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Many complex trauma survivors, who have experienced ongoing abuse, develop body hyper-vigilance. This is where the body is continually tensed, as though the body is “braced” for potential trauma. This leads to pain issues as the muscles are being overworked. Chronic pain and other issues related such as chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia can result.
Wilhelm Reich, a 20th century pioneer in body-mind science, stated “Armoring is the condition that results when energy is bound by muscular contraction and does not flow through the body” (Reich:1936). He defined muscular armoring as “the sum total of muscular (chronic muscular spasms) which an individual develops as a block against the breakthrough of emotions and organ sensations, particularly anxiety, rage and sexual excitation” (Reich:1936).
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