Orgone energy is a term coined by psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich for the "universal life energy" which he claimed to have discovered in published experiments in the late 1930s. Reich claimed that orgone energy was a "life energy" which filled all space, was blue in color, and that certain forms of illness were the consequence of depletion or blockages of the energy within the body. These theories are considered pseudoscience.[1][2][3]

Modern usage

Psychotherapists and Medical practitioners have occasionally used Reich's emotion-release methods, and even his orgone accumulator as part of their therapy.[4] But its use is exceedingly rare, and limited to therapists who have been trained by "Reichian" institutions such as the American College of Orgonomy.

Wilhelm Reich's theories

Reich claimed that life was founded upon bioenergetic phenomena, and characterized by the pulsation of bioenergy, as with heart-beat, respiration, and bladder functions. Emotions and sexuality, he argued, also followed a similar basic bioenergetic pulsation, and optimal health necessitated open emotional expression and periodic sexual release of accumulated bio-energy. He measured bioelectrical signatures of emotional-sexual human subjective experiences, using sensitive millivoltmeters, interpreting these as expressions of a specific "bio-electric" life-energy. He later observed and developed objective measures to identify energetic fields around humans and other living forms, including microbes, and claimed the same bio-energy also charged non-living matter, and existed in a free form in the atmosphere. He argued the "orgone" bore a similarity to the older concept of cosmological ether of space. The orgone accumulator was developed as a means to objectively capture this energy from the atmosphere, and later was claimed to have both anomalous biological and physical effects. Reich also designed a device called the "cloudbuster", which he claimed could disperse clouds and produce rain.


Reich's orgone theory is frequently noted as a typical example of pseudoscience in discussions of that subject and has been dismissed or ignored completely by most working within science.[5] Critics also assert that the experiments may have followed scientific protocol, but how the results of the experiments were interpreted is also crucial. His measurements of "bio-energy" could equally have been merely millivolts of electricity generated by normal biological processes (such as, but not limited to, the galvanic skin response).

Some of his critics, meanwhile, insist that Reich's many experiments were seriously flawed in design; that his results have proved unrepeatable when the experiments are properly designed; and that his conclusions were, therefore, untenable.

As of 2007, the National Institutes of Health database PubMed, and the Web of Science database, contained only 4 or 5 peer-reviewed scientific papers published since 1968 dealing with orgone therapy. Reich's work and name has become anathema within the academic world. Medical societies and the FDA, eager to prevent alleged health-fraud, lead to a court decision to burn Reich's books which mentioned orgone and discouraged application of his methods by health practitioners. However, starting in the 1960s and increasingly over the next several decades, the growing "alternative health" and "natural healing" movements provided shelter for the belief in orgone.

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Author's Bio: 

This definition is part of a series that covers the topic of Emotional Freedom Techniques. The Official Guide to Emotional Freedom Techniques is Judith A. Wentzel. Judith is an authority on EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques), effectively using it to help her clients be free of issues and emotions that inhibit them from achieving the higher quality of life and success they desire. Her passion is to liberate and empower clients by providing the necessary tools, along with the knowledge to use them, allowing them to achieve emotional freedom and greater success. Also a certified life coach and certified law of attraction practitioner, Judith loves helping others reach their full potential and has been assisting individuals and small business owners to skyrocket their life and business since 1997.

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