What is Bowen Therapy?
Bowen Therapy is a unique manual therapy approach to stimulate the body’s natural healing ability, so it is sometimes challenging to describe it. The technique is hands-on, non-invasive and very specific and precise in its application. Therapists use what we call “the Bowen move” which is a cross-fiber, rolling like movement over muscles, tendons, ligaments and sometimes even gently over nerves. These moves prompt soft tissue release by sending neurological impulses to the brain through internal nervous system pathways.
Whole brain responses can address every system in the body, internal organ systems (like acupuncture does) and the musculo-skeletal structure. Also unique to Bowen are the therapeutic pauses (or “waits”) that occur to give the brain time to process the moves. It is thought the Bowen moves stimulate the original, genetic pattern, which helps re-awaken the body to help release injury and compensation patterns. Respecting these pauses is essential to the work.
The History of the Bowen Technique
Tom Bowen, born in 1916 in Brunswick, Australia, pioneered the work that now bears his name in the early 1950′s. By the 1970′s, Bowen was treating 13,000 people a year, estimating his success rate at 85%. At the time of his death in 1982, he considered only sic people to have adequately observed his work. One of them, Ossie Rentsch, founded the Bowen Therapy Academy of Australia in 1986 and was the first to document and train others in his interpretation of Tom’s technique. Bowen Therapy is now taught around the world thanks to Ossie!
Receiving a Session
At Advanced Bodywork, each client’s history is taken and visual postural evaluation is done before each session. Standing posture is analyzed to discover the primary imbalances and patterns of dysfunction that present. From there, the client lies on a therapy table and more visual and palpation assessment will be done. The therapist then applies a series of rolling moves in specific places to the muscles, tendons and nerves. When a muscle that is involved in holding the body out of alignment is found, the therapist will leave the room to allow the client’s nervous system to respond and relax.
Most clients enter a deeply relaxed state that acts upon the body’s autonomic nervous system (ANS) to create homeostasis at the cellular level. Because it addresses the body as a whole, Bowen Therapy treats beyond the presented symptom and makes physical, chemical, emotional and mental adjustments within each system. Through the precise resetting of the ANS, the individual’s body is freed to find its own natural balance.
Bowen sessions are not “timed” like massage sessions are though for simplicity we offer Full Sessions (that last about 45 minutes) and TurboBowen Sessions (that last about 25 minutes). New client appointments take about an hour. We recommend that a second visit is scheduled one week later, in order to complete laying the foundation of the work in the body. Subsequent visits are determined by the client’s needs but weekly for 3 – 5 weeks is a good estimate for most people.
Other body therapies like massage, physical therapy and chiropractic may counteract Bowen Therapy’s ability to stimulate healing from within the internal nervous system and the brain. Therefore, is is advisable to allow a week between sessions of any other techniques and Bowenwork. Please tell your therapist of your are currently seeing any other health practitioners so we can schedule your treatments accordingly.
Do you want to live pain free too?
Call Advanced Bodywork at 248-761-4135 to schedule your Bowen session today!