November 16, 2018
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EVA RENATE REICH, M.D.

HANCOCK – Eva Renate Reich, M.D., an internationally known lecturer and resident of Hancock for more than 50 years, died Sunday, Aug. 10, 2008, in her daughter’s arms at her home on Hancock Point Road. She was 84 years old and had been in failing health for some time after a spinal stroke in 2001. Dr. Reich was born April 27, 1924, in Vienna, Austria, the daughter of two luminaries in the world of Freudian Psychoanalysis, Wilhelm Reich, who died 1957 and Annie (Pink) Reich, who died 1970. She and her younger sister, Lore, immigrated with their mother to the U.S. in 1938 and lived in New York City. Eva attended Barnard College and Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania, earning her degree in medicine, completing her residency in medicine in 1951, to become a general practitioner, akin to family practice. She met William “Bill” Moise, the artist, who died in 1980, while both working at her father’s laboratory in Rangeley. There they studied orgonomy, a science of energy and body therapy, and participated in many of Wilhelm Reich’s experiments. In 1952 Eva and Bill moved to Hancock, where she opened a small medical practice out of her home while Bill taught art in the schools. At the age of 28, and the first female doctor in the area, Eva soon became loved and respected as a country doctor. During the 1950s, Eva and Bill were deeply involved in her father’s work. After Wilhelm Reich’s death, while he was imprisoned for his scientific ideas in 1957, Eva plunged herself even more deeply into her rural private medical practice. She applied many of the principles she had learned from her father with good results. Ahead of their time, she and Bill lived simply and operated a small organic farm, where they were forerunners in the organic food movement. Eva preached the benefits of natural food, gentle birth and mother-child bonding long before these ideas entered the mainstream. In 1960 Eva gave birth at home to a daughter, Renata Moise. She closed her medical practice in 1962, after suffering herself the loss of several pregnancies. She ran a Montessori school in her home for Renata and neighboring children from 1963 to 1966. In 1970 she established mobile birth control clinics for all ages, which served Central and Eastern Maine. Eva’s principle was to make her efforts available at low cost or free. After her divorce from Moise in 1974, Eva traveled around the world, lecturing on and demonstrating her father’s work, as well as her own. She eventually traveled to 30 countries and rounded the world eight times, giving lectures on orgonomy, gentle birth, breast-feeding, sexuality, organic foods, baby massage, as well as running therapeutic workshops. Throughout her life Eva championed peace, stating that peace on earth begins in the uterus. Eva developed a gentle orgonomic treatment for upset infants and colicky babies. She coined the term “Butterfly Baby Massage,” since the touch used was as gentle as the touch used to pick up a butterfly. This method is currently in use, especially in Austria and Germany. In Berlin there are special “ambulances” which rush to houses where babies are crying inconsolably, using Eva Reich’s methods to calm the babies. She also found that this level of touch worked with adults and children, melting away the body tension rather than breaking it down. Summers she returned to the farm in Hancock to be one with the land. Although not affiliated with a church, Eva felt led by God. In the U.S. and Europe students carry on her ideas, and she is regarded as the founder of gentle bioenergetics. Video documentaries have been made about her life and work. After her retirement in 1992, due to a small stroke, she lived year round on the farm, able to garden, ski, canoe, hike and teach those who sought her. Even in her disability, she brought deep lessons to all who cared for her and she was profoundly grateful for the care she received from her helpers. A few months before her death, she remark-ed that, “All old people need is to be loved.” Dr. Reich is survived by her daughter, Renata Moise and son-in-law, Antonio Blasi, both of Hancock; her grandson, William Christopher Ross of Trenton; her sister, Lore Rubin of Pittsburgh; her brother, Peter Reich and his wife, Susan, of Leverett, Mass.; her cousin, Sigrid Kirsners of Boston; as well as much loved nieces and nephews. A memorial service will be held 4 p.m. Monday, Aug. 18, at Monteux School Forest Studio, Hancock. All are welcome back to Eva’s house after at 53 Point Road for food, music and talk, with a walk down Eva’s path to the shore. Donations in Eva’s name may be sent to the public health nonprofit Downeast, Health Services, 52 Christian Ridge Road, Ellsworth, ME 04605.


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