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The Bowen Technique
What is Bowen?
The Bowen Technique is gentle, non invasive Fascial Release Technique, renowned for its simplicity and the fact that it encourages the body to heal itself. Fascia is a network of fibrous connective tissue found throughout the body. When there is injury, stress or tension the natural gliding movement of the fascia over the different structures of the body can become restricted leading to pain, discomfort and/or mobility issues.
Bowen can release these restrictions and stimulates the body, via the autonomic nervous system, to realign and restore Homeostasis (balance) to body, mind, and spirit.
It is a bit like pressing the reset button on a computer and for this reason Bowen has the potential to help with any ailment or condition within the body.
It consists of a series of gentle rolling moves with the therapist's thumbs and forefingers at precise points on muscle and soft tissue, followed by short breaks during which the practitioner generally leaves the room.
How might it help me?
As well as initiating a deep sense of relaxation, the Bowen Technique can also be extremely helpful for relieving pain.
Originally intended to help people suffering from muscular and skeletal problems, it has successfully treated many other conditions and is now used as a remedial therapy for numerous ailments including:
* Back, neck, shoulder and other joint pain,
* Sports injuries and work related injuries
* Headaches and migraines
* Allergies such as Hay Fever
* Respiratory conditions.
The Bowen Technique can improve rehabilitation time from injury or following surgery and can have beneficial effects on the immune and hormonal systems, it is therefore used by many for general body balancing and to help maintain a good level of health.
Why is it called The Bowen Technique?
It is named after Tom Bowen (1916 - 1982) who devised the technique and ran a very successful clinic treating around 250 people a week in his home town of Geelong, Australia. Tom taught his technique to a chosen few who after his death started to teach it more widely. Various training schools were established and The Bowen Technique quickly started to gain worldwide recognition due to it's high success rate.
Will it hurt?
The Bowen Technique should not hurt. It is very gentle and no manipulation or force is used - making it safe for all ages from newborn babies to the elderly.
Can I have it if I am pregnant?
Yes, it can be very helpful during pregnancy and labour, with some Midwives now training as Bowen therapists and introducing it into their practice. It can help with most pregnancy ailments although certain procedures should be avoided during pregnancy. It can also help to restore balance to the body following the birth.
Do I need to undress?
The treatment can be carried out through clothing so there is no need to undress. It is helpful if you wear light clothing such as a T shirt and track suit bottoms or leggings. Some clients like to bring pyjamas to change into which is also fine, but I can work through most clothing as long as it is not too thick. Some clients like to remove trousers or skirts for their own comfort and to prevent creasing. You will be covered with a blanket during the treatment.
What happens during a treatment?
If it is your first appointment, a full health history will be taken. You will be asked to give details of any medication you are taking and to sign a consent form. An explanation of the treatment will be given and you will have the opportunity to ask any questions you might have.
Bowen Therapists do not diagnose and you may be asked to see your GP before any treatment is given.
Treatments are carried out on a comfortable bed and you will lie on your front unless this is uncomfortable for you.
The treatment involves a series of gentle rolling movements with the therapist's thumbs and fingers on specific parts of the body. Breaks usually lasting 2 - 5 minutes, but sometimes longer, are given between sequences of moves during which the therapist will generally leave the room.
This is to allow the body time to absorb the treatment and start making the subtle shifts and changes needed for healing to take place. These can result in a range of sensations from warmth, heat, cold, tingling, pulsing and twitching to more intense sensations and spontaneous movements or no sensations at all. Everyone is different and it does not mean the treatment is not working if you don't feel anything happening during the breaks.
How long will it take?
A Bowen treatment generally takes 45 - 60 minutes but can last up to 90 minutes according to your body's response, so please allow plenty of time for your appointment.
What happens after the treatment?
The treatment can carry on working for up to 5 days so you may be aware of adjustments still taking place some time after the treatment. Some people feel quite tired afterwards and need an early night, others feel energised by the treatment. Your body will do whatever it needs for healing to take place.
A few people experience aches and pains as the body starts to realign and others feel fabulous for a day or two. Again, everyone is different and will respond in different ways. It is advisable to drink plenty of water as Bowen works best when the body is well hydrated and to keep moving as much as possible. It is best not to remain in a seated position for too long as this can hinder the healing process.
How many treatments will I need?
Bowen is generally known to produce rapid and long lasting results and many conditions that have failed to respond well to other treatments can respond quickly to Bowen.
An initial course of three treatments roughly a week apart is recommended and most people find this is enough to leave them feeling comfortable in the long term unless re injury occurs.
Some find they need more treatments depending on the nature of their condition.
Thereafter, some clients find a regular one off treatment every month to six weeks helps to keep their aches and pains at bay and others have a treatment just once or twice a year.
We will eventually be able to discern what suits you best in the way of top up treatments and adjust your treatment plan accordingly.
Can I have other treatments at the same time?
Homeopathy, Bach Flower remedies and Light Therapy work well in conjunction with Bowen.
It best to avoid any other 'hands on' treatments whilst you are having Bowen. These can interfere with and confuse the body's response to Bowen and inhibit the healing process. It is a bit like trying to listen to two radios at the same time - you can't make sense of either so you eventually have to give up.
Bowen is recognised as a very cost effective treatment because it generally achieves positive results very quickly and has a high success rate with conditions that are often difficult and expensive to treat. For example, the equivalent healing response from 6 - 9 weeks of other treatments can often be achieved in just 3 Bowen treatments. Clients are often amazed at how quickly they get better with Bowen!
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