body armoring (b·dē-är·mr·ing),
n a mentalmuscle reflex mechanism in the body, first described by psychologist Wilhelm Reich. It involves tensing of muscle tissue whenever stress or emotion is experienced. To protect itself, the body takes a defensive, tight, and stiff stance. On a tissue level it enters into a muscular holding pattern that resists change and release. Unexpressed emotions such as anger, fear, and grief are common causes of this phenomenon.