Core Energetics


This type of therapy is a mode of healing which combines psychotherapy, bodywork, and a spiritual process called the "pathwork" in order to activate the greater consciousness which dwells within every human soul.  The goal is to release and strengthen human energy on all levels, including emotional, physical, mental and spiritual.  Core energetics is unlike conventional medical or psychiatric therapies in that this therapy views the dimension of life which is spiritual as an essential part of the process of growth and recovery.

Core energetics therapists believe that illness is simply a block in the life force which they assert is at the core of every individual.  This core is known by several different names, including love, energy and soul.  According to the theory behind this therapy, the unblocking of emotional issues promotes self-healing and can benefit a wide range of physical and mental disorders ranging from chronic fatigue syndrome to depression.

History of Core Energetics

Core energetics was developed by John Pierrakos and is sometimes called "the core energetic evolutionary process."  Pierrakos is a Greek-American physician who began his career as a follower of Austrian psychiatrist Wilhelm Reich.  Reich came to America after the Nazis rose to power and was considered controversial in American medical circles due to his unorthodox views on the nature of the human organism.  He believed the body is infused with an invisible energy source he called orgone, which is also part of all material aspects of the cosmos.  Reich asserted that what happens in the body affects what happens to that person mentally and emotionally, and that illness should therefore be addressed as a dual mind-body phenomenon.  This outlook was unknown at the time to the medical profession, which separated physical and psychological healing.  Pierrakos took Reich's framework as a holistic physician committed to searching for effective mind-body treatments.

Physician Alexander Lowen teamed with Pierrakos in the 1950s to make Reich's beliefs the core for bioenergetics, which is a body-oriented psychotherapy that uses the body to diagnose and heal emotional illness.  Pierrakos was fascinated by the parallels between ancient Eastern ideas of human energy and Reich's thoughts of orgone.  He began researching energy and human energy fields.  Based on this research, in the early 1970s he was able to formulate a theory of the human organism which showed signs of Reichian influence but which incorporated the concept of chakras (energy centers).  He developed a system of therapy that looked at the chakras and rationalized what he found to be their abnormal or normal functioning to the individual's physical and psychological traits.  Over the years Pierrakos became very proficient at viewing the human energy field and chakras in people.  He was able to observe the energy of people who were in medical settings and could tell from his observations what other doctors needed lab tests to show.

Pierrakos's wife Eva, a spiritual medium, helped him to complete his blending of Eastern and Western medical teachings.  She was confident in the existence of the spiritual element of life and that its incorporation into treatment enhanced a person's recuperative powers.  This inspired Pierrakos to go beyond current bounds of Western medicine and scientific reason to define human energy.  He concluded human energy is ultimately spiritual in nature and it cannot be fully understood unless one brings the human capacity for love into the equation. 

The Start of Core Energetics

In the late 1970s Pierrakos came to think of love, the life force and the spiritual dimension as one.  He developed core energetics based on his work in bioenergetics and the inspiration he found in the spiritual teachings of the pathwork, which consists of a person learning how to activate the greater consciousness which dwells within their soul.

Pierrakos established an institute in New York City for the study and training of core energetics.  He considered it his greatest achievement.  Most treatments which infuse similar work combining psychotherapy and transpersonal work were inspired by the conclusions reached by Pierrakos.  However, his work was unique.   Among others, he coined the phrases "love force" as the "substance and movement of life."  Today, there are branches of the Institute of Core Energetics in the U.S., Mexico, Canada, Germany, Brazil, Switzerland and Italy.

How Core Energetics Therapy is Practiced

Core energetics is based on the belief that each person has an innate capacity for love and because of that has a need to evolve.  These forces combine together to constitute a life force which is virtually unlimited in is creative potential.  Core energetics therapists also believe that health is a dynamic state which can only be achieved when the person realizes their potential through a process which includes personal growth and change.

What to Expect

A session in core energetics typically lasts about an hour.  The person receiving the therapy usually wears a bathing suit or a leotard so the therapist can more easily access and treat the body.  Work initially involves breathing exercises which are used to charge the body's system, help the receiver become more aware of their body, and begin the process of release and transformation.  The work always involves intense bodily movement and exercise, along with emotional expression that can unblock the flow of the life force. 

Core energetics treatment is adjusted to fit each individual and is always approached as an evolutionary process that leads to unmasking the hidden "shadow" self and transforming pain into understanding and acceptance. 

Benefits of Core Energetics

While core energetics is thought to help a person's overall wellness, it can also be specifically used to help with weight problems, unresolved anger, panic attacks, posttraumatic stress, sexual dysfunctions, making personal and professional changes, helping to repair troubled marital or family relationships, and to expand spiritual awareness.


  1. Bratman, S. The Alternative Medicine Ratings Guide: an expert panel rates the best treatments for over 80 conditions, Prima Health A Division of Prima Publishing (1998)
  2. Brown, L. Alternative Medicine, NTC/Contemporary Publishing (1999)
  3. Deepak Chopra, M.D. Alternative Medicine: The Definitive Guide, Celestial Arts (2002)
  4. Nancy Allison. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines, The Rosen Publishing Group (1999)
  5. Servan-Schreiber, D. The Encyclopedia of New Medicine: Conventional & Alternative Medicine For All Ages, Rodale International Limited (2006)


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