on 25 March 2014
There is primarily a home spun self-help theme running through Noah Karrasch's book. It's a sort of Louise Hay meets Ida Rolf (of Rolfing), meets Eastern Chakras. Reader exploration of the stretching, postural improvement and positive, balanced life attitude is recommended as essential to enable effective instruction to people being worked with.
Karrasch, a Rolfer himself, suggests a self-creative stretching regime. He first loosely sets out a small core set of 'deep line' stretches, rather than individual muscles, based as he says, on Anatomy Trains (Thomas Myers), but encourages a broader individual exploration, finding personal areas of tension. Releasing these tension areas not only lays the foundation for freedom of 'energy' to move through the body, avoid stagnation and ill-health, but also can on occasion abreact the emotional fixating life event which established the holding pattern – a sort of self psychotherapy.
While the idea has to be applauded - the 'deep-line' stretching is something I myself have found effective for a number of years - the overall result is weak.
A number of the stretches are for the fit and supple only (eg 'the hip'. Any restriction in this joint would make the suggested mobilisation impractical), and much of the reading is woolly, and in one instance when discussing Wilhelm Reich (pioneer of bodywork therapy) is plainly wrong:
He states that Reich believed in 'orgasmic energy' (Reich never used this term) and that Reich 'believed the pelvic chakra's hourglass was blocked' (Reich never mentioned 'chakra', or for that matter the supposed 'hourglass' of the pelvis), and that 'Reich seemed to affirm the concept that it's impossible to have heart energy, head energy, or gut energy without sacral/sexual energy flow' (Reich did not divide life energy by body organs, and never used the word 'sacral'). Reich is then to task for 'his choice of terminology or "branding" in his 'label' of 'orgasmic energy'. But this is Karrasch's label, not Reich's!
Foe a more thorough, in depth self-help bodywork guide I would wholeheartedly recommend Seán Haldane's Couple Dynamics, or Pulsation also by Haldane