Bowen Technique

Bowen Technique

Bowen TechniqueDeveloped in Australia in the 1950s, the Bowen technique is a therapy that encourages the body to reset and heal itself. Rather than attempting to treat specific ailments, the therapy incorporates a variety of light touches and moves which aim to encourage the body to empower its own resources for self-healing. Although it may seem to have much in common with some directional, massage-based therapies, practitioners are keen to stress that the Bowen technique incorporates a very holistic approach in which physical changes in the body post-treatment are actually the result of the body realigning itself, rather than as a result of any physical manipulation. 


How does it work?


The series of gentle moves used by the practitioner are said to balance and stimulate energy flows in the body. Once a deep sense of overall relaxation has been achieved, the body is able to begin its own restorative process. Healing seems to occur by affecting the body's nervous system, which creates homeostasis (balance) at the cellular level. 


What does it involve?


Treatments normally last about one hour and consist of a series of gently rolling connective tissue moves, using a light touch. Each move aims to address the entire system producing maximum results with minimal intervention. There are frequent pauses between movements, during which the practitioner leaves the room, to allow the body time to respond and benefit. The treatment is usually carried out whilst the client is clothed, and no oils are used. 


What is it good for?


As well as initiating a deep state of relaxation that encourages the body to heal itself, the Bowen technique is also extremely effective for pain. It is used as a remedial therapy for numerous ailments including sports injuries, skeletal and muscular problems, allergies, respiratory problems, digestive problems, RSI, teeth grinding, headaches and sciatica. 

It seems to improve rehabilitation time, regardless of how old or recent the injury may be. Other diseases that have shown improvement from using the Bowen technique are multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy. 


Bowen Technique – helps to reduce our stress levels

At Soma Therapies there is an upward trend for inquiries for Holistic treatments.  In our stressful lives people are trying to bring themselves back to an equilibrium.  They are now investing in their health.  They are determined to improve how they feel.  We are now aware we don’t have to put up with those aches and pains.  There is always something that can be done to improve your health.

Bowen TechniqueThese are stressful times ..But what do we mean by stress.  The word stress is one that is used all too often to describe a set of circumstances that aren’t always clear. .The presence of stress in our human existence plays a major role in our  continued survival.  If we have to give a speech, ask for a pay rise or take a driving test our body’s undergoes a series of intricate and various brain regions are all recruited into action.  Our adrenal glands secrete adrenaline and flood the body.  The heart rate rises, our breath quickens, oxygen rushes to the muscles and our emune cells are geared up to deal with any injury.  After the test or speech everything then hopefully calms down. 

This process of equilibrium through change’ is called allostasis and is the reaction that was developed for dangers that humans might have been exposed to by facing wild animals or a shortage of food.  It was not designed for increased worry over paying bills and paying mortgages and debts.  The idea is that we are designed to respond with ‘fight or flight’, as and when needed, enabling us to deal with the occasional danger or confrontation.  In our modern lives we often end up being exposed to stresses that are ongoing and prolonged.  This in turn builds up the release of the powerful hormones that we simply shouldn’t be carrying around constantly.   Often with out realising its coming, the result is the burnout that we often see through the doors of our treatment rooms and even see in other therapists.

The over production of cortisol has some dramatic effects.  Cortisol is the stress hormone that enables all the physiological reactions mentioned  that we associate with a stressful situation.  Dr. Bruse McEwan of the Rockerfeller University found in his research that prolonged stress weakens the immune system, strains the heart, damages memory cells and deposits fat in the abdomen rather than the hips or buttocks.  One of cortisol’s main functions is to help mobilise energy in times of high stress by releasing glucose into the blood.  The trouble is that if you stay stressed for too long, it act with high insulin levels and sends fat into storage at the waist.  This makes good sense in the case of a famine, but it increases the risk of heart disease, cancer and other illnesses as well as making us miserable and often depressed.

We have to be clear about exactly what we mean by stress as it applies to us.  We can work a pressurised job and really enjoy it, and it’s important not to confuse the idea of stress and pressure.  If we look carefully at a lot of the situations that we use to apply the word stress to, we could quite easily change to pressure and at the same time change the way we feel about what’s going on.  Stress as a way of handling day-to-day pressure is, to a great extent, a learned behaviour and choice we make.  Of course we need the reflexes that will help us to steer a car clear of an accident, but do we need the same reactions to the queues at the checkout, even if we are an hour late?

Apart from the chemical reactions we have already mentioned, the physical is often what we notice most.  There has long been a link between stress and depression and the posture implications for both problems could seem quite obvious.  It’s unlikely that you’ll see many depressed people walking around with their heads up and their chests out.  The natural position of depression is slightly hunched and pushed forward.  Generally speaking, the same position will apply for those people are stressed.

Prolonged exposure to stressful situations will fairly quickly manifest in tightness in muscular structures.  The stress hormones that are released into the body directly affected the whole structural system.  Keep the stress levels up and before long, the neck will tighten up, the shoulders stiffen and backaches, headaches and joint pain become a regular feature.  Of course the main thing we need to do is to remove the object of stress, or change the way we view this.  But it is equally important to have an holistic treatment in order to help get things back to ‘normal’.

Anyone who has seen a Bowen Treatment will likely be surprised at the small amount of work that is needed to prompt a response and it’s a surprise to find how quickly people do relax and let go.  One of the key elements of the Bowen Technique is that the practitioner leaves the room in between sets of moves and, by leaving the client in what is essentially their own space, allows then to settle in deeply to a pattern of breathing and relaxation that is difficult to achieve with many other treatments.




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