About Joel Carbonnel

[Image: Joel Carbonnel]

Joel Carbonnel is unique in combining the disciplines of the Alexander Technique (STAT), the Mezieres Methode (AME), Morphopsychology (SFM), and Natural Hygiene (ISI). From this synthesis he has developed Orthomorphics which is centered around the close relationship of Use, Form and Function. He practises in London and Haywards Heath, and can be contacted on Tel: 020-8747 8583;  joelcarbonnel@hotmail.com    www.orthomorphy.co.uk

Articles by Joel Carbonnel

  1. Work and Leisure without Backache

    Listed in back pain

    Misuse is the primary cause of backache, and it does not go away as long as we do not earnestly tackle this problem of use. The first prerequisite to work and play without backache ...

  2. The Mezieres Method - a revolution in manual therapy

    Listed in bodywork

    Francoise Mezieres (1909 - 1991) career as a physiotherapist and a teacher of anatomy/physiology changed radically following an empirical discovery. With this discovery she found th...

  3. Walking and the Mind

    Listed in bodywork

    Joel Carbonnel looks at the benefits of walking for the mind. Walking has been shown to slow the rate of memory loss and keep the mind sharp.

  4. Hip Story

    Listed in arthritis

    When Mrs S came to me for her first appointment, she was suffering from advanced osteoarthritis in both hips, spondylosis, osteochondritis, chondromalacia, bursitis of the trochante...

  5. Know Your Bunions

    Listed in bodywork

    If you do not want painful and inefficient feet, do not be callous with them, give its 31 joints plenty of space by choosing sensible shoes and, whenever it is possible, do discalce...

  6. Tenderfoot

    Listed in bodywork

    In spite of the numerous bones and muscles, arthritis in the joints of the feet, compared with those of the hips and knees, is relatively rare. Far more common are the deformations ...

  7. Curing By Poisoning

    Listed in bodywork

    All drugs are poisons, and chemotherapy is a particularly nasty set of poisons - says Richard Sullivan, head of clinical programmes at the charity Cancer Research UK.

  8. The Weakest Chains

    Listed in bodywork

    The work of Mezieres is firmly based on what she called muscular chains (MCs). I do not know if she was the first one to use this term but she gave a clear and precise definition of...

  9. The Human Spirit Level

    Listed in bodywork

    When it comes to our senses, we usually only speak of five of them: sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste. But in fact we have many more.

  10. Reviving Head Carrying

    Listed in bodywork

    If you have never put anything on your head apart from the occasional hat, hood, helmet, cap, headscarf, headphone or even beret, you have not lived yet. Carrying any weight on your...

  11. On One's Head

    Listed in bodywork

    Head carrying has been studied by some scientists, such as Norman Heglund, a physiologist at the University of Louvain. He wanted to understand how Luo women could carry on their he...

  12. Carrying Weight

    Listed in bodywork

    Like the titanic Atlas, we also bear a heavy burden. Not only do we carry all the worries of the world on our shoulders but, in our capitalistic, materialistic, consumerist and work...

  13. The Bone-Eaters

    Listed in bodywork

    The skeleton has an important influence on posture and shape in its role as supporter of the human frame. If, for some reason, bones lose their normal rigidity, the human scaffold c...

  14. Disk-Eating Pimple Bugs

    Listed in bodywork

    A concise history of the theories of aetiology would show that among the myriad of ideas put forward to explain the cause of disease, four stand out clearly. They have in common the...

  15. Give Me Five

    Listed in bodywork

    When it comes to digits (fingers and toes), Nature has never been able to count above five. If we except a few genetic mishaps, no animal belonging to the Amniota (reptile, bird or ...

  16. Hamstrung

    Listed in bodywork

    From the word hamstring we get the verb (now rare) hamstrung or hamstringed meaning -to lame or disable by cutting the hamstrings. It is also used in the figurative sense as in -to ...

  17. Fingertip Toes

    Listed in exercise and fitness

    Toe touching has for a long time been the symbol and criterion of physical fitness. But does this posture or movement deserve to be so rated?

  18. Out on an Upper Limb

    Listed in bodywork

    Let us roll up our sleeves and take a closer look at the upper limb so that we may get the upper hand on the various disabilities; tennis elbow, rsi and others.

  19. Bad Taste in Bodyscape

    Listed in bodywork

    The gist of the Scientific American article is that our bodies - were not designed for extended operation - and that we push them to function long past their warranty period. As a ...

  20. Arm Rest

    Listed in alexander technique

    The attainment of uprightness was a decisive factor in the evolution of the hominids, the family to which we belong. Walking upright freed the hands and the arms from their former l...

  21. The Art of Falling

    Listed in bodywork

    In spite of the constant movements of the ribs, broken ones usually heal beautifully. The case of the broken rib exemplifies the awesome healing power of the living body.

  22. Mad Man Disease or the Nut Case

    Listed in nutrition

    When the BSE scandal was first disclosed, many were rightly shocked to hear that cows had been fed on a flesh diet; that, in other words, herbivores have been turned into carnivores...

  23. The Cold Facts about the Frozen Shoulder

    Listed in bodywork

    In the course of evolution, the shoulder, of all the joints in the body, is the one that has developed the greatest flexibility.

  24. Of Discs, Soaps and Camemberts

    Listed in back pain

    Last month, I explained why the intervertebral disc (ID) is not like a bar of soap that can slip in and out of its position. Being from Normandy, I prefer, strange as it may seem, t...

  25. Slipped Disc Or Split Disc?

    Listed in back pain

    The term slipped disc is a misnomer, since intervertebral discs (IDs) do not and cannot slip out from their vertebral position. Nor can they slip back, which means that no amount of...

  26. The Importance of Being at Rest

    Listed in back pain

    There was a time when bed rest was regarded as the treatment of choice for back pain. Only ten years ago, it was common for GPs to prescribe one to two weeks of bed rest to their pa...

  27. Eyes That Feel, Hands That See

    Listed in bodywork

    Hands and eyes are the favourite organic implements of the bodyworker. Bodyworking is a hands-on, eyes-on affair. But, according to their elective technique, therapists can give the...

  28. How Misuse Misshapes Us

    Listed in bodywork

    To a Mezierist, the primary cause of musculo-skeletal disorders is the departure from a normal, healthy body shape caused by the hypertonicity and shortening of some groups of muscl...

  29. Morphology and the Alexander Technique

    Listed in alexander technique

    Morphology and the Alexander Technique

  30. Are You Feeling 99% Better?

    Listed in bodywork

    How do you know if a treatment is working? Can you tell if you are feeling better or not, better or worse? Although the answer seems obvious (after all, it is your body), relying on...

  31. Is Arching Good For Your Back?

    Listed in back pain

    Whether the lower back should be flexed (bent forwards) or extended (arched) is the latest controversy. Both approaches may be right or wrong depending on the patient specific probl...

  32. Is Slouching Good For Your Back?

    Listed in back pain

    According to John Gorman, a chiropractor and former mechanical engineer, slouching and slumping are good for the back.

  33. Double Chins, Triple Bellies and Demi-Thighs

    Listed in bodywork

    One of the outcomes of misusing ourselves is that some muscles become short and tight while others become slack and flabby. This unequal and imbalanced distribution of tone does no...

  34. Hip Hope

    Listed in bodywork

    Mezieres was fond of saying that the primary problem is never where it is felt (pain) or seen (deformation). It is always at some distance, in a pain-free and discretely distorted p...

  35. Hip-Ology

    Listed in arthritis

    ...Only 34 but she has had six hip ops. The heading in a popular newspaper did its job: it caught my eyes. The woman in question had been suffering from her hips since the age of 11...

  36. A Sympathetic System

    Listed in bodywork

    There may be some truth in the saying no pain, no gain. Pain is a friendly signal alerting us that something is dangerous or abnormal. Pain is not a disease but a symptom.

  37. Hidden Pains

    Listed in bodywork

    Unless you are a masochist, avoidance of pain is a normal reaction. Nature, in its kindness, has provided us with reflexes that allow us to escape painful stimuli. Without these mec...

  38. Heeling Power

    Listed in bodywork

    Evolution is something that happens not only to living organisms but also to physical objects, particularly those that have an intimate relationship with living things. In his colum...

  39. A Disorderly Diaphragm

    Listed in breathing

    Following on from his previous column on the diaphragm as the king of muscles, Joel Carbonnel now looks at the consequences of an unhappy diaphragm.

  40. The Umbrella Muscle

    Listed in breathing

    This article by Joel Carbonnel looks at the construction and function of the diaphragm using the analogy first made by the doctor and gymnast, Tissie, of an umbrella. Such similarit...

  41. Breath Taking

    Listed in breathing

    What is your favourite kind of breathing? Do you prefer upper thoracic or abdominal breathing? Costal or diaphragmatic? Rhythmic or yogic? Buteyko breathing or re-birthing breathing...

  42. Getting A Wiggle On

    Listed in bodywork

    In his column this month Joel Carbonnel looks at the muscular legacy we have inherited from our distant relatives the reptiles.

  43. I Could Not Cure Less!

    Listed in back pain

    There are an enormous number of therapies available for bad backs and a corresponding number of therapists offering their services. Yet in spite of this onslaught back pain continue...

  44. The Body - A User's Manual

    Listed in bodywork

    What is the difference between the Mezieres method and the Alexander technique? is the question most often asked of Joel Carbonnel by his potential clients.

  45. Of Blue Jeans and Back Genes

    Listed in bodywork

    You cannot open a newspaper without finding a reference to these genes. They are supposed to be the cause of anything and everything. Genocentrism is the new religion, so much so th...

  46. Who is Afraid of Beauty?

    Listed in bodywork

    Within the biological world, enzymes offer a good example of the close relationship between form and function. Enzymes are proteins which are biological catalysts. Like any other pr...

  47. In Search of a Model

    Listed in bodywork

    What is your idea of human beauty? Do you fancy giraffesque necks or chipped teeth? Or do you prefer huge and bulky buttocks and droopy breasts? If scarred and tattooed skin, stretc...

  48. The Beauty Factor

    Listed in bodywork

    What is your idea of a beautiful body? Wafer-thin, fat-free females and muscular hunks to which a normal mortal cannot possibly aspire? But what is the norm? I doubt there is such a...

  49. Too Supple To Be True

    Listed in back pain

    In his column this month Joel Carbonnel looks at the case of a dancer who came to him with back pain which had been diagnosed by her chiropractor as being caused by hypermobility. T...

  50. The Bat Method

    Listed in bodywork

    Humankind is fast becoming a species of sitting creatures and, if not sitting, just standing about. Affluent countries are a good breeding ground for cerebral workers who are denie...

  51. The Beauteous Gluteus

    Listed in exercise and fitness

    Last month, I introduced you to three highbrow terms (callipygian, cacopygian and steatopygia) which, translated in plain English, could read: the beautiful, the ugly and the huge r...

  52. Botty Beautiful

    Listed in exercise and fitness

    I have found a new word that delights me: callipygian. It is an adjective combining the Greek kallos, beauty (as in calligraphy: beautiful writing), with pyge, buttocks. Hence, a ca...

  53. Man, The Lordotic Ape

    Listed in bodywork

    We all started life bent double. Cramped for space, we had to adopt a humble position to fit in our uterine home. Curled up, bowed and rounded was our foetal posture. We had food, w...

  54. Ab Nauseum

    Listed in exercise and fitness

    The evolution of abs exercises has been one of small changes applied to the same basic formula. First, we had the sit-up, at one time respectable, now an old-fashioned and frowned-u...

  55. Ab Normal

    Listed in exercise and fitness

    The English call it the six-pack, the French, the chocolate bar: a well-sculpted midsection. Judging by the proportion of flabby abdomens around, one could be forgiven for believing...

  56. In Your Face

    Listed in bodywork

    In the last column I went into the theoretical aspect of Morphopsychology. Now I am going to give you hints on how to decipher faces. Faces are everywhere, so you have plenty of opp...

  57. Face Value

    Listed in bodywork

    Everybody does it! Consciously or unconsciously, everyone gives a psychological meaning to new faces, and judges character subjectively. From earliest time, the mirror of the soul h...

  58. Gravity: Friend or Foe?

    Listed in bodywork

    Would you like to live in a zero or low-gravity environment? I suspect that many, especially the posturally challenged, dream of being free from gravity bonds. This dream is the res...

  59. Twisted Life Forms

    Listed in bodywork

    Nature, as a rule, does not like straight lines but rather favors curves, and has a marked preference for that most beautiful of curves – the spiral.

  60. Of Snakes and Men

    Listed in bodywork

    Have you ever wondered how snakes move? The ease with which they achieve their limbless locomotion has puzzled many observers since the beginning of man (in this column the word emb...

  61. How to Walk the Talk

    Listed in exercise and fitness

    Regular contributor Joel Carbonnel takes a look at walking and the positive effects it has. It keeps the bones strong, boosts the cardiovascular and respiratory systems, controls bo...

  62. Core Blimey!

    Listed in bodywork

    In his Expert Regular column, Joel Carbonnel looks at the trend of the so-called core area currently circulating in fitness circles and magazine articles.

  63. The Corporeal Cores

    Listed in bodywork

    The concept of core muscles and core strength is now being used to describe a muscular corset, a girdle of strength, which, in some people, can be drawn too tight. In explanation, t...

  64. ABS Fads

    Listed in exercise and fitness

    By fads the author means the dictates of fashion and how they apply even to muscles and the current notion that midriffs should be bare this season.

  65. Yawning Your Head Off

    Listed in bodywork

    Joel Carbonnel gets into yawning – a contagious, communicable, infectious practice, quickly affecting others. He also looks into the art of this gesture and what triggers it....

  66. What The Neck!

    Listed in bodywork

    This article focuses on the neck, its structure, function and treatment. Our neck, the author explains, is a relatively stiff but fidgety structure: it moves about 600 times an hour...

  67. Should We Exercise?

    Listed in exercise and fitness

    The author discusses the value of fitness versus health in this article, and questions the belief that exercise is a must for fitness and longevity.

  68. Bow Legs and Knock Knees

    Listed in bodywork

    This column looks into the shape and language of legs. The author provides a simple tip on how to check if you have bow legs, knock-knees or lock-knees, flat or hollow feet, hallux ...

  69. Expert Tease

    Listed in bodywork

    This column focuses on the value of experts and their expertise. The author believes there is some truth in the saying - an expert is one who knows more and more about less and less...

  70. Sleep - Steps for a Peaceful Night

    Listed in sleep and insomnia

    In this column the author focuses on how to improve sleep, a complex behaviour which, like any other function in life, can become disordered.

  71. Self-Help or Self-Delusion?

    Listed in bodywork

    In this column the author shares his views on self-help books, after being approached to write one on the Mezieres method.

  72. Muscle Tone Story

    Listed in bodywork

    The idea that many of us lack muscle tone is common, but in his column Carbonnel reveals that in fact most of us have more than enough of it. He explains that muscle tone is the per...

  73. The Originality of The Mezieres Method

    Listed in bodywork

    This column touches on the misrepresentation of physical therapies, namely Mezieres Method, and development of totally irrelevant systems of exercises (such as Yogalates), in an att...

  74. The Strong Myth of the Weak Back

    Listed in back pain

    The author focuses on the treatment of a weak back and the strengthening of back muscles in this article, following a call from a patient referred to him by an osteopath.

  75. Forward Head Posture

    Listed in bodywork

    Viewed with the naked eye, the neck of many vertebrates appears to have an oblique or horizontal orientation. A study from X-rays of the neck region of these animals revealed that t...

  76. Anatomization of some Anatomical Terms

    Listed in anatomy and physiology

    This article is an analysis of the practical results of being misled by the erroneous use of a word, in this case, the application by anatomists of the word extensor to the posterio...

  77. Are You Pro- or Anti-Gravity?

    Listed in bodywork

    In this article, the author challenges the conventional view that we have to use muscles to hold us up against gravity, and the related concept of exercising and strengthening what ...

  78. The Obsession with Strength and Stability in the World of Health and Fitness

    Listed in exercise and fitness

    This article discusses our obsession with strength and stability, based on the idea that the spine is an unstable structure needing constant co-contraction of the transverses abdomi...

  79. Spoiled Sport

    Listed in exercise and fitness

    This article is a critique of the popular idea that competitive sport is a good thing.

  80. Round Versus Square Shoulders

    Listed in bodywork

    Pull back your shoulders! - This must be the most common and popular piece of postural advice ever given. This must also be one of the most misguided.

  81. Pains but no Gains

    Listed in bodywork

    The author explains that unless something is shaped properly for performing its function, problems are definitely going to arise, giving the example of trying to ride a bicycle with...

  82. The Iliopsoas

    Listed in bodywork

    Alexander and Meziere practitioner Joël Carbonnel tells us that the 'p' right in the middle of this strange looking word is a silent letter, so one pronounces the whole thing ill-e-...

  83. The Little Toe and Beyond

    Listed in bodywork

    The fifth pedal digit or, for you and me, the little toe, would not win a beauty contest.

  84. Prolapse, Ptosis And Posture

    Listed in bodywork

    Francoise Mezieres was fond of saying "what is beautiful functions well". Good shape is not only a beauty asset; it is also an important factor of health.

  85. Confidence in Continence, Urinary Incontinence and Posture

    Listed in bodywork

    It has been estimated that bladder incontinence affects about 6 million people in the UK and reaches 5% of the total population in developed countries.

  86. Mind The Gap: From Fashion to Form and Function

    Listed in bodywork

    Have you ever heard of the thigh gap? I hadn’t before reading an article titled Body language (The Guardian 12.11.13). This ‘essential’ reading is all about identifying anatomical b...

  87. Don’t Feed Back Pain

    Listed in back pain

  88. Lordosis - the Mother of all Distortions

    Listed in bodywork

    The title above needs to be qualified: lordosis is the mother of all acquired distortions which de facto eliminates from my assertion all congenital ones. And in ‘acquired’ I do no...

  89. (Hyper)Lordosis, the Mother of all Distortions (Part Two)

    Listed in bodywork

    This is continued from my previous Expert Column Lordosis - the Mother of all Distortions published in PH Online Issue 233, Oct 2016.

  90. Big Mouth and Lockjaw

    Listed in immune function

    At the beginning of the year, the 9 year old son of a friend of mine was complaining of a pain under his big toe. The father was told that the offending source of pain was a wart. U...

  91. Rusty Nail or Hypodermic Needle - Prick and Choose

    Listed in immune function

    In the bacterial world, the Clostridium family is a very large one comprising about a hundred species but only Clostridium tetani (Nicolaier’s bacillus) can cause tetanus, although ...

  92. Antibodies and Immunity

    Listed in immune function

    For most people vaccination equates with immunization. The belief that without being vaccinated one is defenceless against the so-called vaccine-preventable diseases has been inject...

  93. (Hyper)Lordosis, the Mother of all Distortions (Part Three)

    Listed in bodywork

    This is the third and last column about hyper-lordosis being the source of all our acquired distortions and postural defects. Here are links to Part One and Part Two. To recap: due ...

  94. Glutes Mania Or Reductionism In Gyms

    Listed in exercise and fitness

    If these days you were to read the fitness pages of newspapers and magazines you would be justified in thinking that the glutes are the new core. The word glutes and its synonyms a...

Book reviews by Joel Carbonnel

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