Healing Brisbane

How I Became an Ortho-Bionomy Practioner and Teacher tm



I call this time my trifecta trauma!

Three major events occurred that rocked my world and brought me to my knees.

Healing Brisbane

It was the early ’90’s. My partner and I had just bought an adorable Hansel and Gretel style of house on one acre on the north coast of NSW, an idyllic setting in the subtropics nestled under a 250 yr old rainforest tree; a bumpy ash.

After 6 years of working as a deep tissue therapist, my upper body was in chronic pain. My work involved heavy repetitive massage. My pecs and triceps felt like tight, red hot piano wires.  I needed relief, but wasn’t finding it.

What was I to do? How to keep working in the only way I knew?

I loved connecting with people and working at an intense level.   There’s a fine line of working on the edge and working too deeply.  My massage practice often brought out strong emotions in my clients. There was no doubt that my work helped them on more levels than merely physical.

The era we were in was a time of deep transformation.  All manner of therapies forged from the 50’s to the 70’s burgeoned and flourished. There was a culture of revealing and releasing as deeply as you could, would and ‘should’.

I liked helping others and being in control of the process. As the oldest of 6, I was trained to take care of my younger siblings. If they mucked up, I was held responsible! The fearful burden of being held to strict account for my actions, even if I couldn’t completely control the result, was deeply introjected into my psyche, so deeply in fact, that I was acting it out in my adult life.

Just months after moving onto our idyll, my beloved Phil, a 38 yr old dynamic, brilliant Sydney Morning Herald trained journalist, plunged into the world of disability. He had been very stressed & anxious about his abilities and overworking to compensate. I thought he having a nervous breakdown. I envisioned him sitting on our sundrenched veranda gazing serenely over the lush rolling hills, at peace and recovering under my loving care.

Instead, he had caught a pernicious brain virus that robbed him of his short term memory. Herpes simplex encephalitis.  A  rising star fell to earth, imploded and

was severely brain damaged. One in 200,000 people caught this brain virus at that time. Before the drug acyclavere was available, 50% of those suffering from it died.

I stopped work to take care of him. Convinced he was going to return to normal, I was in denial about the devastating extent of damage to his brain.

I spent the next 4 years lobbying government for funding to have him cared for in his own home. I was like a fierce mother tigress and left no stone unturned in my efforts. A team of extraordinarily dedicated friends, health workers and family helped me. There is no end to my gratitude for these folks who gave so much of themselves.

Six months into our new life, my youngest nudged the edge of psychosis after taking drugs. At this stage, he was living with his dad in his last year of school. He’s a highly intelligent, creative person, and I trusted he would be well again, but I was naturally anxious about what was best to do to help him.                                                                                      My earthy sensible ex- husband took matters into his hands and took our son on a river trip on the Franklin below Gordon, in the wilderness of Tasmania. The repetitive motion of rowing for 2 weeks and the discipline of working in a team balanced my son’s brain chemistry.

My son also spent time with Phil during Phil’s early hospitalization. A scene that stands out for me is of my 16 yr old cradling Phil in his arms while reciting Rilke in the early hours of the morning in the neurological ward.                                         The doctors seemed to snicker, “How’s that going to help a person in a coma!?” These guys were specialists. I was appalled at their insensitivity and ignorance.

After a year of getting to know Phil in his renewed state, my mother entered her dying process. Phil and I, along with my five sibs rallied to support my parents and each other.

At about this time I rang a friend and shared all this with her, plus my concerns about my son’s Year 12 exams because he had missed a lot of classes.

“You sound as if you need some nurturing. Come and meet Zoee and learn Ortho-Bionomy! “she chirruped.

My head whirled. How could I learn something new and be nurtured at the same time?

I checked in with sibs and my dad…yes, of course I could go. There were so many of us in my family that my mother would continue to have many visitors supporting her.                                                   My brother Charlie drove me to my first Ortho-Bionomy workshop. He did the training a few years later.

The first technique taught was the neck release.                           Zoee asked who would like to be the demoee.

I put my hand up …my neck was twisted painfully in response to seeing my mother skeletal and shrivelled after her chemo.

Large, soft, warm hands enfolded my neck. Held me. No hurry. Sweetly supported. Something sharp and metallic in my neck dissolved.. butter melting…warmth gushing through my hard strained tissue. A few tears slipped out of my eyes. A sigh escaped.

I turned my head to the right:

No restriction.

I turned my head to the left:

No restriction.

I looked over at Zoee, eyes wide.

How did you do that?

She smirked and rolled her eyes.

I sat up and checked my range of movement again.

No pain, nothing.

It  would have taken me 45 minutes to undo a neck like mine doing deep tissue, straining and sweating to get a result!

This had taken Zoee three minutes, maybe five. She appeared to be doing nothing.

“Come to Maui and join the training!”, she cooed….

“Oh yea..err, when?”

In 8 weeks time!

I had no money. Phil to take care of. Welded to my responsibility.

As with any major line up of destiny, everything falls into exquisite place effortlessly. I did indeed go to Maui to train for 4 weeks with Zoee.

My loving mother in law paid my fare and took care of Phil while I was away.

These times were the burning years. I was being burned from the inside out!

I went from bulldozing bodies to becoming a butterfly. I learned to drop my agenda about fixing, sorting, healing & curing. The process of learning ortho is deeply transformational if you allow yourself to  be moved by the innate intelligence of your ability to find balance. I learned to get out of my own way, to trust in the body’s innate intelligence, and to be led by that instead of my own need to fix.

It can never be forgotten that old habits are never far away. They will swoop in like a hungry crow unless  become mindful  and allow  ourselves to be led by  the creative forces within us.

My work with people is so much easier! I feel light and more trusting. Working is effortless!

Pain Free Healing Brisbane | Back Pain

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