What is Ortho-Bionomy?
Ortho-Bionomy is a gentle, non-invasive, Osteopathically-based form of body therapy which is highly effective in working with chronic stress, injuries and pains or problems associated with postural and structural imbalances. The practitioner uses gentle movements and positions of the body to facilitate the change of stress and pain patterns. A strong focus is placed on the comfort of the individual; no forceful manipulations are used. The practitioner also suggests home exercises that individuals can do to further facilitate the neuromuscular re-education process begun in the session. Ortho-Bionomy is very effective in helping alleviate both acute and chronic pain and stress patterns by reducing chronic muscle tension, soothing the joints, increasing flexibility, improving circulation, and relaxing the entire body.
Ortho-Bionomy was developed by Dr. Arthur Lincoln Pauls, a British trained Osteopath, 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 study of. Dr. Pauls defined the term then as “the correct application of the natural 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?
Ortho-Bionomy stimulates the body’s self-correcting and self-balancing reflexes by way of the proprioceptive reflexes located in our joints and muscles. The practitioner uses movement and gentle 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 person remembers their natural ability to move away from pain and toward ease.
Miracle Hands — Melissa N.
Ellen’s hands are truly a miracle. I came to Ellen in a lot of pain and with difficulty in walking. And I came to her after trying just about every kind of bodywork out there. Ellen’s very talented and her Ortho-Bionomy bodywork has made the most profound difference in my ability to move again. My posture changed. I can move and articulate my ribs, hip and spine in a very different way and my pain is gone. Plus she has so much energy in her hands and radiates so much kindness, it was a truly wonderful experience. I highly recommend her.