Winnipeg, MB 

Santuary  'Virtual' Network

peace, harmony, and spiritual support!   


Ortho-Bionomy - The Body Whisperer

with Mary Thiessen                                        - Saturday, October 10

Introduction to Ortho-Bionomy

Ortho-Bionomy Association of Canada

  • Ortho-Bionomy is a gentle form of body work and a unique system of body re-education for pain relief, postural integration and self healing.

  • It is a way of helping clients be more at ease in their own bodies.

  • Ortho-Bionomy is complete by itself and yet combines well with other body work approaches.

  • The concepts, philosophy and principles of Ortho-Bionomy will be presented.

  • Participants  will do an exercise contacting the layers of the leg, skin, fascia, muscle and bone, sensing the energy in each layer.

  • Both the physical and energetic components of Ortho-Bionomy will be demonstrated as we share table work.

  • We will finish with questions

Information provided by Hollie Andrew


Ortho-bionomy can be described as the correct way to live your life.  This work was pulled together by a Canadian Osteopath - Dr. Arthur Lincoln Pauls, in 1975. He was born in Saskatchewan, living later in England. He took the principles of osteopathy and martial arts and formed them into the work - Ortho-Bionomy. He believed the body has the ability to heal itself given the proper support and nutrition.

In Ortho-bionomy we exaggerate the posture and support it until the person lets go of the cramped muscles from the inside. An example would be - If you came into my office with your shoulders up around your neck, I would not try to push them down (although that would be one's first reaction).
I would come up behind you, push the shoulders even higher and then compress the shoulders together from both sides, and hold them there until you could relax and let the shoulders drop on their own. We believe that the clients knows their bodies and when we find a preferred position (one that is comfortable to the client), in the effort to fine tune it, we ask the client, “Is it better to go to A or B?". This is done so that the client stays with us through the whole session and becomes aware of the difference.

We believe that healing starts as soon as the client becomes aware of a condition. In an Ortho-bionomy session, you start with talking about what the client wants. There is no standard session; you always start with what the client wants to address and then might say something like, " I seem to feel that this connects to another part of the body, do you want to explore that? "There is no judgement as to whether the client is wrong or should do something different. We recognize everybody heals at their own pace. Ortho-bionomy is gentle enough to work with a new born baby or someone who has arthritis.There are many different classes- some are very physical and others can be very energy oriented.

Many of the moves in OB can be used for self-help. There is a 16 hour class on self-help. Each course is 16 hours. There are approximately 500 hours of classes for the Practitioner Training and 500 hours for the Advanced Practitioner. The Practitioner training can take up to 2 years. The classes are usually done on a weekend, and it is advisable to take some time between classes to assimilate what you have learned before you go for new material. You do not need to be a practitioner to work with friends and family. OB can easily be used along with massage therapy and other body work.

Anybody can learn OB - you do not need to know your anatomy. ( Some believe it helps) The important point is that your are nonjudgmental,  very gentle and compassionate and have an awareness in your hands. Little children are great with OB as they have no limitations on what the work can do.
I studied OB because it was the first work that did not hurt me. We have a daughter who has always been in a wheel chair. I hurt my back and my arms moving the chair in and out of the car over a period of many years. My first session with OB was so incredible, not only did it not hurt, but I felt so much better after the session. I find with my clients who have very little body awareness, the physical moves are very important. They can feel that something is happening. For those who know their body, mostly I work with energy - much easier but this can also be very seductive. Always being aware of our boundaries is very important. Most of the time the purpose or use of the muscle will tell us what the release position will be.The theory of martial arts - always go with the energy - well in OB, we do just that. If you are in a pretzel position, we would put pillows under you and then support that position and slowly teach you how to release the cramped muscles. Muscles do two things, contract and expand. If your muscles are cramped - we would cramp them more, and support until you can release them.

This is a field of the healing arts which does not contradict other ways of healing, and can be learned and used by practitioners of any massage therapy, any energetic healing method, any physical healing method, or on its own.