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Some Clarity On What Is Really Going On With Injuries And Joints “Wearing Out”

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I feel the need to explain what is going on with most people that are hurt or in pain.  And I must say this carefully to not step on any toes or go outside my scope of practice.  Many different sections of the medical industry approach things VERY differently depending on their specialty.  For example, chiropractors adjust the spine itself manually.  Surgeons do just that- surgery.  Bowen Therapists address the soft tissues of the body- tendons, muscles, ligaments, fascia- that are ALWAYS involved when there is pain, dysfunction, and deterioration in the body.

Here is how we see things in my field:

Bones are held in place by the soft tissues of the body.  If it weren’t for the fascia, muscles, tendons, ligaments our bones would literally be a pile on the floor.

So.  If these soft tissues are not held in proper, balanced tension, the bones are pulled this way and that, the joints are compressed, the bursa (the fluid-filled sacs in the joints) also get compressed often causing leakage or rupture and nerve compression/pain.  If left untreated the joint begins to deteriorate (and this is just an example), more pain and dysfunction ensues and often people run to the nearest surgeon.

My point?  It is a very frequent thing that a client comes to me saying “I’m going for a knee replacement” to which I reply “give me three weeks.”  So very often it is simply (or not so simply) a matter of balancing the tension in the surrounding soft tissues- pain goes away, proper function returns, things repair.

My last point- it is much easier and faster to restore balance and subsequently proper function BEFORE it’s been years! And BEFORE  a joint replacement! If you are in pain, if you cannot function as well as you would like, do yourself a favor and call your nearest Bowen Therapist.  It may be a different approach to things but it works!

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Scoliosis and Bowen Therapy

fab 2016 bowen 045seventy year old client ended up on my table for a Bowen treatment- only because a neighbor touted my work that kept him from having a knee replacement. This client had spent most of her life literally trying to unravel her body which had a serious scoliosis distortion in 3D.  She had worked continuously on her own and with therapists of several modalities- with very limited success.

Enter Bowen Therapy- First treatment nothing unusual.  Second treatment her body started “unwinding”- for an hour and a half.  Third treatment her body “unwound” for three and a half solid hours on my table!  Honestly, I’ve never seen anything like it.  Astonishing really.  What I mean by “unwinding” is literal- her body “contorted” quite unusually with the right shoulder and left hip going up at the same time, hanging out there and then relaxing followed by the same on the opposite side, followed by the ribs undulating, and it went on and on and on.  At the end of the treatment, her spine was COMPLETELY straight and she had a lumbar curve which she says she hasn’t had for many years. She commented that she did a yoga “cat-cow” and thought her belly was going to hit the floor:)

Working with her has been a huge education for me.  I have always known that the body has unlimited capacity to heal itself, but how it goes about that is a truly amazing process.  I simply give it vibrational signals and it does the rest. We are not done yet , it is a process, and an amazing one.  She has grown nearly 3/4″ and her posture has completely changed.

The point is: no matter how long a distortion pattern has been locked in the body, “IT IS POSSIBLE TO UNWIND ITSELF”!! So, for those of you out think “it’s always going to be this way”, don’t give up! Bowen Therapy may be the answer!

Ozzie The Miracle Dog and his Mom’s Story

 

I work on people and sometimes I get to work on animals too.  This is an extraordinary story of my friend and client, Ozzie…Enjoy!

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My client, Ozzie, is the most fabulous Newfoundland mix.  Here is his story according to his Mom, Pam:

 

 

 

Ever wish you could have a “do over?” A chance to say, “If only I’d chosen a different path.”  Well we got that chance with Ozzie, a 7 year old Newfoundland/Labrador/Golden Retriever mix who spent his first 6 months at the Fort Pierce Humane Society. 

Ozzie has always been a very active, wonderful, “special” dog.  One of my college roommates Cyndy and I were talking the other day, describing, if you are lucky, in your life you’ve had a special dog or maybe even two.  This is the type of dog who, when you call him from a long distance, looks up as if to say, “Me? Me?  Oh are you calling me??  Oh great!!! I’m coming, here I come, I’m so happy that you called me!! I’m running as fast as I can! Here I am!”  And lands on your feet in a big blast of fur. A special dog almost has human overtones, and eyes that follow you, a tail that wags continually, and a heart of gold, a dog who wants to do nothing more in life but to please. Ozzie is our special dog. 

About a year ago, out of nowhere, Ozzie experienced, as our canine Neurologist at The Animal Emergency Clinic in Melbourne described, a stroke on his spinal cord. After a relatively short recovery period, paralysis followed by weeks of physical therapy, he bounced back to an almost normal gaited dog, which is relatively common in the recovery with this diagnosis. Oddly 6 or so months later, he very quickly began to lose the use of his legs and began “knuckling” on his front legs.  Within 2 days, he was back at The Animal Emergency Clinic, completely paralyzed. The wonderful doctors at the clinic who I adore, explained that Ozzie now had a combination of significant problems with his spinal cord, not only one diagnosis this time and surgery was then performed. After the procedure, unfortunately Ozzie did not function well, he did not respond to much of anything, he was very lethargic and continued to be paralyzed.  It was at this point that I knew that I should probably face having him put to sleep.  As I looked into his eyes while they followed me around the visiting room when I’d make the daily trip up to Melbourne from Vero, I questioned myself if the time had come.  It was crushing to have to leave him at the end of each day to return home, but after a week of zero improvement I wondered if I was making the right decision to keep him alive. However, the option to take him home after a very weak but positive response to a toe pinch reflex test made our decision easy.  Our family of one husband and two teenage college bound boys and I, made that decision despite the fact that the prognosis was both guarded and poor. The process of recovery was very bleak; that he may never recover, never gain the use of his legs or walk, and that we would be dragging a 90lb dog outside several times a day.  And if he WAS able to recover enough to walk, that it could take up to a year or more. 

Enter Penny Michaels. I was given her name by the famous Pawprints Doggie Daycare, (I’m sure half of Vero goes there), by owner and friend Kim Conte. Kim knew Ozzie’s plight since she and her husband Sean oversaw Ozzie’s water therapy, who had now gained enough strength in his neck to at least hold his head up, as we floated him around in a pool. After explaining that she’d had great experience with Penny Michaels in the past, a physical therapist not only on humans, but also dogs, suggested I call. 

Calming, knowledgeable, confident, inspirational, and super friendly are probably the words I would use to describe Penny. Immediately I wanted to sign Ozzie up. She described the therapy that she used as “Bowen Therapy,” (which I was not familiar, but that did not matter), as basically working with the Central Nervous System, without the use of drugs. She mentioned that it was very common in the horse world, but not yet in the world of dogs, but should be. I felt so comfortable with Penny’s patient personality as I described Ozzie’s conditions that I was very anxious to begin physical therapy immediately; which I did. 

Ozzie was very responsive to Penny, day one of therapy.  Penny explained that she would work on him once a week.  During Ozzie’s first encounter, he was mesmerized.  It was very odd for me to see him react to her the way he did. Almost on cue, he would stretch his neck straight up several times in a row right after she said, “Now this might make him want to stretch.”  He’d yawn three to four times in a row, right after she’d say, “Now this will probably make him tired.”  He drooled on several occasions and Penny would say, “Yep, its working.” 

I began noticing improvement beginning the week of the first therapy session with Penny.  Ozzie began turning his head more and he seemed to be much more responsive to stimulus. By week two, he was beginning to lunge around on the kitchen floor using his shoulders. He’d scoot to his super dish even though it was only 6 inches away. Ozzie was so dedicated, when Penny came to our house for his therapies with him, he’d put his head in her lap, ignoring me, almost as if he knew she was helping him to the road of recovery. 

On about the 3th to 4th week, Ozzie would try and push up on his back legs although his front legs were not cooperating.  When we brought him home after the surgery, his front legs were as stiff as boards and stuck out completely in the air when he was lying down. His front legs  buckled as he tried to put weight on them.  During each session, Penny would say, “Okay, now I’m going to be working on his front end, (or back end, or neck or shoulders, etc), so watch for any movement there,” she’d always give me an idea what to look for and then ask for videos. 

By around the 5th to 6th week, Ozzie was up on all fours, wobbly, but nevertheless on all four legs!!  I would text videos to Penny and would be in complete shock as Ozzie began to take small steps!!  And Penny would say something like, “YAY that is so exciting,” and then, “Yep, that’s Bowen.” 

By the 7th to 8th  week, Ozzie was walking.  He was knuckling, (the foot part of him bending) about ½ the time and walking the other half, but walking. It was incredibly exciting to see him get up and walk independently. 

Ozzie is now walking, we’re in week twelve. He continues to improve.  He walks outside, eats, drinks, watches squirrels and just seems to really be enjoying life. If he’s thirsty, he walks over to the fountain for a drink, if he wants to cool down, he walks over to a shadowed area in the rocks beneath an oak tree, when he wants to come inside, he walks back in. 

I think back with a lump in my throat the size of Texas about how close I came to putting Ozzie to sleep because I thought it was the time and I didn’t think that there were any other options. With the prognosis I was given at the time, that he’d probably never walk again, and if he did, possibly a minimum of a year to see any improvement if at all, I wondered what kind of life that would have been for him. When Penny came for the first visit, I’ll never forget, she said, “Oh, he’ll walk, it’s just a matter of time.” It’s such a shame that more dog owners don’t know about Bowen Therapy and therapists like Penny. So many dogs’ lives and families would have such different outcomes; like ours. I came so close.  But I had a do over. I was one of the lucky ones.

 

To see a video of Ozzie, please click on the following link:Ozzie todayapril 2016 ozzie 061

 

 

 

 

Yogis Know About Balance!

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The other day I was in an absolutely delicious yoga class.  The instructor was educating us on the importance of balance in the muscles and connective tissue- front to back and left side to right side.  She was singing my tune!

In Bowen Therapy, we talk about something called “tensegrity”:

ten·seg·ri·ty (ten-seg’ri-tē)

A concept of muscular-skeletal relationships based on the work of architect Buckminster Fuller; refers to the forces of tension (provided by muscles, tendons, ligaments, and fascia) pulling on structure (bones and joints) that help keep the body both stable and efficient in mass and movement.
[tensile integrity]
During a Bowen treatment, mucles, tendons, and ligaments are lightly “strummed” by the practitioner in a sequence of movements.  These movements effectively tell the brain to balance opposing structures in the body.  This is extremely important– if the body is out of alignment, imbalanced, there is no longer perfect form or perfect function.  The result is first pain, and if left unchecked a distortion pattern gets locked in the body leading to dysfunction and deterioration.
It often happens that new clients come in at their wits end, about to allow invasive procedures because they cannot take the pain any longer and/or they cannot perform whatever activity they desire. Many times within a few sessions, balance, “tensegrity” is restored, function returns, and pain is eliminated.  I see the look of bewilderment in my clients faces.  They marvel at the fact that they didn’t have to go through more pain or undergo any invasive procedure to correct the problem.
This is why I am a Bowen Therapist.  Bowen Therapy is an amazing not yet clearly understood science.  But it works. I help people feel better everyday- and that is a really good feeling.
Yoga On!
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Pet Therapy- A Client’s Testimonial

For this blog, I’ve decided to let one of my clients speak to Bowen Therapy for dogs:

My golden retriever, Sundance, turned 9 in April. I noticed he was slowing down on our walks and I attributed it to his age. Soon I realized climbing stairs was challenging, almost impossible, and our home is elevated. Our veterinarian added a steroid and pain killer to his regimen but that made him sleep all day. We visited Penny Michaels and I brought his condition to her attention for advice. She diagnosed the problems which were related to tendons and ligaments in his hind legs. He was walking with his right hind foot turned out. Penny performed Bowen Therapy that day. His sleep was restless that night however, the next day he walked with feet straight, no limping. Over the next week I saw improvement to the point my golden is now getting up to greet me in the morning like his usual self; he is climbing to the second floor to sleep in my room at night, which he has not done in six months. He is happy and most important, he takes no medications. I witnessed the relaxing of these tendons immediately. I can testify how much better the quality of life my pet is experiencing. I am very impressed with Bowen Therapy and Penny’s skills. We aren’t finished and will be back for a few more treatments. I am confident he will be walking with pep for quite a while. Thanks Aunt Penny!!

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The Many Faces of Bowen Therapy

I recently returned from another Bowen Therapy training class- this one was three days in Chantilly, VA. This is my eighth Bowen Training class in as many years. I’ve had three different instructors- all very different in their approach to Bowen Therapy (albeit the basic structure is the same). To be sure, all of them are astoundingly brilliant.
The fact that they all practice Bowen Therapy so differently is good news. At first I was frustrated, is this person using the correct approach or is this one? I tried both- with great success. Then along came Mr. Gene Dobkin. I have been waiting for years for him to come to the east coast again. You see he WROTE the Bowen manuals that I learned from initially. And I knew he had a lot more to offer than what he could condense into a readable format.
So, back to the good news: again, he did things very differently. Still the same idea, that if you find the right spot and send the right signal the body dutifully responds, resets, and heals. His “approach” and his touch were quite different. But more than that, his thinking processes regarding the body and how to read it, how to encourage it to respond quickly and in the most useful way, was clearly different. Way more “outside the box.” And I daresay, intuitive.
What I realized is this: Bowen Therapy is even more AMAZING than I realized. After this “Bowen Bridge” class to Neural Touch, I’ve realized there is no need to be boxed in by protocols. Working in this way gives me a better glimpse of what is possible. Those of us in the “biz” understand without a shadow of a doubt that the human body is completely capable of fixing what is diseased or dysfunctional. And with Bowen Therapy and the up and coming additions to it, we are getting a glimpse of where we can go as human beings using touch to promote health in one another.
Thank you Mr. Gene Dobkin for a wonderfully mind-bending class!
To learn more about Gene and his work, visit www.USBowen.com

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The Bowen Technique Explanation

bowen imageThe Bowen Technique seems very oddball at first glance.  But it is any thing but oddball when you take a closer look:

The Bowen Technique can be described in terms of acupuncture- without the needles.  Acupoint theory and associated techniques like acupuncture and shiatsu have been studied and applied for thousands of years.  Acupuncture is an accepted practice by virtually all medical societies of the world.  It is based on the energetic system of the body.

This is where the beginning of the resistance to “energywork” begins.  We are not accustom to thinking of the body in terms of energy.  We see, feel, experience our body  as a dense, physical, moving and feeling structure.  But what makes that structure function? Energy.  And what is that energy? Where does it come from? How does it work?

We do not have widely accepted  answers to most of these questions but the fact remains- we are energetic beings.  Our bodies are energetic bodies. If we didn’t have energy running through our bodies we would cease to exist- death would occur.

The Chinese spent thousands of years studying and mapping the energy system of the body.  The meridian system was developed.  The meridian system is like a freeway system with points being intersections of the various roadways.  Just like when intersections on a roadway are jammed , traffic does not flow- so it is with our body- if the meridian points are jammed, our vital energy cannot flow and musculoskeletal problems (dysfunction) or disease happens.

These meridian points tend to be located where nerves enter a muscle, the midpoint of the muscle, or at the enthesis where the muscle joins with the bone.  This is important.  This is why Bowen Therapy works.

The technique involves stimulation of various points on the body (depending on the issue at hand)- often at or near meridian points.  These points are part of the autonomic nervous system that runs our body- that cause the body to function properly (or not if disease or dysfunction are present).  When these points are stimulated by movement or pressure, signals are sent to the brain alerting the brain that there is a problem in this area. The brain responds with chemicals that cause the muscle or tendon to move/change tension allowing a more free flowing of energy through this area thus restoring the body to proper form and function.  Our physical bodies heal.

The science is complicated.  The Bowen Technique itself is not.  It’s safe.  It’s painless. And it works.  Visit one of the world’s 30,000 practicing Bowen Therapists and find out for yourself how amazing this form of physical therapy is.

The Benefits of Reiki

 

The following is a list of the benefits of receiving Reiki treatments according the the NCCAM (National Center for Complementary and Alternative Health) division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH):

 

 

Increased calm            Decreased pain        Increased relaxation         Greater clarity         Reduced anxiety   Reduced depression        Increased digestion      Increased self-esteem More self-awareness    Accelerated surgical recovery  Increased immune function   Increased endorphin production   Reduced side-effects from chemo, radiation, medication     

People feel better with regular Reiki treatments.  They heal faster, tolerate medical procedures  and medications better.  The are more at peace and capable of conducting life in a peaceful manner.  Practitioners have the added benefit of being able to perform self-treatments, anytime, anywhere.  Reiki is simple to learn to do.  A qualified Reiki practitioner can teach first level Reiki in just one day.  Once you receive a Reiki attunement, Reiki is yours for life.  It is a wonderful addition to any healing or Spiritual practice.

Use Reiki as an immune system booster when not feeling well.  Use Reiki to calm frazzled nerves in a just a few minutes.  Add it to deepen your meditation practice.  Use it on your friends, family, loved ones, pets, home, plants- virtually anything.  See and feel the benefit yourself.  Become one of the world’s one million+ practitioners.

Regular classes available: www.pennymichaels.com

 

  

 

Bowen Therapy- How The Body Works

Bowen Therapy is based on accupoint theory and shiatsu (“finger point pressure”).  It works on the Autonomic Nervous System which runs most of the millions of  processes our human body runs (mostly without our awareness).  It could be named neurostructural re-integration.   It could be named bioelectrical/ biomechanical/ biochemical recalibration.  The name isn’t important- the effects of the technique ARE.

~The body knows how to heal itself~

Given the proper “signal”, the brain goes about resetting the body.  All distortion patterns get reset.  A new normal is presented.  For people with chronic issues, the body thinks that it is in the “right” state- that the current set points are correct.  This is often not the case. That is why painful distortion patterns or malfunctions in particular systems get stuck and become the “norm.”   The body’s “set points” need to be reset. For people that just had a traumatic event or illness, the process takes very little time at all- just remind the body “where” it should be with respect to certain forms or functions. This is what Bowen Therapy does- it returns the body to proper form and function.

Here is an analogy that may help: imagine how a virus scan works on a computer.  Something is wrong somewhere in the computer.  It is not functioning properly. Initiate a virus scan.  This virus scan systematically runs through each “drive” or section of the computer getting rid of unwanted stuff, stuff that causes the computer to malfunction,  resetting the computer to “homeostasis”, the original set point,  where everything functions properly.

This is exactly what Bowen Therapy does.  It resets the “biocomputer” so that any dis-ease or malfunction is removed and the body, the “biocomputer”, is restored to normal function.  Distortion patterns unwind, systems that were thrown “out of whack” get reset to normal function, and disease/dysfunction are eliminated.  When the body’s systems are normalized,  perfect form and function return. Vibrant health is the result.

The technique is  simple,  it’s noninvasive and IT WORKS.  Millions of people are happily moving around feeling WELL because of the 30,000 Bowen Therapists worldwide.

“The body knows how to heal itself. Visit your nearest Bowen therapist today- vibrant health is waiting.”

That Reiki Feeling

waterThis photo, if truly viewed, brings about a sense of peace- a sort of stillness and calm. But it is still filled with light and beautiful color.  So it is with Reiki.  Receving a Reiki treatment leads you into stillness, into yourself, creating calm at the same time filling you with light energy.  It is in this state, called “Parasympathetic Mode,” that healing occurs.  Healing of any sort cannot occur whilst in the midst of stressful emotions.  The body is too busy doing other things- it goes into “Sympathetic Mode”- the fight or flight response.  The brain starts shutting things down (like digestion),  stress hormones are running amuck causing rapid heartbeat, shallow breathing, and panic-stricken thinking while other things are being ignored.  We can set ourselves or others back into Parasympathetic mode. A very simple way to do this is through Reiki treatments.  A few minutes of receiving a hands-on treatment and the heartrate slows, the breathing slows and becomes fuller, our thoughts fade away, and our body relaxes: Parasympathetic Mode=Healing Mode.

“Give yourself the gift of a healing Reiki treatment. It does the body, mind, & Spirit good.”