Although moola bandha is effective as a relaxation therapy technique, it is not primarily a physical practice. The physical contraction is merely a means to locate a psychic body component. Then the real work starts.

The unconscious mind is stimulated so that suppressed mental energy is allowed to surface into conscious awareness where we can deal with it through various yogic practices.

This release of emotional energy is called abreaction in modern psychological terminology, and was a technique propagated by Freud, Bruer, Brown and others. Freud discovered that remembering past dramas and memories was useless in the psychotherapeutic process unless emotional energy was released at the same time. This requires one to consciously relive an experience, thereby freeing one from dissipated and functional non-disintegrated energy that creates pain and suffering.

Abreactoin encourages the patient to emotionally relive or ‘abreact’ any terrifying or anxiety-provoking experiences which led to psychological disturbance and even breakdown. If the abreaction was successful, the effect was to stir up tense excitement in the nervous system, which often produced violent outbursts of emotion such as tears, anger, aggression, fear and laughter.

Moola bandha is nowhere near as violent a technique as drug abreaction, but it works on the same line at a more subtle level. The relaxation of the tension in the body allows suppressed energies to be released, bringing with them the conflicts and neuroses from the subconscious and unconscious depths, purifying body and mind. As a result we may experience styrange emotions, feelings and thoughts because of the practice, but these should be kept within perspective and realized to be manifestations of the cleansing process.

When the release of energy occurs through moola bandha, unconscious desires, anxieties and tensions surface. When this happens, the person, according to abreactive therapy, is encouraged to release the tension both emotionally and overtly. However, according to yoga, the release occurs through the practice of antar mouna — acting as a detached witness to all thoughts and emotion. Through mental and emotional arousal the mind is purged of unwanted stress and anxiety, and we feel cleansed, freed, revitalized.

If we imagine that our neuroses are fixed patterns of brain neurones and mental mechanisms which force us to react in predetermined ways, and therefore inappropriate to our environment, we can see how they destroy our lives. Usually the energy of these neuronal and mental circuits are outside the field of our awareness. Moola bandha and other energy-releasing techniques such as kunjal send the pranic energy directly to the brain and mind, increasing our circle of awareness, which naturally starts to include within it recognition of our neurotic patterns.

As soon as we start to become aware of ourselves, we can begin to change for the better. As a result of the elimination of mental and emotional problems, increased sensitivity is developed to one’s own internal and emotional environment. It is further heightened through practicing awareness. As sensitivity and awareness both expand, one’s internal vision is expanded, and in this way our mental problems can be solved as we can see the source or roots of the problems. Thus moola bandha is a means to cut the mental problems at the roots and so establish mental health and well-being.