Healthy Living and Alternative/Holistic Care Articles
Miracle Pain Relief with Bowen Therapy
Introduction to Bowen Therapy, with a case study
Bowen Therapy is perhaps one of the fastest, pain-free pain relief and injury recovery bodywork modalities available today. When integrated into their patient's treatment plan, doctors, osteopaths, chiropractors, physical and sports therapists report startling successes with Bowen Therapy. It has even been referred to as the "homeopathy of bodywork" in that minimal outside influence is required to achieve phenomenal, lasting results.
Bowen Therapy has the ability to tap into the body's blueprint, and reset the body to heal itself -- often with only a few precise Bowen moves (a Bowen Therapist's treatment motto is "less is more"). And because Bowen Therapy balances the autonomic nervous system and detoxifies the body, it is effective for a wide range of mind and body conditions: sports & accident injuries, headaches, migraines, TMJ, allergies, asthma and other respiratory complaints, constipation, IBS/bowel problems and other digestive complaints, stress, anxiety, depression, ADD and hyperactivity. This hands-on, total body-balancing modality embraces the physical, chemical, emotional and mental aspects of the individual receiving the treatment.
Bowen Therapy accelerates healing and recovery by actually stimulating the bodies' own natural healing capacity to achieve overall balance and harmony. The work is performed on a physiological level by touching sense receptors under the skin which can alert the brain to any problem areas that exist in the body. It is administered without any forced manipulations, with the body either accepting or declining the signals -- the brain sends the appropriate signal to the tissues encouraging the release of any tension, thus allowing for structural alignment.
It is gentle; its effects are powerful; and recovery from pain and injuries is extremely quick and safe. Most people experience substantial relief after the first session. And often the results are quite surprising with clients reporting that while they undergoing Bowen treatment for one condition had other quite different ones fixed.
Bowen Therapy stems from the ingenious work of Tom Bowen, an Australian, Manipulative Therapist (1916-1982). Bowen became renowned for helping people who had sought treatment from many other practitioners, but had not found relief. His natural gift and abilities enabled him to develop an entire system of movements and procedures to counteract a wide spectrum of internal conditions, as well as musculoskeletal complaints. He claimed that his work was a "Gift from God that could address on all levels any and every condition that inflicts a person."
A 1975 Australian Government inquiry into alternative health practices determined that Bowen was successfully treating an astonishing 13,000 patients a year using Bowen Therapy; yielding reported results of an amazing 80 to 85 percent success rate, often after only one or two sessions.
After his death, many of Bowen's students continued the legacy of his work. To date, Bowen Therapy is practiced in 36 countries, and taught in over 25, with more than 20,000 trained practitioners worldwide.
A Bowen Treatment
It has been suggested that in relation to a Bowen treatment, the body is much like a stringed instrument. When a Bowen move is performed it creates a resonance effect wherein specific harmonic frequencies are thought to affect particular parts of the body. By creating a vibrational pattern that correlates with a specific frequency to correct tissue tension in the body, Bowen assists with fine tuning the body to improve overall function and mobility.
For the most part, a person's unique needs and structure dictate the format of the treatments. A Bowen treatment consists of sequential series of small light-touch moves that cross fibres, muscles, tendons and ligaments at specific sites on the body. The practitioner generates energy in the area as he moves over the tissues, and the tissue's energy reverberates between the blocks until the tissue tension in the area is reduced, and therefore, relaxed.
For the bulk of the treatment, the client lies comfortably with no physical interaction with the practitioner. Periodic breaks for 2-5 minutes at a time are required during the treatment to allow the body time to realign and rectify itself before commencing onto the next sequence of moves.
One treatment takes about an hour. Treatments are spaced a few days apart for optimal results. Three to five treatments are generally recommended for most conditions, each building on the last. At a treatment therapists will stress the importance of water intake as well as other environmental and lifestyle modifications that will help to boost a person's overall wellbeing.
Regardless of a person's age or physical condition, Bowen Therapy can be profoundly effective in relieving acute and chronic pain, improving posture and joint mobility, speeding recovery from injuries and accidents, relieving physical and emotional stress and improving overall health and energy levels.
A study by Amy Norman presented in 1998 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Department of Physical Education, Exercise and Sport Science, compared practitioner and patient responses in a survey evaluating the efficacy of the Bowen Technique in the treatment of pain.
Practitioners rated the Bowen Technique effective in "85% for back pain with an average of 4.3 sessions, 88% for neck pain with 4.5 sessions, 83% for stress & tension with 4 sessions, 83% for other conditions with 5.8 sessions and 80% for fibromyalgia requiring longer treatments. Effectiveness rated by patients was 85% for back pain, 80% for stress & tension, 95% for TMJ, 80% for hip pain and 75.6% for other conditions."
Bowen Case Histories
I have been fortunate in my Bowen Therapy Practice to see and experience many success stories. For instance Shah, a 34 year old male had food allergies so severe he ended up in emergency several times over the last few years, with his neck swelling up and closing over. Because of these food sensitivities, he had a huge fear around eating. When he went to the hospital he was given medication to treat his symptoms. After only one treatment of Bowen Therapy he is now eating with no allergic reactions.
Another truly amazing and inspiring success story comes from a client in Newfoundland:
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