Ortho-Bionomy® - A Philosophical Perspective By Ric Chamberlin, LMT
When explaining to people what exactly the bodywork therapy Ortho-Bionomy is I find myself repeating statements over time to the same people. This is likely a failing of my own. My short, concise, description is rather dry and does little to really unravel its depths:
Ortho-Bionomy is a natural form of body therapy that uses comfortable positions and gentle movement to release patterns of pain and tension. Safe and gentle yet profoundly effective, Ortho-Bionomy works "with" the body, stimulating inner awareness and the natural ability to move towards comfort and balance.
Ortho-Bionomy is best explained by exploring its philosophy.
What Are The Philosophies of Ortho-Bionomy?
Go with the flow. Follow the path of least resistance.
Meet the individual where they are.
Acknowledge and honor what is, without judgment
Don't fix; Allow change rather than impose it.
Follow rather than lead.
All movement is towards comfort. No pain to release pain.
Honor the innate wisdom of the body, the ability of the body to heal itself.
Allow the individual a greater experience of themselves.
The above rather extensive list shows both complexity in it's varied aspects and simplicity in its purpose which could be shorted to...
Acknowledge, without judgment, what is and allow it to change.
The best way to approach Ortho-Bionomy philosophy is through demonstration.
Of key importance is finding the patterns being held in the body and acknowledging them. This is often done by exaggerating what the body is already doing. If certain muscles are tightened the body is trying to accomplish something, usually trying to protect us. Exaggerating the tension through gentle positioning gives the body more of what it wants, helping it achieve its goal. Invariably exaggerating brings more comfort. This becomes information stimulating the nervous system, the mechanism that gives our body awareness of itself. As the body gains awareness of where comfort is, it is free to let go of the tension it has been holding.
Many forms of therapy involve fixing the body, telling it that where it is now is not OK, and then moving or coaxing the body to where we think it should be. Often times this works, but many times it doesn't. The body is holding tension for a reason. Until we acknowledge it, the holding pattern will not let go regardless of what we do.
With Ortho-Bionomy we simply acknowledge what is. This acknowledgment contains no judgment. We honor what is, showing the body what it is doing, increasing the body's awareness of itself. Once the practitioner has accomplished this their role is simply that of an observer or witness, waiting for the client to take the next step. In other words the practitioner does nothing. The key philosophy of Ortho- Bionomy is being rather then doing. As the client starts to unwind tension the practitioner follows them, staying present with the changing state of what is.
Awareness allows the body to evolve to a new place, unwinding tension as it goes. Ortho-Bionomy is often referred to as having a conversation with the body rather than having an argument. The practitioner applying their presence without judgment or trying to force change allows the client to gain awareness of where comfort is. The body has the ability to seek comfort and balance on it's own. Ortho-Bionomy stimulates this innate ability. This newly found awareness enhances the clients’ sense of empowerment and allows inner healing and balance to occur.
Since Ortho-Bionomy is gentle and acknowledges rather than imposing or fixing it enhances our sense of safety. Feeling safe to be who we are allows us to transcend the resistance to change we often feel. Because of the body, mind, spirit connection and the practitioner meeting the client where they are, Ortho-Bionomy can be transformative on all levels.
Another way to think of this is that Ortho-Bionomy is a body-based way to relate to ourselves and our world, teaching us how to "be" in our world.
Arther Lincoln Pauls, the creator of Ortho-Bionomy said it best; When you have an experience of yourself that's Ortho-Bionomy.
For more information, including conditions Ortho-Bionomy can help with, see the Ortho-Bionomy FAQ on The Healing Connection website. If you have questions or would like to schedule an appointment don’t hesitate to call or email.
Ric Chamberlin Registered Practitioner - Society of Ortho-Bionomy International ® Licensed Massage Therapist - State of Nebraska The Healing Connection 900 S 74th Plaza, Suite 116, Omaha, NE 68114 402 850 0752