Skan (Lakota for “That Which Moves”) is a psychotherapeutic approach in the tradition of Sigmund Freud’s student Wilhelm Reich.
Reich was the first modern psychotherapist to turn his attention to the body. All emotions are felt and expressed in the body, not just in the mind. Reich’s discovery was that childhood traumata and frustrations all become written into the body. Memory becomes ‘armouring’, everyone’s unique pattern of bodily contractions, energetic blockages, or limitations of feeling and thinking. Reich found a way to ‘read’ the body directly, without words. What Freud was seeking to access in the unconsious, became plain for Reich to see in the body. More than that, Reich learned to go deeper, to the unencumbered, innocent, radiant being underneath the burden of armouring. Life energy can be felt as a continuous ebb and flow in the body, a radiance, and an exchange with the world around us. Ancient cultures knew it as spirit, chi, prana, n|om or as skan.
By restoring the natural flow of energy in the body, armouring fell away and became obsolete. Reichian bodywork preserves the directness, simplicity and warmth of this approach.
In addition to one-to-one ‘mat sessions’, we now have many variations of group work, verbal energy work, ‘Streaming Theatre’ and ‘Movitation’. They have in common that the focus always follows where the flow of energy leads. It is not the ‘problem’ that dictates where a session or group is heading, it is that which is already unencumbered, free, flowing, and connected – wherever it can be found.