After introducing Heather, our new massage therapist the other week in our newsletter one of her treatments which received a few questions was about Bowen Technique or Therapy.
So we asked Heather to explain it in a little more detail:
What is Bowen Technique?
The Bowen Technique is a specific, gentle therapy that helps the body to self correct. Rather than the strong manipulations used by some chiropractic or osteopathic practitioners, it is a gentle movement of the superficial fascia layers. In fact it is a “less is more” technique – the less intervention required the better the therapist!
The second part of this therapeutic approach is the pause. So once I have applied the correct movement to the correct part of the body I will leave the room so that your body can process what’s happening in peace.
How does such a gentle technique work?
The theory is that we help the nervous system to reset using the nerve endings within the skin and fascia to help give better information to the brain – the part that controls everything we “feel” and every movement that we make.
I’m an expert in lymphatic massage – another gentle but powerful technique! So I find that these two techniques have a lot of impact on each other – we stimulate the lymphatic system through gentle touch on the skin as well.
We forget how interconnected our bodies’ are – that our skin is part of our lymphatic and immune system, that our nerves travel from our spine all the way to our skin, touching every part of us (organs too!) on the way out.
And our body is an incredible machine – influence one part and so much else can occur.
What does a treatment feel like?
I always start with a conversation – if it’s our first time it’s important I know what you want to focus on, if it’s a follow up it’s important to know how you felt after the previous treatment so we can focus on the right area.
You don’t need to take your clothes off, although in winter you might need to get rid of heavy jumpers and jackets!
Then you lie down comfortably, and we proceed. There’s no oil or fancy tools, just you, me and gentle movements in the right places. I mainly use my fingers and thumb in varying pressures but there is never force – I’m working to your body’s resistance, not past it.
I’ll leave while you are processing the adjustments.
What does Bowen Technique treat?
That’s a long list! With a lot of chronic conditions on it.
For me I find that most of my patients come to me with long term muscle and joint pain that isn’t responding to medication. Also patients with conditions like fibromyalgia and other auto immune disfunctions where the discomfort isn’t well managed by other options.
Because of my work in post cosmetic surgery treatment I often use this technique where other, stronger therapies, would be uncomfortable for the patient due to wound management and other issues.
Also, where back pain is related to bowel and gynecological issues – I find that it can be a useful tool in addition to the Maya abdominal massage as well to treat both the symptoms and the cause.
How long does this take?
A treatment session for just Bowen is usually about 30 minutes long. And even though a lot of my work is with patients with chronic conditions, I often find that we only need a handful of sessions to make progress. It’s not intended as an ongoing therapy, but a useful tool to get your body pointed in the right direction.