People block their normal flow of life processes with restrictive attitudes and/or muscle tension. Then these blockages give rise to somatic and emotional problems. Body symptoms include chronic muscle tension and stress ailments such as headaches, TMJ, panic, diarrhea, cardio spasm, etc., largely depending upon the individual’s pattern of armoring.
In one’s emotional life, blockages cause emotions and basic instincts to be repressed or distorted. This leads to problems in work, social relationships, sexuality, and self-preservation. Distortions may be either consciously perceived (as hostile or sexual feelings usually) or perceived only dimly, as when unconscious feelings begin to surface into consciousness.
Consider a person with a tight jaw. The person’s armoring in their jaw may contain age-old impulses to bite their mother. Does this seem odd? It’s not uncommon for a disappointed or angry baby to bite before being taught not to. The impulse is genuine, and after it is blocked it stays bound and forgotten in the child’s jaw muscles.
Impulse and Defense
We can best understood these processes as blockages. When outward-flowing impulses for pleasure meet with chronic disappointment, they become permanently blocked. As a child inhibits her desire for love, her organism mounts a defense equal to her instinctual impulse. Impulses are blocked by defenses. The total mind/body defense adds up to emotional armor. Armoring keeps both the impulse (for love) and its defense under repression. Later, armoring is completely out of the grown person’s awareness.
The result is rigidity. In your body, chronic muscle tension restricts your life processes. In your mind, rigid attitudes and avoidance of emotion shut down your enjoyment of life. Both reactions express the same function. In health, mind and body function seamlessly together.
Mind/body rigidity deprives your living organism of pulsation and circulation, leading to stagnation and psychosomatic symptoms.