From Opening The Energy Gates Of Your Body, Chi Gung for Lifelong Health, written by Bruce Frantzis, 1993,2006, page 43-44:
"The Taoist view of the transformation of emotional energy differs radically from the cathartic practices of either Eastern kundalini or Western group therapy. In the Shaktipat kundalini practice, catharsis is sometimes called kriya, or action. Here, the idea, in the early developmental stages, is to discharge emotional energy by various actions, such as screaming, yelling, crying, curling into the fetal position---moving through blocked emotional states until they are freed up. In group therapy (from primal scream to encounter, bioenergetics, and psychodrama) the idea is to emote your pain and agony externally, the louder the better, heaping verbal and physical abuse on a pillow or a person, as the case may be. Though these approaches are sometimes successful, the ancient Taoists detected an inherent problem with such techniques."
"When pressure builds up in a pressure cooker, there are---within the cathartic model---only three options you have to handle the situation: 1) turn the heat off (i.e., deny, repress); 2) let some steam out at intervals; or 3) let all the steam out at once. Turning the heat off leaves the basic emotional situation unchanged. If you only let steam partially out, after a period, the pressure will build to again reach a critical level. All the 'steam' can be let out of a trapped emotion at one blow, but the reality is that this particular event rarely occurs. Far more common for people with emotional blockages is that they let some, but not all, of the emotional pressure out, and then---as mentioned---the pressure rebuilds until they have to 'cathart' again."
"The cathartic release of violent emotions irritates and exhausts the system, and can sometimes foster an addictive need to feel those violent emotions in ever-stranger forms. Cathartic methods may easily turn practitioners into therapy junkies---angry people become angrier still, for instance, or depressed people sink deeper into depression, while deluding themselves into thinking that they are working on self-improvement."
In my search for better health and well-being, I found the book Opening The Energy Gates Of Your Body, Chi Gung for Lifelong Health. Why a book on Chi Gung? A close friend of mine resently told me if he could only do one exercise program, Chi Gung would be it. I am taking a Tai Chi class from another friend. I love the way the Tai Chi makes me feel. Am I any good at it? No. Do I have a great teacher? Yes. He is patient and lets each of us learn the movements at our own pace. Is it helping? Yes, I am a Reiki practicioner. About a month after starting Tai Chi, I would notice at some point during the exercise that the Reiki energy would start to flow from my hands. Now, the energy starts to flow within minutes of starting the Tai Chi movements so I know the energy flow through my body is much better. I also feel more contented, peaceful and centered after a Tai Chi class. My body doesn't hurt like it does after more conventional exercise classes that I have done in the past.
Why did I choose to share the above quotes with you? Because it is the best explanation that I have ever seen for how some therapy sessions have worked for me in the past. I especially liked the "pressure cooker" analogy. It is one that I have used for many year explaining how I used to do emotions. I have also called the process feeling like I was a volcano waiting to explode. I denied and suppressed my emotions because I was afraid and didn't know how to deal with them. I learned from Raymond (dad) that emotions were explosive and often violent. I learned that there was no safe way to acknowledge what you were feeling. I also felt so angry that Rage wasn't even an adequate description. It was so volatile, like a volcano or pressure cooker waiting to explode when the pressure got to be more than I could control. I was deeply afraid of my own anger. I was afraid that I would use it to hurt others if I let it out. The reality was that when the volcano or pressure cooker did explode my husband and kids were the ones that I hurt with my angry words. If you are sarcastic, that is what you are doing to yourself and others---hurting them. They aren't the source of your anger but they are the closest ones to you.
None of the above therapy methods worked for me. They may work for some people. They did not work for me. They only gave me temporary relief.
Meditations, dreams, talking and writing is what has worked for me to get back in touch with my emotions. Looking at the part that I play in my life is what has worked for me. Writing these articles is what has worked for me. Reading about the struggles and wonderful adventures to recovery of others is what has worked for me. Placing responsibility where it belongs is what has worked for me. Loving myself is what has worked for me. Being vulnerable and trusting myself and others is what has worked for me. Taking myself out of abusive relationships and circumstances is what has worked for me. Finding out what is healthy (Notice I did not say normal. Normal isn't always healthy.) is what has worked for me.
I haven't found any simple, instantly miraculous cures. They may exist for you. If so, I am happy for you. My journey has been about hard work. I could have stayed a victim and always held on to my rage and fears. Some people never come out of that. If I had, I would have missed out on so many of the miracles of my life. I usually only see the miracles when I am looking back. They weren't instant. They, like my life, evolved. The person that you meet today is not the person that I was 20 years ago, 50 years ago, or even yesterday and that is the way that I want it to be. Growing, evolving is what life for me is about. Join me. Let me know how your life is evolving? What is different about you today?
If you are visiting for the first time or read my articles but haven't commented on what you're reading, please leave me a comment and let me know what you think. Am I doing a good job of expressing myself? Do I tell too many personal stories? If this is your first time to visit my blog, I welcome you. Let me know what you think. Your comments are valuable to me and my readers. They let me know that you understand what the articles are about. They let me know that you care. I have met some really wonderful people through comments here and on the blogs that I read. One of those communities that I am just beginning to connect with belongs to James and Harry and their blog "Men with Pens." Jame's latest article you will find at http://menwithpens.ca/how-to-welcome-your-blog-community .