Ortho-Bionomy®: a way to follow your body’s intelligence
- Create comfort, don’t inflict pain.
I may palpate for a tender spot, and then position the body, limb, neck or ribs around that tender spot, until we achieve a position of comfort for you. I can often feel the relaxation of tissue under my finger when the position is right. Or, I may ask you which position feels more comfortable. I will hold it for a little bit in the position of comfort, until your body lets go. If it hurts, I will stop. I will ask you to speak up if there is any discomfort, either in the place I am working or any other place.
- Stimulate the body’s self-healing reflexes.
Positioning your body in ease reminds your body of what it’s forgotten, so it can self-regulate to heal. A muscle will release out of tension when it is in a shortened position, because the brain sends the reflex signal to let go. Sometimes, you let go of emotional tension as well.
- Affirm what is and be present for what is.
If someone is bent over, or has their head tilted to one side, they would be more comfortable curled up, preferably on their side, or on their back with their head tilted, until they release the cause of the changed posture. I assume your body has an innate intelligence, and I work with it. Your body knows how to seal up a cut that is bleeding and heal it, or stimulate your immune system to fight an infection. In the same way, it usually knows how to position each part of your body for the greatest benefit to you. Sometimes, there may be an old habit, or a posture that has adapted to chairs and computers, and your body may be contracting to try to ease the pain elsewhere. I exaggerate the direction your body aims to go, to give it the signal that it is being supported in what it is doing.
- Move with the body, don’t oppose anything.
I follow the body. When there are twists, I move the way the twists are going. When someone is rotated a certain way, Ortho-Bionomy® isn’t about correcting it, telling your body it is wrong or bad. Don’t you do that enough? Ortho-Bionomy is about following your body’s lead so it can self-correct.
- Client empowerment:
I find the positions that brought you the most relief. I may call your attention to the angle of your hip, for example, that brought out the deepest sigh. I show you how you can position your body at home, to continue the relief.
This was adapted from a July 23, 2013 interview with Sara Sunstein, Advanced Practitioner and Certified Instructor of Ortho-Bionomy®.
Ortho-Bionomy® is a registered trademark of the Society of Ortho-Bionomy®, International (SOBI), and is used with permission. Rosi Goldsmith is an Associate Member of SOBI.