Sometimes I work on people who have amazing experiences of healing. I don’t put myself out as a “healer” because I would rather empower you. Then, what is happening with the amazing experiences, the unexpected woo? It’s not in me. The healing is in you.
Ortho-Bionomy® and Self-Corrective Healing Reflexes: Not Woo
I usually explain Ortho-Bionomy® in terms of its origins in Osteopathic Positional Release and the principles of Judo. These follow the direction the body is already going. For example, I will support a contraction with a slight compression, so your body may release into ease and comfort.
I may explain to you the neuroscience behind reflex responses: how tissues signal the brain from pressure, contraction, pain, muscle tension. I explain how I move your body around a tender spot so the brain returns a signal to relax. That covers most healing experiences.
What about the other 5-10%, the times when there are profound, amazing, inexplicable healing, or when the healing goes beyond the physical, accessing deeply buried issues? It might be about it being the right time.
The Woo In You: Is It Time to Heal?
How ready you are to heal, how much you have been on the edge of pain, or frustration? Is now the time for change? Perhaps you are willing to experience your feelings and get free when some unpleasant memories come up. Or perhaps you have locked the muscles around your throat, and blocked what you want to say, and are ready to let go.
It your choice to focus on the pain, use mindful breath work, be willing to move gently through pain, emotions, memories. It is your attunement to yourself and signals from your body, that can release old contractions, limiting beliefs, outmoded habits or identities, in order for the healing to go deeper. Or not. I am here to support you in whatever you, and the intelligence of your body choose and are able to express.
The Non-Doing Ortho-Bionomy®: Healing as Connection
In Ortho-Bionomy®, I sometimes practice a nondoing, witness state. The formless, sometimes touchless practice of Unphased Ortho-Bionomy®1 is not widely advertised. It has to do with connection, with being in right relationship, me with you, and you with yourself. It honors the intelligence of the body in finding ease or comfort as a path to heal. In research lingo, it would fall under the National Institutes of Health NCCAM department that investigates bio-field therapies.
Physical Pain Release is Easy to Explain
To regain freedom of movement, release tension and pain, find deep relaxation is not woo. It is a normal part of healing when your body feels safe. When your body stops guarding from a perceived or remembered threat, it stops trying to protect with tension. That is why the techniques of Ortho-Bionomy are so gentle. I do not push past your body’s resistance, but trust the intelligence of the body. For chronic pain, I may use my neuro skills, mind-body skills, research knowledge, and always listen with my ears, hands and heart.
Woo is Harder to Explain, for Now
Dr. Jon Lieff, a geriatric psychiatrist and neuroscientist, has noted3 that most of our current scientific understandings have only been revealed in the last 10 years. So, what is considered woo now, may become more easily understood as research explains the probable mechanism of why something works.
However, there are differing opinions. The Skeptic’s Dictionary: “Woo-woo (or just plain woo) refers to ideas considered irrational or based on extremely flimsy evidence or that appeal to mysterious occult forces or powers.”4
Deepak Chopra has a different take: “…’woo woo’ is a derogatory reference to almost any form of unconventional thinking…” He continues, “No matter that this broad brush would tar not just the Pope, Mahatma Gandhi, St. Teresa of Avila, Buddha, and countless scientists who happen to recognize a reality that transcends space and time.”5
If, like Deepak Chopra, the Pope, Gandhi, St. Teresa and Buddha you recognize a reality that transcends space and time, you may find that the healing potential of what is not yet known, the woo, is in you, and it may show up in an Ortho-Bionomy® session at Integration Massage.
References, More Info:
1 To give you a taste of what more experienced Ortho-Bionomists might say: Richard Valasek is an Advanced Ortho-Bionomy® Instructor, here. Sara Sunstein is an Ortho-Bionomy® Instructor and my training advisor.
2 National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, also Biofield Therapies: Helpful or full of hype?
3 Jon Lieff, M.D., Searching for the Mind.
4 Robert Todd Carroll, Skeptic’s Dictionary.
5 Deepak Chopra, “Woo Woo is a Step Ahead of (Bad) Science”
For more about how Rosi uses Ortho-Bionomy®, see here. Ortho-Bionomy® is a registered trademark of the Society of Ortho-Bionomy®, International, and is used with permission. Rosi Goldsmith is an Associate Member of SOBI.