I’ve written previously about the concept of the reflexes which are governed by the autonomic nervous system — it is responsible for triggering any form of automatic or spontaneous reaction we have, including emotional reactions, and the unconscious processes such as digestion and regulation of our hormones. The nature of disease, and of “polite society” in general is that we do our best to cover over any spontaneous reactions with those that are safer or more appropriate.
The job, therefore, of the Heilkunst practitioner, is to remove any disease or other blockage which is holding a more static or scripted form of response to life at all levels of the patient’s functioning. The ultimate measurement which Dr. Reich used in assessing his patients was in determining if they had gained the capacity for complete surrender or letting go during the ultimate sexual reflex of the orgasm. Likewise, inside the consultation room, I am always sampling the feeling of the patient’s fluidity in their speech and movements, as well as their general ability to “go with the flow” of the conversation.
Some specific points of reference for this spontaneous reflex capacity may include:
- What is your typical initial response to an emergency or otherwise unexpected stressful situation? Ie which emotion tends to be the leader of the pack?
- [From the practitioner’s point of view:] What are the first reactions (facial expressions, verbal response, etc.) that a patient has when you ask a more challenging or intimate question? If you’ve seen the television show “Lie to Me”, you’ll have seen many illustrations of these split-second facial reactions where the true reaction is exposed momentarily before it is covered up again.
- What is the patient’s reaction to anything unexpected that happens in the environment, such as a gust of wind suddenly blowing throw the window and knocking things off the desk?
The key to any of these types of reactions is taking any opportunity to witness what the spontaneous or reflex reaction is in the patient. Likewise, seeing a lack of reactivity to a stimulus will indicate a state of armouring or suppression of the patient’s true natural feelings. This is a qualitative, yet objective form of observation which guides the diagnosis and treatment directly into the heart of health, and what may be getting in its way.