Is there a way to work with our bodies that not only overcomes pain and injuries, stress or anxiety but also supports our overall sense of wellbeing? As an Ortho-Bionomy practititioner, I believe there is.
One of the great untapped potentials of the human body is its inherent capacity for self correction. Ortho-Bionomy is a way of tapping into our own extraordinary ability to repair after injury, restore ease and return to our innate preference for balance and comfort.
Ortho-Bionomy is a non-invasive system of bodywork that supports healing after injury, structural balance and a more coherent functioning of the body as a whole.
After treatment clients will often say to me that they have they are experiencing less pain, increased range of motion, more ease of motion, better structural balance, increased relaxation, increased vitality and emotional balance and an increased sense of wholeness and well-being.
Not only does the tension and pain resolve but they are left feeling a whole lot better within themselves and feel more equipped to approach their sport, their circumstances and their life in a more confident way.
Developed by English Osteopath and martial artist, Arthur Lincoln Pauls, Ortho-Bionomy supports and allows the self-correcting capacity of the person. As a martial artist, Pauls had recognised the body’s ability to quickly regain and maintain balance and sought to discover how to make use of this in his osteopathic practice when working with clients. What he found was that when he interacted with the body through the use of gentle movement and positioning combined with light compression into the joints the body is able to respond in a way that reduces the tension, corrects the structural imbalance and alleviates the pain, all with remarkably little effort.
Contrary to what many of us experience when we see someone for an injury or in pain, Ortho-Bionomy focuses on the comfort of the client so at no time does the practitioner do anything that makes the pain worse or causes discomfort. Rather than working directly through deep tissue massage or manipulation, Ortho-Bionomy is non-forceful and indirect.
What does this look like in practice?
We know that the body has a natural tendency to move away from pain. The practitioner will therefore support the client by allowing and following that movement which invariably leads to a position of comfort. Paradoxically this position of comfort is also an exaggeration of the imbalance that they already have.
For instance, if there is a twist in the vertebrae of the spine causing pain or restriction, the practitioner will move the body into a position which slightly exaggerates that spinal twist (which will be experienced as being comfortable). By “showing” the client’s tissues what it is doing, the tissues will have a response, and that response will generally be in the direction that leads to the relief of the tension and pain.
There are a whole range of conditions that practitioners of Ortho-Bionomy can treat. These include acute physical injuries throughout the body, for repair following surgery, chronic pain conditions including frozen shoulder and migraines, postural imbalances like scoliosis, auto-immune disorders and stress related conditions that might include anxiety, stress or trauma. In doing so the work also stimulates long lasting changes by re-educating the client’s body so that it can maintain balance and more coherent functioning on it’s own.