A sixty year old woman presented with severe low back pain and ankle pain. She had strained her back lifting a kayak. Using visual assessment techniques her left leg appeared short (due to the hips being pulled unevenly through soft tissues strains) and the test for cervical involvement showed positive. Palpation of the cervical and jaw area revealed adhesions in the right TMJ which were released using The Bowen Technique. Further palpation of the spine revealed a dislodged coccyx (to the left)- this was released and the client was left to rest for a few minutes. Reassessment showed the legs even and a negative test for any further cervical involvement.
The client returned a week later stating that she had had so much pain the day after treatment that she went to the Emergency room and was given pain medication. During the second session again the coccyx deviated to the left and there was a positive test for sacroiliac joint dysfunction. These issues were addressed using The Bowen Technique and the client was instructed to return in a week.
On the third session the client stated that she had been feeling much better and was able to resume most of her normal activities. The client presented with the same deviations in the right jaw and left coccyx. Appropriate techniques were used to release these restrictions along with secondary protocols for the pelvis and ankles.
During the fourth and final session the client stated no pain during the week and a return to normal activities. She presented with complete tonal symmetry therefore a standard basic protocol was used and the client was released.
I used this case study because the client had such a rough time after the first treatment. This happens on occasion as the body is shifting, attempting to rebalance and release all of the soft tissue restrictions. In traditional Chinese medicine this is referred to as a healing crisis. It happens with about 20% of clients and is typically short-lived, a couple hours to a day. We consider a healing crisis a positive thing as we are being shown that the body is self-regulating.