A Bowen treatment is a very finely tuned myofascial procedure that involves a series of short, gentle, bi-directional and cross fiber manipulation moves that are applied specific areas of the body that generate neurological impulses which trigger the brain and nervous system to relax muscles, tendons and ligaments, releasing pinched nerves, and tension. Each set of moves is interspersed with crucial pauses where the body responds to the treatment and begins healing. These neurological impulses continue to work for approximately one week after receiving the treatment.
The Bowen practitioner uses thumbs and fingers to gently move muscles and connective tissue to an end point and then applying gentle pressure the approximated tissue is flicked in the opposite direction. This digital pressure can sometimes be very quick, or other times be held for a heightened effect. Certain moves are said to have a sedative effect, while others stimulatory, though this cannot be verified at all. What we do know is that a strong parasympathetic flux is induced into the body when a series of these moves are applied, and this causes an improvement in neurological adaptability that is necessary for optimal function and healing.
In between certain sequences of moves the practitioner leaves the room, which is another notable distinction between this method of manual therapy (Bowen in general) and almost all others. A notable full body relaxation is always an end-product of a full body Bowen session and this can be adjusted depending on how long of a break you take. In general, longer breaks induce a deeper relaxation as they allow more parasympathetic activity to occur before the body needs to interpret the next set of signals that the “move” is sending to the nervous system, and so forth. Upon returning, the practitioner will often recognize the subtle shifts that the body has made and continue with the next set of moves to further the therapeutic effect. As you can imagine, the body is given the opportunity to correct and reset itself and often does so in a manner that is safe and within its ability to control. Therefore, Bowen Therapy has very few contraindications to treatment and can be used to address a wide variety of conditions; even used to enhance many other popular manual therapies.
Bowen therapy is completely non-invasive. No needles, drugs, nor machines are required. It is safe for everyone including babies, children, expectant mothers and seniors with osteoporosis.
Bowen therapy is very distinct from other forms of therapy like massage, chiropractic, acupuncture or physiotherapy. There is no manipulation of the bones or kneading of muscle tissue. Treatments can be effective even when other therapies have not resulted in lasting relief.
Dr. Joseph Mercola, Director, Optimal Wellness Center, Chicago, “This work, done properly, will take care of 85% of most all pain problems. It is absolutely amazing.”
There is an almost unlimited list of conditions that can be addressed with Bowen therapy:
- Low back pain, including: joint stiffness, discal pain, sciatic pain, functional scoliosis and low back pain from pregnancy.
- Thoracic back pain, including: chest pain, subluxed ribs and restricted breathing patterns such as asthma.
- Neck pain, including: chronic headaches and migraines, sinusitis, dizzyness and whiplash problems.
- Sacral and Pelvic pain, including: sacro-iliac dysfunction, pelvic rotational anomalies, leg length discrepancies, groin strains, pubic symphysis and coccyx pain.
- Lower Extremity pain, including: hamstring strains, thigh strains, knee joint pain, ankle sprains, compartment syndromes as well as associated swelling, clicking and spasms.
- Shoulder pain, including: rotator-cuff problems, impingements, and decreased range of motion.
- Upper Extremity pain, including: tennis elbow, golfers elbow, carpal tunnel disorder, pins and needles and neural pain.
- Temporal-mandibular joint pain (TMJ), including: clicking, popping, grinding teeth,
- Special considerations such as: digestive problems, constipation, visceral pain, balance and proprioception problems, repetitive strain injuries, lymphatic drainage.