The Bowen Technique is a gentle, effective form of bodywork that addresses both the musculoskeletal and internal organ systems. The technique is deeply relaxing and appears to stimulate healing by acting on the autonomic nervous system, allowing the body to let go of held patterns of pain.
Each move of a Bowen treatment challenges a muscle at the site where the nervous system innervates. There is a dynamic relationship between these two systems that allows us to move and hold positions without a great deal of effort and conscious thought. This is done by a series of communications between the muscles and the brain transferred by the nerves connecting the two. If we want to bend our arm we consciously bend it, but once moved we no longer think about keeping it bent. This is because the nerves innervating each muscle involved send a message to the brain that we have shortened some muscles and lengthened others. The brain understands these messages and resets the length of each muscle to hold that position.
- stimulate energy flow
- facilitate lymphatic drainage of toxins and waste
- promote good circulation
- release tension
- increase mobility
- relieve pain
- encourage the body to relax, realign and heal itself.
Essentially any system that has muscular involvement will respond to Bowen therapy. This includes the musculoskeletal system, the digestive system, the respiratory system, the cardiovascular system, the genitourinary system and the nervous system. Specific conditions include: acute and chronic pain, asthma and other respiratory conditions, sinus congestion and hay fever, high blood pressure, gynecological complaints, migraine, digestive complaints, obstetrical pain, sciatica, frozen shoulder, tendinitis, low back pain, and carpal tunnel syndrome.
There is no one who cannot be treated safely with Bowen. It is so gentle; it can be used on babies, pregnant women, the elderly and the disabled. It is not dangerous to those suffering from chronic
illness and it is ideal for treating children because it is non-invasive and non-threatening.
The practitioner does the minimum needed to bring about a healing response in the body.
The more acute the pain, the less they do. The less they do, the more profound the effect
on the body. During the treatment, the patient lies on a massage table while the therapist
applies specific sequences of rolling moves over muscles, tendons, nerves and connective tissue. There are important pauses between each series of moves when the therapist leaves the room to allow the body to absorb the treatment it has received. These rests are very important for the nervous system to integrate the information. A session can last from 15 – 90 minutes, depending on the presentation of the client and are scheduled one week apart. It can take up to 5 days for the effects of a treatment to be fully integrated. Most people will notice significant improvement within 3 to 5 sessions.
After a Bowen session, it is strongly recommended that no other forms of body work or therapy are applied to the patient for a period of several days to one week. Stimulating treatments may disrupt the body’s attempt to re-pattern itself. Anything that sharply stimulates the nervous system such as intense exercise and hot baths are included. Other than these restrictions Bowen can be used with other forms of care to a great advantage for the patient.