Strain Counterstain: The History Behind Ortho-Bionomy
Ortho-Bionomy is based on the Osteopathic Technique of “Strain and Counterstrain.” In 1954, Lawrence Hugh Jones, DO, FAAO (1912–1996) made an observation that led to the development of his Strain and Counterstrain Technique. A graduate of the College of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons in California in 1936, Dr. Jones was running a successful practice in Oregon when he attempted to treat a patient who had been suffering with back pain for two and a half months.
After six weeks of treatment the patient had not improved. The patient was unable to sleep for more than 15 minutes at a time. Dr. Jones spent one visit only attempting to find a comfortable position for the patient. He passively put the patient in a variety of positions until he "achieved a position of surprising amount of comfort, the only benefit he had received in four months' treatment." Afterwards, Jones began to experiment with this discovery.
He initially called this approach to pain “Spontaneous Release by Positioning.” His paper that describe his new approach was published in The DO, January 1964, and made a large impression on the Osteopathic community. Later, he began to
call his work "Strain and Counterstain." This form of therapy is now known generically as "Positional Release."
In most cases the position created is the original position of injury or an abnormal bony relationship. As in Ortho-Bionomy, the basic premise behind this technique is that shortening a muscle in spasm "turns off" that muscle and allows it to "reset" itself to a more normal state. The theory behind this method is based on resetting a malfunctioning proprioceptor, specifically the spindle cell.
Read Lawrence Jones' article "Spontaneous Release by Positioning."