The muscles are contractile organs that relate to the skeleton and so generate movement. Their function is contraction and elongation. The muscles which are responsible for maintaining us upright are small, short and joined to our bones. Their constant effort, fighting against gravity wears them out and, as time goes by, they tend to lose flexibility and shrink. Consequently, they need to eliminate the accumulation of stress and tension. Speaking in general terms, our dynamic muscles, those responsible for movement, are more prone to being under toned.

Contrary to common belief, we cannot mould our muscles through standard sessions of stretching and stamina building exercises because both types of exercise exaggerate either extended tension or compressed tension. A muscle, even when it is in repose, may still be tense and rigid, meaning that it has difficulty in returning to its natural state. Consequently, continuing to work them could lead to permanent contraction. In other words, they could end up rigid instead of being toned.

The obsession to keep our abdominal muscles strong is a good example to ´illustrate how people usually work out. Let´s be honest, keeping our stomach strong responds to aesthetic needs; but really has nothing to do with our organic health. We all know the repetitive exercises which we do to strengthen our abdominals, but what are we actually doing? Basically making them shorter, harder and thicker. It is true that they will look toned, but in actual fact, they are also affecting our breathing, our inner organs and body alignment.

Our muscle system is used to receiving instructions in order to inhibit pain, anguish and even pleasure. This brings about a particular profile, a character which is related to our muscles´ attitude. Muscular armour is the term used by Wilhelm Reich to explain the process of muscles getting harder. This process takes place as a consequence of repeating several gestures in order to protect us emotionally. Holding our breath, as well as tightening our abdominal muscles and diaphragm are both unconscious mechanisms used to restrain pleasure, anguish or, according to Reich, a way to interrupt the orgasmic process.

Therefore, stiffness in muscles represents the somatic aspect of repression; but at the same time, it is the basis for perpetuating its existence. This attitude, which we considerer as an innate predisposition, is no more than an acquired nervous action, learnt to provide defence. Attitudes related to character and those related to muscles match perfectly. Experts in Bioenergetics find this essential; this is why they operate from the muscular system, in order to eliminate and release tensions. As human beings, we are constantly evolving; we are capable of correcting attitudes which have been produced by unconscious nervous reactions and which have become chronic. All we need to do is become aware of them.