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Bowen technique involves a rolling movement over fascia, muscles, ligaments, tendons and joints. It is said not to involve deep or prolonged contact with muscle tissues as in most kinds of massage, but claims to relieve muscle tensions and strains and to restore normal lymphatic flow.
About a Bowen Therapy Treatment
During a Bowen Therapy session, the patient lies relaxed on a treatment table, wearing loosely fitting clothing. The therapist applies a series of gentle movements across the body. These movements focus on a body of muscle, tendon or nerve and release tension through the nerve within the area. This results not only on the structural level and functional systems, but also at the level of the individual’s overall well-being. Addressing the body as a whole, Bowen Therapy treats beyond the presented symptoms and positively affects the physical, chemical, emotional and mental aspects of each person during the treatment and most importantly, for many days after. Appointments are usually scheduled a week apart. The therapy’s effect on the body lasts for many days. In most cases we recommend a series of about 3 treatments to initiate the Bowen process. Within that period, we will be able to identify if the patient will need more treatment in the future.
Bowen Therapy has its unique capacity to stimulate a sense of deep relaxation. This deeply relaxed state acts upon the body’s autonomic nervous system which creates homeostasis at the cellular level. Through this, a resetting of the autonomic nervous system takes place and while in a state of profound relaxation the individual’s body is freed to find its own natural balance.
During the actual treatment session, the Bowen therapist applies the movements in a series of patterns. The therapist leaves the room to allow the patient to achieve the deepest relaxant effects and to avoid interfering with the patient’s energetic realignment. Sessions usually last one hour. Often no more than two to five sessions are required for the treatment of most conditions. Treatments will generally be scheduled at 7-day intervals. As a complementary treatment, Bowen can be used to enhance the benefits of other modalities. We find Homeopathy to be especially beneficial when used in conjunction with Bowen. However, certain alternate modalities affecting deep tissue, when used within a week of a Bowen Therapy treatment, will usually counteract the Bowen’s action (e.g., massage, chiropractics.) If you plan to combine Bowen with any other modality, please be sure to discuss an appropriate treatment schedule with your Bowen therapist.
The History of Bowen Therapy
Bowen Therapy was developed in Australia by the late Tom Bowen (1916-1982). It is a system of moves that challenges soft tissue, releases its congestion and stimulates energy flow. It relieves pain and inflammation and is an overall tonic to the body’s innate ability to heal itself. Its positive effects on nerve, muscle and connective tissues provides lasting relief from pain and misalignment in the simplest and most effective manner. For more than 40 years it has been used successfully to treat tens of thousands of people suffering from a huge variety of ailments. A lot of people say it is the most effective, long lasting and relaxing treatment they have ever experienced.
Bowen Therapy is safe for everyone – from newborns to the old-aged. It is safe to use as a treatment for both acute and chronic conditions. Bowen Therapy relieves the body’s reactive patterns to injury, pain and misalignment through a series of relaxing and gentle moves on specific points on the body. The moves are light, usually performed through clothing, making it simple to receive therapy for those in severe pain and immobility. Perhaps the most unique aspect of Bowen Therapy is ‘pauses’ of time that are given between sets of therapeutic moves during a treatment session. It is this ‘pause’ of time provided between sets of Bowen Therapy moves that enables the body the time to respond. Without this ‘pause’ there would be no difference between Bowen Therapy and other forms of bodywork, it is unique.
Holistic Effects of Bowen Therapy
After a Bowen Therapy treatment, a large number of physiological and even emotional responses occur as the body lets go its state of tightness that was its own manner of coping with pain and inflammation. Commonly the client might feel as if ‘hit by a truck’. This is perhaps because their body is in a process of re-adjusting the manner in which it has been compensating for the problem. It is using muscles in a more appropriate and balanced manner. These muscles might not have been in full use for a long time and will therefore be sore as they engage into the process. The by-products of this tension and inflammation will begin to be eliminated and the body increases fluid intake and recuperation times.
Bowen Therapy accomplishes holistic balance in the body immediately. Since Bowen Therapy addresses the body as a whole rather than just the presenting symptom(s), it embraces the physical, chemical, emotional and mental aspects of each person receiving a treatment.
The Certified Bowen Therapist is merely a catalyst, setting the stimulus in motion for the body to heal itself. A Bowen treatment, whether to address a specific problem or maintain a healthy body, is the essence of simplicity.
What to expect
When coming for the first time there will be some unusual aspects to the treatment session:
Interestingly, you can keep your clothes on during the treatment as the areas of skin needing to be touched are easily be reached by your therapist.
The treatment requires various pauses of time between sets of therapeutic maneuvers for the body to respond effectively. These pauses are the most important aspect of the treatment as it is a therapy that doesn’t impose a change in the body; it is a therapy that acts as a catalyst for the body to change on its own.
The session is deeply relaxing and falling asleep during your session is a likely occurrence.
The whole body is usually addressed with the specific areas of concern being a focus of the treatment session. Interestingly, the body is treated on both sides to create balance. So, if you only had one wrist problem the therapist will treat both.
Your first visit is essentially a test of the treatments effect upon your problems and will enable the therapist to predict future treatment options and strategies. It will also clarify for yourself the overall effectiveness of the therapy for your concerns and give you an idea of how many future sessions are necessary and at what interval.
Bowen is Like Other Therapies
Yes, Bowen Therapy is a form of bodywork that achieves all the same therapeutic benefits of the following methods too:
Like Massage, Bowen Therapy is relaxing soothes muscle spasm and affects the circulation and lymphatic systems. Its benefit is usually long lasting and clients report needing to have far fewer sessions to reach a sustained improvement.
Like Acupuncture, Bowen Therapy stimulates the acupuncture points and meridians and promotes improved functions in the body’s systems like digestion, respiration hormonal and nervous systems. This is achieved without invasive needling or vigorous cupping and massage.
Like Chiropractic, Bowen Therapy achieves skeletal adjustments. This is achieved because it is a therapy for the soft tissues such as muscle, tendon and ligament and it is these structures that govern the alignments of joints and vertebrae. The affect is ongoing after the treatment and is long-lasting because the body has self-adjusted without forceful encouragement.
Like Physiotherapy, Bowen Therapy is not a muscular re-education it has the opposite effect of releasing held patterns of dysfunction and inflammation through its stimulus to Golgi tendon organs and spindle cells.
Like Emotional Bodywork Therapies, Bowen Therapy stimulates a release of held emotions. This occurs quite naturally as the body responds to the treatment during the session and there is no need for discussion or analysis.
What Conditions Bowen Therapy Can Treat
The soothing and restorative effects of Bowen Therapy have a wide range of applications. Through practical experience Bowen practitioners have been increasingly expanding the range of conditions that the technique has been found to effectively treat. At this point we can list the following conditions as those that show substantial improvement under the influence of the Bowen Therapy:
- Musculo-skeletal Pain
- Back Pain (Chronic and Acute)
- Frozen Shoulder & Tendonitis pains
- Tennis & Golfers Elbow
- Carpal Tunnel syndrome
- Arthritic pain
- Headaches & Migraines
- TMJ Syndrome
- Gait disorders
- Leg Length discrepancies
- Plantar fasciitis
- Shin Splints
- Foot and ankle problems
- Hammer Toes, Heel Spurs
- Knee and hip restrictions
- Pelvic & Sacral Iliac joint misalignment
- Hay Fever
- Infant Colic
- Crohn's Disease
- Irritable Bowel syndrome
- Pre Menstrual syndrome
- Irregular cycle
- Fibrocystic Breasts
- Chronic Fatigue syndrome
- Bed-wetting in children
- Prostate Problems
- Ear infections
Bowen Therapy is safe to use on anyone - from the newborn to the elderly. As there are no vigorous manipulations employed in the treatment. Yet, despite the gentleness of its application, Bowen Therapy achieves profound, substantial, rapid and lasting relief from a wide spectrum of conditions. Among the benefits it achieves in the process are the reduction of physical, emotional and mental stress, improvement in joint mobility, circulation of lymphatic and venous fluids and assimilation of nutrients and the elimination of toxins. In place of the illness and discomfort experienced with the conditions listed above, Bowen introduces a state of ease and well being.
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Articles: Massage Therapy