I really love Bowen for it’s ability to quickly make postural changes to the body, but it is also important to not overlook the fact that Bowen is extremely relaxing! Bowen re-sets the autonomic nervous system to “re-boot” your body’s computer to switch off “Fight or Flight” to a more relaxes state where “Rest, Relaxation and Repair” can occur.
Most clients tell me they find Bowen more relaxing than a therapeutic massage! One reason for this is the “space” that we give you to relax and let go. You are encouraged to not talk during a session, this is one reason we leave the room for the “therapeutic pause” so the therapist can get out of your personal space and allow you the peace and quiet to get deeply relaxed and allow your brainwaves to shift.
There are five distinct brain wave frequencies: Beta, Alpha, Theta, Delta and the lesser known Gamma.
We live our active, awake lives with our brain in Beta. But in our busy, “always-on” high-tech living, high Beta levels translate into stress, anxiety and restlessness. It is almost the norm for most people.
Alpha brain waves are present when we get deeply relaxed. Think eyes closed or day-dreaming or when doing light meditation. Your imagination, visualization, memory, learning and concentration is optimally functioning.
Theta brain waves are present during deep meditation and light sleep, as well as in the REM dream state and this is where our subconscious minds function. We sometimes experience moments of theta just as we drift off to sleep or wake up from a deep sleep. Remember those times when you had a “great idea” in your sleep that you’ve now forgotten and wish you had written down? That’s theta talking, giving you some great inspiration and insight, so always keep a pad of paper and a pencil bedside, just in case!
Delta waves are our unconscious mind. They are the slowest brain waves and are present in deep, dreamless sleep and in transcendental meditation states where the minds is completely detached from awareness. Delta is associated with deep healing, restoration and regeneration, which is why deep sleep is so important to the healing process.
Gamma waves have been most recently discovered and initial research shows they are associated with bursts of insight and high-level information processing.
In summary, Bowen relaxation session shifts our brains from Beta to Alpha and I would contend that even Theta shifts happen as every so often a client will tell me of “the great idea” they just had or and insight or revelation that just popped into their mind! The good news is that this process just doesn’t last during the session but continues afterward. Clients often report real deep sleep the night of their Bowen sessions and many with insomnia have reported Bowen breaks their sleepless cycles. Hmmm… maybe an upcoming blog on Bowen for Insomnia!