Published: 07/18/2014 - Updated: 05/20/2018
In his book about bioenergetics, Alexander Lowen states the importance that each individual sound of the voice has, which is intimately related to the personality. The word personality means mask, but it also means the sound of someone (per sona).
Bioenergetics uses an individual’s voice as a useful guide to determine when the patient has some sort of blockage due to a lacking, a void, or a distorted emotional and sentimental expression. When the expression of any emotion, be it sadness, happiness, enthusiasm, etc., is repressed by the individual, that expression which would normally escape through the throat in either a scream, a cry, a deep breath, a moan, a word, a complaint, etc., accumulates primarily in the throat muscles. These muscles tense only a little or quite a bit, according to the repressed expression.
The throat is located in the neck, which makes it the connection point between the heart and the entrails of the mind and reasoning. When our feelings pass through this area it affects our vocal chords, their vibration and air flow. Emotions can be controlled or let go. When someone is relaxed in the throat, they will have more tessitura to their voice, which is to say, their voice will feel deeper and richer with expression, and they will transmit this when they speak.
When there’s tension, the voice gives it away. There will be a lack of harmony, or dissonance. There will also be certain variations that the therapist can locate with their experience and abilities to determine what type of blockage the patient has. The voice can speak clearly about a patient’s personality, you can even feel it in their voice when someone lies. They seem to lower their voice and become short. When someone feels distressed, it can be hard to speak, or you may begin to stutter. And when there’s a deep emotion that can’t get out, the throat seems to close. When there’s constant tension in the throat, the muscles begin to hurt or will become inflexible. This can cause all sorts of problems in the throat and neck. People that use neck braces frequently are inflexible in their thinking, which blocks them from recognizing certain emotions, and their free expression.
Your voice: Sing or Scream
Singing and screaming are just a few of the suggestions that bioenergetics offers to free repressed emotions. Screaming is one of the most effective, as well as moving the face and mouth in different expressions. This liberates accumulated tension that is present also in the mouth (which generally tenses and closes). So if you feel tension in the neck, you can try screaming in your car every one in a while, which is a closed area. With traffic noises it would be difficult for anyone to even notice. This can be an alternative to free pressure stored in the throat. Screaming helps liberate tensions and will make emotions that could be repressed, start flowing once again.