The Bowen movement works with the fascia and our own body's ability to react where healing is required, when and where the therapist directs it.
'Fascia' ...which is a word that we don't usually associate with our body (it's usually referred to in the roofing industry as ‘bands of material’ joining one surface to another) In the human body is the emerging science of the connective tissue. An elastic and often inelastic structural system that encompasses, wraps round and contributes to stability, flexibility function and movement.
The Bowen Move:
The Bowen move is very distinctive. It's the application at very precise points on the body and involves the movement of soft tissue in a specific way. The move is a rolling-type move of the thumbs and forefingers, and is designed to stimulate tissue and nerve pathways, creating a focus for the brain.
The move does not slide or flick over the surface of the skin, but uses the slack in the overlying skin to move over the underlying tissue, so each move covers a small area, defined by how far an individual’s skin can move over a targeted area.
The importance of the 2 minute breaks:
Bowen incorporates the unique element of allowing the body to rest for a few minutes between moves, this initiates the process of repair and is very important. The length of the breaks will vary from client to client and with different procedures, but it is usually a break of around two minutes in between each set of moves.
The implications of the breaks become more apparent for experienced practitioners, but many people find this a very difficult concept. The breaks are probably one of the least understood parts of Bowen and yet it's during the breaks that the work starts to take effect and changes are implemented. A fundamental principle of Bowen is that it's the clients own body that is doing the work, not the therapist - for this to happen the body needs time and to be left alone.
How does it work?
The human brain is one of the most interesting areas of the body, where the basic function is to receive information from our sensory organs and interpret it, such as light, sound, pain, movement. This enables conscious communication within our body.
Neuroplasticity which is the brain's ability to recognise itself by forming new neural connections, allows the nerve cells in the brain to adjust their activities in response to new situations or changes in their environment. This includes a stimulus through touch. Whenever we feel, hear, see or even think, the brain brings in past experience in order to categorise the sensation and create an appropriate response.
In the case of the Bowen move, the brain is unable to do this instantly and needs more information to form a response. As it is, just when the brain is asking for more information, the therapist has left the room, and therefore the brain has to send specific signals to the area in order to gauge a response. If the client is lying down, the immediate response is nearly always rapid and deep relaxation.
How will my body react to Bowen Therapy
The client often reports feeling a tingling sensation or warmth in the area just worked on. “It felt like your hands were still on me,” is a common comment. One of the more difficult things to come to terms with is how little ‘hands on work’ is done during a session. In addition, the client may well walk out of the treatment room having felt little or no improvement over and above a sense of relaxation.
However, the reactions to Bowen in the days following a treatment can often belie its soft and gentle approach. Stiffness, soreness, headache and feeling like “I’ve been run over by a bus!” are common, demonstrating that the brain and body have started the process of repair.
That repair, when started, is generally rapid and it is not uncommon for even longstanding pain to be reduced or resolved in two or three treatments. Although musculo-skeletal problems such as frozen shoulder, back and neck pain account for the majority of conditions brought for Bowen treatment, it can also be helpful with more organic problems.
What symptoms and ailments can Bowen Therapy help?
Clients have reported significant improvements with asthma, migraines, irritable bowel, infertility and other reproductive problems. There are no such things in this life as guarantees and this can be said of Bowen as well. If the body responds to the treatment, then it can and will start the process of repair. If it doesn’t respond, then no harm is done.
One of just a handful of Bowen Therapists in South Yorkshire, Nicky practices Bowen Therapy from her office in Doncaster.
Contact Nicky if you have any questions about Bowen Therapy, or to enquire about or schedule an appointment.
32 Aintree Drive, Doncaster, Doncaster, DN4 8TU, United Kingdom
By Appointment Only