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What is Dynamic Spinal Therapy?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 17, 2024
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Dynamic Spinal Therapy is a bodywork technique developed in Switzerland in the 1980s by Rolf Ott. This technique combines energy work with hands-on bodywork to realign the spine, address joint problems, and resolve posture and spine issues. It is also very gentle, making it suitable for people in a range of physical conditions, although it is a good idea to consult a doctor before seeking out any kind of bodywork, to make sure that there are no contraindications.

This style of bodywork integrates practices and concepts from several schools of bodywork. It borrows the concept of qi, or life force, from Traditional Chinese Medicine, with a big focus of Dynamic Spinal Therapy being the promotion of an even, healthy flow of qi around the body. It also relies on traditional Western styles of bodywork, especially Swedish massage, to adjust the body physically.

A typical Dynamic Spinal Therapy session lasts around 40 minutes. The session starts with an ear reflexology test, in which points on the ear are tested and the response is noted. Then, the therapist uses a special stylus to trace the meridians of the body, following the flow of qi and looking for spots of blockage or weakness.

After the energy work session, the therapist makes adjustments to the pelvis and spine, first with the client face up, and then face down. The muscles are deeply stretched, and then the client is encouraged to deeply relax. The session ends with gentle rocking which is supposed to promote relaxation, the release of tension, and realignment of the spinal column. Some therapists skip the energy work part of the session, focusing instead on the bodywork.

After a session of Dynamic Spinal Therapy, the client should feel deeply relaxed. Posture is supposed to improve, thanks to the stretching and release of tension, and sometimes conditions which cause back pain and soreness may be alleviated, at least partially. Regular sessions can theoretically keep the client's body and energy balanced, improving general health and well-being.

Therapists offering Dynamic Spinal Therapy can be found all over the world, for people who are interested in exploring this technique. It is a good idea to ask practitioners about where they trained and how much experience they have, and also to gather information about their approach to bodywork to ensure that the therapist will be a good match for you. Sometimes it may take a few sessions to see results, or to get an idea of how your relationship will turn out; if you think a therapist is not suitable for you, you may ask politely if he or she can recommend another practitioner.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
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