What happens in a standard Ortho-Bionomy treatment?

When I have a new client, I note their name, address, telephone number, date of birth, weight, height, their job (as this gives me important information with regards to their possible posture), whether they take any medication. The dosis for medication for high or low blood pressure or for thyroid treatment can be affected by an ortho-bionomy treatment, and I inform the clients of this possibility.

Then I let the client talk; let them tell me their story of what hurts, and maybe why, listening carefully to the information between the lines, often enquiring about their level of stress, enquiring about previous operations or scars, as these may have left a physical and/or an emotional mark on the body

I document exactly where the pain is, how long they have had the pain and whether there were any possible incidents that may have caused the pain or are associated with the pain. If there is a restriction of movement we test and document the level of restriction

I inform them about the Ortho-Bionomy and how I work, clarifying with them that they should feel no pain and no physical or emotional discomfort during the treatment. If they should do so, then they should inform me immediately and I will stop whatever I am doing.

I then assess and document the posture of the patient whilst standing, kyphose or lordose of the spine, the alignment of the pelvis, shoulders, back and neck.

The client will then lie on the treatment bed/couch and will be made comfortable, with possibly a cushion or maybe two under the head, and often a cushion under their knees and then will I start to work.

I first make contact with the body by touching the shoulders with both hands. Here I become my first impression of the state of the body, by being able to feel the inherent movement within the body. Is there movement? Or is the body in a state of shock, in which case there will be very little inherent movement. Where does this movement go? More to the right? More to the left? Or is it a harmonious figure-of-eight across the shoulders? Where do the fascia “pull” me to? Which parts of the body attract my attention, and are therefore maybe calling for some help? For example, the pelvis, the liver?

I also show the client the basic principle of the Ortho-Bionomy via the shoulders as well as how much force I will use during a treatment. For example, if one shoulder is lower than the other then I will exaggerate this posture, pressing slightly down on the lower shoulder and raising the other via the arm, thus helping the body into its position of most ease – moving it in the free direction. This describes the basic philosophy behind our structural techniques. I tell the client that I will never use any more force than used here, which for many clients removes the fear of pain during the treatment and allows them to relax. Whilst waiting in this position I then usually feel the lower shoulder beginning to move upwards and the higher shoulder beginning to move downwards, as the body begins to correct its previous posture. I will follow this movement, therefore continuing into the Ortho-Bionomy dynamic technique. Many clients will feel this movement too.

If the pelvis of the client was misaligned whilst standing, I will then complete a myofascial release between one shoulder and the diagonal pelvis, repeating this on the other side. At this point the body often responds with digestive noises, indicating that it has already reached a parasympathetic state. Which is exactly what we need for the rest of the treatment!

If the pelvis was misaligned I will then often complete a visceral treatment of the liver, particularly if the client reported that they were under stress. From my experience this can be extremely effective in releasing the pelvis as much of the inner visceral fascia tension is released.

I then check the leg length of the client, as this will indicate whether the ilium has realigned or not. If there is a leg length difference then I will first treat the ilium on the side of most pain, if the client had pain in this area. If not then I will first treat the ileum posterior, with the shorter leg, using a combined structural and dynamic technique.

Here, for example, I gently position the upper leg as the client lies on their side to exaggerate the posterior rotated ileum. This means that their lower leg will be straight and their upper leg bent, resting on a cushion. I then give a gentle impulse against the top of the ileum of the upper leg in the direction of the posterior rotation, thus exaggerating this posture. I then wait and follow any internal movements that may come, which is then going into the dynamic technique. Usually the ileum will first move into the posterior position but will then gently come back into its neutral position. No force, no manipulation and no high velocity thrusts!

Rechecking the leg length difference, if not now the same, I will then treat the ileum anterior on the other side also with a combined structural/dynamic technique, similar to that described above. In most cases the legs will now be the same length, indicating that the ileum part of the pelvic ring is now straight. This usually takes about 3-4 minutes.

  • Just as an aside here, this technique is very simple to carry out and very simple to learn. I have wished for many years that doctors would recognise this too, as then so many people with back pain could so easily be helped……Looking at It simply, from the mechanics, if the pelvis is misaligned, the vertebrae will be misaligned and the back will hurt. If the pelvic ring is realigned the vertebrae have a chance to reorganise and sit straight on top of one another, and the pain will often improve.

In order to align the whole pelvic ring, I would now check the symmetry of the pubis and the symphyse, if necessary treating again, for the ladies, with a gentle structural technique in the free direction or following the internal movements that come with a dynamic technique and for the lads, with an isometric technique.

Next the client will turn over and lie on their tummy in order that I can treat the sacrum, again with either a gentle structural technique, moving in the free direction or with a dynamic technique, just following the internal movements that come.

And to complete the work on the pelvis I would palpate the sacral-iliac joints in order to ascertain if they were sensitive or painful and treat accordingly, either with a structural or a myofascial technique.

A check of L5 and L4, (L5 sits directly on the sacrum and if this has moved then L5 and L4 etc. may also need realigning), as well as a check of the lumbarsacral transition, again treating with a gentle structural (always in the free direction) or dynamic technique (following the movement offered by the body), and if necessary testing and treating the rest of the lower back.

Finally, the fascia of the lower back and if required the upper back, will also be released.

It is usual that only then, will I continue to work with other parts of the body!

If the pelvic ring is misaligned, there will be little long-term effect treating other areas of the body, as the pelvic ring is the basic building block for the body. If the pelvic ring is misaligned, the back, the shoulders, the neck, the jaw and the head will be misaligned. If the pelvic ring is misaligned, the ilia rotated, one leg longer than the other, there will be non-physiological loading on all of the joints of both legs. If the pelvis remains misaligned, then the problems will always reoccur, and new compensation mechanisms will be developed by the body in order to try to cope.

So, if for example the client came with pain in the right shoulder, I would now begin to work with other parts of the body associated with the right shoulder, e.g.
– the general posture of the body, are they bent to the left or the right?
– the diaphragm
– the thorax
– the associated organs, e.g. the liver and the gall bladder with the right shoulder, (the stomach with the left shoulder)
– the joints and muscles of the shoulder girdle including the shoulder blade
– the upper back
– the neck.

And then I will treat the right shoulder directly. And because the body has already experienced one hour, maybe two separate hours of treatment, before I go directly to the point of pain; because the body is deeply relaxed, in the parasympathetic state; because the body is now aligned, the pelvis is straight, the shoulder girdle and vertebrae also aligned, the fascia released……..now the right shoulder can often let go, and the muscles melt and relax during an intensely focused dynamic treatment where the body leads the dance of movement, followed by the Ortho-Bionomy practitioner, testing and retesting its newly found range of movement.

At the end of the treatment the client is allowed to rest and relax for a few minutes before getting up from the couch when I will check that they feel comfortable before they leave.

It can be so simple 😊 …….particularly with the horses. We humans, tend to question and challenge everything. If it’s good and feels right the horses just let go.