Apart from the pulling and the hauling stands what I am.

Stands amused, complacent, compassionating, idle, unitary,

Looks down, is erect, or bends an arm on an impalpable certain rest,

Looking with side-curved head curious what will come next.

Both in and out of the game and watching and wondering at it.



Ortho-Bionomy        Ortho-Bionomy®         orthobionomy

Ortho-Bionomy is the name coined by British trained Canadian osteopath, Dr. Arthur Lincoln Pauls to point to a particular style of bodywork he developed. He meant the name to translate as "The correct application of the laws of life". He wrote a book about it, published posthumously: The Philosphy and History of Ortho-Bionomy. 


Ortho-Bionomy® is a trademark name, owned in the United States by the Society of Ortho-Bionomy International. SOBI maintains a training program to support the teaching of the bodywork. They provide certification of practitioners and trainers. As a member of SOBI, qualified to teach at all levels, I have permission to use this name. I can teach Ortho-Bionomy® at all levels. Click here to learn about Ortho-Bionomy®. Designs inspired by the sand dollar are logos for SOBI.


Turning things around

Loving the World; letting the World love You. The word is owned by no one. Ortho-Bionomy® is one expression of this set of principles and way of relating to the world that I call orthobionomy. Sometimes I translate it as "meeting life on its own terms." There is a place, a gap, where will translates to movement and this is where orthobionomy works its magic. I say 'magic' because it is at the boundary of whare Science cannot speak and so we draw upon many ways of knowing. What is the nature of the Body? What is the nature of healing? Giving greater weight, in whatever walk of life you're on, to allow the expressing of nature. Is our (mis)use of animals allowing them any room to express their nature?
As Ortho-Bionomy was coined to mean "the correct application of the laws of life." I take orthobionomy to mean "searching for the laws of life." It is in this sense a neologism with the difference in the orthography. It also exists prior to Ortho-Bionomy in that one first has to find the laws in order to appy them.
I also think of orthobionomy as apophatic science, or as a method of deconstruction (but deconstruction is not a method). It is a word I have hesitated a long time to use, it gets bandied about in all sorts of situations. Deconstruct and disrupt, use these words because they are trendy. You sound so smart and think people will buy what you're selling. These words are used to leave an impression of being hip, with it, au courant. 
I am in an early stage of understanding what Derrida was about with deconstruction, a word he rarely used himself. He appeared to want to destabilize the certainty of certain ways of knowing. I also want to destabilize certain states or conditions.

And I have known the eyes already, known them all—

Eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase,

And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin,

When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall,

Then how should I begin

To spit out all the butt-ends of my days and ways?

And how should I presume?

                      – T.S. ELIOT, The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock

Searching for laws of life is insufficient. It is engaging with the laws of life, those laws which slip away as soon as they seem to be grasped, perpetually hackable. But it is this searching that can release one from the grip of trauma, a state of being fixed, pinned, wrigging on the wall. That is the disrupting I want to do, to be free from the vice-grip of patterns of behavior that do not serve. To be free of the grip of past and now unfolding trauma. And orthobionomy has nothing to offer, no promised cures or fixes. Rather the goal is to move into a state of possibility. I don't know what is possible and I offer nothing but a stripped-down, naked presence. Speaking about her bravura performance of The Artist Is Present, Marina Abramovic reports that doing nothing is the hardest thing. It is simple but it is not easy.


Holding, being in a fixed state, is one of the things a body does. It moves, it holds, it lets go. These are basic functions. Holding in any fixed state pulls the organism outside of time, in a state of contraction. This is a necessary function, needed for survival, for healing. We must from time to time step out of time but if we step not back, catch up with the world again, we wither. Orthobionomy destabilizes fixed states and allows greater responsiveness.

 Many Worlds and orthobionomy


In the early 20th century an Estonian aristocratic biologist Jakob Johann von Uexküll turned the attention of biology toward the subjectivy of the other, bringing the first scientific attention to the fact that the world another speceis of creature inhabits is vastly different to ours. A different world he called the umwelt. Things vitally important to you are so far from meaning anything to a tick as to be non-existant. Attempts to imagine how thr world seems to a different kind of creature has spurred the develoment of the scholarly field known as biosemiotics.


[this essay will soon be continuing on another page, organization does not always come easy and one idea morphs into another]

Find what dimensions have the most movement.


More to Come


Write a comment


  • JuDee Anderson (Friday, March 20 20 01:47 pm EDT)

    I so appreciate you doing this. I am starving for`meaning and integration. Since Australia I have "known" new sensations and connections.

  • Anna Hayes (Saturday, March 21 20 01:31 pm EDT)

    Dear Richard, I love your definition of orthobionomy. I have for a long time felt constrained and limited by the term Ortho-Bionomy with the (R). These restrictions didn't feel right, didn't follow the philosophy that I understood orthobionomy to be, namely how you define it here, loving the world and letting the world love you. Thank you for setting me free in my conscience to continue to use the word orthobionomy with love and freedom.

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