There are many valuable forms of Bodywork. The Bowen Technique or Bowen Therapy is a hands-on method that acts on the soft tissue (fascia) of the body. It is very light in pressure and is applied to specific points on the body in order to achieve different healing and alignment responses.
We’ll explore the mechanisms by which Bowen creates such a healing response for people in further posts, so initially let’s look at why this health restoration program has this type of therapy at the forefront of creating balance, alignment, repair and vitality in the body.
Again, to emphasise, I’m really encouraging that we move away from a this-for-that approach. By this I mean that conventionally a ‘muscle or joint’ ache, pain or symptom will classically be treated with a manual therapy hands-on bodywork and whilst this is clearly a relevant and valuable step – there is so much more to bodywork that this linear and narrow application.
The potential for bodywork to actually affect and improve the function of many systems, tissues, organs, glands and cells in the body, is immense! In fact it can be part of an approach to restore function of the digestive, detoxification, immune, autonomic nervous and hormonal systems too.
Consider the situations where no matter how many back massages someone gets, their lower back pain remains the same. Or why multiple shoulder manipulations don’t fix the problem. In my opinion, this is not because the given manual therapy (e.g. physiotherapy, chiropractic, massage, bowen etc) is not useful, but more to do with whether it is appropriate for the individual and their given symptoms and goals.
In these examples, the lower back issue may never be resolved until the person identifies and corrects the digestive inflammation that could be the real cause of pain. Or the right shoulder issue may only be relieved if the liver and detoxification system is supported, preventing the reflexing pain to the joint, which is a common occurrence and cause!
This is the connective tissue that integrates and binds tissues and structures together in the body. It is more complex and impressive that previously thought and has an important role in many functions – movement, posture, hormonal, inflammation, communication and more. Its fascinating stuff on an anatomical and philosophical level and is why I love this image on my website so much. It’s the web that connects and binds us!
The superficial fascia (skin and surface layers) is the main tissue that the Bowen Technique affects. In this way and because fascia has many roles, a Bowen session can have wide-ranging affects. So no matter what your goal, the Bowen Technique can form an essential part of your healing program:
- Balancing the ‘fight and flight’ and ‘rest and digest’ sides of the Autonomic Nervous System, allowing restorative mechanisms to increase.
- Improving Sleep, a pillar of health, enabling greater repair and recovery processes.
- Releasing Tension and Rigidity in tissues and muscles allowing better movement, flow and reduction of pain.
- Activating inhibited Neuro-Muscular pathways to improve movement coordination.
- Modulating the inflammatory response of the body.
- Vitalising stagnant and toxic tissues, creating more flow and vitality and therefore supporting circulation and detoxification.
- Changing the stress-response allowing hormonal imbalances to shift.
So we could actually do any type of assessment – be it postural, movement, digestion, energy, hormonal, immune, inflammation etc – identify an imbalance/dysfunction and utilise Bowen to achieve successful changes. Quite amazing and taking it beyond the concept of bodywork only helping physical muscle and joint type symptoms and dysfunctions.
So – are you prepared to do what it takes to achieve your goals and are you open to just how much potential your body and its system of systems has?
The optimal function blueprint already exists in every cell of your body. Bowen simply helps to provide the internal environment to express the blueprint.
When we combine (integrate) this method strategically alongside Functional Medicine, Nutrition and Movement, the outcomes can be inspiring. As a Bowen Technique Therapist in Newcastle, UK I look forward to the opportunity of working with you to solve your health challenges.