Bowen Therapy helps the body remember how to heal itself. The gentle Bowen movements send neurological impulses to the brain resulting in immediate responses of muscle relaxation and pain reduction.
History of Bowen
The Bowen Technique was developed in the 1950’s by osteopath, Tom Bowen of Australia. In 1974, according to a survey of alternative medicine performed by the Victoria Government, Tom Bowen was found to be treating over 250 patients per week despite no advertising. His success rate was about 88% after only 2 or 3 treatments.
What can Bowen treat?
Bowen treatment is suitable for babies through to elderly and is applicable for a wide range of complaints including but not limited to:
Back pain, scoliosis, sciatica
Neck and shoulder pain, frozen shoulder
Pelvic misalignment, groin pain
Immune dysfunction; chronic fatigue
Migraines, ear ache, jaw problems, sinusitis
RSI, carpel tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow
Digestive problems, IBS
How does Bowen Work?
To understand how Bowen works we need to know a little about connective tissue (fascia) as this is the vehicle through which Bowen moves can access the underlying muscles and organs. Fascia connects with all systems in the body and this explains its wide reaching effects.
Research scientists are now embracing a tensegrity model of the body which recognizes that the opposing forces created by connective tissue are what provide our strength and support our skeleton. Our bones are literally floating within this connective tissue.
Connective tissue is like a watery 3D internal web which wraps itself around every muscle fibre and every nerve cell. As well as projecting down into the body, 2D sheets of fascia have been identified and are referred to as fascia lines. Each sheet covers different parts of the body although they may overlap. Within this web-like connective tissue structure, our bones float. If there is tension in any part of our fascia, the flow of blood and lymphatic fluid are compromised and joints can also be put under pressure, resulting in pain.
Trauma, unrelieved stress or repetitive motions can cause fascia to become stiff and dehydrated which in turn decreases muscle response and mobility. Remember that if fascia is restricted (tight and dehydrated), then the underlying muscle fibres will also be restricted.
The light-pressured rolling moves of Bowen therapy stimulate mechanoreceptors within the fascia which in turn send impulses via the autonomic nervous system to the brain resulting in the body switching into a relaxed state (parasympathetic mode) so that healing can occur. In addition, fascial tension is released, the fascia returns to a flexible, healthy state and muscles are able to function optimally, our bones move into their natural positions relative to each other so that pressure is taken off the joints and pain is relieved.
Traditional remedial treatments have focussed only on muscle fibres but Bowen addresses the fascia thereby releasing pain where traditional treatments have failed.