What is the Bowen Technique
“A dynamic and powerful therapy that quickly resets the body’s structure and addresses pain using a specific sequence of gentle muscle rolls” Derek Murphy N.D.
Bowen Therapy was developed in the 1950’s in Australia by a man named Tom Bowen. People quite often have not heard of it because it only started being taught world wide just over 20 years ago making it a fairly ‘new’ modality. It is a holistic muscle and connective tissue therapy, which can be used to address chronic and/or acute pain and conditions. The practitioner delivers signals to the nervous system at specific locations on muscles, ligaments and tendons or nerves. This begins the restoring of balance via the Autonomic nervous system. The body begins the process of healing itself and switching from a state of sympathetic dominance ‘flight, fight or freeze’ to para-sympathetic dominance where it will begin to ‘rest, relax and repair’. Bowen allows the body to correct itself instead of imposing correction.
What is it good for?
Each body has its own capacity to heal and therefore works differently on different people. Aside from being used as a relaxation therapy that can balance the body to proper function, it can be used for:
- Back and sciatica pain
- Digestive and bowel problems
- Earache and TMJ problems
- Migraines and other headaches
- Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue
- Hip, knee, ankle and foot problems
- Menstrual and hormonal issues
- Neck and shoulder issues
- Groin pain, pelvic tilt and uneven leg length
- Respiratory problems and hay fever
- RSI, carpal tunnel syndrome and tennis elbow
- Sports and other traumatic injuries (including concussion symptoms) and many, many more…
Who is it good for? Due to its gentle nature Bowen can be used on anyone from newborn babies to the elderly. There are only a few contra-indications: for those who have had surgical procedures on the TMJ (cannot get the TMJ procedure); Pregnant women (cannot have the coccyx procedure); and those with breast/pectoral implants (cannot get the chest procedure).
What happens during a treatment? Sessions can last from 15 to 60 minutes. The client is lying down or sitting in a chair if required for comfort and wearing loose comfortable clothing. The practitioner performs a series of procedures consisting of certain moves in a specific order. Between each set of moves the practitioner leaves the client for a period of rest (normally lasting 2-5 min) in order for the body’s nervous system to respond and adjust tension levels. The body can take sometimes 5 days or more to respond and adjust after a treatment. It is for that reason it is suggested that no other bodywork be performed within 5-7 days before or after a Bowen treatment. This includes any type of ‘massaging or rubbing of areas addressed’, hot or cold packs, hot showers, baths etc. These all may interfere with the re-balancing taking place by causing mixed signals to the nervous system.
Most issues can be resolved in 3-5 treatments. It is suggested that the first 2-3 appointments be booked within 5-7 days of each other to reinforce the moves and adjustments taking place.
Chronic conditions normally require more regular treatments so long as the client is feeling the benefits.