Sunday, June 13, 2010

Spa Girl discovers Ortho-Bionomy

Yesterday was a glorious summer day and a group of friends I have known for a long time all gathered to walk in the Relay for Life to raise money for cancer research. We all have been affected by cancer in one way or another, so helping to raise money to find a cure is so important.

Throughout the park there were the tents for all the team members to relax and get out of the sun, many had not only decorated there tents, but dressed for the occasion in all kinds of fun and funky outfits. There were also several food concessions and water stands a fitness tent and low and behold a massage therapists tent. Don’t you just love it when you least expect it, the spa girls are out and about!

Well as you know I cannot resist a good massage, so I booked myself in and ended up with a lovely woman who offered a variety of modalities. I decided to try an Ortho-Bionomy massage as I had never had one before.

The therapists told me Ortho-Bionomy was developed by a Dr. Arthur Lincoin Pauls, a British osteopath who wanted to work with the body in such a way that honoured its inherent wisdom. He found through his osteopathically-based work that by exaggerating the body’s preferred postures permitted the body to find its own balance and to heal itself. On further research Dr. Pauls began teaching Ortho-Bionomy in the US in 1976, and has also taught extensively throughout Europe.

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.

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 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)

As the massage therapist gently worked on me I felt an incredible heat, which she said was my own body healing itself. She used gentle compressions to find which way my body wanted to move and then held that position for a while before moving on to another location. Ortho-Bionomy is used to stimulate inner awareness and to awaken our natural balance and well-being both physically and emotionally.

All the while I was lying on a table, the sun splashing through an oak tree we were located under, and a lovely summer breeze blowing the sheets. It was heavenly, and when I closed my eyes I could picture being at the beach with the waves rolling in, the warm wind blowing and the most relaxed feeling coming over me.

Enjoying a fabulous summer day with good friends, raising money for cancer research and discovering Ortho-Bionomy, I’d say it was a pretty darn good day.

If you would like more information on Ortho-Bionomy check out these sites:

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