquered, we must train our children in the ways of the new order, which means limiting the impulses for open and free self expression and directing them into the forms of behaviour that are acceptable to the new rulers.  The survival of the family unit depends on our doing this. Behaviour that is outside of what is expected, draws the unwanted attention of the conquering force, onto us. It is our children who do not understand the importance of survival in a conquered society and so we restrict them the most, to ensure our own and their survival. 

Bending to the will of the conquerer and being the conquerer are both states of "being" that resist and go against the deeper laws of the body state. Both parties to the situation will feel unbalanced because they are going against the truth of the body but the result is that after a time, when everything has settled down and people resume the normal courses of their lives, under the new regime, the imbalance created by the original upset  "appears to be normal".  This is what we have in our societies today, imbalance that appears to be normality and the result is that sickness, ill health, vandalism, hostility, racialism, persecution, dissatisfaction, relationship problems, child abuse, sexual abuse etc. while not particularly liked by the society, are a level of expression that is normal for what we are doing to ourselves and in line with our expectations. You cannot go against the laws of the body and have harmony as well. All disharmony, in any form, is due to living against the Laws of Nature, against the Laws of the Universe and against the Laws of the Body state. They are all the same law.   

Our experience throughout history is swamped in the anger and hostility of war and we today, are living in a world that is little different in that way to the world of the middle ages, or further back in time. Even a democracy has serious limitations for the individual, it has laws of restriction and limitation and will persecute those that it thinks are a threat to the norm.

Conditioning is learnt behaviour that satisfies the needs of the society and limits self expression. The assumption that if we did not control ourselves we would be out of control, is incorrect. Any person that is out of control to the extent that they are a danger to the rest of society has a problem that relates to how they have been conditioned, and what they are dealing with is anger that is associated with the limitations originally imposed on them. It doesn't make the results of their anger right, it just makes it understandable and from knowing and understanding this, the anger can be resolved, very easily, if the person wants to resolve it. 

There is a law of the body that is little understood and as a result, great fear surrounds the expression of anger within our society.

The law of the body is that "The body has no desire whatsoever, to harm another being" and this law is provable within the realms of Reichian Therapy, Bioenergetics and Bodywork. If a person, regardless of who they are, what race they are or whether they are male or female, wants to resolve their anger, it is possible to do that, easily and without fuss.  This law of the body, as highlighted above, comes into play as soon as a person is able to work and express themselves from their feelings. Our only problem with the expression and resolution of anger is, we think that by expressing it,  we will do great damage or harm to others. We are afraid of the intensity of our own anger and so live whole lives suppressing the expression of anger and being afraid of the anger of others.

A few minutes of Bodywork and understanding your movements in it, will show you beyond any doubt whatsoever, that the body only wants to express it's hurt and show how angry it is, and that it has no desire to hurt. The body veiws anger bound within it's structure as a hinderance to everything worthwhile and something that it has to be rid of.  Your body will fully express  anger in a feeling way when given the right circumstances to do that,  and it will do it in a way which resolves it completely, without hurting another being. Once retained anger has been released from the body, the body will feel empty for a time and the mind has to get used to that as a new feeling. This can take up to three days depending on the depth of the release. The mind will feel released at the same time, for it's whole existence before that point was centered around dealing with the need to get rid of anger in some way or other. 

In our society we can observe the process of retained anger every day and in many different ways with road rage, relationship arguments, Epilepsy, hostility,  sarcasm, gossip, seclusionism, vandalism, manipulation, racialism, envy, greed and jealousy to name a few. All of these express anger that has been retained in the body from an early age in life. They are to do with how we have been conditioned or expected to act and behave within the society and show how angry we are in relation to that. Apart from Epilepsy, they are all expressions of anger that has been externalised, in other words we blame others for our anger and this is the main problem the society has in resolving anger. The society as a whole believes that our problems are caused outside of ourselves and that the solution is to either have more restriction through laws and regulations or to be better at finding people to blame for our problems.  The society also understands that the anger is there and has to be tamed somehow and it uses the sports arena to do that under the guise of it being a healthy thing to do. Sport releases some of the energy that sits on top of anger but it does not resolve the deep structural energy of anger in the body.

My job as a Therapist who uses a combination of Reichian Therapy, Bioenergetics and Bodywork, is to work with people in a way that helps to resolve the issues that are dealt with in the above paragraphs.  A body that is without the bound energy of anger is able to express love fully and in the tenderest way possible, yet with power and openness that is not possible with an angry body. 

If you understand the depths of what is written above and would like to make contact with me for a session or a series of appointments you can Email me on  or write to me, Nicholas O'Connor at 

O'Connor Bioenergetics. 

PO Box 105.

Mangawhai 0583.

New Zealand

or phone/fax 64 09 431-5089 

All correspondence is strictly confidential. No information you give about yourself or others is discussed with anyone else. No document or part of any document that you may email, fax or post to me is given or shown to any other person or company.

If you live overseas or in a part of New Zealand where it is impractical for you to travel for an appointment, two, three, four, five day or more, intensive Therapy can be arranged with local Accommodation at Lake View Chalet's  Reduced rates can apply from Monday to Thursday bookings. Owners Gabi and Sven. Email  or phone 0800-525-384

Or at Hidden Valley Chalet's  Owners Pauline and Bruce McVicar. Email or phone 09 431-5332 and Fax-09-431-5552.   


Normal session rates for therapy are $120.00 per hour for individuals.  

Intensives are one session per day on consecutive days and are $100.00 per hour.

Couples on normal session rates are $100.00 each per hour  and $90.00 each per hour on Intensives. 

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Last modified: August 15, 2004