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
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 of Ortho-Bionomy®
402 850 0752

Ortho-Bionomy® and the Sand Dollar design are registered trademarks of the Society of Ortho-Bionomy International, Inc. and
are used with permission.

©The Healing Connection, All Rights Reserved.
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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
Art by Jacqueline Bequette - ŠThe Healing Connection