What is Bowen Therapy?
Bowen is a hands-on fascial (soft tissue) release technique which uses very gentle pressure. It is a non-diagnostic treatment, which seeks to address root causes rather than specific symptoms or conditions. It is a whole-body, holistic therapy, which has been seen to be effective in a wide variety of conditions; acute and chronic, structural and organic.
The treatment technique has a calming effect on the body, via the autonomic nervous system, which creates the perfect environment for the body to “reset” and begin to heal itself, restoring structural integrity. It also increases blood flow to areas, and improves lymphatic drainage, both of which can speed up the healing process.
Bowen does not seek to force change upon the body; rather it asks the body to recognise and make the changes necessary to bring it back to homeostasis (physiological equilibrium). Clients report experience of pain relief, improvement of function, improved sleep, reduced stress levels and recovery of energy.
The understanding of Bowen is evolving as further research is carried out, but there are many close connections to Traditional Chinese Medicine models, such as acupuncture points and meridian lines. Indeed, many of the Bowen moves carried out are done so over the same points.
Where did Bowen originate?
The Bowen Technique is named after its creator, Tom Bowen. He was an Australian who though called himself an Osteopath, had no formal training. He initially treated animals with his gentle technique before moving onto treating people at his workplace for their aches and pains. Before his death, he was treating on an average 13,000 patients a year, often offering free treatments to children and the poor. He taught his technique to a small group of other people, each of whom has taken their own interpretation of his technique. These variants are now taught and practiced around the world, but all coming back to the same principles that Tom Bowen created.
Who can Bowen help?
Bowen is suitable for all ages, from infants all the way through to the elderly and very frail. Due to its gentle nature, infants and the elderly often find this technique easier to tolerate and more beneficial than other, more high-pressure techniques.
What can Bowen help?
There are very few instances in which a Bowen treatment could not be carried out. Its gentle nature means it can be used in many situations where other techniques are contraindicated (not allowed/advised to be carried out). See below for some of the conditions that Bowen has been effective in treating or managing.
- Musculoskeletal Issues e.g. sports injuries, back pain and sciatica, frozen shoulder, tennis elbow, arthritic pain, plantar fasciitis
- Respiratory Issues e.g. asthma, hay fever/allergies, dysfunctional breathing, sinusitis
- Digestive issues e.g. constipation, bloating, Irritable Bowel Syndrome/Crohn’s Disease, reflux
- Neurological and Chronic issues e.g. vertigo, nerve injury, stroke/brain injury, headaches/migraine, fibromyalgia, scarring, lymphoedema, chronic pain, poor circulation
- General Wellbeing e.g. stress/anxiety, poor sleep, chronic fatigue, prostate problems, improving sports performance, eczema
- Women’s Health Issues e.g. fertility issues, pre-menstrual syndrome, pregnancy related back/pelvic pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, swelling, post-partum pain, mastitis, menopausal symptoms
- Babies and Children’s Issues e.g. infant colic, bed wetting, eczema/acne, growth-related joint pain, cerebral palsy and neuromuscular conditions, Autism/ADHD, dyspraxia.
What to expect:
A Bowen treatment usually takes 45-60 minutes. You will be asked to complete an initial questionnaire, and Victoria will ask further questions to ensure she gains the appropriate information for your treatment.
A Bowen treatment consists of “sets” of moves, which are conducted with short breaks in between. These breaks allow the body to process the information given, and to begin to respond, and are often when clients feel very relaxed and sleepy. Following the treatment, Victoria will advise on anything to be carried out at home, which may include gentle exercise or activity advice.
To get the most from Bowen, an initial block of 3 treatments is advised, each 5-10 days apart. Following this, Victoria will be able to advise you regarding further follow up treatment, and she may also, with your consent, refer to other professionals for ongoing treatment.
PLEASE NOTE: Bowen Therapy is not a substitute for seeking medical advice or treatment. If you are worried about symptoms, please seek guidance from your General Practitioner.
If you would like to find out more about Bowen Therapy, please visit the following:
http://www.bowentherapy.org.uk/index.php (UK organisation)
http://www.bowen-therapy.hk/bowen-therapy (HK organisation)
To find out more about Victoria, please visit her website at https://vctherapies.com