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Reich’s Map of Body Armor: Ocular Segment


In my last blog post, I discussed the general concept of somatic armoring including character armoring. I will hone in now on Reich’s map of the body and what he called the segments of armoring. There are seven segments delineated and I will cover them over a series of posts.

As Reich defined various character types, he also outlined how these various defensive styles manifest as blockages in the body. His schema of blockages started with the eyes and head, and ended at the pelvis, correlating the segments with how energy circulates from top down.

We all have different energy levels, body types, and genetics so there is not one idealized version of the body to follow. The functional approach of Orgonomy considers how to maximize our unique systems by opening all the segments. When we study the body/mind, we can see that the various blockages inhibit our natural reservoir of capacity. Orgonomy goes about freeing the character so it can react with spontaneity, flexibility, sensibility, and creativity in all situations. To accomplish this goal, we also need to free the body, as that is the instrument of expressed capacity.

The first segment includes our eyes and head. Our eyes are our point of contact with others and our instrument of perception of the world. When we have ocular armor, our vision can be skewed and distorted, and we misinterpret, feel more fear and confusion, experience blurred vision at times, miss cues, and can create an entire world-view based on unclear perception. Our eyes can look and feel dead; the light is muted. With ocular armoring, we can feel closed down to others, have chronic trust issues, and become suspicious, hyper-vigilant, and controlling. We may dominate others as a way to feel secure. In relationships, we have difficulty making contact, creating space in our eyes for the other, and looking directly with an open and genuine expression. These are some of the symptoms of an ocular block.

Our head can feel chronically stuffy, tense, and contracted, and we may experience painful headaches, hot pain in the lower back of the head, or a tight skullcap over our entire cranium. Our forehead can be constricted, and immobile, and we may lack fluidity of expression. We can appear to have a tight mask on our forehead and eyes.

As we experience Orgonomic bodywork, our eyes can become light, lively, bright, and wide open again. We can express the feelings of sadness, excitement, fear, and anger bound in our head, forehead, and eyes. Through exercises that help the movement of the eyes, penetrating massage of the area, and release of pent up feelings, our eyes can become clear and mobile. Then they become a vehicle for our clarity and spirit, as the eyes are the “windows to the soul”.

This Post Has 3 Comments
  1. in some 5 system typologies
    the schizoid type is associated with the traditional Chinese medicine water type..
    it is associated with hearing …..
    I have a speculation about a connection with an ocular block

    the onset of the schizoid state as starting with its hearing
    even in the womb ..picking up the emotional issues from sounds
    which preconditions perhaps not to want to see the world
    that it already senses to be rejecting of its spontaneous self

    in the Chinese character types water is linked with the fire element
    giving two types ..shao yin ..and tai yang
    ..shao yin the small receptive type …
    also water is associated with kidney/bladder…. and fear issues

    the tai yang big active energy … and would be the opposite of shao yin in many ways
    and the classic rigid/gental ..self assured type
    but there is a school of thought that this power positive social assuredness
    often comes with a cost …an unrecognized loss of a sensitive heart
    tho fire is associated in the Chinese system with the heart

    I intend to look up later the positive negative polar energies of fire
    and once I have refreshed on such ..try to perhaps show
    how the rigid type might more often than not
    be fooling itself about its right and happiness…
    in a very narcissistic fashion

    back to the ear eye aspects of schizoid…
    as often involving a loss of good hearing
    and near sightedness..where they look within
    and done want to SEE what is out there….

    also the schizoid in some systems
    seems to match the chronic depressive
    focus on intellectual analysis

    a book ]
    speaks of the intellectual capacity of the schizoid of being highly developed
    and i think the book suggest often more so than the oral type…

    1. Thank you for your question, Jakob – I’m sorry for my delay in responding. My book titled Whole Therapist, Whole Patient: Integrating Reich, Masterson, and Jung in Modern Psychotherapy is scheduled to be published in April 2018. You’ll find more about the book here. In it, you’ll find a detailed description of the 7 segments. You might also research the segments in Elsworth Baker’s Man in the Trap.

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