Study group 11 May & more classes coming

Hi Reader

Our next Melbourne classes and study groups are now open for enrolment.

I’ve selected the most popular topics for this year’s study groups – thanks for responding to my recent poll if that was you!

11th May: Setting up or improving your professional Ortho-Bionomy practice – 3hr Online Study Group

Exploring what to say to new clients, managing client expectations, follow up sessions, self-care plans and improving your results. Plus options for technology tools and online systems to support your business success.

  • 1.30-4.30pm Melbourne time
  • Fee: $80
  • No pre-requisites

You’ll receive a link to the recording after the session to download and keep the training for future reference.

Attendees receive a certificate for 3 units in Ortho-Bionomy Australia’s training programs or CEUs for OBA membership renewal.

If you can’t attend live, watch the replay and complete a quiz to receive a certificate.

Register now

23 & 30 June: Fundamentals of Ortho-Bionomy (aka ‘Phase 4’)

This class presents the key concepts of Ortho-Bionomy plus pain relief techniques for the whole body, which you can use with clients or friends immediately. Start your bodywork career here or add this powerful somatic therapy to your existing bodywork practice.

  • 9am-5pm each day
  • Location: Mana Health Practice in Preston
  • Fee: $400 early bird discount if paid by 9 June; $420 for OBA members/$450 for non-members after 9 June
  • No prerequisites – open to all
  • Refreshments provided

Includes a detailed manual covering all concepts & techniques and a certificate for 16hrs/units of training in OBA’s programs and CEU points for OBA membership renewal

After taking this class you’ll be eligible to attend all other Ortho-Bionomy classes

Enrol now

Prefer a payment plan or bank transfer? Email me at janine@janinemccarthy.com.au

More classes for your calendar


  • Sunday 28 July 10-11.30am study group in Preston: Fundamentals/Phase 4 practise & review (Venue TBC)
  • Saturday 24 August online study group 1.30-4.30pm: Phase 5 review & combining the Phases
  • Sundays 15 & 22 September: Posture Re-education & Post Techniques 2-Day class 9am-5pm each day
  • Saturday 23 November online study group 1.30-4.30pm Cranial review including Phase 4 cranial work and anatomy

See you in a class soon.

Sincerely,

Janine

Description and images of Represented course with Annie Gichuru

Do you want to be more racially inclusive?

I participated in Annie Gichuru’s program, REPRESENTED a little while ago. This is a 10 week course designed for online business owners, practitioners and coaches who want to build a racially equitable business so they can be intentionally inclusive.

Annie has opened up doors for the next round and I wanted to share my experience with you as an affiliate. I don’t usually promote online courses but I deeply value this program and believe that all practitioners and business owners can benefit greatly from this training which should be a non-negotiable education for every business owner’s journey.

I thought I was well-informed before taking this course but it showed me where I was ignorant about racism in Australia and how I was being exclusive or disrespectful, however unintentionally. I learned how to make my business more respectful, inclusive and inviting for everyone in all my client communications, marketing and business systems. My business and I are both better for taking this course.

Annie has created a brave space for coaches, practitioners and online business owners alike to unite in the experience of building a diverse, equitable and inclusive business.

This program will support you to recognise the ways in which you can evolve your business so you are operating from a place of racial representation, having an understanding of what it means to be a genuine inclusive leader.

This is your opportunity to build your business with integrity, and in alignment with your values so it is sustainable and profitable.

If you are interested and want to learn more, click the link below, reply to this email or call me on 0422266190, I’d love to answer any questions you have about this course.

Find out more about REPRESENTED

Sincerely,

Janine

Ortho-Bionomy Study Groups in 2024

Hi Reader

In-person & online study groups are returning!

If you’ve never attended a study group in-person, consider joining us – they’re fun! All study groups were held this way before we all got so used to online classes. It’s like a cross between a class and a practise session with your friends – you can ask all the questions you want, practise techniques and get to know other Ortho-Bionomy students & practitioners in your region.

If you’re training to be an Ortho-Bionomy Associate Practitioner you’ll need to attend 2x 3hr study groups to qualify, and you need 6x 3hr study groups in total to complete the Practitioner training program.

2024 Dates, Times, Fees:

  • April 20 in Preston (Melbourne) TBC
  • May 11 online
  • July 27 in Preston TBC
  • August 24 online

Sessions will all be held on Saturdays at 1.30-4.30pm, fee $80.

You’re eligible to attend a study group if you have taken any Ortho-Bionomy class before.

What are your favourite topics?

I have some ideas for topics below but I’d love to hear what you’re interested in – so hit reply to this email and tell me which ones you like best – and if you have other ideas, tell me those too!

  1. Phase 4 Review – anatomy, points & positions, conditions
  2. Phase 5 Review – reflexes, fluids, Phase 5 presence, following movement preferences
  3. Blending the Phases – when to use Phase 4, 5 & 6 in your client sessions
  4. Cranial Review – anatomy, Phase 4 cranial work
  5. Working with babies and children
  6. Working with pregnant and post-natal women
  7. Working with clients who have experienced trauma
  8. How to teach Self-Care classes
  9. Technology for your Ortho-Bionomy Practice: free or low-cost website, mailing list system, appointment booking and payment system
  10. How to turn an Ortho-Bionomy Hobby into a Professional Practice

Coming soon: Exploration of Movement Patterns Class 17&24 March

There’s still time to enrol in our next class for 16hrs training credit.

OBA members $420, non-members $450. If you’d like to join OBA as an Affiliate member visit their website to sign up and email me your member number.

Enrol in the class

And remember to add these classes to your calendar – enrolments will open soon:

2024 Melbourne Class Calendar

23&30 June Fundamentals/Phase 4

15&22 Sept Posture Re-education & Post Techniques

Menstrual Cycle Rescue - 7 women standing in a row laughing - stress relief

How to clear stress from your body

So it’s the end of another year. I don’t know about you, but I can still feel the 2022 stress hanging around in my body.

It shows up as tension and a mild aching below my ribs that I can’t quite let go, and feeling tired even in the mornings.

It’s essential to clear stress from our bodies so we can clear it from our minds, so I’m taking some time in this liminal ‘nothing’ week between the crazy Xmas and New Year intensities to release my pressure valve.

How?

First, I’m returning to my favourite book of the year, Burnout: solve your stress cycle by Emily and Amelia Nagoski. I really can’t recommend it highly enough if you have stress stored in your body too…..which is, um, all of us nowadays!

Here are their recommendations for releasing stress:

  1. ANY physical activity is ‘the single most efficient strategy for completing the stress response cycle’. It’s ‘what tells your brain you have successfully survived’ whatever threats you’ve experienced. So walk, run, cycle, dance in your lounge room like nobody’s watching, or just shake your whole body for a couple of minutes like a deer that’s just out-run a lion. You’ll feel SO much better – do it daily, if you (like most people) get re-stressed everyday.
  2. Slow breathing – deep, slow breaths with a longer exhale helps your brain and body switch out of fight/flight/freeze and into rest/digest/restore, where all healing and recovery can happen.
  3. Positive social interaction – a brief, friendly chat with a cashier at the shops, your coffee barista, or a friendly neighbour helps to reassure your brain/body that the world is a safer place.
  4. Having a big belly laugh with someone – helps with social bonding and turns down the volume on the stress response, relaxing muscles and sending good vibes through body and brain.
  5. Affection – physical or not, with someone you love and trust who loves and trusts you. Try a 20 second hug, which can ” change your hormones, lower your blood pressure and heart rate and improve mood” and even increase oxytocin, the social-bonding hormone.
  6. Having a good cry – it might not solve problems but it completes the stress cycle in your body so you can recover physically. Turn on your favourite ten-tissue movie to get your tears flowing! 
  7. Creative expression – doing anything creative can be a great way to express and release big emotions in a socially acceptable way.

Deep Rest in 15 Minutes

And my other go-to technique for releasing stress from my body is something I call the Deep Rest technique – try it today:

Lie on your back on the floor with your legs up on the couch (or on the bed with a pile of 4-5 pillows), rest your hands on your belly and breathe slowly and deeply for 15 minutes.

If you need help with more persistent tension and pain, book your appointment for an Ortho-Bionomy session here and start 2023 feeling great.

If you’d like to support my work with a regular or one-off contribution, head over here

Rest and Release Course

Why we need rest for natural pain relief

Usually when we feel uncomfortable in our body it’s because we’re not attending to our own essential needs. The most underrated of these is REST.

Most women put their own needs last – after the needs and demands/requests of their colleagues, partner, children, parents, friends etc…….

Like my friend. She looked tired recently so I asked her if she was okay. She rolled her eyes and said she had been up since 7am (this was Saturday) to work with her personal trainer to try to stop her awful perimenopausal hot flashes. She works full time supporting disabled people. She also has a husband and two teenage sons. And she does ALL the cooking and housework. You read that right. All.

Women need a lot more rest when we’re progressing through the major life transition of menopause. So I suggested she might need to rest more than she needed to work out.  What she said next shocked me: “If I rested, I’d have to leave my husband and sons because I couldn’t look after them.” She believed she couldn’t be part of the family AND get enough rest.

She also believed she had to work her body hard to conquer her symptoms, as if they were signs of weakness or something being broken. 

This is an extreme form of what many of us believe. It isn’t deliberate, it’s unconscious. Society has programmed us to look after others first. These expectations mould the psyche of people assigned female at birth from the time we are infants. 

So it’s not our fault – don’t feel bad if this is you (because that’s another thing we’re taught to do – self-criticise).

And although there is evidence that nurturing instincts are biologically driven, putting ourselves last is not, especially when we do it at the expense of our health and safety. And those who depend on us need us well-rested and well-resourced.

When we ignore our body’s call for rest the call gets louder until we can’t ignore it anymore. This is what’s happening when you’re irritable and short-tempered, lacking patience, feeling tired, making errors, forgetting things.

If we keep on ignoring it, it starts to hurt – we get achy and stiff, we get a cramp or a pulled muscle, a headache, sore neck, back pain. If there’s a particular part of your body that’s been injured or troubled, it might start hurting ‘out of the blue’.

This doesn’t necessarily mean it’s damaged now – it might just be that you’re ignoring your body’s needs. Next time you hurt somewhere, stop and think:

  • Are you tired?
  • Do you need to eat or drink water?
  • When was the last time you sat still and did nothing, (or moved if you work all day at a desk)?

What happens when you address these needs – is the pain still there? If it is, then by all means check with your health practitioner, but often this will be enough to reduce or stop the pain altogether. 

It’s because your body can’t do without rest. It just can’t. You can’t. You need it so you can repair and recover – from the physical, emotional and mental work you do everyday, from the stress we experience on a daily or hourly basis from living this pretty unnatural life, cut off from nature and forced to ‘make a living’ instead of just living.

The good news is there’s gold on the other side. When you rest often, you are well-resourced, refreshed, resilient.

You can think clearly, make decisions easier, hold to your boundaries and express your needs to those around you.

When you prioritise your own rest you also give others permission to rest more.

And this is how we’ll change this crazy world from one that pushes constant productivity at all costs to one that’s nurturing and sustainable – for us and all of Nature. In a capitalist, rationalist society Rest is a radical act.

So how do you change a lifetime’s habit of putting your need to rest last? How do you do it when you think you don’t have time to rest?

First, notice those thoughts of ‘I don’t have time’, ‘I should be doing something else’, ‘this is selfish’ etc. They come from outside of you. They are conditioned by society. Animals, babies and children don’t think these thoughts when they’re tired and need to rest, because they haven’t learned that they ‘shouldn’t’.

And Black, Brown, Indigenous and People of Colour are conditioned even more than white women that they don’t have the right to be well-rested – for more on this topic see the excellent work of Tricia Hersey of The Nap Ministry and @thenapministry on Instagram.

Once you notice your body is telling you to rest while your mind tells you not to, trust that your body knows best and do what it asks. If you need to schedule it, add it to your calendar with an alert to remind you to do it.

Then just stop for 5-15 minutes and breathe slowly. Listen to your breathing. Feel your breathing. Let your mind follow your breathing. Do this every day for a week. Notice the difference as your body and mind start to enjoy it and look forward to it.

Next week, add something to your rest time like lying down, or napping, or walking if you’re restless. Notice your moods and energy levels this week. The following week, increase your rest/nap time to 30 minutes or twice a day – if you dare!

The people who depend on you need you rested and nourished. But don’t rest for their sake – rest like YOUR life depends on it – because it does. 

What to do next:

If you still have nagging pain after trying this approach (and you’ve confirmed with your health practitioner that it’s not caused by a medical condition), book an appointment to see me for in-person sessions or online coaching, or check out my online course & workshops, Rest & Release

nightmare period pain young woman sitting on a hill, head in her arms

How to get free from nightmare period pain

This is a recent testimonial from a client, who brought her daughter to see me for her nightmare period pain. I’ll let her tell the story:

“My 15 yr old daughter suffered terribly when she got her period. She couldn’t walk, had unbearable pain and vomiting and she missed days of school – not to mention the mood swings.

She had 3 sessions with Janine and the first period after that was fantastic – almost no pain, no vomiting or nausea, the pain meds worked and she went to school as normal. Then she had another session a week before her next period and again had a great result – the period symptoms were gone. We didn’t see Janine before her third period yet she had the same result, an easy period – as she puts it “this is magic”.

My daughter has now had three periods since her first session with Janine and the results are amazing. Her periods were completely different, all her symptoms had disappeared. No vomiting, no cramps or pain and she was able to go to school. Her mood was completely positive because she had no pain to deal with.  Best move we ever made! Everyone was suggesting I should put her on the pill but I knew there was a better solution – and we found it.” – Annette

I had a similar experience in my teens and 20s. Unfortunately my doctor did put me on the Pill, which stopped my period pain and PMS but led to many other health problems including trouble conceiving when I was ready to have a family.

Yet this young woman’s experience shows how, with only a few sessions to balance her pelvic alignment, her body’s natural cycle was restored and those awful symptoms were gone. No diet change, no special exercises, no surgical or other interventions – and a LOT less pain meds.

How to get started

It doesn’t matter if your periods have just started or you’ve had them for years, you CAN get free of the pain and other symptoms.

If you or your daughter suffer with nightmare period pain, book an appointment to see me for in-person sessions. If you’re not in Melbourne (Australia) we can work together online with my Body Reset coaching package

Take the Period Quiz

You can find out if you have a pelvic imbalance by taking my Period Quiz – and be sure to sign up for my free Period First Aid Kit to start balancing your body right now.

Photo credit: Kelli McClintock – Unsplash

period pain woman holding her belly

Get free from period pain by balancing your pelvis

No. 2 in the series: Why are your periods hard?

If you have period pain and other PMS symptoms, chronic low back or hip pain, fertility issues or postnatal pelvic pain it’s likely your pelvis is out of balance or alignment in some way. In my clinical practice, every woman who has come to see me with period problems has had an imbalance in the structure and muscle tension of her pelvis.

But how does the alignment of your bones cause these problems?

Your uterus (womb) and ovaries are held in place inside your pelvis by ligaments – like bands of firm elastic – which are in turn attached to the bones and other tissues of your pelvis.

The role of Posture & Movement

When you sit a lot (like at your computer for work) or stand all day and don’t walk or move around much, if you cross your legs whenever you sit or you sit slouched back in a soft slouchy chair or sofa – hang on, this is most of us now isn’t it?

Anyway, when we do that it makes the muscles through the pelvis, low back and legs really tight, and this can pull our bones slightly out of alignment in their joints. This out-of-balance structure in turn pulls on the ligaments between the bones and the organs they support, which in some people can lead to organ dysfunction – which is why it can be one of the causes of period pain, PMS, cycle irregularity, PCOS, endometriosis, fertility issues and more.

The imbalance in the bony structure of the pelvis can also be the cause of muscle and joint pain in the low back, hips, buttocks and legs, as well as the pelvic pain experienced by many women during pregnancy or after the birth of their baby.

But what to do about that? 

Balance your body first, before trying anything else.

The right foundation

The foundation is everything. Like the foundations of your house – if they’re unbalanced nothing works right, your doors won’t shut properly your windows get jammed and there are gaps where draughts get in. Like the structure of a business – it can’t function and grow if you haven’t set up the legal framework, banking and insurance.

One of the osteopathic principles of Ortho-Bionomy is ‘structure governs function’, meaning the functioning of everything – organs, circulation, breathing, digestion, thinking – is dependent on the state of your structure, your bony alignment. You feel this when you sprain an ankle and have to limp for a while – everything in your body feels a bit off and you get a headache or pain in the shoulder or just don’t feel right.

Maybe you’re thinking, ‘Okay, if I have an imbalance in my pelvis, what can I do about that? Am I stuck with it? Will it be hard to change? Will it take a long time?

I know for sure that your body knows exactly what to do to get back into alignment when we give it the right support. Periods just get a whole lot easier when your body is balanced.

It doesn’t take an intense exercise program over months or a long-term treatment plan or a new diet. Those things may be useful to address other health issues, but you don’t need them to restore your natural pelvic balance.

And when your body is balanced your periods are easier, your moods are better, you feel more comfortable more often and you feel more in control of your life.

You can focus better on your work, be more present with yourself, your family, partner and/or friends and best of all you’ll know how to take care of yourself.

If you’re in Melbourne (Australia) make an appointment to see me for a few gentle, restorative Ortho-Bionomy sessions – most people get lasting change from 3-4 sessions and you’ll leave the sessions with a personalised toolkit of techniques to use at home to maximise your progress. If you’re not in Melbourne, I’m building an online course – Menstrual Cycle Rescue – to teach you how to restore your pelvic balance for yourself – join the waitlist to hear when it’s open for enrolment.

Either way, I’ve made a quiz to help you find out if you have a pelvic imbalance – when you complete it you’ll receive my free Period First Aid Kit showing you how to start relieving your symptoms today.

painful periods - mother and daughter in silhouette

Are painful periods in your genes?

No. 1 in the series: Why are you periods hard?

One of the many common myths about difficult, painful periods is the idea that we inherit them genetically.

Many of my clients have told me they always thought their problem period symptoms were normal – even the intense pain (cramps), diarrhoea, low back pain, headaches/migraines, vomiting, nausea – because their mother/sister/aunt had them.

Yet when we worked together to bring their body – especially their pelvis – into balance, their period symptoms quickly reduced or even stopped altogether.

What we DO inherit – or rather, learn – from our close family members are:

1. Socially conditioned beliefs about our periods and our bodies such as

  • periods are painful or uncomfortable
  • periods are shameful/taboo/dirty (Hi patriarchy!)
  • menstruating bodies are wrong/broken/bad/not good enough (Hi again!)

and

2. Postural habits – the way we stand, sit and move – which we take on by observing and imitating our parent’s habits from infancy and through childhood.

What is pain?

Pain is a protective response created by the brain to get our attention when it thinks we’re in danger. It can pick up signals of danger from inside our bodies (such as tension or restriction in muscles and ligaments, nerve signals etc) or from emotions (stress, cultural beliefs, painful memories, upsetting thoughts) or from the social and physical environment around us (relationships, social settings, unsafe surroundings) .

So if your mother has difficult periods, you learn from her experience the belief that periods come with painful symptoms, and you learn her postural habits that create tension through the pelvis. Your brain interprets these as possible signs of danger and creates a pain response whenever you have your periods – and you’re set you up for having difficult periods just like your mother.

So you can ‘inherit’ bad periods but not via your genes – rather, it’s via your emotional and physical conditioning in early life. 

This is great news, because it means you can change your early conditioning to get back in control of your periods. You can practise thinking different thoughts about your periods – such as, they are one of the vital signs of our overall health, they are part of the powerful process that creates human life, and they are part of our cyclical nature that connects us with the cycles of Nature.

And you can restore your pelvic alignment by balancing your posture with specific techniques that harness your body’s self-correcting intelligence.

The first step to pelvic balance is to stop ‘tucking your tailbone’ under you – whenever you stand, sit, walk or exercise, think about lifting your tailbone – or coccyx – up and out behind you. This allows your pelvis to tilt slightly forward – its natural position – which supports all your pelvic organs to rest naturally forward in your abdomen. This means your uterus (womb) and ovaries can settle into their natural positions with less tension in their support ligaments – which helps them to function optimally.

For some people there are other factors influencing their period symptoms, such as nutrition and movement. But restoring your pelvic balance is an excellent place to start recovering from nightmare periods. If your pelvis is out of balance, other treatments can’t help much – but once it’s realigned, you can work on your nutrition, movement and supplements as needed to address any remaining symptoms. 

If you want to know more about the link between difficult periods and pelvic alignment, take the period quiz and I’ll send you my Period First Aid Kit to help you get started on the solution.

shoulder pain - woman with bird tattoo on shoulder

How to relieve shoulder pain by doing nothing

Shoulder pain seems so common in our society. Because: stress – right? One US PubMed article states that “shoulder pain affects 18-26% of adults at any point in time, making it one of the most common regional pain syndromes”. 

But hidden in these stats is the fact that women ‘shoulder’ most of the burdens of the world. Women suffer most from poverty and war. Outside of war and poverty, in most families women carry the larger portion of family care, family scheduling and housework while also working outside the home – and often working harder/longer than their male colleagues for less pay (it blows my mind that this is still true).

Many women have consulted with me for shoulder pain over the years. There are LOTS of suggestions out there for addressing shoulder pain, but a lot of them involve hard work and some could be painful. If you know me, you know that’s not my favourite thing when it comes to recovering from pain!

You may also know that I’m a BIG fan of any opportunity to choose slow over fast and doing less instead of more.

My favourite way to release the shoulder is all of those things I like – slow, soft, doing less. If you work with your arms all day long – say you’re a violinist, a window-cleaner or work on your computer for hours – it’s pretty much a given that you’ll have a lot of tension – and maybe pain – in your shoulders at day’s end.

One way to reduce or prevent this is to check in regularly through the day with where you’re holding your shoulders – are they up towards your ears? Hunched forward in front of your chest?

If so, don’t pull them back to correct it (like a drill sargeant might demand) as this will only create more tension in your upper back. Instead, think of letting your shoulder blades ‘melt’ down your back, allowing the shoulder muscles to soften and your bones to settle back into their natural alignment on top of your ribcage.

The good news is you don’t have to do a whole lot of strenuous shoulder exercises to get them to release. (Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of strenuous exercise, it’s just more effective – and feels better – when your muscles aren’t hurting and your joints move freely).

The technique I’ll show you here is so easy it feels like you’re doing nothing. And really, you are ‘doing nothing’. But your body is doing something – it’s softening your muscles, increasing circulation in the shoulder and arm and re-aligning your shoulder joint.

Try it now:

  1. Lie on your back on your bed or couch, close enough to the edge to allow your whole arm to hang down freely off the side of the bed. Allow the arm, shoulder and hand to soften and relax. If it feels comfortable and relieving, rest here for 1-5 minutes (or more if you wish).
  2. If it’s not completely comfortable and feels too stretchy or pulling, try bending your elbow and tucking your hand under your hip on the bed, to allow just the upper arm to hang down.

This can be surprisingly effective despite being so simple, especially if you use it often. It’s remarkable how your body knows just what to do to take care of you, when you can get out of its way.

Whenever you use these positional rest techniques you create a feeling of safety in your body and rewire your brain to choose ease instead of pain.

I hope this helps you feel better, even for a few minutes. If you’d like to share with me what you noticed, email me or connect with me on Instagram.

soothe the body - person sleeping

Soothe your body to calm your mind

Because we’ve collectively experienced a lot of trauma over the past 2 years, many of us are currently feeling a deep sense of exhaustion, also known as burnout and even depression. This often comes with an intensification of our physical symptoms too; when our brains feel unsafe they sometimes amplify our tension or pain to make us reach out to someone for help.

Despite being cloistered at home so much in recent times we are simultaneously living outside of ourselves, desperately looking for signs from the external environment that things are ‘normal’, that the danger has passed. And when we’re looking outside of ourselves for things to make us feel better, we usually find something – often more than one thing – that makes us feel worse.

So what to do? How can you stop spiralling into burnout, feeling guilty about not being able to do anything about the big traumatic events happening in the world and ending up in a heap, unable to look after our families or ourselves or get out of bed each day?

Soothe the body to calm the mind

The best way I know to help yourself is to come home to your body. It’s the only thing that’s with you in every moment. It’s the only place where you can create a tangible, repeatable feeling of safety, a sense of being in control. It’s the only place where you can really take care of yourself. And taking care of yourself is the only way to start making a difference in the world, when everything else is out of your control.

Traumatic and stressful events are emotionally – and physically – exhausting. Our recovery from them requires two things:

1. Complete the stress cycle

We must release the built-up charge from our bodies so that we don’t stay in the stress cycle. There are examples of this in Nature – when the deer outruns the lion it shakes all over and leaps about, discharging the excess adrenaline, sweating and releasing the intense energy from its muscles – and signalling safety throughout its nervous system. This is a great model for us too, because we, like deer, are animals in Nature (though we deny it to ourselves). The difference is that we live with constant daily stresses, so we must actively release the charge every day to complete the stress cycle and return to a calm baseline, allowing our bodies to repair, recover and restore. Some great ways to do this are

  • walking, running, cycling, swimming – any exercise that increases your heart rate
  • punching or screaming into a pillow
  • dancing (on a dancefloor or in the loungeroom)
  • laughing – with kids, with friends, at funny movies
  • rolling around on the ground outside – with kids or animals if you have them (with the added bonus of connecting with the immune system-supporting natural biome)

2. Deliberately, intentionally R E S T

Resting is one of our superpowers – one we vastly underestimate. We must rest as a matter of course every day. It should be scheduled in – it’s a non-negotiable basic daily need, like drinking water, moving and eating real food. Nature is always seeking to repair and restore balance and your body is the same. You don’t need to force it to repair itself, it happens naturally given the right conditions – one of which is rest.

Fortunately the Ortho-Bionomy self-care techniques offer a way to deliberately take your body into a deep resting state to soothe your body AND calm your mind. One of the ways we do this is by using the principle of exaggeration. It assumes your body knows best what it needs right now.

Test it now:

  1. Sitting where you are now, close your eyes and tune in to your sit bones – the two big bones under your butt. Is your weight evenly balanced on both sides, or do you feel more weight on one side?
  2. If it’s the latter, normally we would try to ‘fix’ it, to correct it by adding more weight on the lighter side to even it up. Instead, I want you to try exaggerating what is present by leaning slightly towards the side that feels heavier to add more weight to that side.
  3. Stay there for about 30 seconds, breathing slowly, then move back to the centre.
  4. Now notice again how the weight is distributed on your sit bones. Do you still have the same imbalance with more weight on one side, or has it changed?

When I use this with clients, they almost always notice the weight has at least changed – if not completely balanced. This happens because your exaggeration of the imbalance has acknowledged something your body needed – with gentleness, not force – and your brain has responded by restoring balance.

You can use this with any part of your body that feels tight or sore. Find a way to exaggerate the positioning or tension in that area – e.g. if your shoulders are held up towards your ears, position them up closer to your ears while lying down (so you don’t have to hold them up) and relax into the position, breathing slowly for up to a minute. Then slowly sit up and notice the changes and responses in your body (in your physical body and also in your breathing, emotions and thoughts).

This process brings you into a calmer state because it also brings your whole self – brain/nervous system/body/mind – into present time, into your body, into your breath. And it avoids re-traumatising you because you’re not talking about the things that are stressing you.

I hope this helps you feel better, even for a few minutes. If you’d like to share your experience with me, email me from the Contact page or send me a DM via Instagram.

Image credit: Shane – Unsplash