Lowen’s Energy Concept

A Neurobiological Explanation and Redefinition


  • Christa D. Ventling




Lowen’s energy concept, exercise and new energy, energy redefinition, neurohormones


Alexander Lowen, founder of bioenergetic psychotherapy, placed great emphasis on working with the body. By this he understood various forms, ranging from the more gymnastic types of exercises to those involving stress positions, making a person get to sometimes physically feeling an earlier traumatic experience and thus reaching new insights. Lowen called the process, «energy through exercise”. His concept is, however, confusing, as exercising in whichever form requires energy and does not synthesize energy – unless one assumes the creation or existence of a form unknown. The reflective outline below tries to clarify this by searching the literature and concludes that the synthesis of specific neurohormones could be responsible for creating that special feeling of elation experienced by the person involved in such an exercise.

Author Biography

Christa D. Ventling

Christa D.Ventling DPhil, lic.phil (M.Sc) got her doctorate in biochemistry at the University of Oxford GB, followed by over 25 years in medically oriented basic research at various University Medical Schools in the USA (Iowa City, IA, The Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland, both in Baltimore MD). She then returned to Switzerland to continue in basic research at the Friedrich Miescher-Institute of then Ciba-Geigy, now Novartis, Basel. More than 50 publications resulted from this time. From 1983–1987 she studied psychology at the University of Basel graduating with a M.Sc. degree. She went on for a psychoanalytical and body-oriented training in Bioenergetic Analysis and Therapy (BAT), was certified in 1995, became a member of the teaching staff of the Swiss Bioenergetic Society (SGBAT) in 2000 and a supervisor in 2005. She runs a private psychotherapeutic practice since 1990 and continues her scientific interest in psychotherapeutic topics. She carried out a major investigation on the efficacy of BAT for which she received the Prize for the best Research in 2002 by the US Association for Body Psychotherapy. She is the editor of “Childhood Psychotherapy: A Bioenergetic Approach” and of “Body Psychotherapy in Progressive and Chronic Disorders”, published in 2001 resp. 2002 by Karger, Basel. She has two grown children and three grandchildren.
101-109 36098


How to Cite

Ventling, C. D. (2022). Lowen’s Energy Concept: A Neurobiological Explanation and Redefinition. Bioenergetic Analysis, 23(1), 101–109. https://doi.org/10.30820/0743-4804-2013-23-101