Frequently Asked Questions:
1. WHAT IS BOWEN THERAPY?
2. how does bowen therapy work?
3. what symptoms does bowen therapy treat?
4. What can i expect from a treatment?
5. CAN I DO ANOTHER THERAPY AT THE SAME TIME?
6. HOW OFTEN SHOULD I RETURN FOR TREATMENT?
7. HOW DOES BOWEN COMPARE TO OTHER THERAPIES?
8. CAN I DO MY USUAL EXERCISE PROGRAM?
1. WHAT IS Bowen Therapy?
Bowen Therapy has often been distinguished from other forms of bodywork treatments as being something different and somehow better, something unique and somehow special – It isn’t new or special; it is simply an incredibly efficient form of bodywork therapy that positively stimulates the body to heal quickly. This may seem like a large statement of claim about such a relatively new and, as yet, little known therapy.
It isn’t the newness or the way it’s done that’s special about Bowen Therapy; it is simply an efficient form of bodywork therapy that positively stimulates the body to heal very quickly. Clients should expect a clear ‘black & white’ effect after a treatment.
In a Bowen Therapy session, the patient lies on a bed, wearing loosely fitting clothing, and relaxes, while the therapist applies a specifically located series of gentle movements across the body. The movements are composed of a challenge to a body of muscle, tendon or nerve and a release of the tension vibrates through to the nerve within the area. The result is a balancing not only on the structural level and functional systems, but also at the level of the individual’s overall well-being.
Addressing the body as a whole, in this way, Bowen Therapy treats beyond the presented symptoms and positively affects the physical, chemical, emotional and mental aspects of each person during the treatment and importantly for many days after. Appointments are usually scheduled a week apart as the treatment’s effect and the body’s process after is lasting many days. In most cases we recommend a series of about 3-5 treatments to initiate the Bowen process. Most of the time the 3-5 treatments will give a clear idea as to the tempo of future treatments if needed.
2. how does bowen therapy work?
Key to achieving this expansive benefit is Bowen Therapy’s capacity to stimulate a sense of deep relaxation. This deeply relaxed state, acts upon the body’s autonomic nervous system, which creates homeostasis at the cellular level. Through this a resetting of the autonomic nervous system takes place and while in a state of profound relaxation, the individual’s body is freed to find its own natural balance.
3. What symptoms does Bowen Therapy Treat?
The effectiveness of any therapy in the treatment of pain, inflammation and misalignment should be apparent very quickly, with the majority of clients seeking treatment at Bowen Therapy Clinics come on average 3 to 5 times for any given symptom.
One of the most common complaints for which people seek Bowen treatment is back pain. Painful and restricted shoulders are also a particular favourite as are neck pain, respiratory conditions, sciatica and headache patterns. Bowen is being widely used for sports injuries as well, with rugby clubs and premiership football clubs showing interest. Not only do sportsmen report fewer injuries when treated regularly but they also notice enhanced performance.
Symptoms which have been reported to respond to the Bowen Technique:
Diabetes & Arthritis
Ankle & Foot Problems
Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
Pregnancy / Fertility
Repetitive Strain Injury
Arm (Nerve) Pain
Neck Pain / Whiplash
Sacroiliacitis / Sacroiliitis
4. What can i expect from a treatment?
During the actual treatment session, the Bowen therapist will apply the movements in a series of patterns. The therapist leaves the room between the application of each pattern in the series so as to allow the patient the maximum space to fully achieve the deepest relaxant effects and to avoid interfering with the patient’s energetic realignment. Sessions usually last one hour. Often no more than three to five sessions are required for the treatment of most conditions. Treatments will generally be scheduled at 7-day intervals.
When coming for the first time there will be some unusual aspects to the treatment session.
Interestingly, you can keep your clothes on during the treatment as the areas of skin needing to be touched can easily be reached by your therapist.
The treatment requires various pauses of time between sets of therapeutic maneuvers for the body to respond effectively. These pauses are the most important aspect of the treatment as it is a therapy that doesn’t impose a change in the body; it is a therapy that acts as a catalyst for the body to change on its own.
The session is deeply relaxing and falling asleep during your session is a likely occurrence.
The whole body is usually addressed with the specific areas of concern being a focus of the treatment session. Interestingly, the body is treated on both sides to create balance. As an example, if you only had one wrist problem the therapist will treat both.
Your first visit is essentially a test of the treatments effect upon your problems and will enable the therapist to predict future treatment options and strategies. It will also clarify for yourself the overall effectiveness of the therapy for your concerns and give you an idea of how many future sessions are necessary and at what interval.
There is such a thing as doing too much Bowen Therapy, so it’s important to know how you respond to it before addressing some of your symptoms. This is a real skill that the therapist learns only after a great deal of experience.
Finally, expect to get better! The real question to ask yourself is not what is the ultimate diagnosis of your problem as what’s the use of having any diagnosis that doesn’t necessarily help you get better. Ask yourself simply, why did this physical symptom, syndrome, injury, strain or pain not get better?
We are confident that Bowen Therapy will help answer this.
5. Can I do another therapy at the same time?
No one can know for sure the answer to this as there may be times where more than one therapy can work perfectly well together. Alternately, there are other times where it will be problematic. It’d be a shame to be caught between cross purposes where differing approaches ‘push & pull’ you at the same time. The ideal is to take a couple of weeks off your current treatments and try 3 to 5 Bowen Therapy sessions, approximately a week apart, as this is usually a good number for evaluating the benefit of the treatment for your problem. It will also give a clear idea of how many future visits are needed.
Heat and cold applications and hot tubs can be another therapeutic influence so best to avoid these too. However, if you are in need of pain relief in order to function do whatever you know to be effective at the time you need it.
Overall, Bowen Therapy is not that fussy and you will know quite clearly its overall benefit for you very soon after treatment.
6. How often should I return for treatment?
Because Bowen Therapy is so quick to get responses of healing from clients, practitioners are commonly used to seeing their clients only a few times. They are also keenly aware that the benefit occurs because the therapy gets the obstacles to healing out of the way and the client’s own body does the work of healing. Therefore, Bowen Therapists will expect unusually long periods of time between follow-ups. When they say to come as needed it is because they need to know how lasting the benefits are. If you book a treatment once a month, you'll be guaranteed a good basis for long-term treatment of most symptoms. Remember, that just because your symptoms return it doesn’t mean that Bowen Therapy doesn’t work, it simply means that you have relapsed and the body just needs a re-inforcement from time to time.
Examples of time frames between treatments when the therapy has been effective are:
Migraines – 6 to 9 months
Neck spasm – 3 to 6 months
Shoulder – 6 to 9 months
Upper Back – 6 months
Lower Back – 6 to 9 months
Sciatica – 6- 9 months
Hip misalignment – 6 months
Knee (arthritic) – 6 weeks
Knee (ligament or tendon) – 6-12 months
Bunions – 6 weeks – 3 months
Plantar Fasciitis – 6 months
7. How does bowen compare to other therapies?
Bowen Therapy is a form of bodywork that achieves all the same therapeutic benefits of the following methods too. However, unlike most modalities, the effects come quickly and the benefit is long lasting, eliminating the need for multiple and sometimes endless visits.
Like Massage, Bowen Therapy is relaxing soothes muscle spasm and affects the circulation and lymphatic systems. Its benefit is usually long lasting and clients report needing to have far fewer sessions to reach a sustained improvement.
Like Acupuncture, Bowen Therapy stimulates the acupuncture points and meridians and promotes improved functions in the body’s systems like digestion, respiration hormonal and nervous systems. This is achieved without invasive needling or vigorous cupping and massage.
Like Chiropractic, Bowen Therapy achieves skeletal adjustments. This is achieved because it is a therapy for the soft tissues such as muscle, tendon and ligament and it is these structures that govern the alignments of joints and vertebrae. The affect is ongoing after the treatment and is long-lasting because the body has self-adjusted without forceful encouragement.
Like Physiotherapy, Bowen Therapy is not a muscular re-education. It has the opposite effect of releasing held patterns of dysfunction and inflammation through its stimulus to Golgi tendon organs and spindle cells.
Like Emotional Bodywork Therapies, Bowen Therapy stimulates a release of held emotions. This occurs quite naturally as the body responds to the treatment during the session and there is no need for discussion or analysis.
As a complementary treatment, Bowen can be used to enhance the benefits of other modalities. We find Homeopathy and Nrf2 supplements to be especially beneficial when used in conjunction with Bowen. However, certain alternate modalities affecting deep tissue, when used within a week of a Bowen Therapy treatment, will usually counteract the Bowen’s action (e.g., massage, chiropractics.) If you plan to combine Bowen with any other modality, please be sure to discuss an appropriate treatment schedule with your Bowen therapist.
8. CAN I DO MY USUAL EXERCISE PROGRAM?
This is worth discussing with your therapist as it can depend on the type and vigour of the exercise activity you want to do. It also depends on your level of athleticism. In most cases, exercise is fine if it remains moderate and well within your limits and in some instances it may prove helpful. Some conditions simply do better with rest and recuperation, please trust your therapist’s advice and be assured that they will want you returning to normal activity as quickly as possible.
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