What is Ortho-Bionomy®
It is a gentle, non- invasive form of body therapy which is highly effective in working with:
- Chronic & acute stress
- Pains or problems associated with postural and structural imbalances.
The practitioner uses gentle movements and positions of the body that stimulate the body's self-correcting and self-balancing mechanisms by way of the proprioceptive reflexes in the joints and muscles, thereby reducing muscle tension, soothing the joints, increasing flexibility & improving circulation. A strong focus is placed on the comfort of the client, with no forceful or painful manipulations of the tissues. The practitioner also suggests home exercises that individuals can do to facilitate the neuromuscular re-education process begun in the session. The Ortho-Bionomy System was developed by British Osteopath and Judo instructor - Arthur Lincoln Pauls - who found that by working with a client's preferred postures and patterns, the body's inherent healing wisdom is powerfully activated.
Ortho-Bionomy is widely taught and practised throughout many countries. The classes being offered at the WSMT form part of an internationally recognised Ortho-Bionomy Practitioner training (sanctioned by the Society of Ortho-Bionomy International). Courses are taught by internationally accredited Ortho-Bionomy instructor and director of the School, Richard Rust (for the Phase 4 Fundamental Courses & Isometrics) or by Bruce Stark, who will be flying in from overseas to teach some of the modules. Those who have had the pleasure of training with Bruce will understand our enthusiasm for the skill and passion he brings to the classroom - this man is an embodiment of the philosophy of acknowledgement and gentleness that is at the heart of Ortho-Bionomy.
Ortho-Bionomy is the ultimate expression of Arndt-Schultz's medical law i.e. "weak stimuli create strong physiological responses, strong stimuli shut them down". Ortho- Bionomy helps the body to initiate gentle yet powerful positive change by completely acknowledging the habitual and preferred postural, injury, and/or stress related holding patterns of a client's body by gently accentuating them in a way that allows the body to understand for itself its own holding patterns. The body is thereby able to give itself permission to gently let go of the old pattern, and bring itself back into ease and its own natural balance.
The Structure of Ortho-Bionomy Courses
Most Ortho-Bionomy Courses take 2 days, a couple are held over 3 days, with the Phase 4 Course being the entry level for all other 2 day modules (yes, we know "what happened to Phases 1, 2 & 3?" Arthur Lincoln Pauls superceded these earlier phases, and developed his "Phase 4" as the "introduction" to Ortho-Bionomy principles and practise). The Phase 4 Course can be repeated many times while students refine their technique and work towards Practitioner level. Each "course" has a specific topic or content, so that they all build together. Students can therefore start their training at any time, picking up courses as they are available, as long as they have completed a Phase 4 Course.
At the completion of any of these Courses, participants will be able to immediately apply these techniques to help others experience complete healing, or at least dramatic relief from the types of conditions/patterns mentioned above. Many Massage Therapists, Physios, Osteopaths & Chiropractors have dramatically enhanced their treatment effectiveness after completion of even just 1 module of this Ortho-Bionomy training!
While this training is available for anyone to learn, regardless of training or experience, we encourage those with Massage and bodywork training & experience to include this safe, gentle, and extremely effective technique in their repertoire of skills.
These are formal study session for students working towards Practitioner training that are taken by Bruce online.
We hold a range of courses each year from a selection of available courses - scheduling them to assist those students working toward Ortho-Bionomy Practitioner. This years Courses are listed at the end of this page.
is the "entry level" Ortho-Bionomy Course covering History, Philosophy, Ortho-Bionomy concepts, Basic release techniques for each major joint in the body. Movement and positions of comfort are demonstrated to facilitate the release of muscular tension and overall stress by stimulating the inherent, self-corrective reflexes of the body which help the body create structural alignment and balance from within.
Advanced Phase 4
This Course builds on everything covered in a Phase 4, and wished you'd had 2 more days to cover in extra detail, including practise of more extensive variations of the standard Phase 4 release positions. Prerequisite PH 4
The focus on Phase 5 is to move to a more subtle level of awareness of the practise and principle of Ortho-Bionomy. Through the practise of observing, following and supporting subtle movement patterns, muscular tension is released, range of motion is increased and pain is reduced. Prerequisite PH 4
This Course is designed to help participants access and track sensation and energetic perception in themselves and in their clients, and learn how to make contact without necessarily engaging physically. Techniques will be presented that monitor and acknowledge the inter-relationship between energetic, emotional and physical levels, and that demonstrate how energetic shifts can affect changes in physical patterns. Prerequisite PH 4 & PH 5
With Phase 7 Arthur identified a model of interaction with universal patterns which ultimately affected the physical and energetic patterns of his clients. We will learn about the characteristics of these universal patterns and we will explore Arthur’s system for assessment and balancing of the whole person or situation using the Phase 7 symbol, tracking mood and stepping into "right timing". Prerequisites PH 4, PH 5 and PH 6
Postural Re-ed & Post Techniques
Participants learn to evaluate and address inefficient postural habits through accurate observation and simple exercises. Techniques to work with spinal curvatures and scoliosis are presented and practised. Post techniques focus on assessing and releasing areas of tension as well as integrating the work done in a session. Prerequisite PH 4
Isometrics & Isotonics
Isometric and isotonic exercises are used to release imbalances in opposing muscle groups. This work is excellent for those clients who do not relax well, and is also fantastic for all clients for helping to integrate new movement and postural patterns. Prerequisite PH 4
Exploration of Movement Patterns
Participants will learn to recognise and palpate patterns of joint and muscle movement in order to facilitate increased range of motion to promote a general sense of well-being in the body. By gently exploring and supporting preferred patterns of movement or stillness, the client is invited to actively participate and recognise their patterns. Prerequisite PH 4
Ethics & Emotional Issues
In this course we explore the dynamics of the Client/Practitioner relationship. Through exercises, discussion and hands-on work we will focus on: Boundary issues for creating safety for the practitioner and the client Transference and counter-transference issues in the therapeutic relationship. Working with emotional responses from our clients as well as our responses as practitioners to the work, and content of the sessions. Prerequisite PH 4
Chapmans NeuroLymphatic Reflexes
Chapmans Reflexes are specific points located on the front and back of the body that when stimulated induce lymphatic drainage of various lymphatic vessel beds. By stimulating these points, each specific for a different organ or part of the body, you can greatly enhance the self-generated recuperative powers of the Immune system and speed recovery from various common maladies such as colds, flu, headache, menstrual pain, sore throat etc. This class also focuses on the relationship between the neurolymphatic reflexes and the Endocrine System and its effect on structural balance and physical and emotional wellbeing. Prerequisite PH 4
This course addresses issues and questions that arise for individuals completing the Practitioner Training Programs and helps participants synthesise their entire training experience. The class format includes time to discuss questions or problems that arise during a session, an opportunity to receive feedback and supervision about difficult cases, and information on how to best structure a session, set fees, and communicate with clients. Prerequisite PH 4
We will learn to track the nervous system whilst connecting in the different Phases to monitor the quality, presence or absence of the clients self-corrective reflexes, and we will increase our ability as practitioners to sense which level of contact and which Phase will allow the nervous system to respond. Using the biological and polyvagal trauma models we will identify the signs of unresolved trauma and will explore techniques and processes for accessing and supporting the self-corrective response within the clients nervous system, thereby facilitating the resolution of held trauma patterns and reestablishing more fully responsive reflexes. This course was previously named Resolving Shock + Trauma. Prerequisites PH 4, PH 5 and PH 6
Using the physical and energetic techniques of Ortho-Bionomy we can facilitate the reorganisation of the structures of the cranium and establish new and functional patterns. In this workshop we begin by reviewing the structures of the cranium and the fluids. Through observation, assessment and interaction we will develop our capacity to more subtly sense the physical and energetic rhythms and movements. Prerequisites: PH 4, PH 5 and PH 6
In this workshop you will learn to sense and work with the slower rhythms of the viscera - of the different fluid flows (of blood, interstitial fluid, lymph); the different rhythms and personalities of the various organs; and some profound fascial unwinding that can release acute and chronically held tension patterns, thereby freeing up the organs structurally to be able to function with much greater physiological efficiency. Prerequisites PH 4 and PH 5.
2 days of gentle easy exercises that you can do anywhere at any time. This Course is ideal for someone completely new to Ortho-Bionomy and can be taken as a one-off Course. It is also perfect for those who have already done some Ortho-Bionomy training, both for self care, as well as providing clients with exercises that they can do for themselves. No Prerequisites - all welcome.
In this course we'll look at the anatomical structures of the TMJ and identify and practise a wide range of Ortho-Bionomy techniques to assess and facilitate TMJ function. We will also address specific releases and self care for working with tension and alignment issues. Prerequisite PH 4 & PH 5
There are many ways to address imbalances or to help manage the symptoms of neurological dysfunctions. In this course we will explore how the nervous system operates and what we need to know to work with a range of different issues.
Prerequisite PH 4 & PH 5
Participants will learn how to describe and present Ortho-Bionomy to family, friends and the public in general. Participants are encouraged to find ways to communicate the "unexplainable" and practice presenting Ortho-Bionomy in a clear and accurate way. Techniques for building confidence and for improving public speaking and presentation are included. Prerequisite PH 4
Elements of a Successful Practice
Addresses the business side of an Ortho-Bionomy practice, providing practical "nuts and bolts," such as record keeping, legal responsibilities, advertising and marketing. Learn to assess your own business, your professional relationship with other health care providers and your community. Explore setting and achieving goals.
This training provides an opportunity to deepen your understanding of Ortho-Bionomy concepts and principles, and to develop skills at all levels. Instructors choose a theme several months prior to the week-long training, then integrate student questions and special interests. Prerequisites PH 4, PH 5 and PH 6
Ortho-Bionomy is a registered trademark of Ortho-Bionomy New Zealand Incorporated (OBNZ) and is used with permission.
Confirmed dates for Ortho-Bionomy courses are listed below - please click on the hyperlink to access specific course details.
Modules taught in this course