How Does Bowen Work?
Bowen works by unlocking the body’s ability to heal itself, which may be hampered due to long-standing injury or an imbalance in the nervous system. Although the body takes time to heal, it does so permanently, relieving the patient of any discomfort.
The Bowen move calls for a response mechanism by the body. The moves aren’t painful and so the defence mechanism isn’t called for. The body is stimulated to look for an appropriate response. In the process of looking, signals are sent out by the nervous system to all areas of the body. These signals cause an increase in blood flow to different areas of the body and an overall resetting of the body to correct any imbalances. This is like pressing the reboot button on your computer!
The breaks in between moves give the nervous system a chance to establish the correct actions. In the process, other information can be gathered by the body, and it is common for areas not being directly treated to respond to the treatment.
Can It Help Me?
A Bowen treatment resets the body to heal itself and since we all have the ability to heal ourselves, Bowen is useful for everyone from newborn infants through to the elderly. It improves rehabilitation time, regardless of how old or recent the injury may be. Chronically ill patients benefit as well as the disabled.
Problems commonly addressed include:
- Allergies (e.g. Hayfever)
- Asthma in adults and children and other respiratory problems
- Headaches (migraine, sinus)
- Kidney and bladder disorders including incontinence
- Knee and hip restrictions
- Menstrual and other female problems
- Pelvic (tilt, leg length, hip imbalance)
- Repetitive stress injury (RSI)- tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome
- Skeletal and muscular problems from lumbar to neck
- TMJ (clicking jaw) and grinding of the teeth
- Stress and fatigue
The most common presentation is back pain, and this is where Bowen excels. The average number of treatments would be two or three for most therapists. There are always going to be exceptions to any rule, and certain people will need further or even on-going treatments.
Frozen shoulders are a particular favourite, as are neck pain, hayfever (allergic rhinitis), asthma and migraines.
Sports injury is a field of remedial therapy that is becoming very aware of The Bowen Technique. Not only do sportsmen report fewer injuries when treated regularly but they also notice an increase in performance. The Bowen Technique is being used at high levels of sport in this country, with rugby clubs and premiership football clubs showing interest.
Why Am I Still In Pain After My Treatment?
Bowen is not a quick fix like a painkiller. Because the body is carrying out the healing, it will heal at its own pace but it will do so permanently.
Commonly, patients report a stiffening feeling of the area afflicted – a sure sign of healing taking place.
Many patients report simply forgetting about the pain and only recall the exact time of pain relief when reflecting back.
My Pain Has Returned…
If the discomfort returns, it is likely the body has been re-injured. Working with a therapist allows the cause of these recurring injuries to be identified.
The most common culprit is bad posture! But don’t despair – many patients have successfully been kept happy and healthy by engaging in supportive exercises, such as pilates and yoga.
How is Bowen Different To Other Therapies & Massage?
Bowen is NOT a massage. Once you have experienced a Bowen therapy it will become apparent that Bowen is very different from a massage and other therapies.
Bowen is an extremely gentle procedure that does not require any manipulation of the body in any form. Unlike other therapies that involve pulling and tugging and ‘elbow grease’ from the therapist, Bowen only requires some very simple gentle moves at very specific points.
These specific moves create a response in the body to correct any imbalances so the body can heal itself. Because there is no external manipulation and the body is carrying out the healing, once healed the effects are permanent.
How Will My Body Respond?
Experiences vary depending on the patient. Most commonly patients feel warm and very relaxed, some feel twitching sensations in their body and some have even said their ears are “popping”. A common sensation is a rumbling tummy.This is a sign of the parasympathetic nervous system getting to work.
Reactions to treatments are not uncommon, and they include tiredness, an increase in original symptoms, stiffness, headaches, flu-like symptoms, increased dream activity.