What is Bowen Therapy?
Bowen Therapy is a holistic health technique that works on the soft connective tissue (fascia) of the body. This holistic treatment is directed at the whole person and aims to treat the cause of the problem rather than the symptoms. It is gentle and relaxing and does not use forceful manipulation, making it safe for people of all ages, infants and the elderly.
“This method of therapy promotes the body as a self-regulating bioenergetic and biomechanical entity that tends toward self regulation. As long as the proper neurological and neuromuscular context exists, the body has the innate ability to self-regulate and return to balance. Neuromuscular imbalances can develop throughout the body causing the manifestation of illness. If these imbalances are resolved, then the body would again regulate itself.” (Tom Bowen) To fulfil this process the Bowen Therapy helps the body’s own healing resources to achieve balance and harmony.
Is Bowen Therapy Used For Depression?
This therapy is known to cure a number of ailments. It can result in the rapid and long-lasting removal of pain and discomfort, often where other treatments have not been effective. It is not uncommon to see results after the first session. Because constant pain can trigger depression, the Bowen Therapy is useful in combating this disorder.
What Can You Expect from a Visit to a Therapist?
The therapy works on the superficial and deep facia, or soft tissue, the part of the connective tissue that envelops, separates and influences every organ and tissue in the body. The facia is one of the largest sensory organs in the body and has a huge effect on the body’s physiology and function.
Depending on the severity of the imbalance, treatment can take from one to several 30-35 minute sessions to achieve a desirable and long-lasting result. The sessions are very gentle and non-invasive, with no forceful manipulation. The treatment consists of a sequence of specialized ’moves’ which are directed in a specific and systematic manner. The ‘moves’ are pleasant – therapists using light, cross-fibre gentle manipulation of muscles, tendons, ligaments and nerves, using varying pressures, spaced by resting periods that allow the body to reintegrate. During this resting time, the therapist may leave the room for periods of 2-5 minutes at a time. This allows time for your body to respond to the treatment and for the necessary changes to occur in your body before commencing the next sequence of moves.
Treatments can be done either through the patient’s clothing or directly on the skin. Generally the patient is asked to remove heavy or thick clothing.
Are There Any Side Effects or Conditions After Bowen Therapy?
The therapist will discuss possible side effects from the treatment that show that the body’s self-healing process is working. They will emphasise the importance of body hydration (drinking plenty of water) and will recommend any other exercise, environmental or lifestyle changes necessary to maintain your wellbeing.
It is advised that you do not have any other physical therapy or other form of manipulation such as massage, chiropractic, physiotherapy, acupuncture or kinesiology for one week after the treatment. These things may undo the balance achieved through the Bowen treatment.
For the first week after treatment, it is advised that you avoid excessive heat or cold to the areas being treated
Avoid sitting for periods longer than 30 minutes on the day of your visit without moving around
Walk as much as possible for 3 days after your visit for at least 15 minutes a day
Drink as much water as is possible to flush toxins from the body
Avoid stimulating substances such as coffee for the first week
You may experience some reactions such as hot and cold flushes, emotional releases, headaches and body aches, however, they are a positive sign that the healing process is working.
How do You Choose a Bowen therapist?
It is best to choose a registered therapist. The Bowen Therapist State Associations and Federation only register members who have adequate training at accredited institutions and hundreds of hours of clinical practice. These therapists must maintain their level of expertise by completing continuous study and workshops each year. Before they can renew their membership with the Association, they must also have current Senior First Aid and professional indemnity insurance.
Is Bowen Therapy Safe?
Speak to your doctor and potential therapist about your complaint. Ask for advice and ask for testimonials. Some alternative therapies do not have specific evidence to support their claims.If you are looking for an alternative therapy and do not have a life-threatening complaint, this therapy cannot do you any harm. If you are suffering from a chronic complaint, the best practice is to seek the advice of your medical practitioner. Sometimes, traditional medicine and holistic medicine have been known to complement each other.