Bowen Therapy can be an effective form of treatment for specific complaints such as neck, back or shoulder pain, headaches, muscle soreness, or pregnancy pain and can also be used for stress management and relaxation.
Also known as Bowen Massage, it is a “hand on, hands off” treatment, using thumbs or fingers on certain points around the body to make a rolling type move over the soft tissue. The moves are gentle and the client should experience little or no discomfort during a treatment. The treatment can be performed through light clothing, or directly on the skin, depending on your wishes.
When we make a Bowen move in a certain area, the brain asks questions of the body, in an attempt to establish what action it needs to take. The conversation between brain and body might go something like this:
Brain: What was that?
Body: I’m not really sure
Brain: Okay, was it painful?
Brain: How about hot?
Brain: Were you scared?
Body: No, and so on
The brain is continuing to look for points of reference that will establish what course of action needs to be taken. The Bowen move is so different, that such a point of reference is difficult to establish and the brain therefore decides that it needs to investigate further. It is at this point that the real work of the Bowen Therapist begins and (s)he leaves the room!
With the therapist out of the room, the brain can quickly start to find out what happened when those moves were made. It goes into an Alpha brainwave state and the body relaxes almost immediately.
When re-entering the room, the Bowen Therapists will often be told “it felt like your hands were still on me’, or ‘I felt a warmth or a tingling in my back’. This indicates that the brain has asked the body for more information in an attempt to decide what course of action to take.
Where the client returns for a second treatment, they often confirm that the presenting problem has been resolved, along with other symptoms such as hay fever or stomach pain that may not have been mentioned during the initial consultation. With the information that the brain was given in the treatment, it set up a series of priorities which recognised imbalances and corrected them.
The Bowen Technique acts as a bridge, a facilitator in the process of healing and recovery.
The process of treatment is an ongoing one, the pace of which is determined by the client, not the Therapist. After a treatment, a client will sometimes report sleeping for a long period of time. This is quite normal, sleep being the ideal healing place for the body.
Taken from “Bowen Therapy” by Julian Baker