Ortho-Bionomy is a holistic, non-forceful form of bodywork that is based in osteopathy. It is a re-education system that uses your body’s inherent self correcting reflexes to restore comfort and ease to your posture. Typically, this technique is used in a hands-on therapy session with a practitioner. Developed by osteopath Dr. Arthur L. Pauls, Ortho-Bionomy easily lends itself to self care.
Self care exercises are often used by a client after a session in order to maintain the postural balance achieved during the treatment.
Ortho-Bionomy works through your proprioceptive nervous system. This is the “wiring” in your body that tells you where you are in relation to space. Various noninvasive techniques are used in a session to increase your body awareness and to illicit a healing response. One example of this is placing a body part in its most comfortable position. By slackening the surrounding soft tissue and adding the slightest amount of compression into the affected joint, your body reflexively responds by repositioning the joint. There is no manipulation used in this realignment.
This noninvasive approach to bodywork is one of the key underlying principles of Ortho-Bionomy and why it is so effective when working with painful conditions. At the core of this technique is respect for the healing ability that our bodies possess. This natural healing process is facilitated and supported through
Ortho-Bionomy. Gentle techniques are used to work with the physical and energetic aspects of the individual.
The benefits of Ortho-Bionomy are many. It realigns structure, releases contracted muscles, eases fascia, increases the circulation of fluids, and restores one’s sense of ease and well being. Clients have found that this therapy can be beneficial for conditions such as discomfort from structural imbalances and compensatory patterns, backaches, headaches, injury and surgery recovery, scoliosis, restricted movement, TMJ, sciatica, thoracic outlet syndrome, plantar fasciitis, asthma, stress, and more. Consult with your individual Registered Practitioner.
Some of the same techniques that are used by a practitioner can be modified for your self care. By tuning into your body you are required to listen and feel, and thus discover your postural patterns. There are some simple exercises to use that can create comfort and ease within your body. Taking responsibility for your well being can be empowering.
An example of this is an exercise for easing lower back discomfort. The psoas muscles attach directly to the lower back (lumbar) vertebrae and are responsible for flexing and laterally rotating the hip joints. When they contract from physical and/or emotional stress, they create a direct pull on the lower back. By slackening these muscles, you can ease the pull.
- Lie on your back, face up, on the floor and prop up your lower legs on a couch (hip and knees joints are flexed).
- Focus on one leg at a time. Move one knee up toward your chest and then away (increase and decrease hip flexion). Somewhere in this range of movement is the most comfortable position for your hip and lower back. Keep your leg in this comfortable position.
- Turn out the same leg, away from your midline (laterally rotate) or in, toward your midline (medially rotate). Again, find the most comfortable position in this range of movement for your hip and lower back.
- You have now found the most comfortable position for this hip joint in flexion and rotation. Repeat this on the other side. Don’t try to match the two sides because they may be different.
- Rest in this position as long as it is comfortable.
Letting the muscles slacken by matching the pattern on each side eases the discomfort. There may be more to address with your lower back discomfort, but this is a great place to start.
Ortho-Bionomy is an effective way to re-educate dysfunctional postural patterns. The easy self care exercises can be used by anybody to help restore pain free balance within their body.