Gerda discovered while working in Oslo with patients combining psychotherapy and
massage that during the treatment at times the client's intestines were "talking" and
the sounds (tummy rumblings) grew stronger especially when the clients expressed
emotions. She started using a stethoscope on herself and on her clients to listen to
Gerda noticed, that when she massaged the body in certain areas and in different ways
she managed to initiate the sounds and reduce the excess fluid in the patient’s tissue.
In addition, the depth of touch changed the volume of the sounds (psycho-peristalsis)
and their quality.
“The psychological effect was remarkable; the patients might have come to the
session feeling desperate or depressed; but as soon as the fluid pressure in the
tissue was more normal they would feel 'light', at peace with themselves.
(M.L. Boyesen, 1974).”
She realized that there was a connection between physical pressure and emotional pressure.
Through these reactions she could find the locations in the body that accumulated stress,
fears, depression, psychosomatic symptoms and emotional memories, stored in the body.
The treatments could also bring to the surface psychological and mental distress and work
with them. At the end of the treatment, the client reported a sense of wellbeing and
peacefulness as the body has returned to Homeostasis. Gerda named this function of
the intestines "Psycho-Peristalsis."
This is Gerda Boyesen’s unique and important contribution to the field of Body – Psychotherapy.
Combining psychotherapy with massage (with Psycho-Peristalsis) for healing of physical
and mental conditions, refined her work and opened the possibility for a wide-range of
people to get body psychotherapy.