This article is about the Reichian body-oriented psychotherapy. For the biological study of energy transformation known as bioenergetics, see Biological thermodynamics.
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Bioenergetic analysis is a form of body psychotherapy (body-oriented Reichian psychotherapy), based upon the work of Wilhelm Reich, but adding a number of innovations. These innovations include emphasis on the importance of "grounding" (i.e. being in strong contact with the ground through feet and legs) and on psychoanalytic theories such as transference, countertransference, dreams, slips of the tongue and Oedipal issues. It also places even greater emphasis on sexual fulfilment than Reichian psychotherapy. It was developed by Alexander Lowen and John Pierrakos, both patients and students of Reich. The idea behind current bioenergetic practice is that blocks to emotional expression and wellness are revealed and expressed in the body as chronic muscle tensions which are often subconscious. The blocks are treated by combining bioenergetically designed physical exercises, affective expressions and palpation of the muscular tensions.