My Other Life: Mary Chhea, Ortho-Bionomy Bodywork Practitioner

by Staff Writer | May 25, 2019

Denver-based nail tech and CND education ambassador Mary Chhea was hooked as soon as she was introduced to Ortho-Bionomy, a form of massage that provides pain relief and an improved range of motion. “Ortho-Bionomy is a gentle, non-invasive form of bodywork that works with your body’s innate ability to self-correct,” explains Chhea. She learned about the practice when her massage therapist began using Ortho-Bionomy after 30 years of traditional massage and invited Chhea to a class. “In the moment, I couldn’t feel much difference in my body, but the next day I had a much better range of motion and more comfort in my arms, shoulders, and neck,” she says.

Learning Ortho-Bionomy doesn’t require any prior knowledge or experience in bodywork. Related to osteopathy, this form of bodywork is an adaptation of positional release therapy. “If the body is stuck in a pattern, one simply exaggerates the pattern to help the body release the pattern,” says Chhea. “It’s a tremendously helpful treatment for physical trauma (like injury), but also helps relieve emotional or mental trauma that gets stuck in the body, without judging it or having to talk about it.”

It can be a great add-on service for nail professionals to offer, but it isn’t just something for clients: Receiving it provides valuable relief for Chhea, as well. “I love how it provides self-care and supports my body through the repetitive strain of our profession,” she says.
Chhea finds it can be a challenge to maintain her own energy when working with a client. “Falling into a body’s trauma pattern slows down healing, so it’s important to listen to the body’s patterns without judging them,” she explains. When receiving treatment, she’s found listening to her body and being able to articulate her preferences is key. “It’s quite an interactive bodywork, in which the practitioner gives you a lot of options to choose from,” she adds. “I’ve noticed that the more I get Ortho-Bionomy, the easier it is for me to recognize and speak for my body’s preferences.”

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