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Bowen Technique By Karen

Helping the Body to Rebalance and Repair

Bowen Technique by Karen

01954 260982

07714 995229

[email protected]

Bowen Technique Cambridge

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A day in the life of James Ellison BSB (British Super Bikes) Rider

Posted on 24 May, 2014 at 12:23 Comments comments ()

A day in the life of James Ellison BSB (British Super Bikes) Rider

A day in the life of…
So now that things have settled down a little I thought id write a blog to let everyone know what I’ve been up to recently.  The first round at Brands Hatch Easter weekend was certainly one I will remember for many reasons, one of them being it was the first time id had a double podium since 2010, we had somewhat of an up and down season last year so to bag a double podium at my first meeting with a new team and a new bike gave me a heap of confidence, especially considering I got the first podium from 16th on the grid and with an injury sustained in qualifying that later turned out to be a cracked pelvis with internal muscle bleeding and bruising! 

Myself and Stalker gave Lloyds British GBmoto Kawasaki their first BSB podiums (both in the first race) so that was something else it will be remembered for.

Going into the second round at Oulton Park I wasn’t so sure that we would be able to maintain the the fantastic start to the year as my injury became really painful in the days following Brands Hatch, I continued in the gym as normal and managed just one hour testing at Oulton Park the week before the race before I finally gave into it and took some medical advice. 

Friday after the test I met with Circuit doctor (Dr Martin) and he along with Heike Romer managed to get me booked in for an MRI scan in liverpool the evening of the Oulton test. 

Once I found out what was wrong and they docs said pretty much to rest up before the race the following weekend I hit the road for a looong drive down to Plymouth where I had a Appearance Day at GT Motorcycles for new sponsors McAMS, it was a great day and I got to spend it with big Bro Dean who I rarely get to hang out with so really enjoyed it, plus I was getting the rest from training that I needed.

That evening I drove to Leicester for a bit of home cooked food, then it was another early start down to Aylesbury for he On Yer Bike Appearance Day for Kawasaki UK. It was another good turnout and I even got to hang out with TT Legend Ian Hutchinson…..and buy his lunch (you owe me Hutchy). 

I enjoy the Appearance Days because at a race weekend we can seem a bit aloof to the fans as we really don’t have time to just stop for a chat while we are at the races with having so many responsibilities and most of the time our minds are preoccupied, so its nice to give something back to the fans and answer any questions they may have or just sit and bullshit with them.

So after that it was a race (driving at the speed limit of course) to get back to the house in time to watch MotoGP and see the family, I managed to get there with 15mins spare after being let off early from the dealers and got to watch it with Sarah and my little Boy who seems to only sit still when bikes are on (he’s 5 and a half months old so slightly worrying, but great all the same)
The next 5 days leading up to Oulton Park was spent in the Hyperbaric Chamber in Heysham in the mornings followed by the gym and some BowenTechnique treatment all aided to help speed up the recovery of my injuries. For those who haven't tried or even heard of Bowen Technique (Bowtech) you should check it out at www.pridehealthandfitness.com , I have been using it for years and its nothing short of magic!

So as you can imagine rocking up to Oulton Park I wasn’t brimming with confidence as I didn’t know how everything would hold up, but to my surprise I felt great on the bike I just couldn’t move around as much as I would have liked in the twisty stuff as my leg was still weak. After the first session I went to see the CJ Riders Fund Physio’s at the medical centre and they worked on getting my mobility and strength back over the weekend also giving me strengthening and stability exercises that i did every morning and night until the race.

We came away with another two 3rd place podiums and although we dropped 1 point behind Brookes to 3rd in the Championship I will take that after the way I felt just one week before. We also had a few issues over the weekend with bike set up in the faster corners like Cascades, Island and Druids where I seemed to lose out to both Shakey and Brookes but we have since pinpointed the problem and that will be number one priority at the next race in June.

As many of you know already my wife Sarah is from Texas and whenever we have a break in the season (usually middle and end) we like to go back to the states to see the USA side of our family so we are over here now catching up with everyone for a few weeks. It’s great for me as I have a motocross bike, mountain bike and gym membership over here so I can carry on training as I would if I was back in the UK (the only difference is that its about 30 degrees hotter over here!) My leg is nearly back to full strength now and with plenty of time to get back up to full fitness before Snetterton I’m confident that we will be straight back out at the sharp end fighting for more podiums.

Thank you all for taking time out to read this, I'll check in again next week!
Ride safe and keep smiling, J.

Link to original article:
http://jamesellison.co.uk/riders-diary/a-day-in-the-life-of

The Bowen Technique Exercise induced tachycardia

Posted on 20 January, 2013 at 8:10 Comments comments ()
Today’s Therapist International Trade Journal   
Issue 57    April May 2009   

The Bowen Technique Exercise induced tachycardia                 
by Paula Esson and Janie Godfrey  

Bowen Technique practitioner and teacher Paula Esson has described an unusual application of Bowen for one of her very sporty clients.  

Steve originally went to see her on recommendation from other sports players.  He is a 38-year-old competitive badminton player with no history of heart related problems. 

The story is an interesting one in relation to anatomy, Bowen, and thinking outside the box to get the result.   Steve is very down to earth and calm, generally enjoying a healthy lifestyle.  The increased heart rate, over 220 beats/minute commenced during the 3 game of a match when his body was being pushed. The symptoms were alarming and had landed him in A&E on a few occasions. 

He arrived for Bowen treatment seriously considering reducing his sport after the medical system said it was something he would have to live with.   

On looking further with Steve, Paula discovered that one month prior to the first episode, he had fallen sideways into the side of his bath, bruising his right ribs and pushing them heavily into his thoracic spine. However this was not considered part of the heart rate symptoms.   His ECG had ruled out any heart problems and it therefore seemed logical to suggest a skeletal injury causing or contributing to the problem.   

A thoracic injury could conceivably have caused irritation of the autonomic nervous system ganglia as they pass either side of the spine, resulting in a surge of stress inducing hormone. This might lead to increased or altered heart rhythms, in this case under stress when Steve arched backwards to do a powerful smash shot.  

So what was the answer?   
In Bowen terms, a calm and mindfully delivered back and neck procedures, plus the diaphragm procedure started the recovery process.  In the next game there was a delay before the symptoms usually began. Steve still had the tachycardia but it was 180 bts/minute rather than off the scale at 220-240 bts/minute.   

Treatment 2: the Bowen TMJ/ Pelvic Procedure and Shoulder Procedure gained the result we were really after and Steve competed in a high level game symptom free.  Any major twisting of the thoracic spine seemed to bring the symptoms back. Playing badminton or carrying out tasks that involved working with his arms over his head for a period of time or holding a thoracic rotation of the spine for a while would start things off again.  

However, periodic treatments would free this up and keep him clear for months at a time.  There are a few other tricks that were put in to assist him as well if he felt the symptoms were beginning.   

A drainage move over the sternocleidomastoid muscle on the right side was employed to trigger Acetyl Choline (ACh)  release from the vagus nerve, which automatically reduces heart rate (parasympathetic nervous system). He self-treats with this on the rare occasions he needs it. This helps to regain the autonomic nervous system balance.   Lying down on the back over a rolled up towel placed under the mid-thoracics, reverses the natural arch of the spine and releases pressure around the nerve roots and surrounding structures. 

Steve uses this on the first sign of a problem and as a warm up / warm down with great success.   Importantly though, Steve is now playing and working again with the knowledge that he has recovered and has management tools if needed.   

The case is a specific one but applies to anybody with increased autonomic activity, heart arrythmias, anxiety symptoms, respiratory symptoms, etc., as well as being an important preventative tool for sports performance.   

Steve is so impressed with the work he has given financial backing to a new integrative health service with the Bowen Technique at the centre of its philosophy in the North East.  He is totally convinced that it has a major role to play in the future and a service that everyone should have access to.    

With many thanks to Paula for this excellent case history.  

© E.C.B.S 

Paula Esson is a Bowen Technique practitioner and Bowen teacher with the European College of Bowen Studies.    

Janie Godfrey is a Bowen Technique practitioner in Frome and has been in practice since 1999.  She also works part time at the European College of Bowen Studies office.   

Contents provided by the European School of Bowen Studies (ECBS)   

For further details about the Bowen Technique please contact Karen on 01954 260 982 / 07714 995 299 or email [email protected]

The Bowen Technique & Sports – A Winning Formula

Posted on 20 January, 2013 at 8:00 Comments comments ()
MASSAGE WORLD    – July/August 2002     

The Bowen Technique & Sports  – A Winning Formula 
By Alastair Rattray    

When my phone rang one day, I was surprised to find a well-known international footballer from a London First Division club on the line.  “Can you give me a Bowen treatment as soon as possible?” he asked.  It would have been less of a surprise if he had asked for a massage, as footballers are addicted to massage.  

While it is true that the Bowen Technique is an excellent therapy that could well be of great help to him, it is not yet a mainstream therapy in professional football circles.  However, he was very specific:  it was a Bowen Technique treatment he wanted.   

When I saw him at his West London hotel, I asked him what his injuries were.  He told me that he had often been injured and missed matches and training just as other players had until, three and a half years previously, he had been introduced to the Bowen Technique.  Since that time, he had had a Bowen every week wherever he was in the world.  As a result, he had not missed a single match or training day in three and a half years.   

There have been many articles in professional journals and the press accurately describing the Bowen Technique as a gentle, holistic therapy, which would seem to make it a rather unusual therapy for the world of sport.  

It was developed by Australian Tom Bowen, a remarkable man who lived in Geelong, New South Wales.  Although Tom left school at 14 and had no medical training, he became so busy that he had to give up his job at the Geelong Cement Works and set up a full time clinic.  He also took great pleasure in treating the footballers for his local team.    

The technique itself is very simple.  The practitioner uses thumbs and forefingers to make small, rolling-type movements across muscle and tendon at very precise points on the body.  

There are a number of theories as to how the technique actually works.  As it has such far-reaching results, it would be difficult to set up a complete scientific programme to prove any of them. 

However, what does seem to happen is that the gentle moves across muscle and tendons cause a disturbance that the brain does not recognise. In checking out what is happening, adjustments take place where and when things don’t seem to be functioning correctly.  This results in the body being re-balanced; something many clients will comment on after their treatments.  

An example of this would be a ‘frozen shoulder’.  Some frozen shoulders can stay the same for many years.  Often, the original cause of the condition went away many years before, yet the muscles around the shoulder are still in spasm trying to protect it.  

The client has no pain, but just cannot raise their arm beyond about 30%.  After some simple Bowen treatment, the spasm is released and the arm begins to function normally.   

So why does our international footballer find that his body is so well adjusted it can take the increasing pressure of matches at the highest levels, longer seasons, and much physical impact without being sidelined with injury?  

The main point about his regular Bowen treatments is that the whole body is treated and the balancing is of the complete body.  Many injuries in sport are sustained when the body has been unable to cope with sudden, additional stress.  

Common amongst these is the hamstring injury.  If the pelvic area is not properly balanced, and there are many reasons for this to happen as the body constantly adjusts to various stresses, then there is an additional load on the hamstring.  It only takes further stress to cause an injury, even when the hamstring has been properly warmed up and stretched. 

At one club, all players received a weekly Bowen treatment.  Historically, the club suffered an average of 7 - 8 hamstring injuries each season, yet after regular Bowen treatments were introduced, they didn’t have a single one all season.   

C A S E   H I S T O R Y FOOTBALLER
“I was asked to try Bowen therapy by my football physio as I had been having problems with my back, groins and upper leg muscles for most of the season.  I’d been to a chiropractor a few times and on my last visit she had advised there was nothing really wrong with my bone structure.  

I continued to play but still felt restricted in my movements so I decided to give Bowen a try. “I didn’t really know what to expect but I was determined to keep an open mind and give it a go.  

I can’t explain how it worked but after a couple of treatments the problems I had been having virtually disappeared.  I was able to touch my toes with the palms of my hands - something I’d not been able to do for a long while and I seemed to be able to go the duration of a game easily where I had been struggling before.  

“When people ask ‘does it work?’ I find the best way to tell them about it is my scoring ratio since having Bowen.  I’d only scored 5 goals in 27 games before Bowen treatment.  From the time I started having treatment until the end of the season, I scored 10 in 12 and from my point of view, that says it all!  I also didn’t miss a game through injury.”                                                 - Danny Adams, footballer

A key feature of Bowen Technique treatment is that the therapist will make a couple of moves and then leave the room for a few minutes.  This short break gives time for the body to respond – to “take on board” – the very precise and effective stimulation of the gentle moves.   These breaks are unique but essential:  they allow the body to start the work.  

However, what is a very important feature of Bowen is that the work, started during the treatment, will go on for at least a week and sometimes longer.  It is not unusual for a client to report that on day three the condition was a bit better and by day five it had disappeared.  Because of these breaks, practitioners can have two treatment rooms going at the same time without compromising the treatment to either of the clients.   

Massage has many excellent benefits, amongst them producing a feeling of relaxation and well-being.  Clients report the same sensations after a Bowen treatment.  The difference is that massage, like many other therapies, is an intervention where the therapist produces the results and the body takes on the treatment.  Bowen, however, relies completely on the body doing all the work.  

As a result the treatment is the start of a process that carries on, with the benefits of well-being continuing far longer than a massage would have achieved.  

The results at a drugs rehabilitation centre in London have shown that Bowen is the only therapy offered which produces really long-term results.  

Often, clients report feeling calmer and able to see important decisions through, often for the first time in years.   What is so remarkable about the Bowen Technique is that it is both completely safe and very gentle, yet can be used to treat virtually any condition.  The results therapists achieve are quite remarkable.   

Apart from muscular-skeletal problems being successfully addressed, other conditions such as tennis elbow, frozen shoulder, RSI and carpal tunnel, constant headaches and migraine, asthma (with children responding remarkably quickly), sleeping problems, irritable bowel syndrome, PMT and period problems, colic and many more.  It is therefore not surprising to find more and more qualified masseurs, physiotherapists, osteopaths, chiropractors, nurses and doctors joining courses to learn the technique.  

Just how many treatments can you give in a day?  
With the Bowen Technique it is perfectly possible to give 12, 15, 20 a day, using the breaks to treat a second client at the same time and still feel fresh afterwards.  As there is no pressure used, nor massage, it is a very gentle technique on the therapist as well.               

C A S E   H I S T O R Y RUNNER 
“I recently changed my running shoes and began to notice an uncomfortable strain down my left Achilles.  On finishing each run the area would burn and be painful for some hours later.“This developed until running became impossible without pain.  

Direct work with massage and other hands-on approaches to the area created little relief.  On seeing a Bowen practitioner a suggestion was made that the problem could be coming from the sacroiliac joint in the lower back.  

Three sessions working in this area gave permanent relief.  I now see the Bowen practitioner only if I am preparing for a big race.”                  
-David Jacobs, 32   

If the re-balancing of the muscular skeletal system can have such a very positive effect on sports people, it also has a similar effect on people not involved in anything more taxing than a visit to the local gym.  

However, what has become apparent is that the Bowen Technique affects all the body’s systems so many surprising results take place in addition to fixing some injury.  

For example, a client reported suffering from an infection for 18 months, receiving antibiotics every three months.  The condition never improved much despite the drugs.  Yet, after just one Bowen treatment, the condition improved by 50% in a week and was totally clear in two weeks and has not returned.  

Clearly, the immune system was not defending the body and had now been re-balanced and was doing its job again.   As a Doctor said on a radio interview about complementary therapies, “Before you have that operation, try the Bowen Technique.  I have seen it work.  I don’t know why, but it does!”     

 Alastair Rattray has held the Football Association Treatment of Injury Certificate since 1972 and is a member and secretary of the FA Medical Society (SE). 

He was Club Physio to semi-professional clubs, Amersham Town and then Chesham United for 10 years. He is a qualified masseur and added the Bowen Technique in 1997. 

He practises both near Tonbridge, and in London. He teaches the Bowen Technique in London and the South East for the European College of Bowen Studies. 

Contents provided by the European School of Bowen Studies (ECBS)
 
For further details about the Bowen Technique please contact Karen on 01954 260 982 / 07714 995 299 or email [email protected]  

SPORTS INJURY – PREVENTION IS THE BEST CURE

Posted on 20 January, 2013 at 7:37 Comments comments ()
sportEX dynamics
THE PUBLICATION FOR PROFESSIONALS SEEKING SPORTING EXCELLENCE             

SPORTS INJURY – PREVENTION IS THE BEST CURE  
by Julian Baker, Director and Principal Instructor, European College of Bowen Studies   

As I started to write this article, a doubt crept into my mind.  Perhaps I am preaching to an audience already converted to the concept of injury prevention.  In some respects this may be true, as a simple Google search under ‘sports injury prevention’ yielded some sixteen million results.  It’s a lot, yes, but when you compare it to seventy-nine million results under ‘sports injury’ and over ninety-three million for ‘sports medicine’, it’s easy to see where the emphasis is.   

Seemingly most - if not all - sports injury prevention focuses primarily and quite sensibly on areas of training.  These include using the right shoe, building in rest days, strength training, warm up and down and so on.  Other specialist areas might focus on the health and safety aspects of a sport, particularly in contact sports.   Yet there is seemingly little or no focus on the role of the therapist in what I like to refer to as ‘pre-management’ of sporting injuries.  

This seems to me to be a missed opportunity and reduces the role of the sports therapist to that of fire fighter, being employed in emergencies and not generally considered as part of the global fitness regime of the athlete.   

Considering that only 50 percent of sports injuries are in new areas, it means that a good number of clients present with problems that were never fully resolved at the time of the original injury (Archives of Internal Medicine, vol. 149(11), pp. 2561-2564, 1989).   It also means that many athletes are leaving themselves at risk of further injury and training lay-offs.    

There is a point at which an injured athlete is a sign of failure and bad management.  John Smith plays five a side on a Sunday.  He has poor flexibility levels, drinks too much and doesn’t take any other exercise during the week before throwing himself at a ball for two hours once a week.  

We can be safe in the knowledge that before long, John is going to land on our doorstep for his back/hamstrings/knees to be fixed up: a scenario with which we are all too familiar.   However, even the elite athlete can be the subject of poor management and lack of therapeutic care.  

This can be in several areas, all of which build up to create and perpetuate problems:   
 · Improper handling of original injury.  Rushed or inappropriate treatment.  The treatment is localised to the injury site 
 · The injury is treated too often with no treatment recovery time built in. 
 · The athlete is returned to training and competition too soon with insufficient rehab and specific post injury training. 
 · Lack of a culture of ongoing preventative care.  Athlete/coach too focussed on results and not focussed on fitness and flexibility levels and injury prevention.   

These are all issues which pervade the highest level of sport in the UK and which can create a culture where injury is equated to failure on the part of the athlete and where, therefore, an athlete may not even mention an injury to the practitioner.  

Although many elite athletes will have access to generalised sports massage on a regular basis, the treatment of specific risk areas relating to their sport or history is very rare.   A programme whereby the athlete is treated like a formula one racing car is needed.  

In these environments, the car is designed, cared for and tuned on a constant basis and it would ill behove any racing team to wait until the car breaks down before any maintenance work is carried out.   

This is where a therapy more recently arrived in the UK is trying to change hearts and minds.  The Bowen Technique has been taught in the UK only since 1993, yet is already making a big impact across the field of physical therapy.  It has become exceedingly popular with chartered physiotherapists, existing complementary therapists and some sports injury technicians.   

Simple to learn and practise, it can be applied regularly to a large number of people (in a team environment for instance) with no disruption to existing training or treatment.  

The main reason for its increasing popularity is the speed with which clients respond.   A standard soft tissue injury that might typically take ten days to two weeks to heal can often be addressed in half that time using The Bowen Technique.  

Bowen has a particular fondness for acute injuries and the normal waiting period to allow for inflammation to decrease is eliminated with Bowen.   

 The technique itself is simple in its approach and application and involves the rolling of skin and superficial fascia over deep fascia and muscle with thumbs and fingers.  In between each set of moves there is a short pause, where the therapist ideally leaves the room, allowing the client to rest, before the next short set of moves is applied.   

The pressure used is relatively light and gentle and a long way from the deep pressure associated with the work of many sports therapists.  A side effect of this is the ease on the therapists themselves, who find they can treat more clients and attain better results while experiencing little or no fatigue themselves in the process.

CASE HISTORY:  FOOTBALLER   
"I was asked to try Bowen therapy by my physio as I had been having problems with my back, groins and upper leg muscles for most of the season.  I'd been to a chiropractor a few times and on my last visit she had advised there was nothing really wrong with my bone structure.  I continued to play but still felt restricted in my movements so I decided to give Bowen a try.  

I didn't really know what to expect but I was determined to keep an open mind and give it a go.  I can't explain how it worked but after a couple of treatments the problems I had been having virtually disappeared.  

I was able to touch my toes with the palms of my hands - something I'd not been able to do for a long while and I seemed to be able to go the duration of a game easily where I had been struggling before.  

When people ask, “Does it work?”,  I find the best way to tell them about it is my scoring ratio since having Bowen.  I'd only scored 5 goals in 27 games before Bowen treatment.  From the time I started having treatment until the end of the season, I scored 10 in 12 and from my point of view, that says it all!  I also didn't miss a game through injury." 
- Danny Adams, footballer   

The technique seems in some way to access the parasympathetic nervous system, promoting the body’s ability to restore structural integrity, although the actual workings of it still remain firmly in the realm of theoretical speculation.   

The fact that it works however is beyond doubt as recent ground breaking research (about to be published and presented at the First International Fascia Research Congress in Boston in October 2007) has discovered.  

Although there are many studies demonstrating that certain treatments can increase hamstring flexibility, there is none that has demonstrated that this increase can be maintained.   

A randomised controlled trial allocated 116 male and female volunteers to either a control or an intervention group. Using a single treatment of The Bowen Technique significantly increased the flexibility of the hamstring muscles in asymptomatic subjects and maintained this increase for a period of one week.   

No other treatment technique has been shown to maintain improvements in flexibility for a complete week without further treatment.  In addition, this increase was demonstrated without any form of loading, warm up or stretching pre- or post-treatment.    

It is the lasting effects of Bowen that have the most impact as far as sports therapists are concerned.  Neil Burke is a sports rehabilitator working with the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA).  This covers the incredibly physical sports of Irish Football and Hurling.  

“The mindset of most of the GAA players is that a rub will fix everything, but I have been sold on Bowen mainly from the work I have done with hamstrings.”   

Burke who works mostly with the GAA team Moyle Rovers, cites the case of one player who had a torn left ACL and developed a hamstring tightness as protection.  

“He had a lump in the head of his hamstring twice the size of a fist and after five or six heavy sessions using my elbow I’d made little or no headway.”  

The change with Bowen however was almost immediate and after two Bowen sessions the lump had disappeared and the range of movement had increased “massively.”  

“The amount of work I have to do with Bowen isn’t comparable to what I normally do,” Burke says.   

It’s early days for Burke as he only started his Bowen Technique training in January 2007, yet Bowen already accounts for around 20% of his work.  

And word is spreading.  “I’d like to think that as the rugby season starts, I can be doing 80% of my hamstring work using Bowen.  It will certainly make life easier.”   

An uninjured athlete is quite simply the one that has the edge over the competition.  If the average loss to training is 12% of competition time, then reducing this element by 50% is a massive boost.  

Reducing it further - as has been seen with regular Bowen treatments - can mean that a competitor is spending more time concentrating on fitness levels, has greater commitment and therefore the enhanced ability to compete.   

Neil Gibson was a Team Great Britain pentathlete before a misdiagnosed injury resulted in drastic and unnecessary surgery.  A pelvic imbalance had left him with a leg length difference of nearly two inches.  

After six Bowen sessions, he had returned to training, was back on the team and continued to represent his country at international level.  In addition he was able to train fully without losing a single day of training to injury over the subsequent two years of his career.  

Now a qualified Bowen therapist, Gibson has no doubts about the profound role that Bowen can play in the effective prevention and management of injury.   From a team perspective it can make the difference between success and failure.  

In football, the common complaint by the end of January is the level of injuries that a club carries and the subsequent lack of players available for selection.  

Anecdotal evidence from those involved suggests that Bowen in particular could be just the tool to reduce this problem.   If we mean what we say when we talk about sports medicine, then we are duty bound to explore the health option rather than concentrating solely on problem solving.  The paradigm shift is waiting to happen.  

Contents provided by the European School of Bowen Studies (ECBS)   

For further details about the Bowen Technique please contact Karen on 01954 260 982 / 07714 995 299 or email [email protected]

The Bowen Technique Endurance – Bowen and the 1000 Mile Challenge

Posted on 13 January, 2013 at 9:31 Comments comments ()
Today’s Therapist International Trade Journal   -   Issue 49  Nov Dec 2007    

The Bowen Technique Endurance – Bowen and the 1000 Mile Challenge             by Janie Godfrey

On Sunday, 2 March 2003, six contestants started off from The Mall in London to “travel unaided” one mile every hour for 1000 hours along the London Marathon route, after which they would run the London Marathon itself an hour after finishing the Challenge, six weeks later on Sunday 13 April.  

It was a re-enactment of the successful completion of a wager undertaken by Captain Barclay of the Royal Welch Fusiliers in 1809.  It has long been held as the ultimate sporting challenge, involving activity every single hour with sleep deprivation and no time to recover from any injuries or illness.   

Four of the contestants were recognised sportsmen and sportswomen. Five of them had experience of running marathon races.  The outsider in the pack was David Lake, a 25 year old Second Lieutenant in the Royal Welch Fusiliers who had no sporting background, had never undertaken a Marathon and had been persuaded at 2.00 am by his CO that “someone” should apply from the Regiment in view of the history of the event.   

Bowen Technique practitioner and teacher Alastair Rattray provided Bowen treatment for David throughout the challenge as well as during David’s training walk.  

He had his introductory Bowen treatment, on a mattress on the floor of the almost derelict Chelsea Barracks, which proved to be relaxing but uneventful.   

David then undertook a “training” 200-mile walk to assess how he would manage the main Challenge and to get himself organised with his support team.  It was not until he had completed 84 miles that it was possible for him to receive a further Bowen treatment. 

By this time, walking one mile every hour for 84 hours had taken considerable toll on him. He had severe blisters on both feet. He was suffering continuous pain from a tendon injury in his right foot, both Achilles tendons were tense and painful and his hamstrings and calfs were also very tense.  

He later admitted that he had great misgivings about completing 100 miles, let alone the 200 mile test he had set himself and he wasn’t even thinking about the 1000 miles ahead.   His blistered feet were sorted out very quickly with the use of chiropody felt and spray-on skin and were not to trouble him again for the remainder of the 200 miles. 

He had two Bowen treatments on the first day at midday, and again at 4.00 pm.  By 6.00 pm he said that his muscles felt “like day one again”. 

David’s programme was to walk one mile just before the even hour, and a second mile just after it to maximise his rest periods, as had Captain Barclay.   The competition started at the Mall at 4.00 pm on Sunday 2 March. David’s first treatment was at 8.00 pm near Tower Bridge in the back of a “white van”. He was totally exhausted by the long day’s publicity calls and interviews.  His muscles were very tense, as he was himself as well. 

The Bowen treatment totally transformed him and he was then able to relax and slept well during his rest periods that night.    

All the competitors had a medical check up with the Chief Medical Officer of the London Marathon who is a cardiac specialist.  He was aware that David was receiving Bowen at the start of the Challenge.  David’s results were very interesting in one of the blood tests.  The level of creatin in his muscles was on the high side of normal, whereas all the other competitors had been very high above normal. This would be what he expected in Marathon runners at the time they were competing.  However, none of the competitors had been running at the time of the tests at 500 miles. He then specifically asked David whether he was still receiving Bowen.  

This result suggests that David’s muscles were operating within their capacity, whereas the others were not.   David benefited from frequent Bowen treatments throughout the Challenge in that his body was constantly being brought back to balance. 

As a result, serious problems such as with the Achilles, the pelvis and the shin were quickly resolved. It was noticeable how effective Bowen was in the midst of a very demanding ultra distance event being given regularly without leaving the usual 7 days between treatments but assuming that micro damage would constantly produce re-injury.  

David was given treatment for the neck, back, pelvis, hamstrings, knees and ankles.  He never hit the so-called “wall” when the muscles can no longer cope and stop working until they have been rested. 

Overall, this was a very successful event for a non-athlete doing his first Marathon after completing 1000 miles in this way.   

Alastair Rattray has held the Football Association Treatment of Injury Certificate since 1972 and is a member and secretary of the FA Medical Society (SE). He was Club Physio to semi-professional clubs, Amersham Town and then Chesham United for 10 years. He is a qualified masseur and added the Bowen Technique in 1997. He practices in London and the South East and teaches for the European College of Bowen Studies.  

© E.C.B.S Janie Godfrey is a Bowen Technique practitioner in Frome and has been in practice since 1998.  She also works part time at the European College of Bowen Studies office.   

Contents provided by the European School of Bowen Studies (ECBS)   

For further details about the Bowen Technique please contact Karen on 01954 260 982 / 07714 995 299 or email [email protected]

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