Ortho Bionomy: What is It and Should I Be Doing It?
Roki Prunali | Saturday March 10th 2018
Ever since we met up with super stylist Julie Ragolia (stay tuned for more on that soon), I can’t get out of my head our conversations about her ortho-bionomist. First off, we had no clue what that even meant, but, curious to where this was going, Tamu and I listened carefully to see if this is a bandwagon we should be jumping on.
A constant “huncher”, my back has given me problems throughout the years. Shooting up like a bean sprout at a very early age, I was often the tallest in my class, which made me hunch over to make the height difference a little less noticeable. Fast-forward to 30 years later and I have not given up the whole Quasimodo schtick. Chronic hunching combined with an enormous toddler that only wants mommy “up” time means my back is not in the best of shape. I make it a priority to have some Me Time with massages, but it seems to be only temporary relief. So, once I learned about ortho-bionomy, I was naturally ready to give it a try.
What is ortho-bionomy?
This rather new practice, developed in 1976 by Brisith osteopath Arthur Lincoln Pauls, stems from the idea that the body encompasses correcting reflexes, achieved by simply positioning your body gently. You may have never heard of the practice, because for the most part, massage therapists integrate ortho-bionomy into other treatments.
According to the ortho-bionomy official website, it is “a gentle, non-invasive, osteopathically-based form of body therapy which is highly effective with chronic stress, injuries and pains or problems associated with postural and structural imbalances.” The whole point of this method is to put your body gently into comfortable positions to then break up stress and pain patterns. Through these movements, you may self-stimulate reflexes to lengthen and contract the muscle system.
Of course, I had to try this for myself. I have to admit, during my session I was waiting for that A-ha! moment to actually feel something. After questioning which position was more comfortable, I was beginning to doubt the very (very, very) gentle movements he was using to manipulate my body. When he lifted me off the table, anxious to feel any difference, I planted my feet on the floor. The most notable difference was the disappearance of my hunching. Normally, standing up straight is painful, and the effort that goes into being completely erect tires me out. Hence, the go-to hunch. Now, I was completely upright without even trying.
For lasting results, I believe that ortho-bionomy would be a method you have to fully commit to. To help break pain cycles and patterns, movements over time will teach your muscles and joints how to release the tension. With this inner self-healing, the muscle patterns will be corrected, and you will remember the natural ability to move with ease.
If you’re suffering from chronic muscle pain, this might be a long term game-changer.
Polaroid Picture Courtesy of Laura Berger