Bowen Technique By Karen
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|Posted on 13 January, 2013 at 15:21|
Today’s Therapist International Trade Journal - Issue 55 Nov Dec 2008
The Bowen Technique - Memory and emotional release by Janie Godfrey
Bowen therapists are not trained to be psychotherapists or counselors but because we humans are made up of mind, body and spirit, all interacting with each other and ‘bearing each other’s burdens’ so to speak, one often prompts responses that do not strictly fall within the technical definition of one’s training.
Alice, a very active 66-year-old woman had come for treatment for a point of pain that began as a deep twinge in the right groin and which then spread around to the hip joint. This twinge was sometimes accompanied by a ‘tooth-achy’ feeling down the right leg to the knee when she was tired. The pain went away when she was walking.
When she came for her third Bowen treatment there was only a small point of palpable pain on the right lateral hip joint and she sometimes had an ache in the area of the right piriformis when the right hip was hurting. She could, however, go for long walks without it hurting at all. The hip pain seemed to be brought on mainly by her line dancing but not by her aerobics exercises.
During her third treatment I did three moves over the right iliotibial band and then one over the right tensor fasciae latae. These moves generated great heat in the right hip point of pain and some pain behind her right knee.
After the usual short break in the treatment, I gave the Knee Procedure and then finished with the moves around the neck area. When she got up from the treatment, she felt “shaky, the way you feel after you’ve received bad news”. She then felt great stiffness all over her body, especially up her back and across her shoulders. I did a few gentle spine moves up her back and she then felt warmth flooding into her shoulders an all of those muscles releasing and relaxing.
Then she sat down and said she felt very emotional, as if she wanted to cry. She could feel shaking in her chin and hands and held up one hand and it was trembling slightly. Her instinct was to get out of the room as fast as possible and RUN, or “do violent exercise”.
She spoke of how, in her family and upbringing in her part of the country, she was taught to repress emotions, never to show them and to just get on with things.
She was widowed at age 30 with small children to raise (working as a nurse) and her daughter (who is now a psychotherapist) has always encouraged her to explore these repressed emotions and traumas. Alice had steadfastly refused to do so. However, she had been taken by surprise by the effects of this Bowen treatment on her. She was very impressed with the responses it had prompted in her.
She acknowledged the validity of what had happened; it so clearly had taken her back, emotionally and physically, to a moment of deep trauma in her past.
She told me that because she trusts me, and being in my presence, she could admit to all this and not do what she would traditionally have done, which would have been to RUN.
On another occasion, a patient was strongly returned to a moment of past trauma. 47-year-old Mary had come for treatment for wheezing and tightness in her upper chest. She had never had a full blown asthma attack but went to the doctor who told her she had asthma and put her on an inhaler to ease the tightness and wheezing when they occurred. The inhaler was helpful for these symptoms.
During her third Bowen treatment (what is it about the third treatment?!), just after the moves over the diaphragm muscle were completed, there was a very interesting simultaneous occurrence: she felt the tightness come on just at the point where she has the wheeziness along with a very vivid memory of a counseling session with her former husband which had been very emotional and full of anger and fear, recalling her feelings about the relationship being over.
During that time her former husband told her repeatedly that, because she had not expressed her feelings when her mother had died not too long before, that she was now transferring all the grief of that event on to him leaving and the relationship ending.
It was during this time of their parting that her wheezing and tightness in the chest began. She often catches herself holding her breath and realizes this is connected with a fear that she won’t be able to breathe which she sees as a symbol connected with trust and faith that she will be all right and able to care for her child and manage everything.
This insight proved to be very helpful in freeing her from the automatic and unconscious reactions she had had for years.
© E.C.B.S 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]