Emotional effector patterns are precise breathing and muscle manipulation patterns. Each effector pattern has three parts: (1) a breathing pattern, (2) facial expression, and (3) postural attitude. All three parts work together to create one effector pattern, or biological code, that directly stimulates nerves, cells and organs. The resulting pattern creates a physical code that opens the door for one particular basic emotion to express throughout the entire body.

The discovery of these patterns helped to create a physical method for evoking and regulating emotion. The patterns are based on scientific findings, independent of gender or social heritage influences, and result in the expression of basic universal emotions and modes of expression.

The emotional effector patterns were first discovered during research completed in Santiago, Chile at the University of Chile between 1971-1973, where Susana Bloch, a full professor of neurophysiology and her colleague, Guy Santibáñez, worked together in the Medical School’s department of Physiology and the department of Psychology. They also collaborated with Pedro Orthous, professor of Dramatic Art from the Drama department to bring the scientific discoveries of the emotional effector patterns into a physical emotion regulation method they called the BOS Method (using the letters from their last names to create BOS) 1. Later in the 1980s Susana Bloch developed her own approach to teaching the emotional effector patterns that she called Alba Emoting™.

Emotional Body® instructors have trained in the Alba Emoting approach to teaching the emotional effector patterns, and they have also developed workshops and courses that use different styles of teaching the emotional effector patterns, like those used in Emotional Body® courses. Emotional Body courses share a foundational somatic education teaching philosophy and style of instruction. 

Emotional Body courses have a distinct instructional style that includes: (1) a new language of emotional effector pattern labeling, (2) low intensity lessons when introducing the emotion patterns, (3) and somatic sensing lessons. The courses also include our signature text, The Emotional Body, which includes lessons on recent emotion research, emotional fluency and literacy, and physical and vocal expression development. Emotional Body instructors have a clear understanding of the distinctions between, and philosophies behind, the various instructional methods used in their courses, and they clearly identify them in their practice.


[1] Susana Bloch, Pedro Orthous, and Guy Santibáñez-H, “Effector Patterns of Basic Emotions: A Psychophysiological Method for Training Actors,” Journal of Social Biological Structure, 10 (January 1987) 1-19.