October 20, 2016
4 min read

Should a therapist diagnose medical issues? What about saying what is wrong with someone?

There was a time not so long ago, when there were clear channels available and accepted for receiving information and accepting that. For example, a Bank Manager was the pillar of the community and considered the best source of financial advice and prudence. The local policeman or policewoman knew their beat, the people in their community and were there to reassure and guide. The local doctor (GP) was the font of all medical matters and his or her judgement was considered beyond reproach.

This may seem like a time far far in the past, perhaps from the Victorian or even Edwardian era, a touch of the Downton Abbey, but no that would be wrong. Equally it was not before that time either, but as recent as the 1970’s. Yes you read correctly, the 1970s, the decade that history has tried to consign to the bin, but actually was it all bad? Clearly not.

I remember the local GP, a fine gentleman whose diagnosis was accepted as fact, if he sent you away with a prescription you needed it, if you left empty handed you didn’t need anything, except the good advice, and guidance he provided. He had a wealth of experience and knowledge and knew his patients.

What knowledge did we have? Very little, a medical encyclopaedia maybe, but these were more dangerous as you could read through and convince yourself that you had some terrifying disease or virus, when it was a common cold.

Since those days, the world has changed, knowledge has become available to all. Let me rephrase and correct that, information not knowledge has become available to all. The information super highway or internet has provided us all with access to detailed information, and the ability to research and investigate matters. This allowed us to be informed and able to make informed decisions and challenge things, such as diagnoses by GPs. However, this has lead to a desire to categorise everything, to label it and name it. Everything must have a name or be a condition. This is understandable as it allows us as people to process the information, to deal with it and file it neatly in our mind. If we don’t that can just lead to future problems.

So now everyone demands a name, a category, a diagnosis, a name for their ailment, pain, or condition.

How does that impact on us as Bowen therapists? Well during my training it was drummed into us that we do not, not ever, diagnose. This is correct as no matter how much knowledge we have of the body, how the body works, what muscles or bones or joints are in need of help; we do not have the medical training that our doctors do. Furthermore, we are not insured to diagnose and if we did, could cause the client to get worse. Quiet simply we should not and do not diagnose.

The joy of Bowen is that it treats the person as a whole, it is therefore, holistic, and does not limit itself to being lead by a condition or diagnosis.

Reading through social media threads on Facebook, although other forums are just as culpable, it is easy to read questions posed and numerous comments as responses, saying the client has this or that pain which is therefore, this condition or that condition? This is so frustrating and annoying as unless you have been to medical school and have passed numerous examinations and then undergone years of supervision, you are not qualified to diagnose. Get real people, all that you are doing is perpetrating the myth about complementary medicine and therapy, that it is not based in science and therefore is bordering on quackery. Why do you need to give everything a nice name, it doesn’t change what it is or isn’t. If I call a car a sky, it doesn’t make a hill of beans of difference, it will still have wheels and get form A to B faster than I can walk.

We are also taught not to mix therapies, to give Bowen Fascial Release Technique the best chance of success. On any given day you can read numerous posts on Facebook, totally disregarding this. Only a few minutes ago I read about a Bowen therapist who was strapping a client’s foot up for them. It may be they are qualified to do this, but then they are mixing therapies.

Bowen Fascial Release Technique is amazing, its results are astounding, and for those who practice it alone, they will appreciate the power it has. But, why dilute its potency by mixing therapies, it is amazing to me that pupils do not listen to this advice.

If you seek out a builder, do you expect them to be proficient doctor, you see what I am trying to point out you see a specialist because they are a specialist and skilled in their field, a master of their trade, rather than a “jack of all trades.”

If you want a Bowen Fascial Release Technique therapist seek out one who does that alone that is all they concentrate on and hopefully will be more skilled in their field.