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!
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 Breaksare 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.
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.
A treatmentusually 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 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.
Bowen Therapists do not address specific conditions. As Bowen is a holistic therapy your practitioner will check 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.
There are no contraindications as such although some practitioners prefer not to offer appointments to women who are in their first 3 months of pregnancy. Children under the age of 14 must always be accompanied by an adult.
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.
GDPR: General Data Protection Regulation Policy. May 2018.
What information is being collected?
As part of visiting me for therapy, I will need to have a record of your personal details, date of birth, address, telephone numbers, email and relevant medical information relating to your session. A unique reference number will also be allocated to you.
Personal data about your presenting symptoms and treatment provided will also be documented in detail. You have access to this information at all times.
All data will be held in a locked filing cabinet or on a computer protected with a password.
No client files are left on surfaces for other clients/staff to read.
All data taken whilst on a mobile treatment will be transported in a locked bag, out of sight in a boot. No notes are left unattended in a vehicle at anytime.
All notes will be kept secure for a period of 8 years for adults and will then be destroyed if you are no longer attending clinic. All children’s notes will be kept until adult age ( 21 ), and then destroyed if no longer attending clinic.
Who is collecting it?
Your practitioner is collecting data at the start of your first session. Some information maybe requested by email or text message to ensure the smooth running of your treatment. On occasion data from relevant medical notes / letters and scans may also form part of the data collected and held by your practitioner.
How is it collected?
Collection of data will happen via pen and paper note taking, secure email, text messages, occasionally photographs, videos, and letters by mail. No personal data will be collected via social media.
Why is it being collected?
Data is collected to record, guide and supervise the your progress and be able to communicate effectively with the you for the best outcomes. It is also used to compare progress week to week and to highlight changes, red flags, yellow flags, action to be taken and a detailed dialogue of treatment provided.
Data also helps us to carry out relevant research from time to time. All clients can opt in or opt out of this. Again unique reference codes will be used to transfer data.
How will it be used?
Data will be used to communicate appointments, session information, progress and relevant referrals
Who will it be shared with?
Data is rarely used to communicate and be shared outside of the clinical environment. On occasion you maybe asked for permission for the information to be shared with another practitioner or medical service for referred treatment:
Full permission will be requested first.
Personal data will be sent by post or email separately to your treatment information and a personal allocated reference code will be used to ensure the individual cannot be identified without the 2 pieces of data recording being put together.
Client experiences can be shared with the public with full consent from the client themselves. This will be taken in on a consent form signed by the client prior to sharing.
What will be the effect of this on the individuals concerned?
There should be no data leakage with regards to clients.
No data is shared with 3rd parties without consented permission.
No data is sold to third parties for business reasons.
No data is held on phones unless encrypted with a pin number/finger print recognition. No phones are left unattended. Lost/stolen phones need to be locked remotely to prevent 3rd parties reading any sensitive information.
No sensitive/identifiable data is sent by email together in the same posting. Unique reference codes are used.
All computers/laptops and tablets are locked with pass codes and not left unattended. Only individuals with permission to read notes can access this data.
Right of subject access
Clients have a right to see what information is being held about them and be given copies of this information if requested at no cost to them.
Right to erasure
Clients have a right to request deletion of data, although this can be overridden in the interest of the client, especially regarding medical matters.
Is the intended use likely to cause individuals to object or complain?
Practitioners take data protection and privacy seriously and promote this philosophy to all the industry in relation to protecting client data.
The data mapping in place should never cause a client to object or complain. Any queries and requirements are taken seriously and honoured.