ortho [ awr-thoh ]
bio [ bahy-oh ]
nomy [ nuh-mee ]
- the laws of.
- the study of.
Ortho-Bionomy® and the Sand Dollar design are registered trademarks of the Society of Ortho-Bionomy International, Inc. and are used with permission.
What is Ortho-Bionomy®?
Ortho-Bionomy® is a gentle, non-invasive, osteopathic-based form of body therapy. It differs from traditional massage is several ways. Sessions are done fully clothed. More importantly, muscle tension and pain are relieved by exaggerating dysfunctional patterns which the body’s own self-corrective reflexes then rebalance and release. Suggestions for exercises may also be given. No attempt is made to force the muscles to relax by stretching or kneading them.
Very subtle movements and positioning of the body engage the proprioceptive nervous system and the body’s innate Life Energy. This feels great, and promotes long-lasting structural change in the body. It is very effective in helping alleviate chronic and acute pain and stress patterns, reducing muscles tension, soothing the joints, increasing flexibility, improving circulation of blood and transmission of nerve impulses, relaxing the entire body, and creating an over-all feeling of well- being.
Ortho-Bionomy® was developed by Dr. Arthur Lincoln Pauls, a British osteopath and a black belt Judo Instructor, who wanted to find a way to work with the body which honored the body’s inherent wisdom. From his experience as a Judo instructor and through his training as an osteopath, he found ways of working with the body by exaggerating the body’s preferred postures, thereby permitting the body’s self-healing process to create greater balance and alignment. He discovered that by working WITH the body and not against it, the body could find balance on its own without having to use force to correct it. Dr. Pauls began teaching this work in the US in 1976, and has taught Ortho-Bionomy® extensively throughout Europe.
The term “Ortho-Bionomy® comes from “ortho” meaning correct or straight, “bio” meaning life, and “nomy” meaning the laws of, or the study of. Dr. Pauls defined the term then as “the correct application of the laws of life.” He stated “Ortho-Bionomy® is really about understanding your whole life cycle. Naturally, we focus on the structure because that is the literal skeleton upon which our life is built. When your structure works right, your circulation works better, you feel better, you think better.” (Kain and Berns, 1992)
How does Ortho-Bionomy® work?
As previously mentioned, Ortho-Bionomy® stimulates the body’s self-correcting and self-healing responses by way of the proprioceptive reflexes (proprioceptor sensory reflexes) located in our joints and muscles. The practitioner uses movement and gentle traction or compression to find positions of comfort which allow the body to change the stress and pain patterns which are causing the discomfort.
Ortho-Bionomy® also employs the homeopathic concept that what cannot be cured from within cannot be cured from without. Using gentle positioning and light touch, Ortho-Bionomy® stimulates inner awareness to awaken within the individual a sense of natural balance and well-being, both physically and emotionally. The inner wisdom of the body is recognized and affirmed. Self healing occurs as the body remembers its natural ability to move away from pain and toward ease.