The Hurley/Osborn Technique: Bringing the Body Back to Balance
by Tricia Gutek
Anyone who is experiencing persistent physical pain and discomfort knows that understanding the pain is as important as relieving it. Having physical pain not only affects your body but also your quality of life. The method for feeling optimal should not be forced but rather facilitate the body’s natural healing ability.
The Hurley/Osborn technique combines bio-mechanics and muscle testing that is centred around bringing the body back to its natural state of balance, allowing it to facilitate its own healing mechanisms.
This no-nonsense, cellular-energy, body alignment gives maximum effect in restoring posture, and relieving pain and physiological distress. Structural analysis and soft tissue therapy are used to relieve distortion with immediate and long-lasting results.
The book Aquarian-Age Healing: Bio Mechanics was considered innovative and radical when it was published in 1932 by Dr. John Hurley, a structural engineer and chiropractor.
While he was an engineer, he had a serious fall off a steel girder and suffered traumatic injuries to his leg and pelvis. He became paralyzed for 11 weeks. Looking to regain his mobility, he sought chiropractic treatment. Hurley eventually regained his mobility and was so impressed with the treatment he decided to become a chiropractor. He then devised his own system of healing with emphasis placed on the influence of the centre of gravity and its relationship to the body. The technique introduces gentle touches to rebalance the individual, relieving strain and promoting rest. He also strongly advocated for proper diet and stress reduction at a cellular level to fully bring the body into balance and harmony.
This technique was later expanded by Dr. Russell Osborn, a naturopath and chiropractor who brought it to Canada. He studied under Dr. Hurley and formed a lifelong professional relationship with him. He exclusively practiced this technique from the 1940s until his passing in 2001. He was passionate about healthy living and organics and never took a drug in his life. He lived to be 97 years old. After Dr. Osborn passed away, the students aptly renamed it the Hurley/Osborn technique to honour both Dr. Hurley and Dr. Osborn.
Strain is the result in any structure that is overloaded. Strain causes distortion, which ultimately will cause pain in the body. The Hurley/Osborn technique recognizes this and treats it on two distinct levels: structurally and energetically.
Structurally, this technique is based on the body’s relationship to the centre of gravity, which is located in the low back at the base of the sacrum. This is the area where distortions sustained in the body can be measured and corrected. The lack of symmetry in the body demonstrates the degree of distortion in the bones, joints, and tissues. These imbalances are highlighted by comparing the spine to the straight line on the plumb bob.
Energetically, the technique contact points stimulate deep cellular memories that help to bring the body into balance. These particular contact points form and develop in the early stages of fetal development when the head and the tail separate and the body moves upright. This memory is stored in the cells and stimulated when the body is at rest and the low back is flat with the surrounding muscles relaxed.
The initial treatment is really only the beginning process of healing. The body works to realign itself and reverse distortion for days following the treatment. There may be a noticeable difference in your posture, including how you walk, perform daily activities, and even sleep.
During a treatment, a plumb bob is used to get a visual postural assessment. The bony landmarks of the body are used to measure any imbalances. These distortions are recorded to help determine the correct contact point to use. The therapist then identifies a specific contact point that positively influences any distortion when a light touch is applied. Next, the client lies face down on a specifically designed table which helps to flatten the sacrum and slightly raise the hips. While in this position, the body is able to relax and the hips and spine can unlock. This then creates space for the body to begin the process of healing itself. A muscle check is performed and muscle tensions are checked and cleared. The client’s posture is then rechecked on the plumb bob for improvements.
This may seem like a simple process and it is really remarkable how the body responds and allows for healing while deep breathing in a resting state. The muscles naturally have a healing response, but when they are stressed, contracted, and distorted, it is very difficult to activate.
This gentle, subtle, yet effective treatment can help to release physical strain like muscle tension and joint pain. It can also help to reduce headaches and migraines. The body’s circulation can improve, which also helps to rejuvenate the immune system.
There is time required for the body to adjust between treatments, which are typically two to three weeks apart. A suggested maintenance program would be approximately every three months.
The appeal of relieving pain and correcting postural imbalances with a non-invasive, surprisingly simple approach is what prompted me as a Registered Massage Therapist (RMT) to become a Hurley/Osborn practitioner in 2015.
Testimonial for the Hurley/Osborn Treatment:
“I have been struggling with chronic low back and neck pain for approximately six years. I’ve tried natural remedies and modern medicine and the pain is relieved temporarily but always seems to return. I’ve been medically diagnosed with fibromyalgia but I am not convinced. I was skeptical of the Hurley/Osborn treatment because I wasn’t sure what to expect. I can say that without a doubt I felt instant pain relief without medication. That day was like magic. I could do whatever I wanted to and was instructed to rest and take it easy post treatment. I was glad that I did because I felt sore the next day and I could tell that my body was changing. However, the days following the treatment, the pain was minimal and I could function normally. I am anxiously awaiting the next treatment.”—Client, Saskatoon
Tricia Gutek, RMT, the first practitioner of this kind in Saskatoon, can be reached at email@example.com or (306) 978-7793 to schedule an appointment. For more information about the treatment, testimonials, and upcoming classes, please visit www.hurleyosborn.com.