Pelvic-Heart Integration : Heart in Sexuality

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Uniting the masculine and feminine within the Self and your intimate relationships

Origins of Pelvic-Heart Integration

Jack W. Painter, PhD who originated the world famous modality of Deep Holistic Bodywork called Postural Integration® (PI) in the 1960s also pioneered “pelvic release” a hands-on work that helps release armoring and trauma at the level of the genitals and pelvic-floor in the 1970. This work in turn became part of the Advanced Postural Integration Training. His close relationship with Margo Anand, founder of Skydancing Tantra and his collaboration with Willem Poppeliers, founder of Sexual Grounding resulted in a potent cross fertilization of their scientific and professional work, leading to the development of first Energetic Integration (EI) and later in the 1990s of Pelvic-Heart Integration (PHI). PHI provides a valuable framework for sexual healing – both in the sense of unraveling sexual dysfunction and in the sense of restoring trust and harmony between men and women. It addresses also the central questions of how to be sexually alive and how to connect heart and genitals in a mature related way. 

Pelvic-Heart Integration : Transforming Patterns of Sexual Frustration from the Past

Man carrying woman

Much of the focus of Pelvic-Heart Integration is on the restoration of the natural energy flow of life (sexual) energy. The integrity of the energy flow between the heart and the genitals receives special attention. Before the natural energy flow of the child was cut by limited, not comprehending or frustrated parents, his heart and his genitals were part of a current of unified orgastic vibrant energy, characterized by innocence, curiosity and joyful excitement. PHI process work involves learning to recognize how we have cut off this flow and how our acquired gender identities support or undermine our actual sexual relationships, and how our past and current relationship patterns are linked to our sexual blocks. Pelvic-Heart Integration helps us understand that there is no such thing as a force, a principle, or an idea which is in itself problematic or sinful, and this principle applies to sex. The separation of sexuality from love is what makes sex problematic or “sinful.” Love is often confused with comfort and the false stability that is gained from emotional “business deals.” That makes it all ugly, distorted, and really confusing. Love is also often lost. Hearts are “broken” when we, or someone beloved, says “no”, withdraws, or shuts down in order to stay safe, or to avoid pain and frustration. While we run away from our deep feelings of our broken hearts, we are investing a lot of energy in our worldly, personal or yes…sexual recognition.

The Pelvic-Heart Integration Workshop and Training

In a PHI workshop or training these things are not merely discussed, but are felt in the whole body as participants are supported in exploring their attachment styles, old passed on wounds through generations, their protection and defense mechanisms and in recreating an inner triangle between mother, father and child or ancestral configurations. We use massage and touch to open the currents of warm pleasure in the tissues of the body. Soft or deep contact with skin, tissue, muscle and bone helps open every part of the body and allows any desire, any fantasy to be welcome in the flesh. In doing this work we can gradually begin to become more aware of how when our sexual cravings come to the surface with force, a part of us tries to cut off the experience. The chest and heart may pull back because of our memory of past pain, or the belly may contract in order to separate physical excitement from emotional disappointment. You will be encouraged to explore, at your own rhythm, a variety of ways of breathing which can lead to new levels of excitement. Riding waves of charging and discharging energy, you will discover the power of expressing any accumulated or forbidden charge. The healing process clearly extends backward into time, as old family dynamics are helped to be transformed into new yet unimagined possibilities.

Getting the Masculine and Feminine Together

By focusing our attention on the dynamics of the masculine and feminine within our own bodies, we give ourselves leverage to effect change much more effectively than when we try to change others and blame them for not being sufficient. We also discover how our characteristic breathing patterns, thoughts, emotions, and body armor block the free flow of our life force and inhibit our capacity for sensual pleasure and orgasmic release. In PHI, we begin by looking at masculine and feminine as an expression of the breath – the feminine is the inhale, the masculine is the exhale. The feminine is about taking in, receiving, filling ourselves up. Its energetic flow is from the genitals to the heart and from there towards the world (the other).

The masculine is releasing and letting go, it is about erectness, solidity, attuning and penetration. It’s energetic flow is from the heart to the genitals and from there towards the world (the other).

The masculine and feminine energies in the body also have a directional or cyclic flow : the feminine movement from the pelvis to the heart is complemented by the masculine movement from the heart to the genitals.  When the masculine and the feminine forces come into contact and eventually merge, whether within one’s own body or in connection with another, sexual pleasure and excitement results, eventually culminating in full body orgasm if the natural flow is unimpeded. But this internal flow, as well as the circuit formed when two individuals come together, loses its integrity when a person’s internal connection between heart and the genitals is severed.

Male Female Hug

As we explore and work with each other during the workshop or training, we discover these old patterns in our bodies but also find what our bodies long for, what our masculine and feminine sides really want. When our bodies begin to harmonize the aspirations of these two sides, when our inner mother and father support the sexuality of our inner child, we are loving ourselves, creating a strong flow between the pelvis and heart, rather than only looking outside ourselves for love.

We re-script our inner triangle to support both healthier relationships and greater sexual fulfillment. By allowing and supporting the masculine heart-pelvic flow within both inner parents; by embracing the feminine pelvic-heart flow within both inner parents, and thus in ourselves, we can recapture childhood innocence, curiosity and excitement at each stage of our lives.This inside integration gives a sensual constancy to our love and permits us to share love with others without losing ourselves. We see how love exists as part of our inner experience during the presence or absence of the lover.

To feel part of a continuing cycle of genital and heart energy through the generations

In PHI we have an opportunity to look at how our growing and changing bodies express sexuality in childhood, adolescence, maturity and old age; how our character is formed and reformed throughout our lives. When we have begun to physically and emotionally feel the connection between the genitals and heart, we have allowed our inner parents to be present. At this moment we realize that they have the same aspirations as our real parents and their parents, however much these longings may not have been fulfilled or remained unconscious. We realize that we are part of a continuing concrete, physical flow of genital and heart energy, which our children and their children can further fulfill.


Creating New Levels of Excitement and Pleasure

A PHI workshop typically begins with some playful warm up exercises which also teach about the energy meridians and the balancing of yin and yang energies. This is followed by work with the “energetic cycle” — The discovery of your past, present and future sexual force is done with the body. With touch, breathwork, movement, role play, active imagination and bodywork, you will take awareness of how you can bring your body in your sexual, love and spiritual life.

We explore how our sexual awareness is contained in our deep body tissues and in our breath. One will be helped to awaken one’s desire and sense of freedom and encouraged to explore, at one’s own rhythm, a variety of ways of breathing which can lead to new levels of excitement. Riding waves of charging and discharging energy, one will discover the power of expressing any accumulated or forbidden charge. By letting this energy be free and complete, one can open old blocks and cultivate streaming currents of warm pleasure. We experience physical opening and the connection between the heart and genitals. The work with breathing and the bodywork will be used to release the energies and to simultaneously restructure the pelvic segment (pelvic-floor, buttocks, psoas,…), the diaphragm and rib cage. Regardless of your level of experience, we will help you learn how to maintain your sexual unity and dare to reveal yourself. Soft or deep contact with skin, tissue, muscle and bone helps open every part of the body and allows any desire, any fantasy to be welcome in the flesh.

Trainers teach and demonstrate; participants practice on each other, and then share about what they experienced. The theory behind the work is delicately intertwined with what is experienced.

Work with the cycle at it’s different stages is repeated over and over throughout the workshop and training as building blocks for a Pelvic Heart Integration session. Following our guidance, you will be working on untangling the ancestral lines of sexual/spiritual transmission. Symbolically integrating the ideal parents of your inner sexual child, participants will find a powerful and tender source; as participant you will reconnect to an inexhaustible source that binds you to genital desires and aspirations of the heart of your parents as well as their parents, regardless of whether their real sexuality was incomplete or unfulfilled. This is the spiritual groundwork for a grounded, unified and sustainable, love and sexuality.

Before all we’re our own lover, in love with our own body. When the male and female parts are harmonized in us, we can more easily feel, touch and be in joy while sharing the joy of another person. We can look at and love someone else without fear of losing him or lose something inside of us.

This inner joy – physical, emotional, cognitive and spiritual – is complete and cannot be destroyed, whatever the reaction of the other. And this inner joy, this body ecstasy that radiates from our core, allows us to experience a deep encounter with those who also found their inner joy. We need to stay connected and work with the ever-present force of an ideal inner mother and father in our sexuality, and in doing so recapture our childhood innocence, curiosity and excitement at each stage of our lives. In this way we can discover how our love is a part of our inner experience during the presence or absence of our lover. Thus  we can also let excitement flow through the generations while maintaining sexual and spiritual satisfaction in the present.

Masculine & Feminine Pelvic-Heart Integration Movements

The Founder and the International Trainers of Pelvic-Heart Integration

  1. JACK W. PAINTER (1933-2010), a former professor at the University of Miami and a pioneer of the Human Potential Movement in the 1960s, was one of those rare beings who was equally good at practicing and teaching his methods of Bodymind Integration. Jack developed a style of holistic bodywork called Postural Integration® (PI) which is now used by hundreds of practitioners worldwide, followed by Energetic Integration® (EI) and Pelvic Heart Integration® (PHI), which is taught as independent methods by some trainers of ICPIT the organization he founded in 1988 and that gathers the accredited Trainers of PI, EI and PHI
  2. DIRK MARIVOET is a Psychotherapist, Trainer and Supervisor for Pelvic-Heart Integration®, Postural Integration® & Energetic Integration® – Teacher and Supervisor for Core-Energetics®. Loves the Fire, lives in Ghent.
  3. ELISABETH RENNER is a Psychotherapist, Trainer and Supervisor for Pelvic-Heart Integration®, Postural Integration® & Energetic Integration®. Loves the Water, lives in Graz.
Elisabeth Renner & Dirk Marivoet

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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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