Bowen Technique is a gentle neuromuscular bodywork technique for re-alignment, relaxation, and restoration. Many find it to be an effective treatment for a surprisingly wide variety of conditions, both acute and chronic. It is a hands-on technique, consisting of gentle rolling movements over muscles, tendons and occasionally nerves, carried out in short sequences at key structural points, with gaps of at least two minutes rest between each sequence, to allow the body to respond.
Rather than focusing on a single complaint, the Bowen Technique is holistic; it addresses the entire body. This is especially important in long standing conditions, where there may be patterns of dysfunctional muscle recruitment and postural misalignment that have become entrenched.
Our bones rely on the muscles to move and maintain their structural integrity and posture, and because of this the Bowen Technique can bring lasting relief, where in many cases the usual more forceful adjustments will not always hold.
To get the best results from your Bowen treatments your therapist will inform and guide you on how to make sure that you are adequately hydrated, not just for the treatment itself but for at least the following week.
Water is the lubricant of the body and without enough in our system we cannot function correctly. Thirst is a bad indicator of hydration. Urine colour is a much more efficient way to tell; if it's dark then you need water! If you lose just five to six percent of your water you might notice a lessening of mental clarity, headaches and nausea.
We can lose up to 2 litres of water per day just in normal perspiration, urination and respiration. This needs to be replaced, and the best thing for that is yes, you've guessed it, water!
Articles about Bowen in popular magazines
Since Bowen reached the shores of the UK many people have started to enjoy its benefits. Needless to say reporters on health and well-being have been looking into Bowen and writing about their experiences. Below we have provided a selection of these articles for you to enjoy.
Watch an information video on Bowen
John Wilks, a Bowen practioner and teacher, presents the Bowen Technique in these videos.
Refreshing the Nervous System
Often we are living with the residue of cumulative stress and over-stimulation. When in danger or stressed, the autonomic (unconscious) nervous system changes balance to a dominant sympathetic state (fight, flight or freeze), which draws energy towards emergency systems and away from less immediately vital systems, such as digestion and the restorative systems, reducing their function. This can lead to our bodies struggling to fully return to the parasympathetic state (rest, digest and repair), where healing occurs. Through gentle precise movements over muscles and connective tissue Bowen facilitates the transition back from the emergency state, encouraging the body's natural healing processes to return to optimal function.
The Role of Fascia in Bowen
The fascial system is slowly being recognized as the underlying cause of many functional problems in the human being. Fascia, or connective tissue, envelops and penetrates all; it is around nerves, organs, in and around muscles becoming tendons, which in turn are attached to the connective tissue around the bones. Fascia can be likened to the rigging of a sail ship. If the rigging tangles or knots, undue stresses and strains occur within the ship's structure, and more often than not problems will eventually arise. The tensions have to be correct for the most effective movement, and care must be taken to not tangle up the rigging. This is equally true of the fascial system of the body.
Water molecules stick to the surface of the fascia and allow the muscle bundles (ropes) to glide freely against each other. Dehydration and traumas impede this process. The liquid crystalline nature of fascia allows for a superfast network of communications within the body whilst also building a pattern memory of repeated movements. Gentle cross fibre stretching such as created in a Bowen Treatment has been found to generate the strongest piezoelectric currents, and due to fascia’s highly conductive nature (best with proper hydration!) this current can travel far from the source of creation. Clients often report sensations far from where the move was initiated. Physiological changes in the cells occur with reception of these impulses. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why people keep seeing such remarkable successes.
Mind Body Bowen
In eastern philosophy, the body and the mind have long been considered to be inextricably linked. This is an idea that is steadily gathering weight in the West as modern science unlocks more and more mysteries about the human physiology and psyche. Think how your body feels when you are nervous, frightened, angry or even when recalling a traumatic event from your past. Memories are not only of the mind. Over time, emotions can become held in the tissues of the body and can, if not resolved, start to cause physical symptoms.
“The body remembers what the mind forgets.” J.L.Moreno
Some of our practitioners are trained in ‘Mind Body Bowen’, a particular way of working to help facilitate the release of subconscious emotional traumas that are stored in the body. More emphasis is given to the sensations and following their course. This helps the client make a conscious connection to these sensations and how they are linked to past experiences, allowing the body to let go in a safe and gentle way.
Thomas Ambrose Bowen
The technique was first developed in Australia by Thomas Bowen (1916 to 1982). After serving in world war two, he intuitively began working with this gentle technique, discovering that certain moves on the body helped recovery from many conditions. His work in his popular clinic in Geelong was verified by the 1975 Victorian Government Inquiry into alternative health care professions. It is recorded that he saw some 13,000 patients every year, an incredible work-rate.
It was only in 1986 that the technique was brought to other countries. Oswald Rentsch, a former massage therapist that Tom had invited to work and study with him, was authorized by Bowen to document and teach his methods. With the help of Bowen's Clerk, Rene Horwood, and his wife Elaine, they produced a record of the Bowen Technique.
Research & Studies of Bowen Therapy
Over the years there has been little research and study into the Bowen Technique. Below we have provided three external links which we believe to be the most useful for research into the scientific understanding of Bowen.