What is the Bowen Technique?
The Bowen Technique is a remedial, hands-on therapy that is applied using very gentle pressure. Thumbs and fingers are used on precise points of the body to perform Bowen’s unique set of rolling-type moves which stimulate the muscles and soft tissue of the body.
There is no manipulation or adjustment of hard tissue, and no force is used. The experience of a treatment is gentle, subtle, and relaxing.
It is believed that the Bowen Technique prompts the body to reset, repair and balance itself. Clients report the experience of pain relief, improvement of function, and recovery of energy.
Most of the moves can be performed through light clothing such as T-shirts or leggings.
Who can it help?
The Bowen Technique is suitable for adults and children, including newborn babies, and the elderly.
What happens during a treatment?
At the first session, a full medical history including current medication will be required.
Normally, the treatment will take place on a therapy table. Initially, this will begin with you laying face down, and during the treatment you will need to turn over on to your back.
As described earlier, gentle precise movements across specific muscles and soft tissue are undertaken. Bowen Technique follows the philosophy of “less is more.” Therefore, the length of the session bears no relationship to its effectiveness. A session is likely to last for approximately 30 to 45 minutes. The initial session is likely to be 45 minutes.
How does Bowen Technique work?
There have been many theories put forward in the past about why Bowen Technique works, and there are many people who, conversely, believe that we need not know. They may have a point, but these days there is more of a need to understand, and gain acceptance from the medical community and wider use of the technique by health professionals will come from a better understanding of what happens during a Bowen Technique treatment.
The Bowen Technique aims to balance the whole person, not just the symptoms. One of the most interesting areas of the body is the brain, with the most basic function of the brain is to receive information from our sensory organs and interpret this information, such as light, sound, pain, movement. This enables conscious communication within our body. Neuroplasticity, which is the brain’s ability to recognise itself by forming new neural connections, allows the nerve cells in the brain to adjust their activities in response to new situations or changes in their environment. This includes a stimulus through touch. There is something like 600,000 signals that travel from the brain into the body every second and these come back to the brain with information which is then interpreted and sent back out. Whenever we feel, hear, see or even think something, the brain brings in past experience to categorise the sensation and create an appropriate response.
With the Bowen Technique move, the brain cannot do this instantly and needs more information to form a response. If the client is lying down, the immediate response is nearly always rapid and deep relaxation. The client will also often report that they feel a tingling sensation or warmth in the area just worked on. “It felt like your hands were still on me,” is a common comment.
One of the more difficult elements to come to terms with is how little ‘hands on work’ is done during a session. In addition, the client may well walk out of the treatment room having felt little or no improvement over and above a sense of relaxation.
However, the reactions to The Bowen Technique in the days following a treatment can often belie its soft and gentle approach. Stiffness, soreness, headache and feeling like “I’ve been run over by a bus!” are common, showing that the brain and body have started the process of repair. This process, when started, is generally rapid, and it is not uncommon for even longstanding pain to be reduced or resolved in two or three treatments.
Although musculoskeletal problems such as frozen shoulder, back and neck pain account for the majority of conditions brought for Bowen treatment, it can also be helpful with more organic problems.
Each session costs £35 and will last between 30 and 45 minutes.
If you need to cancel your appointment, please give at least 24 hours notice, otherwise a cancellation fee for the full amount (£35) will be charged.
The 3 W’s form the basis for aftercare’s far as Bowen Technique is concerned.
1. Water–As one essential for good health, water is also essential following a Bowen treatment. Following a Bowen treatment, the body will generally increase the blood supply to the nerve endings and affect the movement of lymph around the body. The effective functioning of these systems is entirely reliant on water.
2. Walk–This assists the movement of fluids and particularly the lymph, around the body. Lymph removes all type of debris from the system, as well as moving fluid around the body.
3. Week – The recommended time between treatments is 5 to 10 days with the optimum being 7 days.
It is recommended that you don’t have any other bodywork whilst on a course of Bowen treatments as it can interfere with the potential benefits by slowing the body’s response and the healing process.
How many treatments will I need?
There are no guarantees because everyone responds differently to the treatment. However, the average number of treatment sessions is around three, each a week apart, with a follow-up session four weeks later to allow the work undertaken to embed and take effect. However, some problems need more treatments and equally some fewer.
Most clients have regular maintenance sessions every four to six months to ensure the changes made by the body in the initial course of treatment are still effective.
Whatever your needs are, you can be confident that you won’t be required to have a long course of treatment only to find it has not helped. There can be no promises or guarantees, but in most cases, you should notice a change in a fairly quickly. If the body responds to the treatment, then it can and will start the process of repair. If it doesn’t respond, then no harm is done.