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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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The Effect of Bowen on Pain and Anxiety

Posted on 20 January, 2013 at 6:11 Comments comments ()
The Effect of Bowen on Pain and Anxiety 

By Alastair Rattray           Bowen Teacher and Therapist   
 
Tom Bowen, an Australian living and working in Geelong, New South Wales, developed his remarkable technique over some 35 years. He described himself as a “muscular-skeletal” therapist and regarded himself as an osteopath though he had never had any formal medical training. 

Probably 95% of Tom’s clients were suffering from some form of muscular-skeletal problems. He was evidently very skilled as it was estimated in 1974 that he was treating thousands of people a year, often fixing the problem in one to three treatments.   

What has become apparent as we work on a greater variety of cases than just those suffering from muscular problems is that Tom’s therapy seems to work on three different levels. 

The first one is obviously the muscular and skeletal level. Many a bad back and misaligned pelvis has been sorted out successfully using Bowen. A research project on frozen shoulders concluded that Bowen was very successful at relaxing the muscles around the shoulder even when they had remained in spasm for 8 years or so. Children with asthma respond very positively to Bowen. Some research on lymphodaema cases showed that many responded well to this gentle treatment. So that level could be regarded as the “base” level at which the Bowen Technique works.    

At a second level could be regarded the body’s systems. In more than one case, we have experienced a remarkable turnaround in chronic infection for instance. In one, infection had remained constant for over 18 months with antibiotics being prescribed every 3 months which merely had the effect of reducing the infection from “100%” to 70% before it would steadily return to its maximum state. Yet one week after the first Bowen treatment it reduced to 50% and a week later to nil and has not returned in two years. 

At this level the effects of the treatment seem to be affecting much more than just the muscular systems. 

In another case, chronic infection of the right sinus for over two and a half years was resolved in about four weeks where the client had been taking 6 Anadin a day. She stopped the medication almost immediately. 

At this level, the body’s systems seem to gain a boost to get the immune system balanced and working properly to defend the body as it should.   

The third level could be described as the emotional level. At this level, it is not that the relief of pain brings emotional relief but that the emotions are affected even when there is no pain at all. 

It is quite common for clients to say how very relaxed they feel after a Bowen treatment. But the effects of the treatment at this level do not stop there. 

Working for over two years at the Blenheim Project in Portobello Road, West London which provides support and a “drop in” centre for people with drug and drink problems, it has become very clear over a number of cases that the effects of Bowen on the emotional level can be very marked indeed, and last for a long time. 

In one case, a client of the Blenheim for many years, the management realised a very marked change in behaviour and social contact had taken place after only two Bowen treatments. This client was described as one “everyone avoided” and yet suddenly they found they could have a rational discussion with her. This state has continued for over two years. The client also reduced her intake of valium to nil over a period of some eight months with regular Bowen treatments.   

In another case, a woman who had chronic back pain, which had been increasing over a 12-year period, also suffered from deep depression and was often ill. The back pain was resolved in two treatments. The frequent periods of illness also stopped immediately and after some months she wrote, “ the Bowen treatment seems to have had a marked effect on my general health, with practically no illness all winter, and also my mental/emotional health is also much better. I don’t have the down days and depression that I suffered with for years”.   

One of the most common statements clients at the Blenheim make after their first treatment is that they may have suffered the same levels of stress during the week but that they had been able to cope much better and could “see what had to be done, and did it whereas I would usually do nothing about it”. This has been seen often with other types of cases. 

A client suffering very severely from “Panic Attacks” to a level that any crisis would mean her being off work for two days or more, (she was the Company Secretary with legal responsibility for the company). After two Bowen treatments, she was very much brighter and coping better. After about three treatments she arrived to say that she had had a big crisis in the morning and had thought “well, I had better deal with it then!”. In total, she made six visits to make sure she was fine. She came back about six months later during a personal crisis for a couple more, but has been fine for a year now.

A couple came for Bowen treatment to help them through the crisis, which had just engulfed their lives. The husband had been diagnosed with a cancerous growth, about the size of a large lemon, on the edge of his ribs. Diagnosis had taken over 8 weeks and radiotherapy could not be scheduled in less than another two months. Both were in a high state of anxiety over the situation. 

During the first visit, the wife burst in to tears during the treatment as the pent-up tension over the previous months was released. On their next visit, they both said that they had found they were coping much better and were able to discuss the situation together without emotional collapse.  When they came for their fourth visit, they explained that he had just had a scan, prior to having a week’s chemotherapy to try to stop the growth getting any larger. Quite extraordinarily, the hospital could no longer identify the location of the growth as it had disappeared except for a very small spot. The only treatment he had had was Bowen. 

Cancer can disappear of its own accord in this way, but this obviously was outside the hospital’s experience according to the couple. It may be that the calming effect of Bowen allowed the immune system to fight back, but we will never really know. 

One thing is certain; they are both very much calmer and coping very well with the situation. So far, no further sites of cancer have been identified and all treatments for the disease have been completed.   

The Bowen Technique is a very gentle therapy where the therapist makes gentle moves over muscles or tendons in very specific places on the body. It is not like any other technique though there are sometimes similarities in the sites where the therapist works. 

A unique feature is the two-minute breaks between sets of moves to allow the body to begin its work. The “disturbances” caused by the moves are unusual and cause the brain to investigate the area and to release tension which may have built up in the muscles for some reason. 

However, the effects of the technique go way beyond just treating muscles in spasm and affect other levels of the body’s systems. As it is the body itself which is doing the work, usually, once something is fixed, it stays fixed as the therapist is not manipulating, nor imposing their will on the client. 

A feeling of well-being is probably the most common sensation felt by clients after a treatment. It follows, therefore, that this well-being affects the level of anxiety felt by all clients to one degree or another in a positive way. 

It is also a feature of the Bowen Technique that the re-balancing, which is started by the treatment, continues throughout the following week, and often well beyond that as has been seen by some of the cases referred to in this paper. 

While we may be treating a bad back,  for instance, we are also affecting other levels of the body’s systems even to the level of how they feel generally and how they even behave. 

It is no small wonder, therefore, that the technique is being used in an ever-widening range of cases. It is totally safe and easy to use on anyone whatever their condition or their age which is probably why more and more professionals, including doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, osteopaths, chiropractors and other therapists have been coming to learn the Bowen Technique.       

Alastair Rattray  has held the Football Association Treatment of Injury Certificate since 1972 and was Club Physio to semi-professional clubs  Amersham Town and then Chesham United FC for 10 years. 

He is a qualified masseur and has used the Bowen Technique since 1997. He teaches for the European College of Bowen Studies in London, the South East and Essex, and practices both near Tonbridge and in London.

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]

Balancing the nervous system

Posted on 20 January, 2013 at 5:53 Comments comments ()
Today’s Therapist International Trade Journal   -   Issue 35  Jul Aug 2005    

The Bowen Technique 

Balancing the nervous system                            by Janie Godfrey

The autonomic nervous system (ANS) controls most of what goes on in our body.  80 – 90% of physiological and emotional functions are regulated by it and it manages such things as heart and circulatory functions, respiration, digestion, glands, muscles, immune system and blood pressure levels.  

The ANS is divided into two branches, the sympathetic nervous system that speeds things up and produces the ‘fight or flight’ response that is so essential to our survival in dangerous situations, and the parasympathetic nervous system which slows things down, calms us and gives us rest.  

When we are healthy, these two systems are balanced and this balance is vital for the body to stay in good health.   As we are all too aware, serious numbers of people are under considerable and constant pressure to meet the demands of daily responsibilities, juggling family, jobs and other commitments.  In addition, lack of job security and the rising costs of housing, food and lifestyle just layer on the pressure.  

The faithful body does what it was designed to do:  churns out the sympathetic nervous system messages that get us ready to do battle – to achieve all the tasks before us.  As these are constant tasks, quickly replaced with new ones in a relentless tide, the parasympathetic never gets the message to rest, so we escalate into fear, anxiety and panic.  

Among many symptoms of this state, blood pressure can rise and stay elevated.   Medically, beta-blockers are used to decrease the sympathetic response, which results in decreased heart rate and lowered blood pressure.  This is the desired effect of bets-blockers but there is a risk of unacceptable side effects, one of which can be poor performance, which is of special concern to athletes and performers – as well as to those just hoping for a good round of golf.  Beta-blockers that pass the blood-brain barrier can cause a decrease in energy and alertness and in some cases real drowsiness.   

Fortunately, complementary therapies can help with this situation and provide a more efficient way to create the desired inner calmness without harmful effects.  

A therapeutically induced alpha state (parasympathetic response) is a natural healing state:  blood pressure, breathing rate, and other vital processes normalise, and regenerate.  

The awareness of the inner processes, physical emotional and mental, sharpens.  The alpha state is the gateway to relaxation and, crucially to creating new behaviour. 

“I don’t know what it is, but I just feel better in myself.” 

“I slept like a log after treatment and woke up feeling life was worth living.” 

“All of a sudden, I seem to know what I want / need to do and I’m making big decisions about things now.”   

These statements are typical of patients returning for their second or third Bowen treatment.  

Bowen therapists often witness big life-changes in people whose body-mind-spirit balance is being restored through treatment.  Sleep disturbances result from low parasympathetic activity.  After a series of Bowen treatments the parasympathetic response returns, sleep problems dissipate and well-being greatly improves.  

A Bowen therapist, who is also a physiotherapist working with stroke patients, feels that Bowen is one of the best tools she has to restore the sleep patterns of her patients.  

Bowen practitioner and medical doctor JoAnne Whitaker, tells of one of her clients who is an accomplished long-distance swimmer.  She has said that after a successful swim she feels full of energy – very high and very excited.  However, after a Bowen treatment she has that same bounty of energy – but feels very peaceful.  The perfect balance, it would seem.      



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 - Engaging the immune system

Posted on 13 January, 2013 at 11:46 Comments comments ()
Today’s Therapist International Trade Journal   -   Issue 38  Jan Feb 2006    

The Bowen Technique - Engaging the immune system                                 by Janie Godfrey  

There are a number of case histories of people with infections seeing them finally shifted after Bowen treatment.  The case history has been mentioned before of an older woman who suffered with an 18-month long, low-grade infection that antibiotics were not shifting at all.  

Bowen treatment seemed to kick her immune system into gear and in the week after Bowen, she had coughed out a great quantity of infected sputum and boils had erupted all down her left arm, which were green, poisonous and suppurating.   Her body was now doing an efficient, if dramatic, job of isolating and expelling the infection.    

There are similar cases of the body isolating and expelling infection after the prompting of Bowen treatment.  

In one, a woman in her early 40’s who, as the result of a bad accident some years before has metal rods and screws in a section of her lower spine, came for Bowen treatment to help with the consequent back pain and also a feeling of tiredness and low energy.  

After a few Bowen treatments, a good-sized swelling appeared in her groin.  She was admitted to hospital while they investigated what it was.  It proved to be an infection that her body had brought to the surface.  Her doctors said that if an infection had established itself in that area, it would have been almost impossible to clear, in their opinion.    

Much success has been achieved by treating long-standing sinusitis with Bowen.  

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.    

Dr Bruce McEwen, the director of the neuroendocrinology laboratory at the Rockefeller University, has discovered that the overproduction of cortisol has some dramatic effects.  

Cortisol is the stress hormone that enables all the physiological reactions already mentioned that we associate with stressful situations.  His research has shown that prolonged stress weakens the immune system as well as strains the heart, damages memory cells and deposits fat in the abdomen rather than the hips or buttocks.   

So it would appear that one good way to ensure the immune system is operating well is to control the stress levels as much as possible.  

A frequently seen effect of Bowen, quite apart from the changes in the physical problems that have been presented, is a shift in the psyche of the client.  “I feel better in myself and about myself,” is a common remark and is often accompanied by a re-evaluation of what has brought them to this point in the first place.  

In short, Bowen is an excellent  de-stressor and this in itself will be one valid consideration in treating a struggling immune system.    

As with any factor in illness however, it’s important for people who are prone to being stressed, or who face stressful situations daily, to identify the sources of the stress and the point at which the feelings of being under too much pressure start.  

Stress is only a problem if it is allowed to continue unchecked and the role of a good therapist is to help the client identify the signals before they become the problem.   

There are many detailed case histories documenting the change in health patterns before and after Bowen and it is clear from these, in people of all ages, that Bowen can orchestrate the body-mind-spirit into functioning well and efficiently resisting the bugs and infections.         

© 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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