Reichian segmental theory

Reichian segmental theory is named after its discoverer, Dr Wilhelm Reich, and it divides the body into seven segments, one on top of the other. These consist of the ocular (eye) segment, the oral segment, the cervical (neck) segment, the thoracic (chest) segment, the diaphragmatic segment, the abdominal segment and the pelvic segment.

Reich believed that orgone energy what he saw as a universal bioenergetic force lying behind and causing much, if not all, observable phenomena was within the body. The energy was supposed to move upward, from the pelvic segment up through one segment after another, until it reached the top of the ocular segment and escaped out of the top of the head. A block in any segment would shut off the flow of orgone energy to the segments above it. So the therapist's job was to dissolve these blocks starting from the topmost segment and working his way down.

Reich felt that if a lower block were dissolved while a higher-up block were still in place, the energy released by dissolving the lower block would rush up and slam into the higher block. This would result in all sorts of nasty problems for the patient, thus the need for the therapist to work his way down from the top.