Outside, the New Mexico sky was turning indigo, heading toward night. I longed to be home with my husband and dogs, but I had agreed to watch a demonstration of a healing modality called Ortho-Bionomy. I didn’t know much about it, but I had recently started teaching pathophysiology at a Santa Fe massage school in exchange for classes. My original idea was just to take Swedish or cranio-sacral massage and expand the skill base I had as a licensed acupuncturist. The director at the Institute had been so enthusiastic about Ortho-Bionomy, however, that I agreed to consider it. Now, as the night deepened and the instructor still hadn’t shown up, I was regretting it.
When she finally walked in, Ursula Hofer put my mind at ease. She was petite, with a lion’s mane of thick white hair and a German accent. After explaining that Ortho-Bionomy was often easiest to understand through demonstration, she asked for volunteers and, when nobody else jumped in, I uncharacteristically raised my hand. What happened next changed my life forever.
Ursula asked me to lie on the massage table. And then, without asking me more than my name, started to work on me. Except that she wasn’t touching me at all. Standing at least a foot away from my body at all times, she started to move in what she called my ‘field.’
She said, “Oh, you have something going on with L4, L5?”
I felt shocked that she could know this without taking a history or even touching me. When I remembered my voice, I said, “I slipped a disk there in my twenties and have been in constant, low-level pain all the time. It’s worse at night.”
Ursula adjusted her body and moved her hands in my field. “Oh, look at that! It wants to get better!”
I thought she was quite possibly crazy. She wasn’t touching me and nothing was happening. …Except it was! A few seconds in I realized that my hips seemed to be subtly adjusting somehow. It definitely was not obvious. But if I paid attention internally, I could feel an unwinding that was somehow allowing my hips to realign.
“How does that feel now?” Ursula asked. But before I could answer she interrupted me. “Oh, there it goes again, hold on!”
More unwinding and then a miracle happened. A nickel-sized spot of pain in my lower back that had been my constant companion for at least twelve years diminished, diminished… and then totally disappeared!
“Oh my goodness!” I exclaimed as my body continued to make minute changes. “The pain is gone!”
Ursula laughed and moved on. For her, taking away someone’s chronic pain was all in a day’s work. That pain has never returned.
Stella Osorojos Eisenstein, DAOM, IMT, is a writer and healthcare professional. Her book, Star Sister: How I Changed My Name, Grew Wings, and Learned to Trust Intuition was published in 2012 by North Atlantic Books.