PAIN IS EXHAUSTING. Chronic pain is even worse. It robs us of the joys of life and makes us wonder if we will ever feel vibrantly alive and happy again. I have been there! And I can certainly empathize with all of you that are going through it right now.
My work addresses musculoskeletal and nerve impingement pain in all its forms. Back pain, joint pain, all forms of nerve impingement whether it be sciatica, tennis elbow, plantar fascitis, or TMJ just to name a few. When it comes to these kinds of problems in the body nothing, and I mean NOTHING, works like the form of Bowen Therapy that I practice.
Nobody knows better than I do as a practitioner in the USA that this work deviates completely from the Western understanding of how the body works. Here in the US if the knee hurts it is the knee that is the problem. And the answer is to address the knee. This is an example only, simply to demonstrate a point. So the knee is treated. An MRI probably happens. A diagnosis is made, There is deterioration in the knee. The knee needs to be repaired. Maybe physical therapy is recommended- again targeted at the knee. Physical therapy does not resolve the issue and you end up in an orthopedic surgeon’s office to determine the options. Surgery is typically the answer. So you get arthroscopic surgery to repair some damage. Or a total knee replacement is recommended. When surgery and rehab are completed, you find yourself having other problems: either the pain has moved to the other knee or to a hip. You see where I am going with this: one problem becomes another and another and more surgical interventions are recommended. And the saga continues seriously affecting your quality of life.
What if the knee wasn’t the problem? Could it be that the knee is just taking the brunt from some problem somewhere else in the body? This is where Eastern and western medicine go in different directions. Western medicine looks at the body as compartmentalized pieces and parts. If the knee hurts, it’s the knee. It is not looked at as intimately connected with the rest of the body. The idea that a problem in the neck can serve to disturb the function of the knee is ludicrous. From an eastern view although all parts are connected intimately- one part serves another regardless of how far apart they are. So, with this in mind- yes, a pinched nerve in the neck can and may well affect the knee (or other distant areas of the spine).
In Bowen Therapy (which was developed by an Australian Osteopath that studied acupressure and Meridian theory, Thomas Ambrose Bowen) one learns just how intimately widely distant areas affect each other. For instance, connections in the jaw and just under the jaw are directly connected with the opposite end of the spine- the coccyx or tailbone. Western medicine does not recognize this. I like to use the analogy of a wet towel being wrung out and clamped at both ends. As long as the clamps are on the remainder of the towel remains twisted. Releasing those clamps, the rest of the towel (or spine) can unwind. Therein lies the “magic”. Release both ends of the towel (ie spine) and the whole thing unwinds! Nerve impingement is released, bones and joints are allowed to move to their neutral position, function is restored, and pain is no more.
The other beautiful thing about this work is once it’s done, it’s done! Maintenance is always a grand idea. but once the dysfunctional pattern is eliminated from the body (and we have visual and tactile assessments for this), it is done! There is no need for weekly (or more often) treatments. Given the proper signals in the proper locations, the body most readily responds.
This is what I do and it is my passion! It is brilliant remedial medicine and I thank my mentor physician Graham Pennington in Australia for enlightening me and showing me how to help people restore form and function and live happy lives everyday.