Armoring of the Oral Segment

This blog is part of a series; its original title was Heilkunst Basics : University, 3rd Year (Armoring of the Oral Segment)

As we have a look through the specific characteristics of each of the seven segments, you should always keep in mind the general principles which explain what armoring is, and how it functions. One of these points relates to the idea of chronic contraction, which is the pathological form of the usual healthy version of continual expansion and contraction functioning together. This is why Reich began his exploration of the segments using a version of “trigger point” therapy, where he would press on a chronically contracted muscle in order to encourage it to release, and return to its natural function of expansion/contraction.

Descending down to the next segment below the ocular, I’ll examine the oral segment today. The first clue to an armored oral segment is either a facial expression which seems ‘glued on’, or one which is incongruent with the emotion which the person is currently expressing. Another interesting incongruence to watch for is when the ocular and oral segments are expressing different emotions at the same time (eg. sad eyes with a smile).

An armored oral segment will produce physical symptoms including the grinding of the teeth at night, or clenching during the day. People who compulsively or unconsciously lick their lips constantly, or are always chewing on something, such as their fingernails, or the plastic cap of a pen, are also displaying a blockage to the oral segment. Any number of oral addictions may be suffered, such as to food, alcohol, cigarettes, or oral sex. The pervasive obsession with breasts in our society is also a sign of how widespread this oral blockage is, and how many people are still longing to receive proper love and nurturing for their proper oral development.

The vocal quality may also be noticeably affected. Characteristics such as a vocal timbre which is ‘thin’ or otherwise unpleasant to listen to, such as an overly nasal quality are also signs of this blockage, as well as when the patient’s speech is either too soft or loud, or they are extremely talkative or non-talkative. One adjunct to treatment which can be very effective here is to arrange for the patient to have singing lessons. The training in proper breathing from a voice coach is also invaluable to the entire de-armoring process.

Other therapeutic exercises which can be applied, as appropriate, include : encourage suckling, such as through a straw or through a baby bottle; gently invoke the gag reflex by pushing a toothbrush to the back of the throat (this also helps to release the next segment, which is the cervical); aggressive biting down, and growling. Something soft, such as a towel, can be used to cushion the bite; the homeopathic remedy ‘Lachesis’, which is very useful for an excess amount of energy discharged through talking, and often with a sarcastic or ‘biting’ tone; the flower essence of ‘trumpet vine’, which can help to imbue warmth and confidence into the patient’s speech patterns.

2 thoughts on “Armoring of the Oral Segment

  1. Hi Jeff!
    Is there a direct cause of the armoring of the oral segment? Also, in which book does Reich talk about this? Much love, thank you. 🙂

  2. Hi Anda, The cause of armouring of the oral segment is dynamic. It often begins with a lack of appropriate emotional/nourishing connection with the mother through breast-feeding and being forced to self-soothe before appropriate. Later on, it can feel like not being heard when expressing feelings, to having to keep secrets usually for a parent, and suffering force-feeding etc. An oral block generally shows up in the body after/simultaneously with an ocular block as per Wilhelm Reich. You can read more in his book entitled, “Character Analysis” or take a look at Dr. Baker’s, “Man In The Trap.” Also, look at the bibliography in my book, “Unfolding The Essential Self” more more resources. Love, Ally

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