For me personally I have always experienced a Bowen treatment as an efficient conduit for mind body connection.
Distortion of our health and belief systems arise when we are unable to conquer and heal from past trauma wounds, both physical and emotional. At the time of trauma, it can appear as though the healing is done fairly quickly and one can “get on” “move forward” and this can indeed be true, but wounds leave a scar ,and the scar whether it is psychic or physical, illustrates the loss of connection, the fracture that can change the direction we were traveling, resulting in the often unconscious setting up unhealthy habitual patterns.
Bowen Technique offers a kind and resourceful way of softening the scars of past wounds and re-awaking connection in the body. We may carry and discover layer upon layer of unhealthy patterning that may have accumulated over the years. It becomes harmful to our health, resulting in physical pain and complications. In my own experience the unconscious burying of pain became a way of forgetting, but as I aged and had children of my own I began to experience that this act of ‘forgetting’ was a reaction to not wanting to ‘remember’. In fact it became a way of storing events in my body, and I was “stuck”. I had unknowingly blocked the natural flow of energy and information that my body needed to restore and heal.
In order to understand the more complex dysfunctions that occur in the body as a result of energetic disruption, for my CPD this year, I have chosen to attend a weekend workshop in Bowen-meta health presented by Joanne Figov & Annie Gedye (Bowen Therapist & META-Health Master Practitioner & Trainer) 15th-16th October.
I am really looking forward to learning more about META and improving my skills to help my clients.
Many of my clients are often ask me ” how can you do so little and get such effective results?” In my early days as a Practitioner I found this question hard to answer and the only sensible reply I could come up with “Bowen works, I’m not sure how,but it just does”
Thank fully new studies and research have started to reveal answers to the question above.
The simplicity of Bowen Technique begins with its method. Using fingers and thumbs, with gentle slow pressure, the Bowen move is applied to the body by drawing the skin back (in time with the clients breathing) to the edge of the muscle, tendon or ligament, and then held for a moment or two. (Bowen therapists describe this as ‘challenging the muscles’)
While the move is at rest position, it has a two fold effect on the structures underneath.
- It invites the body’s awareness to the particular area you are working on.
- It activates the ‘slow melting pressure’ a term described by Robert Schleip PHD in Fascial research.(1)
The ‘slow melting pressure’ describes the softening of the fascia (connective tissue matrix that covers muscles and organs of the body) Allowing the therapist to rest deeper into the tissue below, creating and finishing with a precise active move over the particular area. It is at this point that the Bowen moves creates a piezoelectric current.
The word Piezoelectric is derived from the Greek piezein, which means to squeeze or press, and piezo, which is Greek for “push”.
In his book ‘Energy Medicine’ Dr James Oschman states that the current creates “signals that inform the cells of the movement, loads, or other activities occurring elsewhere in their body. The cells, in turn, are thought to use this information to adjust their activities in maintaining and nourishing the surrounding tissues.”
Dr Oschman’s explanation of what happens when a slow, gentle Bowen move is applied to the body, also highlights why the ‘gaps’ or ‘breaks’ become so integral to a Bowen treatment. One of my clients described the gaps as an opportunity to “let it sink in”. Working precisely and efficiently with piezoelectric inducing moves creates the philosophy “less is more”, reducing intervention by the therapist to its lowest, leaving the body to do what it does best to restore health and balance.
“Bowen’s gentle stimulation of the fascial tissue and muscular system appears to facilitate the body’s capacity to detect, amplify and process bio-electromagnetic signals that are crucial for health.” (2)
(1) Schleip, R., Fascia as a Sensory Organ, World Massage Conference Webinar, Nov 2009
(2) Bowen – Moving Blocked Energy by Kayode Olafimihan and Susannah Hall(more info)listed in bowen technique, originally published in issue 74 – March 2002
Some really good new for therapists using Bowen Technique in a palliative care context.
Following NICE’s consultation in January 2016, on its proposed update to the guideline for Supportive and Palliative Care in Adults, we are pleased to report that NICE has taken into account the very large number of well-considered responses made by CNHC and a wide range of organisations across the sector.
Rather than remove complementary therapies, NICE has decided to keep the original guideline (CSG4) in place and develop a separate guideline for End of Life Care. This means that existing guidance on complementary therapies remains in place.
For the full letter please go to
Myofascial length testing was developed by Donna F.Bajelis PT, SMS as a way to better understand the characteristics of the human fascia web that embodies us all.
- Fascia. A sheet or band of fibrous connective tissue enveloping, separating and binding together muscles, organs and all structures of the body.
As a Bowen therapist I use a non diagnostic approach. Usually my clients come for treatment fully aware what is wrong with them. They either have a diagnosis from the Doctor or health care professional, but have come to a dead end (“you will just have to live with it”) as far as relieving pain or symptoms. They don’t need me to tell them what’s wrong, they know, they feel it in their body everyday. What they need me to do, is alleviate their pain and discomfort. I use myofascial testing in my clinic as a way to see precisely where restriction is in the body, enabling me to treat with precision and accuracy, which gives great results and happy clients.
- Below are a few examples (taken from my teacher Kelly Clancy, from the North West School of Structural Therapy http://www.northwestschoolofstructuraltherapy.com/) of tests I may use when dealing with a client with a pelvic imbalance that is presenting a leg length discrepancy (for example).
- It is rare to see a true leg length discrepancy, so i am already thinking that it could be a soft tissue issue, but I will check….
To help me to discern what fascial plane the restriction is on I use these tests. My experience with pelvic imbalance leads me to want check to see if the client has a Superficial back line issue. (This could be the primary area of restriction?) If I spot any restriction in these lines, then I know where to treat.
Forward bend. Gastrocnemius. Hamstring.
A misaligned pelvis, sets up distortion in the body (remember the body is quick to compensate. If the integrity of the system is compromised, the whole system is compromised) if untreated, it can cause musculoskeletal breakdown, injury and pain .If the issue is chronic (longterm) It’s likely that this client will be suffering with neck and/or shoulder restriction too, so I will test upper body lines for restriction on their next treatment.
Myofascial testing is an integral part of my treatment, I can efficiently and quickly assess what is working well, and what dysfunctional in the body and treat accordingly.
For more information on how Bowen Technique can help with postural misalignment, or to book an appointment go to www.bowentechniquenorwich.co.uk
Trauma can have a long term effect both physically and mentally. Neuroscientist Dr. Stephen Porges, developed the Polyvagal theory after researching how to measure the vagus nerve. His theory emphasizes that our nervous system has more than one defense strategy – and whether we use mobilized flight/flight or immobilization shutdown, it is not a voluntary decision. Outside the realm of our conscious awareness, our nervous system is continuously evaluating risk in the environment, making judgments, and prioritizing behaviors that are not cognitive.
When the body has been through trauma,a deeply distressing or disturbing experience or physical injury Dr Stephen Porges asks: “The problem, of course, is how do you get people back out of that?”
One way of initiating the healing process would be to use the Bowen Technique as a gentle treatment to create space in the soft tissue of your body and reduce tension on the Vagus nerve.
The vagus nerve is the longest cranial nerve. It contains motor and sensory fibers and, because it passes through the neck and thorax to the abdomen, has the widest distribution in the body. It contains somatic and visceral afferent fibers, as well as general and special visceral efferent fibers.
For the full article and more on Dr Stephen Porges Polyvagal theory go to :
Use Bowen as a way to manage stress on the gut.
Stress can impact on gut health immensely. Stress (emotional, mental or physical) increases cortisol – a stress hormone in the body that puts you in a fight or flight response. This increases proinflammatory markers in the body – prostaglandins E2 that causes pain, also this causes the intestinal lining of the gut to be more permeable. Intestinal permeability, also known as ‘leaky gut’ causes symptoms of food intolerances. Eating inflammatory foods (e.g. wheat, dairy/sugar) causes bloating, diarrhoea or constipation.
Bowen therapy: Bowen therapy is a gentle bodywork that helps in regulating the stress response. Moves are gentle rolling movements at certain points of the body with 2 minute waits in-between. Bowen therapy reduces HPA (hypo-pituitary adrenal) axis activity and works on the PNS (parasympathetic nervous system) for rest and relaxation. Bowen therapy is effective in addressing adrenal fatigue/burnout.
For more information and the full article go to : http://eatable.com.au/stress-affects-gut-health/
The Quince tree is in full blossom today. It will only last three days, less if the wind gets up……
Yesterday as part of Dying matters week, I was lucky enough to attend the 31st Norfolk Palliative care conference, at the Bob Champion Research Centre Norwich.
Over 200 people attended (the majority women) from all different areas of the palliative care network. I went to get a view on how Palliative care is managed from a medical point of view, and was greatly encouraged to see from the speakers invited,that the conference encompassed a broad view when it comes to the care of the dying. I have picked put a few to mention…
The first lecture By Dr.Simon Rushbrook- Consultant Gastroenterologist,NNUH, was a sobering eye opener. He spoke extensively about liver disease, which shockingly is 40% higher and on the rise in the UK more than anywhere else on the globe. Even more shockingly it’s causing more premature death in women at the age of 40. This sat is not about binge drinking… its about the bottle of wine a night. Take good care of your liver girls.
it wasn’t all difficult news…. Dr Kathryn Mannix, Consultant in Palliative care Medicine, freeman hospital , Newcastle Upon Tyne is using CBT in Palliative care context to help modify unhelpful thinking in those who are struggling with diagnosis. She is training up CBT first Aiders. For more info go to :http://spcare.bmj.com/content/2/Suppl_1/A113.3
We heard from Dr Phillip Wilkins, Consultant in Palliative Medicine, NNUH who explained the NICE Guidance for end of life care. Although the guidance was not greatly specific one the key directions it gave was communication. It is of utmost importance that the families of the dying and the dying themselves know what decisions are being made about them, and that they are included in them. He left us with the words of Cicley Saunders :
you matter because you are you
you matter to the last moments of your life
and we will do all that we can, not only to help you die peacefully, but to live until you die.
The last to speak was Stella green, Chaplain NNUH. She spoke about how to spot someone who might be in spiritual need, and how to attend to those needs. She mentioned Elizabeth Kulber-Ross five stages of dying denial,anger,bargaining,depress and finally reaching acceptance. she left us with a reassuring quote from Julia Neuberger 1999, dying well; a guide to enabling a good death.
‘No mysteries, no horror,no agony. Instead a peaceful end, as we want it, in as conscious a partnership as possible with those who have been our life’s companions and friends, supported with professional care by people with great skill in pain relief and emotional support.
The chaplaincy at the NNUH is a 24hr service. If you wish to know more please contact
Stella Green on 01603 287470 or email : firstname.lastname@example.org
6 Annoying Bath Towel Problems — Solved!
Getty + Fuse
Being a Bowen Technique Therapist is not just about softening tension in the body, its about keeping the towels soft too!
for essential towel maintenance