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What is Bioenergetics?

By: Richard Boyd Copyright © 2022 June 28, 2015 no comments

What is Bioenergetics?

Bioenergetics or bioenergetics therapy is an approach to personal growth was developed by Alexander Lowen M.D. and John Pierrakos. Lowen and Pierrakos, both psychoanalysts, were clients and then students of Wilhelm Reich M.D.  After studying with Reich, they added their own refinements to Reich’s discoveries and principles to produce the systematic therapy that became known as Bioenergetics and was then further developed into Core Energetics.

The Core Energetics approach to personal growth was developed by John Pierrakos M.D. in 1971 and is a further refinement of Bioenergetics, which was developed by Alexander Lowen M.D. and John Pierrakos. Lowen and Pierrakos, both psychoanalysts, were clients and then students of Wilhelm Reich M.D.  After studying with Reich, they added their own refinements to Reich’s discoveries and principles to produce the systematic therapy that became known as Bioenergetics and was then further developed into Core Energetics.

We have as a goal the intention to further evolve this body of knowledge and to explain it in ways to the public that assist in a wider understanding eventuating out of this important body of work.

Therapeutic modalities like talk therapy coupled with physical bodywork and touch can be a very effective form of healing. Connecting the mind with the body has shown to be especially beneficial for those struggling with mental, emotional, or physical ailments.

Bioenergetic therapy is a science-based approach to physical and mental healing. It calls on our energetic states to find the best path to strengthening the mind-body connection.

At Energetics Institute, we provide therapeutic modalities like bioenergetic therapy to heal the mind, body, and spirit. As psychotherapists and counsellors, we offer empathetic and respectful therapy for everyone.

What Is Bioenergetic Therapy?

Bioenergetic treatment refers to a form of alternative therapy that involves activating both the mind and the body. There is a strong connection between the human mind and the human body, and bioenergetic therapy explores that connection to create self-awareness.

Bioenergetic therapy was developed as a therapeutic approach to personal growth by Alexander Lowen M.D. and John Pierrakos. Lowen and Pierrakos studied the works of Wilhelm Reich M.D. as his clients and students. The two produced a systematic therapy based on Reich’s theories and principles.

After the term Bioenergetics was coined, it later developed into Core Energetics. Core Energetics was a further refinement of Bioenergetics. Core Energetics unifies all aspects of humanity: emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual.

Bioenergetics seeks to understand a person’s psyche by examining the mind and body’s relationship to energy. It clarifies the reactions and connections between the mind and body to heal trauma.

What Are the Principles of Bioenergetic Therapy?

The principles of bioenergetic therapy differ from traditional therapy in that it is based on the analysis of personality and character. By observing and releasing tension in the physical body, we can better access our higher selves.

The basis of bioenergetic therapy is the idea that exploring the link between the body and the mind will give us a better understanding of how our minds affect our physical bodies. This understanding allows us to adjust our thought processes and, in turn, heal our mental, emotional, and physical afflictions.

Beyond the connection of the mind-body, bioenergetic therapy has three basic principles:

  • Grounding
  • Breathing
  • Vibration

These principles of Bioenergetic therapy combine movement with breath and self-expression. Its practices solidify the reality that a person’s mind and body are one. Bioenergetic therapy focuses on opening one’s heart to new life experiences and love despite past trauma.


The grounding principle in Bioenergetics refers to moving energy in the body. Bioenergetics will involve grounding, shifting, or clearing stagnant energy in the body. We integrate body, emotions, mind, intent, and spirituality to activate greater consciousness.


Breathwork and breathing techniques are essential to the bioenergetic healing process. Connecting with our breath allows us to experience a sense of calm and acts as a form of meditation.


Vibration in the body refers to one’s ability to feel fully and experience energy without restriction. When a person’s vibration is raised, they can better identify false negative thoughts and connect with their higher self.

Bioenergetics also involves intentional physical movement. The method uses specific body movements to help connect with and release physical tension in the body. Referred to as “conscious movement,” this bodywork increases the body’s vibrational state to sharpen self-perception and improve breath, circulation, and expressiveness.

The goal of Bioenergetics will vary by each person’s unique experience and needs. Bioenergetics can be used for many forms of healing.

What Ailments Does Bioenergetic Therapy Treat?

Bioenergetic therapy is, at its core, an exploration of the whole self: mind, body, and spirit. It has been used as a form of healing for decades and continues to help heal those with the following ailments and more.

Past Trauma

Bioenergetic movement and practices address your self-image in alignment with the reality of how you show up in the world. Self-image is directly correlated with trauma. If you have unhealed past trauma, bioenergetic therapy will help unpack it. Through grounding, breathwork, and vibrational sensation, somatic and psychological defences are examined, and the patient can heal their trauma responses. for more information on the trauma counselling we offer at the Energetics Insitute please click here,

Grief and Loss 

When a person experiences loss of any kind, there is a lingering feeling of grief that needs to be addressed and healed. Grief can come with anxiety, depression, stress, or even chronic tension. Bioenergetic therapy works through the grief process and helps to identify its impact on the mind and the body. Separate from grief counselling, this process helps recover the connection with the self to heal grief and clarify one’s self-worth and values.

Chronic Pain

Often, stress can manifest in the physical body as chronic pain. The body reacts to stressors in one’s environment, and repeated negative experiences will cause the body to manifest painful physical reactions as a method of survival.

The Bioenergetics method addresses the root of your chronic pain and not just the symptoms. A bioenergetic therapist reads your body’s reactions and examines your energy to understand your body’s communication.

Bioenergetic exercises are gentle and intentional and are unique to each person struggling with chronic pain. By addressing the cause of your chronic pain, you can heal the physical sensations of pain while learning what thoughts and emotions led to the manifestation of chronic pain in the body.

Depression & Anxiety

A bioenergetic therapist will explore your past stories and present experiences to connect them to your current state. Healing Depression and anxiety through bioenergetic methods is expressly practical when done with care and attention to mind, body, and spirit.

Like chronic pain, depression and anxiety are often a result of difficult experiences or exposure to hostile environments. Childhood trauma is a widespread factor in those struggling with depression or anxiety. Our counsellors and therapists take special care to unpack that trauma to start the healing process.


Addiction is complicated, affecting millions of people across the country and the world. Bioenergetic therapy can offer hope to those struggling to recover from addiction. The deep self-exploration involved in this modality gives purpose and understanding of one’s afflictions and helps to rediscover the true self.

The confidence and self-love that come with healing help give those struggling with addiction hope for a better life without substances.

Consider Bioenergetic Therapy at Energetics Institute

Seeking professional counselling is the most challenging and most crucial step to the journey to a better life. At Energetics Institute, we believe that strengthening the mind-body connection can lead to incredible healing for anyone. For more information on bioenergetic therapy modalities, contact our team today.

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