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Ortho-Bionomy is a gentle, non-invasive method of therapeutic bodywork which uniquely addresses pain and stress patterns and promotes structural balance and ease of movement.

How does Ortho-Bionomy Work?

Ortho-Bionomy differs from many forms of body work in that it doesn’t use pain to treat pain, or use forceful work to oppose what is structurally occuring within the body.
Instead, Ortho-Bionomy interacts with the natural movement and structural patterns of the nervous system. These natural patterns are what allow our body to heal when injured.

But sometimes, through injury, chronic pain, incorrect posture, repetitive overuse, disease or even aging, these patterns for self correction become overridden, confused, or inaccessible to the nervous system, and natural recovery can't occur.

When we work supportively with the patterns currently at play within the body instead, of attempting to forcefully overpower them, information can be given to the nervous system that creates a follow-on effect through the body's natural reflexes. This allows corrections to occur comfortably for clients.

Ortho-Bionomy Practitioners are trained to assess imbalances in the body that may cause pain or dysfunction. Then using gentle but deliberate movement, practitioners assist and track the client’s body as it accesses the self-corrective capacity, to return to optimum health.

  • The client remains fully clothed and the practitioner usually works with him or her on a bodywork table. Although, depending on circumstances, the practitioner may work with the client seated or standing as well.
  • After discussing the client's state of health and the presenting issues, both the practitioner and client work together to assess and support the self-correcting patterns related specifically to the issues or conditions that the client is experiencing.
  • Each treatment is unique to any other. The treatment is not prescribed nor does it follow any specific format. Rather the practitioner works with what presents at that moment in time, following the body’s responses, guided by the body in this way throughout the treatment. As areas release, compensatory patterns may arise and can also be balanced.
  • In conjunction with specific physical movements, Ortho-Bionomy treatment is guided by a set of principles the practitioner applies throughout the client's treatment.
  • Exaggeration of what is currently presenting in the body : This allows the nervous system to become aware of imbalances that may have become the norm. For those reading this with an understanding of anatomy and physiology, Ortho-Bionomy stimulates the proprioceptive receptors within the parasympathetic nervous system. Once activated, the parasympathetic nervous system begins the processes of self correction. The parasympathetic nervous system is the “rest, digest and restore” aspect of the nervous system so, as well as physical recovery, activation brings a wonderful sense of relaxation for the client.
  • Doing less so the client’s nervous system can do more : By giving a little information to the system, and tracking what the system does with it, the system learns the vital neural pathways which allow corrections to become permanent.
  • Not using pain to treat pain : Humans can only heal from a place of comfort and support. The body’s pain receptors have “top priority” in the system. The self corrective receptors cannot be “heard” when there is pain. So by treating any condition with pain, it undermines self correction.
  • No attachment to specific outcomes : If change is not able to occur in an area of pain, we explore where change can take place. By assuming the area that is painful is the cause of the problem, it may limit the way we work and the body's ability to correct. Sometimes a sore tight neck, may be the result of a shoulder imbalance, or even pelvic or lumbar issues.
  • All levels of the work embody these principles : Ortho-Bionomy has the potential to interact with all levels of the client’s existence, from the purely physical structure of the bones, to the way the fluids and connective tissues allow movement, through to cranial exploration, working in the emotional body, and exploring the client's relationship with the world around them. These levels give the practitioner options to best meet the needs of individual clients.

Because of the gentle nature of Ortho-Bionomy, this work is very helpful for many different types of problems and conditions.
Among those are:

Injuries including :
  • Joint and muscle pain and dysfunction
  • Whiplash trauma
  • Repetitive strain injuries
  • Rotator cuff injuries
  • Knee pain
  • Ankle and foot sprains
Chronic Pain including :
  • Neck and back pain
  • Frozen shoulder
  • Migraines
  • TMJ (Jaw) dysfunction
  • Osteoarthritis
Structural Imbalances including :
  • Postural imbalances
  • Scoliosis, kyphosis, lordosis
  • Post surgery rehabilitation—especially with joints and scar tissue
  • Leg length discrepancies
  • Bunions
Autoimmune Disorders including :
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Thyroid imbalances
Stress-Related Symptoms including :
  • General achiness or fatigue
  • Disrupted sleep patterns
  • Physical conditions associated with emotional stresses (depression, trauma, shock, anxiety)

Techniques range from the purely physical to the purely energetic. This allows the practitioner to employ techniques which are best appropriate for each client and each condition at that time.

Some of these techniques include :
  • Positional release
  • Range-of-motion exploration
  • Isometric and isotonic techniques
  • Gentle rocking
  • Static holding
  • Subtle or minute movements
  • Work in the energy field of the body
  • Cranial and visceral balancing
  • Neurolymphatic balancing
At no time does the practitioner persist with the use of any movements or contact that cause further discomfort for the client. Each treatment is unique, never a prescribed process, because the human condition differs from one moment to the next and will benefit from different interactions each time.
At the end of the session the practitioner may identify self-care exercises for the client to do after or between sessions. These are designed to support the work done in the session, and to retrain the body in its new patterns.
These exercises are very comfortable, easy to do, and will only take a minute or two of time.
Clients are encouraged to receive two to four sessions initially. A week or two between sessions gives the body an opportunity to fully integrate the structural changes that arose in the previous session. Because an Ortho-Bionomy treatment gives the body information on which to build recovery, the process continues for days after the session. After 3-4 sessions the clients progress can be reviewed, and an on-going programme of self care and/or additional individual sessions can be developed through mutual communication.