Bowen Technique By Karen
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|Posted on 20 January, 2013 at 8:50||comments (0)|
The Daily Telegraph
HEALTH AND WELLBEING
Friday August 4 2000
Light fingers make many things work
Every summer, it’s the same. From the beginning of June until the end of August, I greet each new morning with runny nose, itchy eyes and a sneeze.
I never used to be a hay fever sufferer, but then, all of a sudden, I was, and over the past six or seven years, the symptoms have gradually worsened.
This summer was shaping up to be much the same s usual – until I went to see Jill Lebor, a practitioner of Bowen Technique, a ‘hands-on’ therapy, for quite a different complaint.
I was feeling constantly tired, a result, not doubt, of having two small children. Now, it may be coincidence, but the morning after my visit to Jill, the hay fever vanished. I telephoned her with great excitement, but Jill replied that yes, patients often report a disappearance of hay fever as a side effect of her treatment. They could go to see her for a frozen shoulder or painful ankle, but nevertheless come out cured of their hay fever.
Bowen Technique is one of many complementary hands-on therapies, in the same school as chiropractic, osteopathy and acupuncture. Like acupuncture, it concentrates on pressure points in the body, which adepts consider to be channels for energy and pain relief. Crucially, the treatment does not involve needles.
As in chiropractic and osteopathy, practitioners manipulate parts of the body. But there the similarity ends: the movements are almost absurdly light-fingered. Some of the little touches she applied to my neck and back were so insignificant, they could almost have been tickles and I was left wondering how such a delicate therapy could possibly have any effect.
My own 40-minute session if Jill Lebor’s treatment room was pleasantly relaxing: in fact, I fell asleep. The unusual thing about Bowen Technique is that during each session, the practitioner will spend as much time out of the treatment room as in it, allowing the body to set itself right between each movement. After every tiny roll on my back, thighs, knees and face, Jill left the room for several minutes.
Initially, this unsettled me, but as I became more and more sleepy, I found it relaxing. After the session, I did feel I had a little more energy but, apparently, I needed more than one visit. Also, Jill acknowledged that Bowen Technique couldn’t cure the effects of having a sleepless two- and four-year-old.
Bowen practitioners, however, do claim to treat a wide range of other ailments, including frozen shoulder, back ache, infant colic, sleeping problems, arthritis, sciatica, chest and breathing problems.
Indeed, two recent trails into the efficacy of Bowen Technique in treating frozen shoulder and lymphoedema (painful swelling in the joints) both showed the technique to have a positive effect.
Bowen Technique was devised by Tom Bowen, an Australian industrial chemist who had no medical training. He was fascinated by osteopathy, but soon abandoned conventional techniques and started treating people with his own gentle form of massage. His patients had specific musculo-skeletal injuries, but he discovered that his treatment had the incidental effect of clearing up chronic conditions such as asthma , hay fever and gastrointestinal problems.
Bowen died in 1982 without having fully explained or written down his technique, but a number of pupils were able to continue his work. Some brought the technique over to Europe and today there are more than 1,000 Bowen practitioners.
One real advantage of Bowen over other ‘alternative’ therapies is that many complaints are said to be treated after just two or three sessions, making Bowen treatment easier on the wallet.
Bridget Renwick, 48, had Bowen treatment for a frozen shoulder and, like me, found that it cured the severe hay fever which had bothered her for more than 30 years. ‘I had tried homoeopathy, but that didn’t work and I had resigned myself to taking antihistamine tablets every summer, which I wasn’t happy about,’ she says.
This summer, she has yet to swallow a single Beconase tablet. Delighted, she sent her 10-year-old daughter, who also suffers from hay fever, the Bowen treatment.
And the shoulder? After unsuccessful physiotherapy, just two sessions of Bowen put it back to normal. ‘If you add up how much I spent on antihistamine tablets, and on treatments for the frozen shoulder, Bowen works out as very good value’, she said.
Felicity Arcelli, a 30-year-old trainee nurse from Canterbury, needed only three sessions of Bowen Technique to set right a year-long back pain problem. ‘I came off my moped and dislocated my shoulder. Then I started getting little aches and pains in my lower back, which got worse over the weeks and months that followed.
‘My back was particularly bad in the mornings and some days it was difficult even to get out of bed. My sister recommended I see a Bowen practitioner after her neck problem cleared up, and I went to see Jill Lebor.’
Three sessions proved very relaxing. ‘The first was a general all-over session. The next one concentrated on my lower back and the third concentrated on my shoulder that had been dislocated.
As she is on a tight budget, Felicity was particularly pleased that she needed to see Jill Lebor for only three sessions. ‘The morning after the third session, I bounced out of bed. I wasn’t in pain. It was amazing.’ Two months after her treatment, Felicity occasionally gets twinges, but ‘nothing like before. I feel I’ve been given a new lease of life’, she says. Sarah Lonsdale
Contents provided by the European School of Bowen Studies (ECBS)
|Posted on 20 January, 2013 at 7:06||comments (0)|
Today’s Therapist International Trade Journal - Issue 53 July August 2008
The Bowen Technique More on noses
by Janie Godfrey
Continuing on from the focus on seasonal hay fever in the last issue, it is worth looking at some of the other nasal / sinus problems with which Bowen can be of great help.
For some people, hay fever-like symptoms are pretty much constant and can be that way for years – even decades.
Nasal sprays have often stopped working and/or cause uncomfortable irritation in the sensitive mucous membranes of the nasal cavities. The constant flushing system that the mucous membranes are part of relies on good drainage, of course, and when this is blocked it is a recipe for inflammation, infection and discomfort.
Mucous production, however, keeps on increasing the flow of fluid and white blood cells into the sinuses to fight infection and inflammation, so pressure builds and drainage is key to clearing and maintaining health in these mucous membranes.
Hilary, age 61, had a history of more than 10 years of morning sinus/nose congestion, running and sniffing. She had come for Bowen treatment for another problem and, although I gave her treatment that would address the congestion problem, there was no change during the first five Bowen treatments over the period between 14 September and early November.
At her next treatment in early December she reported that for the first week after the previous treatment, she had been without any nasal congestion or stuffiness at all. After the December treatment, she was again without any major symptoms, only having a few short episodes of the right nostril running in the morning but it always cleared quickly.
It is currently at the 6-month point after her last treatment and there has been no return of the pattern of congestion she had for over 10 years.
There is a similar history of Sue, age 45, who had a 15+ years history of year round hay fever-like symptoms: runny nose, itchy eyes and nose, congestion. Blowing her nose, looking into the sunlight or being near an air freshener scent started it off. It was worse in mornings and evenings and at particularly stressful times. Her sense of smell was very poor.
With Sue, we could observe her body trying to correct the problem after the first treatment on 4 May, with a noticeable reduction in sinus congestion and nose blowing, plus coughing more, then problem reverted to usual pattern.
After the next three treatments (10 May, 22 May, and 4 June) there was no real lasting change in her symptoms and we left it that if there was any real improvement after this fourth treatment, she would re-book for a top-up. She rang on 22 June to say her symptoms had cleared and stayed cleared very considerably since 4 June!
This was a learning curve for me as I seemed to be observing that with this particular problem, Bowen may well be able to do the job if we give it a bit longer than the 3 to 4 treatments that usually do the trick with so many other complaints.
Sue’s next Bowen was 12 July and she was still doing very well – only blowing her nose once in the morning and then it was not itching or running all day. She had a slight return of sinus congestion after a few months and had a top-up on 26 September. She reported that her nose and eyes had been itching a small bit and she thought the old pattern would re-establish itself, but it didn’t. She has now been nearly 9 months without any problems.
Kathleen, aged 67, had a somewhat different nose problem: persistent nosebleeds from the right nostril. It began without any warning with a real gusher when she was in the Alps at high altitude. It lasted 5 to 10 minutes and since then she had had a nosebleed virtually every day, varying from mild to substantial and some days she would have up to three. Her doctor checked her over for any underlying causes such as disease or high blood pressure and could find nothing wrong.
There was no recent history of a cold or sinus infection although Kathleen has a history of sinus troubles and has been off dairy products for years to control it. Three weeks before her first Bowen treatment, the doctor had cauterized it, but there had been no appreciable difference as the nose was bleeding again within 24 hours.
Her first Bowen treatment was 12 November. She had a moderate nosebleed within an hour or so after the treatment after she had a bout of sneezing. That night, she had a big bleed. Then, she had a remarkable 3 days free of any nosebleeds, day 4 she had a small one in the evening, nothing on day 5 and on day 6 a moderate one.
Her second Bowen treatment was on 18 November and this was followed by 12 days with only 3 small nosebleeds and she was feeling generally very much better with more energy and a sense of feeling healthy.
Her third Bowen treatment was 30 November and she had a nosebleed the day after the treatment and then a full week without any at all, then about one bleed every day, some very small, some moderate but no gushers. Next treatment on 14 December was followed again by a virtually clear period with only one small nosebleed on Christmas Eve. She had an appointment to have her nose cauterized again on 6 January, which was done and she has not had any problems since.
The wonderful set of Bowen moves that are specific to the temporo-mandibular joint, the lymph glands in the neck and all the sinuses are superb at relieving problems caused by pressure buildups and in restoring the normal flushing pattern that is designed to keep our heads and noses trouble-free.
Janie Godfrey is a Bowen Technique practitioner in Frome and has been in practice since 1998.
Contents provided by the European School of Bowen Studies (ECBS)
|Posted on 20 January, 2013 at 7:01||comments (0)|
N2N Nurse to Nurse Vol 02 Issue 08 June 2002
The proactive interactive nursing magazine, produced by nurses, for nurses
THE BOWEN TECHNIQUEremarkable results with respiratory problems
By Alastair Rattray and Janie Godfrey
“Bowen has changed my life. I no longer live with back pain and do not have to worry about asthma attacks with my daughter or watch her fight to get her breath.” - B.C. Feb 2000
It was mid-July 2000 when thirteen year old Helen’s mother called Bowen Technique practitioner Alastair Rattray asking for an appointment. Her homoeopath had recommended trying this new “Bowen” treatment.
Helen had suffered from asthma since she was a baby. She frequently missed school through illness, catching anything that was going, which often initiated an asthma attack. To add to her misery, over three years previously she had also developed chronic sinusitis.
Helen’s first appointment was on 1 August and she was relieved to find it did not include the use of needles. In fact, she was very surprised to find how gentle it was. By the end of her first treatment, she felt her face clearing for the first time in a long time. Helen’s sinusitis completely cleared soon after and, since that first day, she has not had a single asthma attack.
The Bowen Technique was developed by an Australian, Tom Bowen. He set out to treat musculo-skeletal problems and was so successful that, by 1974 it was estimated that he was treating 13,000 people a year. They usually only needed between one and three treatments to solve their problems.
The phenomenal number of patients that Tom Bowen treated per year was possible because of the 2 minute breaks that occur throughout a Bowen treatment, enabling a practitioner who has several treatment rooms to treat more than one person at a time.
The essence of Tom Bowen’s technique is to make small, gentle rolling-type “moves”, using thumbs and forefingers, across muscles or tendons at specific points on the body. These moves stimulate the body to heal itself by rebalancing the energy and causing gentle muscle movement in the various systems of the body to restore its healthy functioning.
This stimulation is enhanced by the recurring short breaks throughout the treatment, which give the body a space in which to absorb the prompting and begin to respond.
During the breaks, patients commonly report feeling warmth or tingling or “things moving around” and their stomachs often rumble as their bodies respond to the moves.
Unlike most other treatments, it is the body that makes the decisions on the repair, rebalancing and healing that takes place. The treatment and/or therapist do not force it. So, when something like Helen’s sinusitis is fixed, it stays fixed.
Respiratory problems come in many different guises.
The interesting thing about The Bowen Technique is that the results seem to be consistent when applied to children. Adults tend to have other stresses, which can have a bearing on what is really going on. So results in adults, while often good, can take longer to achieve and be more varied.
Rachael, who works as a restorer of antique rugs and carpets, received Bowen treatment. She was using “puffers”, sometimes every hour, and looked terrible - black rings round her eyes, no energy and a grey complexion.
It was discovered during treatment that she was highly allergic to wool and course dust. She had to seriously consider whether she could continue with her chosen career after years of study and apprenticeship. This was 5 years ago. Rachael started having weekly Bowen treatments and was often sick after the Bowen asthma moves but felt better for it.
She now has maintenance Bowen treatments every four to six weeks. Although she still has asthma it no longer plagues her life and her use of “puffers” is minimal unless she is treating a really dirty rug. The only treatment that Rachael has is Bowen.
Bowen therapist, teacher and sports coach, Paula Esson, has found the Bowen Technique to be an invaluable tool with athletes. She tells the story of a young woman's response to Bowen.
Katharine is a member of the England Junior Basketball Team Member and was involved with the multi-stage fitness test used to analyse an athlete’s aerobic performance. A standard is expected at this level and the peer pressure to achieve the necessary grade is immense.
Katharine was struggling for breath soon into the test causing some concern early on. Determination kept her going until she had to stop because she could not gain a breath at all and had commenced a panic attack, which complicated the situation. Katharine was removed from the concerned crowd and Paula carried out the Bowen emergency asthma move. Immediately, a normal breathing pattern resumed and after 30 minutes Katharine carried on training with no further symptoms.
The Bowen treatment used for asthma in young children is very easily given and consists of some 8 gentle “moves”; 4 on the child’s back over the erector spinae and 3 on the front, two over the rectus abdominus at the costal margins and the third being a simple “holding point” just below the sternum. The total time to carry out this simple procedure on a young child is some 30 – 40 seconds, depending on the level of cooperation from the child! However, case after case has shown that the effects can range from good to dramatic.
Typical of some of the child respiratory cases that Alastair Rattray has seen are a brother aged 6 and a sister aged 3 who were both prescribed Ventolin. The boy had been having regular, severe attacks rather like asthma, where he would eventually be very sick. He had been on Ventolin for over a year. His sister had had a persistent cough for about 18 months and her “puffer” for a month. In spite of the medication, there was no change to either situation.
The two children received one Bowen treatment only, the girl’s lasting about 40 seconds and the boy’s about 5 minutes where other Bowen moves were also given to try to re-balance more of his body’s systems. Within 3 – 4 days, both children changed completely and the conditions cleared up. The boy had no further attacks and the girl stopped coughing. The parents decided to stop the medication immediately, though this had not been suggested by the therapist. Ten months on, both remain in good health.
These results are consistent with other cases such as that of Piers, aged 18 months, who was also on Ventolin and always became very wheezy, sometimes developing into an attack, when he had a cold. Two weeks after his first treatment, he had a cold but, as his mother reported, it was just a “normal” cold with no additional side effects such as wheezing, which had always happened previously.
It does not seem to matter whether the child is taking medication or not. The results appear to be totally consistent.
In the case of Tiger, then aged 2 ½, who had just been prescribed an increased dosage of steroids due to the strength and frequency (often every two weeks) of her asthmatic attacks, the steroids were stopped by her mother because she had reacted so badly to them. Hearing about Bowen, she brought her for a treatment. Her persistent wheezing stopped almost immediately, and she has not had another asthmatic attack in over two years. While she becomes wheezy from time to time, another Bowen treatment seems to settle the situation quickly. Her mother, who suffered increasing back, neck and leg pain for over 12 years and had had this resolved with only two Bowen treatments, wrote: “Bowen has changed my life. I no longer live with back pain and do not have to worry about asthma attacks with my daughter or watch her fight to get her breath.”
An asthmatic attack is usually caused by the muscles controlling the lungs and breathing going into increasing spasm. The triggers for such an attack can be various, such as a cold or illness; an allergy such as those causing hay fever; or other lung related diseases. The probability is that the muscles involved, such as the diaphragm and the smooth muscle around the bronchioles, appear to be slightly in spasm as though ready to cause the respiratory system to go into spasm at the slightest hint of a problem. As soon as a trigger is detected, the spasm increases.
Hence, one of the first signs of the increasing problem can be wheezing, sometimes there all the time. In an acute asthmatic attack, the patient can breath in but is unable to breath out as the diaphragm is in full spasm. This can be illustrated by the fact that the stomach appears to collapse inwards.
The Bowen emergency procedure for one of these acute attacks is to do a reasonably strong downwards movement with the thumb starting about 1½ inches below the xiphoid process. The procedure is started by gently pushing the “skin slack” upwards to make room for the move, then applying a reasonable amount of pressure and moving the thumb downwards over the diaphragm.
An important centre of energy is at this point of the body and the move releases this pent-up energy that is holding the diaphragm in spasm and an immediate release of air from the lungs is achieved. It is very effective.
Much success has been achieved with hayfever and especially sinusitis. In one case, a lady who had suffered from chronic sinusitis for 14 years, had had four operations with the last one making matters much worse. After a course of Bowen treatment the condition completely cleared and she has remained clear without any further treatment for some 15 months.
In a similar case, infection of the right side of the sinus had continued for a year and a half and a third operation was scheduled. Within a short time after commencing Bowen, the infection stopped and the sinus cleared soon after. This patient had been taking 6 Anadin a day for the whole period of infection. By the end of the Bowen treatment programme, she needed none.
When the Bowen treatment is given, this part of the treatment often produces an immediate positive response to the sinus blockage. Once started, it does not then seem to re-block. However, with the chronic cases, clearing this area can take a number of treatments which must continue, without a break, every seven days or so until the blockage is clear. This can take more or less 6 weeks and sometimes more. Once cleared, however, it seems to stay clear.
Contents provided by the European School of Bowen Studies (ECBS)
|Posted on 13 January, 2013 at 10:32||comments (1)|
Today’s Therapist International Trade Journal
Issue 52 May June 2008
The Bowen Technique - Seasonal allergic rhinitis by Janie Godfrey
I thought this May-June issue would be a good time to revisit seasonal allergic rhinitis – our old spring- and summertime foe known as hay fever to all the sneezing, nose-blowing, eye-itching citizens who struggle with this yearly visitation.
Bowen treatment can make a huge difference to the onset, duration and intensity of the body’s response to the allergens and histamines that trigger this condition. Hay fever, asthma, food allergy and eczema are related allergic conditions and the tendency to develop them seems to run in families.
The body produces an antibody called immunoglobulin E (IgE) when it comes into contact with an allergen. When there is a lot of pollen in the air, IgE is produced in reaction to it. Antibodies are usually only released to fight infection, but in this instance the body believes the pollen or spore is harmful. This leads to certain cells in the body, especially those of the respiratory system, releasing chemicals. One of these is histamine, which triggers the, often severe, allergic symptoms of hay fever. It contributes to an inflammatory response and it causes constriction of smooth muscle (one of the major causes of asthma). Hence, anti-histamines such as Piriton are taken by many people to try to control this.
Most Bowen therapists have a number of regular hay fever clients who book appointments as their time of usual onset approaches. Some, who start early with the tree pollens, will need to be seen as early as late January or early February. The latest arrivals will be booking in June for July/early August trigger times.
Often, people discover the anti-hay fever properties of Bowen treatment by accident: they come for treatment for a bad back or tennis elbow, for instance, and then discover that their bodies are not reacting as usual to the pollens that usually torment them.
A typical example being a lady that came for her knee injury (after her large dog crashed into it from the side!), and she was amazed to find three or four weeks later that her responses to the pollens flying about were almost nothing compared to her life-long experiences with hay fever. Instead of itchy, red eyes and a nose streaming like a tap, she found she only had the occasional drip from her nose and her eyes were clear! Miracle, she said! Bowen, I said!
Thereafter, she yearly booked in a set of three appointments in the month or so before she would expect the hay fever and she sailed through ‘the season’ without any significant reactions at all. Then I didn’t see her for about three years and when she booked an appointment after that gap, she reported that she hadn’t had any hay fever problems over those years. It was only in the past week or so that she began to feel some symptoms so she figured she needed a top-up.
Another type of response to Bowen is that of Simon, a 35 year old who volunteered for the yearlong study into the effect of Bowen on adult asthma.
In addition to his asthma, Simon had always suffered from considerable hay fever each summer. He began his asthma treatments, according to the study’s protocols, in January.
By early summer, his asthma attacks had decreased enormously and his hay fever, which he usually had full on for two months, that summer lasted a week. And this happy state has continued for some 5 years now.
In Bowen Technique treatment, the hay fever and sinus procedures are combined with the jaw (TMJ) procedure. A key part of that treatment involves the draining of the lymphatic system hidden behind the sternoclydomastoid muscles on either side of the neck. It seems that this area being blocked over a long period of time, or in response to a hay fever trigger, is the key to why it is so difficult to successfully clear the sinus area.
When Bowen is given, this part of the treatment often produces an immediate positive response to the sinus blockage. Once started, it does not then seem to re-block. However, with the chronic cases, clearing this area Can take a number of treatments, which must continue once per week or so until the blockage is clear. This can take more or less 3 - 6 weeks and occasionally more. Once cleared, it seems to stay clear.
There are also some gentle, ‘opening’ sort of moves that can be made over the sagittal sinus along the sagittal plane of the skull from the front hairline to as far back as you can go when a client is supine.
There can be almost instant clearing of the sinuses after theses moves.
Cranio sacral therapists who have also trained in Bowen frequently comment on the effectiveness of this move also for the circulation of cerebrospinal fluid.
Janie Godfrey practices in Frome, Somerset
Contents provided by the European School of Bowen Studies (ECBS)
|Posted on 13 January, 2013 at 6:28||comments (1)|
Complementary therapy knocks out hayfever
Best tip for hayfever sufferers - get yourself to a Bowen Technique practitioner!
Hay fever is one of the commonest allergies in UK, affecting about 12 million people. Numbers have risen since 1965 when between 10 to 12% of the UK population were affected, to today's figure of 15 to 25% in the population as a whole and, generally speaking, the area with the highest hay fever rate is the English midlands.
THE BOWEN TECHNIQUE is best known for resolving bad backs and creaky knees but also has an enormous effect on hayfever. Treatment is especially beneficial a few weeks before hayfever season kicks in. Two to three Bowen treatments at this time curb symptoms, eliminating or drastically reducing them to ensure a happy summer smelling the flowers instead of sneezing into them.
But even if you’re already itching, sneezing and streaming with hayfever, Bowen can zap the symptoms with some welcome relief, usually by unblocking the sinuses and dramatically reducing the sneezing. Rather than relying on medication to quell the symptoms of the body’s reactions to summer’s triggers, use Bowen treatment to stimulate and assist the body itself to live at peace with the world.
With the hayfever season approaching, spread something besides pollen – Bowen can give effective relief from hayever: spread the word!
Contents provided by the European School of Bowen Studies (ECBS)