The Bowen Technique, or Bowen Therapy as it is sometimes known, is a very gentle remedial therapy named after its innovator Tom Bowen. The Technique is very subtle and relaxing and involves no hard or prolonged pressure. It is a holistic therapy and so addresses the 'whole you' and not just the bit that hurts!
This is a very delicate treatment in that having a hot bath or sauna or an ice bath if you are an athlete, can interrupt the ongoing effects of Bowen. Having other hands-on therapies will also interfere with Bowen so clients are asked not to have physio, massage, reflexology or any other hands-on treatment 1 week either side of a Bowen treatment or set of treatments. It is also advised that you do not have Reiki or other healing whilst having Bowen Therapy. This way you will get the best from your treatment.
The Bowen Technique is a complementary therapy. A practitioner will not try to diagnose or treat a specific condition and will not prescribe or suggest altering any medication. That is your doctor's job and what he is trained to do. If a practitioner feels you may require specific exercises to help strengthen muscles in a particular area, they will refer you to a Physiotherapist. If they feel it will help you, they may suggest seeing an Osteopath or Chiropractor.
The following links give a more detailed insight into fascia.
WHAT CONDITIONS CAN BE TREATED?
Bowen Therapists do not treat specific conditions. As Bowen is a holistic therapy your practitioner will treat your whole body to address the cause of your particular problem so it does not recur. It is because Bowen is holistic that it has such far-reaching effects on the body and on most conditions. Bowen helps rebalance the autonomic nervous system (the autonomic nervous system controls over 80% of bodily functions) and allows the body to relax and heal. As well as being relaxing, clients report a change in their response to stressful situations. A frequently seen effect of Bowen is a shift in the psyche of the client. "I feel better in myself and about myself." is a common remark. In short, Bowen is an excellent de-stressor and this in itself will be an important consideration in the treatment of a struggling immune system.
Anxiety/Panic Attacks/Stress (http://thebowentechnique.com/what-is-bowen/case-histories/)
Asthma/respiratory problems (http://thebowentechnique.com/what-is-bowen/case-histories/)
(for the Bowen asthma emergency release procedure please follow this link: http://www.bowen-for-asthma.com/release.html)
Baby colic (colic often resolves after only 1 session)
Bells palsy (http://www.simply-phi.co.uk/testimonies/client2.php)
Constipation and diahorrea
Ear aches (Glue Ear)
Fertility problems (http://www.bowen4life.com/infertility.html)
Foot problems such as plantar fasciitis
Frozen shoulder (http://www.boweninfo.com/article_frozen_shoulder.htm)
Headaches, migraine (http://www.bowenmigraineresearch.co.uk/)
Hernia and heartburn
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)
Skeletal and muscular problems from lumbar to neck
TMJ and grinding of the teeth (http://bewellnow.ca/blog/tmj-syndrome/)
Bowen may also reduce symptoms in people who have been diagnosed with:
Cerebral Palsy (http://www.boweninfo.com/cerebral_palsy.htm)
Multiple Sclerosis (http://www.boweninfo.com/ms2.htm)
There are no contraindications as such although some practitioners prefer not to treat women who are in their first 3 months of pregnancy. Children under the age of 14 must always be accompanied by an adult.
For more information on the Bowen Technique or to locate a therapist, you may find the following sites helpful:
A Bowen Therapist does not treat specific conditions, does not prescribe or suggest altering medication and will never claim to cure anything.
The Bowen Technique is not intended as a substitute for medical advice or treatment. If in doubt, please consult your doctor.
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Bowen can be performed through light clothing whilst the client lies on a bed, although treatment can be carried out just as effectively if the client is in a chair. Bowen is not like massage, acupressure or chiropractic. It is unique. There is no manipulation or force used in any of the moves. The thumbs or fingers are used to gently press against a muscle, tendon or ligament then, after a second or two the therapist rolls over the area allowing the muscle, tendon or ligament to gently release beneath his/her hands. There is no pain involved, in fact if you are in pain your muscles will tense up which is not beneficial. Also your brain will focus on the pain and this will detract from the treatment. Ideally the brain should have nothing else to think about but the Bowen move. The pressure used is often described as eye-ball pressure so it is quite light and so even if you are suffering from a painful condition like Fibromyalgia, you can still have Bowen Therapy - your therapist will adjust the pressure to suit you. Even new-born babies benefit from a treatment, especially if they have had a difficult birth.
The Breaks are a unique feature of the Bowen Technique and are essential to the success of the therapy. After performing only a few moves, the practitioner will either leave the room completely or at least leave the side of the client to allow the body to relax. You always relax much better when no-one else is there! This is when the body decides what it needs to do in response to the moves the practitioner has made. This is where Bowen differs from other hands-on treatments. Where osteopathy and chiropractic say to the body 'you will', Bowen says 'would you like to?' This requires a very different response from the body. If something is very hot or painful, there is an immediate automatic response of withdrawal but Bowen is not painful so the body needs to decide what it is supposed to do. It is not unusual for clients to find that their tummy starts to rumble. This is the sympathetic nervous system activating. Some clients feel tingling, heat or cold, but it is not unusual to feel nothing at all for a day or two, then reactions will begin. Reactions can continue for a number of days after treatment which is why it is recommended treatment is only given every 5-10 days, 7 being the optimum.
A treatment usually lasts from half an hour to an hour and frequently results in a deep sense of overall relaxation, allowing the body to recharge and balance itself. Recent studies have shown the beneficial effects of deep levels of relaxation on our immune and hormonal systems.
Treatment is holistic so If, for example, you go to see your practitioner about a frozen shoulder, when you arrive your practitioner will observe everything about you to see WHY you are in pain and could easily treat your knees or another part of your body first. This is because they are looking for lines of tension in the fascia. The fascia may be thickened or immobile in one area, which then creates a pull in another. To demonstrate, if you are wearing a shirt and you pull the front of the shirt, you will feel the tension where the collar pulls on your neck and perhaps under your arms or on your shoulders, not where you are pulling.
The following conditions have been found to respond well to Bowen Therapy: