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Disclaimer: The information contained on this page is intended for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for advice, diagnosis or treatment by a licensed physician. It is not meant to cover all possible precautions, drug interactions, circumstances or adverse effects. You should seek prompt medical care for any health issues and consult your doctor before using alternative medicine or making a change to your regimen.  

Myoskeletal Alignment Therapy

Myoskeletal alignment technique (MAT) is a type of bodywork which blends the principles ofosteopathy and structural integration to relieve chronic pain, and to reduce the potential for the emergence of pain which could become chronic over time. This technique is often integrated into regular massage and bodywork sessions, and it can also be used alone to treat systemic problems. Practitioners of myoskeletal alignment technique can be found in many regions of the world. The focus of this technique is on back and neck pain in particular, since this type of pain is extremely common in the industrialized world.

The basic idea behind myoskeletal alignment technique is that back and neck pain are caused by fundamental problems with the musculoskeletal system. Tight, stressed muscles contribute to pain by limiting freedom of movement, while weak muscles provide inadequate support for the body. This in turn leads to posture problems, stiffness, and other symptoms which create an endless cycle of pain. By addressing the fundamental issues in the muscles and fascia, practitioners hope to eliminate the associated symptoms.

Myoskeletal Alignment is a term developed and coined by Erik Dalton, PhD, in the early 80s after seeing a need for a more integrative perspective on pain science as it applies to the human body.

 The MAT program was developed as a tool to help relieve our nation’s neck/ back pain epidemic. By incorporating muscle-balancing techniques with joint-mobilization maneuvers, manual therapists learn to quickly identify and correct dysfunctional neurologically driven strain patterns before they become pain patterns.

Working in the pain-management field is a challenging, yet exceptionally rewarding, experience. Clients suffering from chronic pain are confronted by a unique disorder—a personal experience unlike any other physical malady. While an X-ray can confirm a broken bone and an infection can be detected by a simple blood test, there are no universally reliable tests available to measure pain levels. Because of this, many common musculoskeletal complaints are incorrectly assessed and treated.

To achieve a noticeable reduction of increased excitability in the neuronal pool, the pain-generating stimulus must be interrupted until the memory burned into the nerve cells has been completely forgotten. For many chronic-pain cases, a serial-type deep-tissue therapy works best when clients are seen twice weekly until hyperexcited receptors feeding the CNS are quieted. This process helps inhibit the chemical activation of pain at the site of its peripheral stimulation and often allows the brain to downgrade the condition and relieve protective spasm.

Of course, successful management of chronic pain depends on much more than intellectual knowledge. It must be teamed with keen observation skills, patience, compassion, and a constant reminder that the healer is, ultimately, within each client. Therapists only serve as helpful facilitators in the brain’s ongoing journey toward optimum health, and we must learn to gratefully utilize the body’s innate self-regulatory system to help guide the therapeutic process.

Despite the variety of pain-management approaches available in today’s ever-expanding bodywork field, the therapeutic goal should remain the same: restoration of maximal pain-free movement within postural balance.

Erik Dalton, Ph.D., created Myoskeletal Alignment Techniques and founded the Freedom From Pain Institute. Dalton’s broad therapeutic background in Rolfing and osteopathy is taught worldwide through pain-management workshops and home-study courses approved by NCBTMB, BOC, the Florida Board of Health and most state-certifying agencies. The Freedom From Pain Institute is licensed through the Oklahoma Board of Private Vocational Schools.

"The neuromusculoskeletal system must be assessed and treated as a whole, with muscle dysfunction considered in relation to the functional status of the whole motor system, including articular and nerve structures. Any change in the statics or dynamics of the distal trunk and lower extremities will, in some way, be mirrored in the function of the upper complex, and vice-versa." Vladimir Janda, M.D.

Erik Dalton, Ph.D

MAT

  

Sports Massage

Whether you are a professional athlete, a serious competitor, or just enjoy playing sports, taking care of your body properly can have many benefits. Competitions and serious training can wear your down and prevent your from being your best. Sports massage can be advantageous to help you compete at your highest possible level and avoid unnecessary injury.

What is Sports Massage?

Sports massage is a style of massage targeted to the needs of athletes and physically active adults. Developed in Europe during the 1920’s, sports massage was used to enhance the performance of Olympic athletes, helping them become stronger and more flexible. Since that time, advancements in techniques and the understanding of sports physiology have moved sports massage into the mainstream.

By blending several massage styles, sports massage can be used before, during, and after athletic events to enhance the performance and recovery of athletes. Sports massage can also be helpful for regular people by providing therapeutic relief of muscle stiffness and soft tissue injury resulting from strenuous exercise or injury.

If you are a competitive athlete, you should always seek a massage therapist with training to meet your specific needs. Sports massage therapists should possess advanced education in anatomy, physiology, and sports training. These foundations will enhance their understanding of the cause and treatment of injuries for various movements, as well as how to enhance performance of particular activities.

Techniques of Sports Massage

Sports massage uses the techniques from several different styles of massage to properly treat athletes. These often include Swedish massage, Shiatsu, trigger point therapy, and sometimes Chinese Tui Na massage. Every Sports massage therapist has their own preference in techniques depending upon their training and experience.

Using the correct techniques at the right time is important for sports massage:

  • Before a sports event: Invigorating sports massage techniques can be used to warm and activate your body, preparing the specific muscles for action. Vibration, shaking, or drumming techniques are best employed for this use. Avoid deep tissue massage at this time to prevent injuring muscle tissue.
  • After a sports event: Relaxing sports massage can be used to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, calming you down and normalizing the body. Swedish massage techniques of effleurage and petrissage should be used to smooth out the muscles; this will stimulate the circulation of blood through the tissues to remove lactic acid and other byproducts of metabolism.
  • Between sports events: Restorative sports massage can be used to enhance and support training regiments and prevent injury. Massage techniques to relax muscle tension and correct muscle imbalances are used to keep you in proper condition. Trigger point releases and reciprocal inhibition techniques can be used to target specific problem areas.
  • Injury rehabilitation: Corrective sports massage can be used to alleviate pain and dysfunction due to injuries. Compression of muscles and cross-fiber friction can decrease muscle spasms and break up adhesions between muscles. These deeper techniques can cause minor trauma to soft tissue that will activate the body’s natural healing response.

Benefits of Sports Massage

Here are several key benefits of Sports massage:

  • Periodic sports massage can keep your body in better condition: The more relaxed your muscles are, the better flexibility and strength you will have. Maintaining proper muscle tone is important in preventing injury.
  • Sports massage can help resolve old injuries: Some injuries heal on the their own, but many require treatment to return proper functioning of the muscle groups. Over time, old injuries can lead to imbalances in your body causing further problems as you overuse other muscles.
  • Sports massage can enhance your ability to recover from training: By healing faster, you can build your body stronger. Physical manipulation can often do more for your body than the latest supplements or nutritional fads.
  • Sports massage can help you stay active longer: Keeping your body in good condition will keep you performing longer. Sports massage can help you recover faster and speed healing time for injuries. Don’t let over-training or injuries prevent you from staying healthy for the long run.
  • Sports massage can help you relax: Even though the focus is on athletic performance, sports massage can still help you relax and unwind from the stresses of daily life.

 

Deep Tissue Massage

Deep tissue massage is a style of massage that is designed to get into the connective tissue of the body, rather than just the surface muscles. When a massage therapist performs this type of treatment, he or she uses a variety of techniques to deeply penetrate the muscles and fascia, loosening them and releasing tension. Many clients have a more intense experience with a deep tissue massage, but also feel that it is more beneficial, because it addresses deep-seated muscle pains. Like other types of massage, it is most beneficial when undertaken on a regular basis, so that therapist and client can work together to correct long term problems, relax the body, and prevent injury.

Most massage therapists have at least some deep tissue training, and are able to go deeper during a regular massage if necessary, but to get a truly good, deep massage, it is an excellent idea to go to a massage therapist who specializes in this type of treatment. Most spas have several massage therapists who can offer a basic deep tissue massage integrating a number of techniques and styles customized for your body for maximum impact. In addition, a number of specific schools of massage such as myofascial release and Rolfing are specialized massages, and some clients prefer to work with massage therapists who have studied these techniques. Experiment by trying several massage therapists to find the one that is right for you.

One of the defining differences between deep tissue and regular massage is the use of tools. A standard massage usually only involves the hands and lower arms of the therapist. During a deep tissue massage, however, the therapist will use elbows and fingers for deep, penetrating work in the muscle. In addition, penetrating tools such as ceramic, glass, or wooden props may be used as well. A deep tissue massage also tends to be very slow, and the massage therapist will use long, flowing strokes to ease in and out of the muscle. Going in too quickly can cause the muscle to tense up, which is not a desired reaction. Many massage therapists also maintain firm pressure at trouble spots for several minutes to achieve muscle release before moving on to the next area of the body.

When clients go to get a deep tissue massage, they should talk with the therapist about any outstanding issues they would like to see addressed in the massage. Most therapists are happy to concentrate on a single body part for an entire massage to achieve lasting results that the client will truly feel. It is also important to communicate with the massage therapist about pain; a massage should never hurt, and if it is painful, it will be counterproductive. The massage may be intense, but if a client starts to feel pain, he or she should communicate that immediately. At the end of the session, lots of water should be consumed to help the body express the toxins released during the massage.

Precautions

Deep tissue massage may not be safe for people who with blood clots (e.g. thrombophlebitis, deep vein thrombosis), due to the risk that they may become dislodged. If you have blood clots or are at risk of forming blood clots, it's essential that you consult your doctor first.

If you've had recent surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, or any other medical procedure, it's wise to check with your doctor before starting massage therapy. Some people with osteoporosis should avoid the deeper pressure of this type of massage. Massage should not be done directly over bruises, inflamed or infected skin, skin rashes, unhealed or open wounds, tumors, abdominal hernia, fragile bones, or areas of recent fractures.

Pregnant women should check with their doctor first if they are considering getting a massage. Deep tissue massage (or any strong pressure) should be avoided during pregnancy, but your doctor may suggest a massage therapist trained in pregnancy massage.

Tips and After Care

  • Don't eat a heavy meal before the massage.
  • If it's your first time at the clinic or spa, arrive at least 10 minutes early to complete the necessary forms. Otherwise, arrive 5 minutes early so you can have a few minutes to rest and relax before starting the massage.
  • A deep tissue massage may result in muscle soreness or tenderness, which may last a day or two. Your massage therapist may recommend icing any painful areas.
  • Drinking water after the massage may help to flush out toxins that are released from muscles and properly rehydrate muscles, which can help to reduce muscle aches and stiffness after a massage. 
  • Avoid strenuous activity after a massage.
  • Stretching can help to prevent muscle aches and pain after a deep tissue massage.

Disclaimer: The information contained on this page is intended for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for advice, diagnosis or treatment by a licensed physician. It is not meant to cover all possible precautions, drug interactions, circumstances or adverse effects. You should seek prompt medical care for any health issues and consult your doctor before using alternative medicine or making a change to your regimen.

 

Trigger Point Massage Therapy

The more stressed out and overworked you become, the more knots can be found in the muscles of your body. Sometimes, focal points of tenderness can be found, but in other cases, it seems that the pain covers a larger area of your body. Relaxing massage on the uncomfortable area may not be able to help the pain go away. One possible way to manage this constant pain is Trigger Point Massage Therapy.

What is Trigger Point Therapy Massage?

Trigger Point Massage Therapy, also known as Myofascial Trigger Point Therapy, is a form of physical manipulation used to relieve muscle skeletal pain caused by muscle spasm. Trigger points, the focal source of the muscle contraction, received their name from the twitch response that arises when they are pressed: a distinct, sharp, radiating pain. By discovering and dissolving these trigger points, you can release muscles from a dysfunctional state and relieve your pain.

Trigger Point Therapy was created by Janet G. Travell, MD, an innovative doctor who served as personal physician to Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Baines Johnson. With the help of David Simons, M.D., a U.S. Air Force flight surgeon, Travell wrote the text: "Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual.”

What is a Trigger Point?

Trigger points are areas in muscle tissue that have developed tender spots in taut bands of muscle. Often, we refer to trigger points as “knots” in our muscles. Trigger points are muscle cells that are locked in a contracted state, which can restrict range of motion, create muscle weakness, and create pain. Trigger Points develop due to poor posture or some other form of repetitive stress on the muscle. When these particular cells within a muscle are in spasm, there is limited blood flow through the area, leading to a build up of metabolic waste and a lack of fresh oxygen and nutrients. To release these trigger points, we need to “reset” these cells and allow the proper exchange of blood through the area.

Trigger points commonly occur either in the belly of muscles where the main nerves innervate or at the attachments of muscles. There are two main types of trigger points: active trigger points and latent trigger points. Active trigger points are in a state of constantly producing pain. Latent trigger points posses the same stiffness, restricted motion, and twitch response of active trigger points, but do not cause any pain. However, latent trigger points can easily be reactivated by strain or overuse of a muscle, leading to pain and discomfort.

Trigger points are primarily diagnosed through their characteristic twitch response, which creates a sensation of referred pain to areas called pain reference zones. Within these pain reference zones, satellite trigger points can develop due the increased stress on these muscles. The pain reference zones were fully mapped out by Dr. Janet Travell’s work and follow consistent patterns. An understanding of these zones is necessary to treat the pain effectively, as treating only “local” satellite trigger points will not permanently resolve the pain.

To relieve a trigger point, the practitioner will determine its exact location through palpation of the muscle, and then apply direct continuous pressure to the trigger point for approximately 10 seconds. While the pressing upon the trigger point can be rather uncomfortable, the relief provided by the subsequent relaxation of the muscle will be significant. It is common to perform this technique on a trigger point several times during a treatment session, as well as treating other trigger points that may work in conjunction to create the pain pattern you are experiencing.

Benefits of Trigger Point Therapy Massage

  • Trigger Point Therapy Massage can help relieve your muscular pain and stiffness: By balancing the muscles of your body, we can increase your muscle strength and range of motion, leading to an improvement in your posture.
  • Prevent latent trigger points from becoming active trigger points: Studies show that almost everyone has some trigger points that have developed in their muscles. Even if you are not experiencing pain, treating these trigger points can help your muscular functioning.
  • Clear trigger points to increase your muscular functioning: Trigger points prevent muscles from contracting correctly, making them seem weak. By clearing our trigger points, we can return the full ability to our muscle to provide strength, balance, and faster recovery from exercise.
  • Improve the health of your muscular system: Healthy muscles are soft and relaxed allowing proper flow of blood and nutrients. When you develop trigger points in your muscles, they become tight and tender to pressure.
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Massage Therapy for Arthritis

Although massage therapy cannot cure or stop the progression of arthritis, it can ease the symptoms associated with inflammation and help improve your quality of life. While the cartilage damage of arthritis cannot be reversed, massage is helpful in reducing muscle spasms and decreasing compression associated with the arthritic joint disorder.

How Can Massage Therapy Help Ease Arthritis?

Massage therapy involves working soft body tissues with the hands or with an instrument. When practiced correctly, massage therapy can help improve joint movement, relax tense muscles and stimulate the flow of both blood and nutrients to the skin and tissue underneath. Patients report it feels good and breaks the cycle of stress that often comes with chronic illnesses, such as arthritis.

The benefits of massage include:

  • Increased circulation
  • Increased flexibility and mobility
  • Decreased pain and inflammation
  • Relief of muscle aches and stiffness
  • An overall sense of relaxation and wellness

A variety of massage styles can help decrease arthritis pain. Swedish massage therapy is the most relaxing and is used to stimulate blood flow to the skin and relax the muscles. Deep-tissue massage therapy can decrease pain and improve movement in specific muscles and joints. Reflexology involves applying deep pressure to points on the feet that correspond to specific areas of the body. During an acute flare-up of arthritis, reflexology is often recommended because painful joints are not touched directly, and pain and symptoms can be relieved from this distal treatment.

Can Massage Therapy Help Arthritis?

Recent studies have found that massage therapy seems to be helpful in the treatment of osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee, and also effective for chronic hand arthritis.
During a four-week study, patients with chronic hand arthritis who received regular massage therapy experienced less anxiety and pain, along with improved mood and greater grip strength. Overall, the massage therapy group showed greater improvement than did the standard treatment group on all measures.

What Happens During a Massage Therapy Session?

A massage therapy session can last from 15 - 90 minutes and can include a schedule of follow-up visits, depending on the severity of your situation. At your first massage therapy session, the practitioner should ask you about any symptoms you may have (like painful joints) and will also ask questions about your medical history. The practitioner will also discuss your expectations regarding massage therapy.

Swedish Massage Therapy is the most common type of massage therapy in the United States. Swedish massage therapists use long smooth strokes, kneading, and circular movements on superficial layers of muscle using massage lotion or oil. This type of massage can be very gentle and relaxing, which may ease arthritis pain.

Massage should be avoided when joints are especially tender or inflamed, since a treatment can actually worsen the symptoms at such times. Your massage therapist should be informed of your condition and use gentle techniques.

What is Arthritis?

Healthy cartilage on the joints between bones allows the bones to glide smoothly within the joints and helps to cushion the stress of physical movement. In a person with arthritis, bones may not glide as smoothly and joints may be painfully inflamed. Symptoms of arthritis can include pain, stiffness, redness, swelling, heat, and limited range of movement.

There are more than 100 different forms of arthritis. Two of the most common conditions are osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Osteoarthritis (OA), the most common type, is mainly seen in older adults. In OA, joints are damaged as cartilage, the material that surrounds joints, wears down, causing inflammation. The disease can become disabling. Osteoarthritis often affects the knees, making it hard to walk. Other commonly affected areas include the hips, fingers and spine. The wrists, elbows, shoulders, and ankles can also be involved when there is a prior injury or weakness from repetitive strain.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease, in which the immune system attacks parts of the body, resulting in inflammation. The most commonly affected areas include the hands and feet, although RA can also affect the elbows, shoulders, neck, jaw, ankles, knees, and hips. As with Osteoarthritis, cartilage is broken down and worn away by Rheumatoid arthritis, causing bones to rub together. Patients with RA also have joint swelling, pain, and stiffness.

Are There any Risks Associated with Massage?

Massage is considered a generally safe procedure. Pain or other negative side effects are usually caused by overly vigorous massage techniques. Diabetics should check blood sugar levels after a massage session because it may be too low afterward.

Tell your therapist to stop if you feel any pain. Massage should not be performed on any joint that is currently swollen or painful.
Massage may influence absorption or activity of both oral and topical medications. Tell your massage therapist about any medications you are taking.

Possible side effects of massage therapy may include:

  • Temporary pain or discomfort
  • Bruising
  • Swelling
  • A sensitivity or allergy to massage oils

Swedish Massage

Therapeutic massage has been a popular form of health treatment for ages. While there are many styles of massage therapy, Swedish massage is the standard of massage treatment offered in spas and sports facilities all over the country. Swedish massage can help to relax, rejuvenate, and nurture your mind and body.

What is Swedish Massage?

One of the most popular styles of massage available today is Swedish massage. In 1812 at the University of Stockholm, a Swedish physiologist named Pehr Henrik Ling created the foundation of this style of treatment to promote health by increasing blood circulation and stimulating the body’s healing abilities. It is now known that Ling’s greatest influence came from a Chinese friend who was a master of Martial Arts and Chinese Tui Na massage. While this influence of Chinese Tui Na massage therapy is evident in Swedish massage techniques, the direct lineage is rarely mentioned. A Dutch practitioner named Johan Georg Mezger later developed a reduced set of Ling’s techniques to form our modern style of Swedish massage; it is Mezger who adopted the French names commonly used to denote the basic strokes.

Swedish massage is the most common style of massage in the Western world. It is a full body massage, and is performed on a nude client who is draped with a sheet to provide covering. Oil, cream, or lotion is applied to the skin to reduce friction and allow the smooth strokes that are characteristic of Swedish massage. Essential oils may be combined with massage oils to create an additional aromatherapy affect during the treatment.

What are the Techniques of Swedish Massage?

There are five main techniques used in Swedish massage:

  • Effleurage: these are long guiding strokes over the surface of the body, used to warm up the body before deeper techniques are utilized. When massaging the limbs, the strokes are made toward the torso to help guide blood back to the heart. This is the most relaxing technique of Swedish massage.
  • Petrissage: these are kneading motions that tenderize muscles with rolling and squeezing movements. This technique can be useful for extracting toxins trapped within muscles and other soft tissue by enhancing circulation deep within the muscles.
  • Friction: deep pressure concentrated on single fingers or a thumb and used in a transverse or circular movement to break apart adhesions between muscle fibers.
  • Tapotement: rhythmic percussive techniques used to relax muscles that are in spasm. There are many different hand shapes used in this invigorating technique over the entire body.
  • Vibration: oscillatory shaking movements applied to the limbs or an organ that reverberates through the entire body to loosen adhered joints and muscles.

Most massage therapists incorporate a variety of technique into their massage sessions. This expansion has lead to several derivatives of Swedish massage, most importantly sports massage. Sports or deep tissue massage uses slower stokes with stronger pressure to manipulate deeper layers of tissues within the body. These techniques are often less comfortable than the standard Swedish movements. However, positive therapeutic results can be achieved with these techniques by breaking up scar tissue and adhesions in muscles and connective tissues.

Benefits of Swedish Massage

Swedish massage can be very beneficial for the mind and body:

  • Swedish massage promotes relaxation: The soft flowing movements of Swedish massage can gently guide your mind and body into a state of deep relaxation, stripping away levels of tension and agitation from your mind. These changes to your mental state can help you better manage stress, fatigue, anxiety, and depression.
  • Swedish massage relieves muscular tension, stiffness, and pain: Whether from neglect or overuse, Swedish massage can relieve muscular discomfort. This improved muscle tone will allow greater flexibility, improved athletic performance, and faster healing of injuries.
  • Swedish massage improves circulation: The better your blood flows through its vessels, the better your body functions. Improved circulation from Swedish massage can assist in the healing of injuries, the removal of toxins from your muscles, and clearing up swelling or edema in the limbs.
  • Swedish massage improves your immune system: The combined effect of decreased stress and muscular tension with efficient blood circulation is a stronger immune system. The additional stimulation upon the skin by the flowing techniques of Swedish massage stimulates the skin’s natural resistances to infection.

Swedish massage can be a method for both relaxation and improving your health. Seek a properly trained massage therapist to experience a revitalized mind and body today!

 

 

 

Reiki

Reiki is a spiritual, vibrational healing practice used to promote balance throughout the human system. Reiki does not involve physical manipulation or the ingestion or application of any substances, but works with the subtle vibrational field thought to surround and penetrate the body. (Reiki is commonly translated from the Japanese as universal life energy.) 

Reiki treatment is usually facilitated by light, non-manipulative touch to a clothed recipient. You can get Reiki treatments from a either a professional or a friend who has been trained, or you can learn to give yourself Reiki-treatment as a daily wellness practice. 

People receiving Reiki often express a sense of connection to their own innatespirituality, or inner source of meaning. There is, however, no religious belief system attached to Reiki. 

Reiki was originally developed as a practice for self-care, and students were encouraged to give treatment to and receive treatment from others. The practice can be easily learned by anyone who is interested, regardless of age (children through seniors) or condition of health.

Some people practice or receive Reiki to strengthen their wellness; others use it to help cope with symptoms, such as pain or fatigue, or to support their medical care, even in the case of chronic illness or at the end-of-life. According to a national survey published in 2007, 1.2 million adults and 161,000 children received one or more sessions of an energy therapy such as Reiki in the previous year.

How does it relate to other complementary therapies?

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) describes Reiki as a complementary and alternative medicine practice that uses putative (yet to be measured) energy fields, or biofields, to affect health. Energy biofield therapies "generally reflect the concept that human beings are infused with subtle forms of energy," which are believe to surround and interpenetrate human form. Energy therapies, such as therapeutic touch andHealing Touch, are believed to balance these subtle energy fields.

Some Reiki practitioners find that Reiki is different from other energy therapies and is actually closer to meditation. For example, while most energy therapies use techniques to assess the recipient's biofield and make specific corrections, Reiki practitioners do not diagnose and do not deliberately reorganize the biofield.

Reiki practice is extremely passive. The Reiki practitioner's hands are still for most of the treatment, moving only to change hand placements. The Reiki practitioner is neutral, making no attempt to fix the recipient or to change the biofield. Additionally, the practitioner does not in any way control Reiki energy; she/he merely rests her hands lightly on the body (or just above the body if needed, for example, in the presence of an open wound or burn).

Reiki energy in the practitioner's hands arises spontaneously in response to the individual recipient's need for balance at that particular time. In this way, each Reiki treatment is automatically customized to the immediate need of that particular recipient, even though the practitioner may use the same sequence of hand placements for each treatment. 

Reiki is optimally given in a full treatment format but can also be administered in abbreviated treatments to a specific area or areas of the body. In urgent situations, even moments of Reiki touch can be soothing.

  

I am currently certifying for this form of body work therapy.  I will be certifying as a registered Instructor once my training is complete.  I will post notice of my completion of this course work and credentialing and ability to begin full use of this therapy towards the spring of 2017.

What is Ortho-Bionomy?

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.
 
Ortho-Bionomy was developed by Dr. Arthur Lincoln Pauls, a British osteopath, who wanted to find a way to work with the body which honored the body's inherent wisdom. From his experience as a Judo instructor and through his training as an osteopath, he found ways of working with the body by exaggerating the body's preferred postures, thereby permitting the body's self-healing process to create greater balance and alignment. He discovered that by working WITH the body and not against it, the body could find balance on its own without having to use force to correct it. Dr. Pauls began teaching this work in the United States in 1976, and taught Ortho-Bionomy extensively throughout Europe.
 
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)
 
What are the Benefits of Ortho-Bionomy?
Ortho-Bionomy helps people break the cycle of pain – without creating pain. It is very effective for recovering from injuries, surgery and stress. It aids the recovery by reducing muscle tension, soothing the joints, increasing flexibility and range of movement, improving circulation and relaxing the entire body.
 
Pain tends to ease with Ortho-Bionomy. Educational movements may be taught to help perpetuate the release of tension and muscle contractions. The release of tension and stress in the body brings about the relief from pain and discomfort. Function, structural alignment, balance and overall well-being improve. These benefits generally continue after the session is finished.

Sometimes the body’s natural ability to remain balanced is short-circuited by stress, injury, accident, improper posture, emotional experiences or by overtaxing the body’s limits. When the body is out of balance, it adapts as well as it can, but in the process it may create patterns of even greater stress. The simplicity of Ortho-Bionomy means the practitioner and client may work together to re-educate dysfunctional patterns and restore normal functioning.

Whether looking for relief from specific discomfort or a safe and effective way to ease stress and promote relaxation, Ortho-Bionomy can be very beneficial. And it can work in conjunction with other healing systems. It is not a substitute for appropriate medical care, nutrition or exercise.

What is an Ortho-Bionomy session like?

Typically, Ortho-Bionomy sessions last approximately an hour. Comfortable, loose fitting clothing is suggested to allow full range of motion. The practitioner works with you to identify areas of discomfort, tension and pain as well as areas of comfort and ease of movement. Gentle movements, comfortable positioning, brief compressions and subtle contacts are used. No forceful movements or pressures are used.
 
Every Ortho-Bionomy session is specifically designed around your individual needs. Your practitioner will rely on your verbal feedback to find the techniques which best facilitate your body’s return to natural alignment. Typically, the relief of stress and tension lasts for days or longer after a session.
 
Your practitioner may suggest self-care release techniques you can do at home. These self-care techniques further aid in relieving pain, restoring function, and rebalancing the body.

How does Ortho-Bionomy work?

Ortho-Bionomy stimulates the body's self-correcting and self-balancing reflexes by way of the proprioceptive reflexes located in our joints and muscles. The practitioner uses movement and gentle compression to find positions of comfort which allow the body to change the stress and pain patterns which are causing the discomfort.
 
Ortho-Bionomy helps people to break the cycle of pain. It works by stimulating appropriate reflexes that monitor the lengthening and contracting of our muscle system. This then allows the body to change the stress and pain patterns, which are causing the discomfort. Educational movements may be taught to help perpetuate the release of tension and muscle contractions. The release of tension and stress in the body brings about the relief from pain and discomfort.
 
Ortho-Bionomy also employs the homeopathic concept that what cannot be cured from within cannot be cured from without. Using gentle positioning and light touch, Ortho-Bionomy stimulates inner awareness to awaken within the individual a sense of natural balance and well-being, both physically and emotionally. The inner wisdom of the body is recognized and affirmed. Self healing occurs as the person remembers their natural ability to move away from pain and toward ease.

Where are Phases 1 through 7?

Phases 1 - 3 are the foundational concepts and observations that brought Dr. Pauls to the development of the art, mood, and principles that are Ortho-Bionomy.
 
Phase 1 Unconscious movement while sleeping
Phase 2 Conscious movement while sitting in a chair, Tai Chi, Yoga
Phase 3 Periods during which Dr. Pauls observed the ability of people to self-correct, and his study of Dr. Jones work, Spontaneous Release by Positioning (Strain/Counter-Strain).
Phase 4 Where Ortho-Bionomy Begins. A complete system of bodywork that combines gentle contact of tension points and movement of the body, which initiate self-corrective reflexes. Specific movements and trigger points are taught for muscular tension at each joint in the body from the first cervical region of the neck to the toes. Included are techniques for the neck, back, shoulders, elbows, knees, hips, hands and feet. Postural analysis and reeducation are emphasized.
Phase 5 A refinement of Phase 4, an introduction of new methods which allow a greater amount of expression and participation of the person’s innate reflexes. The practitioner initiates the movements, but the person's own reflexes guide the movement, position, and pressure for relief.
Phase 6 Working with the body’s electromagnetic field. Aura Work which allows self-balancing processes to begin through an interaction of the practitioner’s and person's auras.
Phase 7 The projection of a mental pattern which if the person accepts it, catalyzes self-correcting-reflexes which promote either specific postural changes or generalized well-being and integration.


Who is the Society of Ortho-Bionomy International®?

The Society of Ortho-Bionomy International was founded in 1984 and oversees the training of Practitioners and Instructors. The extensive professional training programs ensure that each of our Registered Practitioners and Registered Instructors has demonstrated the highest level of Ortho-Bionomy skills, professional competence and standards of practice. Ortho-Bionomy is taught and recognized worldwide for its simple, gentle and lasting effectiveness.
 
The Society also maintains this website and the registered trademarks for Ortho-Bionomy and the Sand Dollar design. These registered trademarks of the Society of Ortho-Bionomy International, Inc. are used with permission throughout the website.
 

Ortho-Bionomy: Right Alignment with the Natural Laws of Life

The Society of Ortho-Bionomy International, Inc. is a Nonprofit Mutual Benefit Corporation.