Pointholding and other Bodywork
Many people giving or receiving various forms of bodywork are aware that emotions and memories are accessible through pressuring various structures in the body such as tight muscles and specific points from whatever system. Body Electronics is seemingly unique in that it holds such structures steadily, without movement or massage for and extended time period - commonly more than 2 hours. Due to this process the depth of physical-emotional-mental energy that surfaces for processing is generally much more than in other types of bodywork.
Comparison with Acupuncture or AcupressurePointholding has been called extended acupressure. It is extended in the time period that any single point is held. When John Ray studied acupressure he kept asking the important question as to why people did not hold points longer. The answer came that there would be damage, even stated as irrepairable nerve damage. However, John Ray could find no one who had suffered this damage, so he pressed on, so to speak. What he discovered was that points would initially go into a numb phase - perhaps why people thought there would be nerve damage - but that this was only an initial release of numbness out of the body on a physical and emotional level. What happens next is that the initial tenderness of the point comes back in a different form - deeper aching, cutting pain, and importantly a burning sensation often spreading well out from the point. With this phase of the process people re-experience different emotions and memories that are buried in the body. The intensity of the energetic process, aching and burning is astonishing to most people not familiar with the process - all elicited by a small specific and constant pressure on a specific point. As the packet of energy is released the burning and other sensations and emotions calm down and the point ends when there is no sensation but the actual pressure being applied to the point. Whereas an acupressure point would not be held more than a minute or perhaps up to 5 minutes, in pointholding the time is governed by the process itself, and is likely to last at least two hours.
Many of the acu-points are very effective for pointholding and anyone versed in the theory of acupuncture points can translate this knowledge into working with pointholding. The indications for each point seem to be the same as in standard acupuncture texts. Needling a point, however effective, does not yield the same amount of energy release as pointholding. I don't think, through limited personal experience, that keeping the needles in for an extended time period would access this intense natural cycle of energy. though I'm open to hearing about about ways of using acupuncture, or master acupuncturists who could shed more light on this.
Comparison with Deep-Tissue Massage
Many experienced massage-bodywork therapists are accessing emotion in their clients through various techniques. Emotions can sometimes be accessed through applying pressure over tight muscles and running a thumb or elbow over areas of acupuncture or other points during a session. Typically tight areas are worked on until, perhaps after many sessions, they are no longer tight. Circulation of blood and lymph around such areas is increased which is obviously going to help anything. Surfaced emotions could be processed over the following days or weeks.
In pointholding we are not trying to relax muscles as many a massage therapist would, we are trying to get to the polarised beliefs and emotions which are keeping them tight. Nothing is forced, although the intensity is great. When locked-in patterns are fully released due to fully accepting the tension just the way it is, muscles will relax of their own accord. We are trying to become aware of the tension and its innate messages, rather than creating relaxation. The full principles of the transmutation of surfacing emotion and mental patterns from Body Electronics could greatly aid a bodywork therapist who is accessing emotion in this way.
The problem is that even if a certain amount of emotion from the muscles is re-experienced, the bulk of it is very unlikely to have been transmuted in one session with standard bodywork like it is in pointholding. If a therapist is working more physically trying to relax muscles, the inner patterns will just recreate the tension in time, or worse, since we cannot control or destroy psychological energy by a physical process, it will manifest in another way if it cannot manifest through the tension. It is highly unlikely that massage therspists are aware of the depth of physical-emotional pain that is locked into a muscle. This amount of energy is only accessed by keeping still on a point with less pressure than would be used to access emotion in standard bodywork.
Peter is a practitioner and teacher of body electronics and well read in the works of Carl Jung and some of his followers. As a natural researcher he is always looking for greater understanding of the principles and details of this great inner work.