Somatic Re-Education/Ortho-Bionomy

September 26, 2011 at 5:14 am (Uncategorized)

As part of my curriculum, I am required to take 13 units of electives. My fellow classmates and I were told that we did not have to start taking electives our first term but that some of the courses are offered only certain terms because they follow a sequence. I chose to take Somatic Re-Education I this term because a couple of healers that have guided me on my path utilize somatic re-education. The instructor of the course requires that I read The Philosophy and History of Ortho-Bionomy, Arthur Lincoln Pauls, DO. Apparently, the course is more of the philosophy and utilization of the method developed by Dr. Pauls though the school is not allowed to use trademarked names.

From the syllabus: “Somatic re-education is an interactive approach to human learning that uses touch and movement to bring about improved cognitive and physical abilities. This process addresses awareness, posture and action by verbally and physically guiding the client/patient in the discovery of existing and alternative postures and actions. The guidelines to this work are to offer support through re-education of the client/patient to overal balance, while we encourage their participation in their wellness and health care.”

Once I delve deeper into the understanding of the philosophy and practice of ortho-bionomy I’ll attempt to offer my interpretation. As of now, it’s all very new to my understanding.

“The work relies upon the individual’s system of self-balancing reflexes, and is effective in the release of discomfort associated with structural tension and imbalance…Tense muscles and ligaments may relax as the person is held in a position of comfort. Stress and emotional tension may be released, to be replaced by increased comfort and often a sense of peace.”

Emotion and trauma release/healing is an aspect of overall wellness that I have gained interest by experiencing it myself. I wish to learn more about the ways of emotional healing so that I may incorporate them into my practice.

This term I will be learning Phase IV General Release Techniques, which is the starting point of Ortho-Bionomy’s influence of rebalancing. Phase I includes unconscious postural releases; phase II, cognitive awareness releases attained through yoga, tai chi, etc; and phase III, Spontaneous Release by Positioning by L. Jones, D.O., where the practitioner chooses and guides the movement.

The class includes a hands-on portion that, this week, focused on the neck and shoulders. The instructor spent a brief time showing on a student how to perform each of the 10 release techniques and then we, the students, practiced on one another. Much of the technique is about feeling where the body is restricted in a certain movement pattern then holding the preferred position for a brief time so that the body registers that it has over-exaggerated a preferred position and then the initially-restricted motion registers it’s out of balance and releases. That simple! Or maybe not…


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