Learning to practice as an Ortho-Bionomist and a Manual Lymph Drainage Therapist has been an interesting journey. Ortho-Bionomy (OB) has taught me how to work with the body in a three dimensional manner. OB triggers a self corrective reflex, with the goal being to facilitate a process that is natural to the body, one of self healing. At the same time, being a Certified Lymph Drainage Therapist (CLT) has taught me to work with the fluids of the body. My CLT training at the Dr. Vodder School North America was extremely comprehensive. Because of this, I started to understand the fluid component of working with the human structure. I have also learned to combine the principles of these two methods, which has greatly increased my understanding of the entire body. At the same time, learning how to allow fluid to flow more easily using Ortho-Bionomy, has expanded my practice greatly. For example, I have had the opportunity to treat many clients who where recovering from treated cancer. In addition, I learned how to work with post mastectomy pain issues in a non invasive way, which initiates comfort and ease via these modalities.
Manual Lymph Drainage is a treatment that engages the lymphatic system to become more active. It is highly effective when done correctly. Lymphatic vessels can be likened to long vacuum tubes. These tubes pull excess fluids and particles into themselves. The long tubes make their way through the body, taking the toxic fluid towards lymph nodes. Lymph nodes have several functions. They house our t cells and b cells, which are responsive if there is infection in the body. Lymph nodes are also biological filters, where phagocytes cleanse the tissues. The cleansed fluid moves on through the system so it can dump back into the mainstream circulation. One of the primary jobs of the Lymphatic System is to maintain protein and fluid balance in the tissues. This is homeostasis. Fluid moves into tissues, and should move out of the tissues at the same rate. If there is too much fluid and protein in the body’s tissues, it establishes an imbalance that may create long term problems.
Fluids may be moved or directed through the body in a normal flow pattern, or fluid may move through detours that are called “anastamosis”. These are lymph vessels that may direct the fluids to move away from an area this is not working well, into one that is better functioning. When fluid moves out of an area, it changes the quality of the tissue. If you empty an area of excess fluids, it becomes more supple, and better able to function. Contractibility of the muscles is improved, and movement of the joints is improved. For many people, any pain, restriction, or discomfort is lessened.
Therefore, the importance of engaging the lymphatic system in order to move fluids through the body cannot be understated. Many years of treating people with Lymphedema and/or pain issues after cancer treatments, have honed my skills and lead me to this conclusion. In another area of my practice, I have noticed that post mastectomy surgery and/or radiation may cause shoulder or arm dysfunctions, resulting in patterns of restriction with associated pain. Many people present with similar issues, and many clients were left with pain and dysfunction of their shoulders, necks, ribs, etc. I was able at this point, to use my Ortho-Bionomy skills to effectively reduce pain and physical dysfunction.
As an Ortho-Bionomy practitioner I have learned to work non-invasively and with ease. Ortho-Bionomy is a modality that allows us to work with the body, and through the body. Using OB with numerous post mastectomy clients, it has become clear to me that an Ortho-Bionomy approach to post cancer treatments is very non invasive, but very effective. A non invasive approach is important in this arena because it does not strain the tissues, or challenge them in any way. Surgical scars or radiated tissues are not moved in a direction or a manner that is hurtful or damaging. Balance and function may be restored to the structure without causing an increase in pain or edema. For those who have been through cancer treatments, using the modalities of Ortho-Bionomy and Manual Lymphatic Drainage effectively solves two problems: Fluids are moved, and balance and function are restored with no residual damage in the process.
An Ortho-Bionomy approach to any treatment always includes a broad understanding of relationships. This may be comprised of how you as the facilitator or practitioner relate to the person needing treatment. It may also include understanding the relationships between the parts of the body you are working with. Using Ortho-Bionomy allows recovery and alignment to occur naturally, via a natural process.
In the classes being taught (Ortho-Bionomy: Fluids Fascia and The Lymphatic System & Ortho-Bionomy: Post Mastectomy Pain), I will address how fluid is moved through the body at the surface level, as well as within the deeper trunks of the Lymphatic System. I will also address how to help people recover from pain associated with surgery and or radiation after Breast Cancer. Using the body’s own system of recovery, and the modalities of Ortho-Bionomy /Manual Lymphatic Drainage, I will demonstrate how to allow fluids to move naturally through tissues and joints, as well as how to reduce symptoms of pain, restore balance, and alignment in the structure.
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