Bowen Therapy

The Bowen Technique was developed in Australia in the mid 1900s by Tom Bowen, incredibly, a man with no formal foundations in anatomy and physiology or bodywork of any sort. However, what he did appear to have was a deep interest in understanding the human body and how it works and a desire to help those whose bodies weren’t functioning at their optimum.

Tom Bowen never wrote down the elements of his practice but instead allowed a small number of people to regularly watch and learn from him. Each interpreted what they saw given their own professional training and took what they saw forwards, given their own understanding.

Research into how exactly the Bowen Technique works is still continuing but in the meantime, the essence of the technique Tom Bowen developed continues to be taught and practiced world-wide.

Why choose Bowen?

I find clients are typically looking for relief from their pain or other symptoms. This might be back pain or neck pain, sciatic-type pain, headaches or migraine or pain related to on-going conditions such as fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome. Clients might be having symptoms related to irritable bowel syndrome or gynaecological issues. They may just feel generally unwell; tired, run down, have sleep problems or be feeling anxious or nauseous.

In today’s busy world, it’s all too easy to just brush over small niggles in the hope that they will improve over time. Those small niggles have the habit of building up until eventually they become a much bigger problem, preventing us from doing the things we love or need to do.

How does Bowen therapy work?

‘Tensegrity’ might be a new word to you but it’s a combination of the words ‘tension’ and ‘integrity’. Although it’s a word usually used to describe structure in architecture, it does a good job in illustrating how the body maintains the wholeness, if you like, of its structure through the tension between the different elements contained within it.

In the case of the body, this is the tension between the fascia (the web-like structure which covers everything inside our bodies) and our other internal structures like organs, muscles and bones, enabling them to stay in place. When a Bowen move is made, it gives the brain and the body a signal about that tension and lets it reset the tension where it’s needed.

Take a look at this video from Gus de la Querra of Safe To Move and The Bowen Hub to see what this looks like in practice.

Things I won’t do:

  • Diagnose – that’s up to your GP and you should see them in the first instance if you have concerns about your health.
  • Treat Specific Conditions – I will always look at my client as a whole person and aim to help them to improve their overall wellbeing.
  • Prescribe or alter your medication – that’s a discussion you need to have with your GP.
  • Make claims – there are never any guarantees. It is impossible to predict if a client will respond to Bowen therapy. Many will but there will be some who are disappointed. For some people it just doesn’t work so this is why I say that if after 3 treatments you have seen no difference at all in your symptoms then continuing to have sessions is pointless.

Your Treatment

What can I expect?

On arrival you will be shown to the therapy room upstairs. I will explain how any information relating to you will be kept safely and then you will be asked for some details about yourself and your medical history. I will carry out some assessments; first when you are standing and then whilst lying on the therapy table.

Treatments can be received wearing light, loose clothing or in underwear. In either case, you will be kept comfortable and covered by towels.

What happens during the treatment?

You will usually lie on the therapy table and I will begin the treatment. However, if lying down is a problem for you, most aspects of the therapy can be adapted.

Having a Bowen treatment is very different to having other types of bodywork; there’s no massage or bone manipulation involved. Instead, I will use my thumbs and forefingers on precise points on your body to make gentle, rolling moves over the soft tissues.

After a number of Bowen moves, I will leave the room and take a short break to allow your body time to respond to this part of the treatment. I will return and repeat the process of moves followed by a break.

What happens next?

You will be asked to sit up and I will give you a glass of water to drink. I will explain how important it is to drink water regularly following your treatment and also to make sure that you move around at least every 30 minutes during waking hours. This may be the end of your treatment or there might be some more work to do while you are seated.

Once the treatment is over, you will be invited to book your second treatment in a week’s time with a third treatment at a later date. Most clients should see some change in this time, although long-standing issues may take longer to respond.

What might happen after the treatment?

Everyone responds to Bowen differently. Some clients feel energised or relaxed while others might experience some fatigue, stiffness or a headache or even an increase in their original symptoms for a short while. If you have any particular questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Bowen can work well alongside conventional medicine but please don’t have any other bodywork or energy therapies for seven days either side of your treatment. This is just to give the body a chance to respond to the technique and also so that you know what is working for your particular issues.

Remember that the Bowen Technique is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and if you’re at all in doubt about your condition then you should seek advice from your GP.

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