CHARLOTTE LAMBERTINI: On ortho-bionomy & the art of relinquishing control
CHARLOTTE LAMBERTINI is an artist and therapist. Charlotte studied applied arts, opera, physiotherapy, herbalism (natural medicine), and ortho-bionomy. She lives in Paris, where she practices ortho-bionomy and conducts personal development workshops. Ortho-Bionomy is a form of body therapy based on the same principles as osteopathy. It stimulates the body’s auto-correction processes, allowing the body to self-regulate imbalances and stress.
Interview by Will Kitson
Let’s start from the beginning. What was your first creative experience?
I’d have to say birth, the act of coming into the world. For me, approaching art is similar—that is, in the not knowing what’s coming next. Faced with an immense blank page where everything has yet to be imagined or made, you have to let yourself go and be guided by your senses. I feel this each time I end one project and begin a new one—it’s a small time of transition and adaptation, when I know nothing, when I feel lost. Then I throw myself into the subject and start observing things as, little by little, they take shape, forming a character, a presence.
You come from a very creative background, studying applied arts and opera. You then began studying physiotherapy before working in ortho-bionomy. Tell us about this transition. What triggered it?
Rather than a transition, it just felt like a natural progression from one thing to the next. Each practice was important on my path—enriching my formal education and my personal construction. I put neither limit nor barrier between these approaches, even as some people might perceive a conflict, or at least a separation, between them. These practices are tools that helped me mature and that continue to give meaning to my life. I am creative as a healer and interested in people as an artist. I like mixing what’s not supposed to be mixed, to see what might be created after I’ve touched them and worked with them. I’m often attracted to things that might be forgotten or overlooked—whether they be out-of-order, unknown, or unrecognized.
You say that when you were training you were introduced to the ‘art and science of movement and dance.’ Tell us a little more about this. How do you connect these different disciplines?
Ortho-bionomy is a physical practice that relies on the natural faculty of the body to auto-regulate.
The principle of this technique is to generate movement inside the body, to create a dynamic of change in the client, an opening, to allow for movement and easier connections with people. It’s rather difficult to explain—for me as the practitioner, it’s like waves moving and I’m dancing with my client. The movement is invisible from the outside but very perceptible from inside. I’m mainly guided by my senses, especially by my hands. I have no control, and I don’t try to have it, and there are no expectations beforehand. I just listen to my client’s body and follow its movement and flow. For me, the practice is very creative and artistic.
I don’t consciously try to conjure up and mix disciplines together—in fact, for me, they show themselves to be all of one same. I welcome them as they are, without trying to codify them, or even name them. I often say to myself, ‘What you believe, maybe it’s not so. Take it how it is, and see what it’s happening from that’.
How would you say that your particular brand of body therapy helps and inspires your clientele?
Ideally, it inspires people to listen to and trust what their bodies are telling them. In a sense, it’s a way to experience life with less control—which I find the best way to survive in our world, which can be too controlling, too protecting. It hides essential experiences and feelings from us. I try to help people to create, innovate, and express what they have inside, to cross borders, to be free, more flexible, and less attached to material things, to be more accepting of how we are and who we are, even if sometimes feels upside down. Life is a constant movement. Change is coming for us all the time anyhow—one just has to wait and see. Too often we don’t sufficiently trust our own auto-regulation power and use instead what I call ‘escape solutions’.
Practically, Ortho-bionomy helps to identify the origin of the tensions and allows a gentle and progressive correction of the physical and emotional strains that hide behind body tensions. It may be helpful in osteomuscular and postural imbalances, tensions and pains, depression or addiction, but also as a preventive treatment, in order to reduce daily tensions or stiffness and prevent them from developing into injuries. I like this sentence in French: ‘Le bien-être de tous passe par le bien-être de chacun’. I guess that’s why I’m so into personal development. I think it can make people feel better and, in turn, make the world better, just by each of us being more conscious and honest and sharing with one other.
Clearly, you’re someone who craves self-expression. Do you feel that your career in ortho-bionomy allows you to fulfill that need?
My practice of ortho-bionomy never stops growing and moving with me. I’m constantly discovering new materials and creativity, a way of expression and communication. I’m ‘living with it’ more than ‘using it.’ I put ortho-bionomy into everything, everywhere. I’ve made it a part of me and a continuation of myself. I’m not attached to having a specific job in Healing—like going to an office full-time every day. I think a healer is Healing everywhere with everything. It just comes naturally and spontaneously—it could be through photography, managing a restaurant, cooking, writing, singing, dancing, opening a business, or running an art gallery… I feel that anything is possible, even as I know that everything is changing. For myself, I feel it’s time to move on when I’ve stopped learning or growing from a practice. My goal is principally to be faithful to myself and to focus on what is in my heart and what my senses are telling me.
A word that best describes your current state of mind?
Can I give two . . .? You have an expression in English that I really like: ‘nature & nurture’. Well, I suppose that’s actually three words, but the ‘and’ sign is also symbol of energy and infinity. Mixing is definitively my way of being. It’s a good way to learn, to discover. It’s in my nature to be creative, and it’s important to nurture both myself and others.
It’s also by constantly willing myself and experimenting that I learn to live at the rate of the seasons, to play with constraints, leaving my comfort zone and accepting discomfort in order to discover new things; it nourishes every part of me, keeps me amazed and surprised. It makes me feel alive.
Published: September 16th, 2014