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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. 


Working with the body in this way provides a better working arrangement thus allowing for a greater range of motion and increased blood and oxygen delivered throughout the body. 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 believed that we had an innate intelligence that knew how to self-correct. Finding the best position for release was not just about the pressure and distortion of the proprioceptors but depended on the intention of the practitioner to encounter (and be in relationship with) our natural self-healing processes. This holistic perspective considers the client's complete experience of pain and suffering and the means of resolving it. In the Ortho-Bionomy version of Positional Release the client is empowered to take control of his or her own healing.


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)


Dr. Pauls began teaching this work in the US in 1976, and taught Ortho-Bionomy internationally until his death in 1997.