Wilhelm Reich, the founder of the Radix approach, came up with the theory that the body and mind are one; that the body is really a frozen history of all our life experiences. An important conceptual framework of Radix is that our ‘life force’ flows through the body and that characteristically we block this flow with armouring in different places throughout our bodies, largely because we don’t want to experience uncomfortable emotions. Unfortunately, this blocking impedes both our full emotional experience and our ability to think clearly. It also has a detrimental impact on the mobility and health of our bodies.
In the 1970’s, Dr Charles Kelley renamed this fundamental concept of the life force ‘radix’, which means root or source. Through his work focusing on the effects of the rhythm or ‘pulsation’ of the radix flow Kelley has significantly developed our understanding of emotional experience and expression.
In Radix, the mind and the body are attended to and often the primary focus is what’s happening in your body. The therapeutic process incorporates verbal expression, bodily movement, breath work, sound, touch and sensory experience for personal growth. Radix is process oriented in that a session evolves from what is happening for the client cognitively, physically and emotionally throughout the session. As a Radix body centred psychotherapist, I facilitate the unfolding of all these dimensions by freeing the flow of the radix thereby developing greater aliveness, insight and self-acceptance.
Central to Radix’s emphasis on the pulsation of life flow is to watch how this energy comes into the core of ourselves (the instroke) and expands out to the periphery (the outstroke). The instroke connects us to our feelings, intuition, dreams and fantasies whilst the outstroke connects us to our experience of and functioning in the world.
Radix works to enhance our ability to connect more deeply with ourselves and others, often with an emphasis on eye contact and emotional expressivity in the eyes. I find it to be a deeply intimate way of working. Although emotional discharges are not particularly sought after, Radix work often does allow deep emotional releases, which restores the life flow very effectively. To this end, historically, Radix is often conducted in weekend workshops, in conjunction with individual therapy, to allow the charge to intensify enough for this deeper work to occur.