Bowen Therapy


What is Bowen?
History of Bowen
How Bowen Works
A Typical Treatment
During a Treatment
After Your Treatment

 

What is Bowen?
Bowen Therapy is a powerful, yet gentle therapy that has many applications for use. By sending neurological impulses to the brain through gentle muscle rolls, Bowen “reminds” the body to heal itself. Each move applied sends a healing message to the body allowing it to relax and restore proper function. It is unique in its ability to bring about many changes in the body without force or manipulation, and is safe for infants to the elderly.
Contraindications

There are no contraindications that would keep a person from receiving Bowen Therapy.

There are, however, a few procedures that are contraindicated in specific circumstances.

  • The “Coccyx Procedure” is not done on pregnant women
  • The “Breast Tenderness Procedure” is not done on women with breast implants
  • The “TMJ Procedure” is not done on people whose jaws have been surgically altered at the condyles.

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History of Bowen

Mr. Tom Bowen developed the therapy known as The Bowen Technique in Geelong, Victoria, Australia in the 1950s. After serving in World War II, Mr. Bowen became interested in ways of alleviating human suffering. He noticed that when he made certain moves on the body, it had particular effects. Mr. Bowen developed the technique without any training in the health care field: he claimed that the work was simply a gift from God.

In 1973, in an interview with an Australian parliamentary committee looking into complementary medicine, Bowen stated that he treated approximately 280 patients per week – a total of 13,000 patients per year! He claimed an 88% success rate.

Tom was a quiet and gentle man who spoke of his skill with great humility. Once a month he ran a free clinic devoted to children with disabilities and on Saturday nights he opened his clinic to injured football players.

The sign on the wall of his clinic read:
“I expect to pass through this world but once, any good thing therefore that I do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow-creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, For I shall not pass this way again.”

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How Bowen Works
Bowen is a manual therapy whereby gentle moves are performed over various connective tissue points. The response from these movements is an activation of the nervous system where signals are sent to the brain. These signals made by the Bowen “moves”, over-ride conscious movement and thought, thereby directly stimulating the parasympathetic or healing mechanisms of the body. This signal also stimulates the proprioceptors in the muscle tissue, creating a message that alerts the nervous system that the “emergency is over.” Once the body recognizes that it no longer needs to be stuck in this locked state, it begins to heal. The process is very gentle and does not require inflicting pain or force to achieve results. Bowen stimulates circulation of energy and clears energetic blocks. Coincidentally, several of the moves are located along acupuncture meridians or on specific acupuncture points, which are known to stimulate and balance the body’s energy. Bowen also stimulates lymphatic circulation and drainage.

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A Typical Treatment
Bowen’s input to the nervous system is very subtle, and the body responds over time. For that reason, it’s best to avoid other manipulative therapies for several days before and after a Bowen session as they interfere with the body’s response to the Bowen treatment.
The ideal time for a Bowen session is immediately after an injury. That way, your body can overcome the trauma before it begins to compensate for it. Within three days is ideal for the quickest and most complete recovery.

You will get the best results from Bowen work on new and old injuries if you:

  • Don’t have any forms of bodywork for four days prior to your treatment
  • Avoid heavy exercise on the day of your session
  • Don’t use ice or heat on the site of injury

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During a Treatment

Wear or bring lightweight, loose fitting clothing that your practitioner can work through (or be prepared to be worked on in your underclothes, under sheets and blankets for modesty and comfort).

Your practitioner will ask you about your health history and reason for the visit in order to find out the best procedures to apply and if there are any moves or procedures that are contraindicated for you. A treatment usually lasts between 20 and 45 minutes, but allow for 1 hour.

Bowen procedures involve stimulation of precise points on the body, in groups of 2-8 points at a time. Points generally progress from the torso/core of the body outward. In most first sessions, the points used are on the back, buttocks, hamstrings, shoulder, neck and knees. Additional points may be added in areas where you have symptoms.
Your practitioner will leave the room between groups of moves, to allow your body time to assimilate the work.

The most common reaction to Bowen treatments is a deep sense of overall relaxation and lessening of muscular tension and pain. These result from the body’s balancing and improved flow of internal energy. It is common for people to fall asleep during a session.

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After Your Treatment
Each person’s response to Bowen Therapy continues for several hours or days, as his or her individual body allows. The benefits will be enhanced by following simple guidelines given by the practitioner.

The most common include:

  • Not overdoing things for the rest of that day, with regards to exercise or exertion.
  • Your practitioner may give you some exercises to do each day or instructions. It is important for follow these instructions as they aid in the healing
    process.
  • Increasing the intake of pure water, to encourage the body’s ability to eliminate toxins released by the muscles and connective tissue during and after the Bowen session.
  • Do not remain seated for longer than half an hour at a time. It is important to get up and walk a little every half hour.
  • If you must do some sort of exercising we recommend that you walk or swim only.
  • When getting out of bed or a chair, ensure that you balance your body by transferring your weight equally onto both feet at the same time.

Some people experience relief by the next day, while others may find they are worse. Do not panic if things are worse or try other treatments. Your Bowen treatment is working! Your body is changing in order to become balanced and start the healing process. We recommend that you drink more pure water and walk at least 30 minutes per day to accelerate the process. You can always call your practitioner in between treatments with any concerns you may have.

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