Bio-Energetics: Live in a lively body

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What is bio-energetic bodywork?

Bio-energetic bodywork is a modern and practical application of the therapeutic insights of Wilhelm Reich (1898-1957) (student of S. Freud) and was further developed by psychiatrists Alexander Lowen and John Pierrakos. Dirk Marivoet (° 1960) is a direct student of John C. Pierrakos, MD, founder of Bio-Energetics and Core-Energetics. Dirk offered bio-energetic exercises to thousands of people.

Fundamental Conception

Bio-energetic bodywork starts from the fundamental conception of unity between body and mind. We “are” our body. Psychological, emotional tensions and conflicts have an impact on the muscle tension in our body from childhood onwards. Some of these tensions start to settle chronically at specific places such as the neck or the lower back. These tense spots impede smooth expressive mobility; cause a negative body feeling and disrupt the free energy flow in our body. They are like boulders that can transform a calm, undisturbed flowing stream into a turbulent, restless, chaotic event. All this has a negative impact on our mood, vitality, self-confidence, work and zest for life.

Bio-energetic exercises therefore have as main objective the clearing of those boulders in ourselves so that space is created again for:

A vibrant, energetic and rich experience flow. 

Chronic tension blocks the lively vibration waves that we can feel flowing through our body. They ensure that threatening feelings such as shaking with fear, shaking with anger are suppressed. At the same time, the pleasant, exciting body sensations such as soothing pleasure, melting in love, tingling of joy, flowing orgasm, etc. are reduced.

Bio-energetic exercises stimulate these alive body sensations so that we feel less like statues.

Feeling “standing with both feet on the ground”. 

Chronic tension and, as a result, reduced sense of flow in the feet, ankles, knees, and legs ensure that people do not feel themselves firmly and fully in reality. One is quickly “uprooted”, “out of balance”; it is difficult to “stand firm”. If one is not “standing with both feet on the ground”, one is inclined to “live with ones head in the clouds”.

In bio-energetics exercise classes, we get started to allow the sensory flow in our legs so that our sense of certainty, safety, grounding increases.

Unobstructed breathing. 

Good breathing is essential for vibrant health because oxygen is the fuel for the energy processes in ourselves. Emotional reactions such as weeping, laughing, shouting, scaring, have an immediate palpable influence on our breathing. It is therefore not surprising that a lot of chronic muscle tension is fixed on our muscle groups that are responsible for total, unobstructed breathing.

In bio-energetic exercises there is therefore permanent attention to become aware of this tension and to remove it.

A better posture. 

Chronic tension directly influences our posture. The following metaphors show this well: “People are walking with their heads in the ground”, we see people “without a backbone”, people who “stick out one’s chest”, some are “burdened”, etc.

In bio-energetic bodywork we attempt to restructure our out of balance body position.

A satisfying sexuality experience. 

Sexual energy is a driving force in ourselves. Since physical and mental health are completely identical in bio-energetic thinking, a satisfactory capacity for sexual pleasure will positively influence our physical, emotional and spiritual functioning. This sexual energy, however, quickly gave and gives rise to conflict material, which, as protection, creates chronic muscle tension around and in the pelvic region. This then impedes a totally satisfactory orgasmic energy flow through the body.

In bio-energetic bodywork a lot of attention is paid to unblocking our pelvic area.

A spontaneous and satisfying “feeling expression”.

 If a person is blocked from expressing feelings in a satisfactory manner, the vitality and energy in his body will decrease. In many situations one feels inhibited, blocked, locked. On the other hand, a feeling expression that is difficult to control can also threaten to flood someone. People feel rushed, steamed.

In bio-energetic bodywork, people are given the opportunity to become familiar again with a satisfactory handling of emotional expression in a controlled, protected situation. A balance is made between satisfactory self-control and adequate expressiveness.

A deeper body feeling. 

Chronic tension causes dead spots in our body that we are no longer fully aware and experiencing. People start to withdraw more and more in their heads and it is difficult to break free from constant thinking, planning, worrying … Many people are very little aware of the wealth of feelings and experiences that occur in the whole body.

In our bio-energetic work we learn to listen again to the language of our body. There is constant attention to what one feels and experiences inside of oneself.


In our view, the bio-energetics process requires a very progressive approach. What has grown within ourselves in so many years cannot be unblocked in one, two, three. Initially our bio-energetic work consists of many active body exercises with breathing, stretching, shaking, dancing, etc. The body is, as it were, kneaded again into a vibrating, relaxed, feeling whole. Only very progressively are we going to use more and more expressive movement situations and voice, with enough room for the personal pace of growth. In alternation with the fairly dynamic bodywork, we also work with softer body energy in massage, relaxation, vibration and meditation.

People who have integrated bioenergetic bodywork into their lives indicate that this has a positive effect on their vitality, mood, energy level and that they can enjoy more in their various life situations.

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Individual therapy sessions

Dirk Marivoet psychotherapist in Belgium

Dirk Marivoet, MSc is European certified psychotherapist (ECP) and certified psychomotor therapist (University of Louvain). He is the founder and director of the International Institute for Bodymind Integration (IBI) and an international teacher in several Body Oriented Psychotherapy Schools. After more than 35 years of working and teaching in the field of integrative and holistic therapy, he created his own comprehensive synthesis and approach : Core Strokes, which he offers worldwide in the form of professional trainings, workshops and individual sessions. In the past, Dirk worked and taught at the University Psychiatric Centers of Louvain for 11 years. He is a certified Trainer and Supervisor for Postural Integration, Energetic Integration, Reichian Bodywork and Pelvic-Heart Integration (Jack Painter, PhD), a Core Energetics Teacher and Supervisor (John Pierrakos, MD) and president of the Core Science Foundation. He lives in Ghent (Belgium).

In Ghent (Belgium), Europe, the rest of the world and online.

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