Bowen Practitioners – what to look for
These are some of the marks of a good Bowtech Bowen Practitioner:
- Maintains an office/clinic that is calm and conducive to healing
- Asks you for some background to your complaints
- Explains what s/he’s going to do before the Bowtech session begins
- Makes sure that you are comfortable lying on the table/bed or sitting in a chair
- Uses only pressure that is comfortable to you; if you ask him/ her to lighten up, heeds your request
- Leaves you to rest between sets of moves so that your nervous system can begin its work without interruption
- Does not overload your system with too many Bowen procedures in one session
- Helps you to get up off the table/bed or out of the chair
- Explains what to do and not do between Bowtech sessions, and answers your questions
- Encourages you to phone between sessions if anything unusual happens
- At the next session, after showing you any exercises to do at home between sessions, reviews them to make sure you’re doing them correctly
What can you use The Bowen Technique for?
The Bowen Technique can be beneficial in a wide range of situations. It can assist recovery from many conditions, from traumatic injury to chronic illness, depending upon each individual’s capacity to heal. Many clients report that Bowtech is THE most relaxing modality they have ever experienced. Some of the conditions that often respond favorably to Bowenwork are:
- Back pain and sciatica
- Digestive and bowel problems
- Earache and TMJ problems
- Migraines and other types of headaches
- Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome
- Hip, knee, ankle and foot problems
- Menstrual and hormonal Irregularities
- Neck and shoulder problems (including ‘frozen shoulder’)
- 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
Practitioners rated the following results in their clients:
- 85% effectiveness in back pain with an average of 4.3 sessions
- 88% effectiveness in neck pain with 4.5 sessions
- 83% effectiveness in stress, tension with 4 treatments
- 83% effectiveness in their “other” category after 5.8 treatments
After receiving their treatments, clients reported the following results:
- 85% effectiveness with back pain
- 80% effectiveness for stress and tension
- 80% effectiveness with Fibromyalgia
- 95% effectiveness with TMJ
- 80% effectiveness with hip pain
- 75.6% for “other” conditions
How does the Bowen Technique work?
There are many theories about the physiological mechanisms by which the Bowen Technique brings about the results for which it is famous. In addition to the rebalancing of the ANS, described earlier, Bowtech moves and procedures may reset the body to heal itself by activating, through the nervous and endocrine systems among others, the following mechanisms:
- Stretch reflex: Most moves are done either at the origin, insertion or belly of muscles where receptors are located, informing the nervous system on the state of tension, length or stretch in the musculotendinous tissue. These receptors are stimulated during the ‘challenge’ and the ‘rolling’ part of the Bowen move which changes the stimulus received by the nervous system. This can change a pain/muscle spasm loop.
- Joint proprioceptors: All moves done around a joint directly affect the joint capsule and ligaments that are richly innervated with proprioceptors. Here again, stimulus will be received by the nervous system, inviting normalization of the joint function without the need for forceful manipulation. Research (Carter, Bernie, 2002, ‘Clients experiences of frozen shoulder and its treatment with Bowen technique’, Complementary Therapies in Nursing and Midwifery, v. 8, pp. 204-210) has confirmed increases in the range of motion in restricted joints.
- Fascia: Each Bowen move is done at the level of the superficial fascia and affects the relationship between the fascia and the nerve, muscle or tendon being mobilized. Fascia plays a major role in muscle co-ordination, postural alignment and overall structural and functional integrity. All of these are negatively affected when the fascia stiffens, contracts, torques or dehydrates. Following a Bowtech session it is not uncommon to see adhesions loosen up, scar tissue soften and posture and mobility improve without harsh mobilization or stretching.
- Segmental viscerosomatic spinal reflexes: Several Bowtech moves engage these reflexes. They produce referred reactions to the internal organs through stimulation of the skin, muscles and nerves.
- Harmonic vibration or resonance model: Bowenwork moves set up vibrational patterns which bring the body back into balance and harmony.
- Lymphatics: Some Bowtech procedures activate draining of the lymphatic system stimulating the immune system.
- Detoxification is often initiated during a Bowen session, thereby improving the body’s ability to function at a cellular level.
The Bowen Technique (also known as Bowtech – the Original Bowen Technique and Bowenwork) is a dynamic system of muscle and connective tissue therapy that was developed by the late Tom Bowen in Geelong, Australia. Sometimes called the “homeopathy of bodywork,” it utilizes subtle inputs to the body (known as “moves”), stimulating the body to heal itself, often profoundly. Read more at www.fairoaksbowen.com