Bowen Therapy is my favorite tool for healing any dysfunction in the body- particularly musculoskeletal dysfunction. It is a very different form of bodywork than you have ever experienced before. It is definitely the most effective technique I have ever witnessed for returning proper form and function and eliminating pain.
We continue to strive to put together a definition that will be understood at least to some degree to the layman without going overboard with technical jargon and hypotheses. One of my instructor’s, Graham Pennington, an Australian Bowen Therapist, Acupuncturist, and Naturopathic physician that continues to work with some of Tom Bowen’s students developed this definition:
Bowen Therapy is a neuromusculosketel appproach to Health Care that employs soft tissue manipulation, for the correction of mechanical and neural dysfunction. Treatment is based on a holistic appreciation of interrelationships within the body and is intended to facilitate the body’s natural capacity to self-regulate and heal.
bottom line: We get all the kinks out of the body no matter what the manifestation is. We eliminate pain and restore proper function. Tennis elbow? no problem. Sciatica? no problem. Herniated disk? no problem. Oftentimes, even with some scarey situation in the hard structures of the body, just getting the soft tissues properly balanced (tension-wise) pain is eliminated and function is restored.
So, what does it look like? It is a rather gentle method that is done through clothing. The therapist performs a series of “strumming” moves across muscles, tendons, and ligaments in a very precise manner and sequence . This causes signals to be sent to the brain which then sends impulses back to the body causing the soft tissues to be rebalanced- some areas get tighter, some areas get more relaxed. This is important. Many times the pain and dysfunction in the body is a result of tension imbalance in the soft tissues (muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia).
For instance, if one side of the back is being pulled too tight, and the other side is slack, the bones will be pulled toward the tight side. Balancing the tension in the soft tissues right side and left allows the bones to move back to center. The same goes for joint compression- balancing the soft tissues surrounding the joint allows for proper positioning and spacing of the joint. When all of the structures are balanced nerve impingement is eliminated, proper function is restored and pain is gone.
Literally, I put no limitations on what Bowen Therapy can fix. I’ve seen too much. I’ve seen results that astonish me! Over and over again. This is a very intelligent system- it is teaching us how the body truly works. As always there is much to learn to gain full understanding of the body’s complete , innate ability to heal given the proper signals. These “signals” work because of the nature of the material our soft tissue structures are made from- piezoelectric materials. From someone who has previously studied piezoelectricity (as a materials scientist), it is very exciting! But that is another blog for you techies.
In the meantime, if you would like to see what a session looks like there is a video on the useful links page.
If you are in pain, do yourself and your body a favor- visit your nearest Bowen Therapist. You will be amazed at the results!