Imagine improving posture and ease of movement, relaxing and balancing the body’s nervous system to affect changes throughout the nervous, endocrine, immune systems, as well as the muscles and bones. Tom Bowen of Australia developed this innovative hands-on treatment. It is offered by a few practitioners, although the numbers are growing throughout the world.
One can think of the treatment like playing the guitar on the muscles of the body. Muscles and connective tissues are stretched from the top of one joint to the lower area of another joint. One can challenge the muscle and pluck causing a vibration to occur within the nerves that are found deep within the muscle. After the plucking motion, the area is left alone to continue to vibration, sending messages to the brain, which then determines whether or not the system is “out of tune.” There is a process of retrieving cellular memory of trauma and stress and unraveling it to another cellular memory of a relaxed balanced way of life.
Just as in a piece of music, there are rest periods in the treatment. A series of moves, a pattern, is executed on a portion of the body and then it is left to rest for several minutes. One can address a particular problem area such a sciatic pain, or one can do a whole body treatment. Personally, I prefer to give a whole body treatment with an emphasis on the current problem since many things are connected even though one might not think they are.
Some conditions that have responded to Bowen therapy: back pain, sciatica, old or new injuries, sports injuries, leg problems such as foot, ankle and knee pain, neck and shoulder problems including frozen shoulder and tennis elbow, hand problems such as carpel tunnel syndrome. Arthritis and scoliosis pain has been relieved. Even internal problems such as menstrual and hormonal irregularities, digestive and bowel problems, as well as circulation and lymphatic concerns have responded to Bowen.
A Bowen session initiates a cascade of beneficial changes over 4 to 5 days, so other manual therapies should be avoided for a few days: acupuncture, chiropractic can be taken before a treatment, but should wait at least 5 days after a Bowen session.
When other things don’t seem to help, consider Bowen therapy. While it is powerful, it is gentle and comprehensive. In fact, it is actually easy for the layperson or the massage therapist to learn. A gentle touch with remarkable pain relief.