The wellness journey is something I have been consciously embarking on throughout the last 6 years or so. It has not been a linear path whatsoever and a process I’m beginning to believe is one of a lifetime. Wellness, for me, has been a wholesome approach to my general well-being. Emotionally, physically, and spiritually or energetically. Through trial I’ve incorporated what works best (which is ever evolving) and eliminated what hasn’t fully served my well-being. Ortho-Bionomy is something that continues to be an active part of my healing journey and wellness regimen. Rooted in Osteopathy, Ortho emphasizes structural alignment of the body without force. Similar to chiropractic care but without cracking or crunching which could drive me right out of my body! Ortho-Bionomy could be more simply described as bodywork and/or energy work although once you dive into the whole of it all it seems like a universe all of its own.
“Ortho-Bionomy is a system of working with innate reflexes. Ortho-Bionomy bodywork introduces the concept of self-correcting reflexes as the basis for stimulating structural balance and client awareness. Gentle positioning is used to relieve joint and muscle pain and reduce stress. The work is non-forceful and indirect. Through the action of the proprioceptive nerves, natural self-correction reflexes are stimulated, allowing the client to sense the releases and relaxation of patterns of tension and distress. Due to the gentleness of the techniques, acute pain can be addressed as well as chronic conditions that require more of an ongoing process of rehabilitation. The client feels a part of the healing process and is empowered to awaken the potential within him or herself.” Luann Overmyer
I was first introduced to Ortho through my husband and mother in law. My mother in law, a breast cancer survivor, had developed fluid under her arm after a double mastectomy. She had the fluid medically drained, a grueling experience for her, and unfortunately it returned. Not wanting to endure the pain from draining it or the risk of it again returning she opted for a different approach. During her session (which typically run about an hour) the ortho-bionomist did not physically touch her, yet moved energy throughout my mother in laws body running her hands over top the area of buildup and the pocket drained never having returned. Sounds like miracle work right?
My husband on the other hand had an issue with his hips popping out of socket especially during soccer season. His doctor at the time told him surgery was the only option he had which was never an option in my husbands naturally inclined mind. He worked with an Ortho-Bionomist to return to his natural alignment and has not had an issue since. It is important to add that he is very in tune with his body because of it and knows if something is off which would encourage a hip to come lose. Body awareness and connection are naturally enhanced and infinitely increased through Ortho’s process.
Ortho was developed and founded by Arthur Lincoln Pauls, a British osteopath and Judo instructor. Pauls himself had often visited an osteopath for structural manipulation treatments and while he found them helpful he also found the beneficial effects were temporary. His intrigue to know more in regards to correcting structure and restoring lasting function lead Arthur to pursue osteopathy. By 1976 Pauls had developed the Phased Reflexed Techniques of Ortho-Bionomy. Ortho-Bionomy translates to mean correct life study or science of laws pertaining to life and phases were used as we tend to release in phases and at a pace that supports our unfurling, our healing. Think of the onion effect, peeling back layer after layer, revealing and releasing whatever is stored in each layer. As we travel through our life experiences we integrate those experiences into our movement patterns. We carry our traumas, fears, past injuries and emotions in our bodies. We adapt to our pain developing functional but limiting patterns.
We physically hold on to our stories and our walk becomes our song. What does yours sing?
For me personally Ortho has been an ongoing compliment to all of the other wellness centered practices I have incorporated into consistent routines like yoga, meditation, intuitive, conscious eating and more. They all meld seamlessly together creating a powerful medicine. In my first ever session over 5 years ago, I was told to relax which I thought sounded great but the reality of me relaxing in a foreign, intimate situation was far fetched. My ortho-bionomist followed “relax” with “it’s not as easy as it sounds”. Not only was she right but I realized how challenging relaxing is for most of us as people of society. We are always on the go and we often feel we have to earn relaxation when in fact it’s a key ingredient to living well. The more I thought about relaxing the less I relaxed but the more I focused on what was going on with my body, the subtle adjustments and natural encouragement, I started to feel emotions arise and with them the events attached.
As my body self corrected with the help of a facilitator I felt more space mentally and physically. Trudging through the stagnant muck that had accumulated over the years became easier in this way largely (I believe) because the physical pain was moving allowing the emotional heaviness to feel lighter as I moved through it. That’s really just scratching the surface of my experience. I had birth defects that no longer inhibit me, injuries from being an avid rower in high school have restored alignment and alleviated an incredible amount of physical discomfort, and most recently we are working to drain a cyst that sits inside my spine between two vertebras. To say ortho has been life altering would be a wild understatement and as my ortho bionomist likes to remind me “it’s our bodies natural ability” she’s just supporting the movement.
Are you familiar with Ortho-Bionomy? What have you incorporated into your life that has aided in your overall well-being? Share with me below and feel free to ask any questions! I’m always happy to interact and value our exchanges!
Thank you for joining me here and until next time..
Happy trails ♥
Quotes cited from The Development of Ortho-Bionomy®
Phew that was a long one! If you’re interested in geeking out on a lil more Ortho info scroll down below and read your hearts out! If you scroll over it I won’t judge you, promise!
“Pauls found that if you follow the movement patterns inherent in the tissue and are guided by the person’s own proprioceptive movement , they will come to self-correct their own structural faults with your support. At the same time, they can also release emotional and mental trauma that was generated by the injury. This work he called Phase Five. He developed Phase Five techniques to allow the person to direct their own self-correction while the practitioner follows and supports their autonomic proprioceptive movements. Pauls described this technique of self correction as a mentally-patterned, proprioceptive, nuero-etheric, muscular reflex.