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Additional Information About The Bowen Technique


Who can receive a Bowen Technique treatment?


Anyone of any age, and with any condition, may receive a Bowen treatment. It is an ideal treatment for babies and children, being gentle and non-invasive. It is compulsory that a parent be present at all times for a child up to the age of 14. However, I insist on having a parent present for the treatment of all minors under the age of 16, and written permission to treat must be provided at the consultation stage. (A form will be given to the parent to sign.) It is worth pointing out that parents are legally required to seek qualified conventional medical attention for their sick child.


The gentle nature of The Bowen Technique is also ideal for treating the weak, the elderly and the terminally ill.



How often would I need a treatment?


This depends on your body's responses to the treatments, your presenting condition, how long you've been experiencing symptoms, the severity of those symptoms, your lifestyle, and any other factors which may be causing re-injury, etc. The average number of treatments is 3 or 4, however you may need only 1 or you may need 8-10; it's hard to say.


Long-term illness generally requires regular treatments over an extended period, whilst an acute (sudden-onset) problem may need very few. Many clients like to book a treatment as a "top-up", every so many months or so, to stay symptom-free, whatever their issues may be. We recommend that the optimum time for a second or subsequent treatment is 5-10 days, with 7 days being preferable.


How does The Bowen Technique work?


There are something like 600,000 signals travelling from the brain to the body every second. These signals report back to the brain with information which is then interpreted and then sent back to its source. Each time we feel, hear, see, or think, the brain brings in a past experience in order to categorise the sensation and create an appropriate response.


In the case of Bowen, the brain is unable to do this instantly and needs more information to form a response. Just as the brain is asking for more information, the therapist leaves the body, leaves the room! Therefore the brain has to send out specific signals to the areas involved, in order to gauge response. Because the Bowen move is so different, the brain is unable to find a past point of reference and so the brain decides it has to investigate further.


If the client is lying down, the immediate response is almost always rapid and deep relaxation. Without immediate further intervention from the therapist, the brain can quickly start to find out what happened in the body when the Bowen moves were made. Any warmth, tingling, or sensation suggesting that the therapist's hands are still in contact with the body, when they aren't, all indicate that the brain has asked the body for more information and is attempting to, in effect, recreate what happened in order to decide on the best course of action.


The brain is the least understood part of the body, so for now, the above is the closest explanation we have to explain how The Bowen Technique works.


The Jealous Therapy 


The Bowen Technique is often described as 'the jealous therapy' because it does not like to be mixed with other physical therapies, such as physiotherapy, chiropractic, osteopathy, massage etc. From the perspective of understanding how it works, it is important not to mix up the signals that the brain is being asked to interpret. This is not to say that other therapies are in some way less valid, but simply that we need to give a process a chance if it is to be effective.


It is recommended that a space of about 7-10 days is left between different treatments, in order to have a clear canvas, so that the Bowen may work at its optimum.


My own experience of The Bowen Technique, as a recipient 


I discovered The Bowen Technique in 2002, when I was training in Reflexology. Like many in this country, I had never heard of it. At the time I was suffering dreadfully with hayfever: dry, itchy eyes, sneezing, scratchy throat, itchy ears. Anyone who suffers with hayfever knows the seasonal misery of it! Nothing seemed to help: antihistamines bought over the counter, or via a GP's prescription, nasal sprays, eye drops, absolutely nothing worked. Then a colleague suggested I try The Bowen Technique.


Nothing prepared me for the treatment or the results! It was unlike anything I had ever experienced. It was so gentle that I couldn't imagine it could possibly have any effect whatsoever, and what was with all the going in and out of the room? However, within moments I was deeply asleep, waking briefly only to turn over at the therapist's request. I seemed to feel her hands still in contact with my body even though she had left the room, and I felt as if I was floating. I don't remember the drive home; I was on Cloud Nine. At the end of the day, when my symptoms usually worsened, I noticed that I had no hayfever symptoms at all, they had completely vanished!


This continued all week and they were just starting to reappear as my next treatment was due. Following my second Bowen treatment I was symptom-free for the rest of the year. I make sure that to stay symptom-free I have  one or two Bowen treatments every a month or so (before my symptoms would ordinarily show themselves); this way I stay free from the tyranny of pollen!



Where does The Bowen Technique originate?


The Bowen Technique originated in Geelong, Victoria, Australia, and was invented and developed by Tom Bowen (1916-1982). He had no formal therapeutic background, and it was said that Tom could take one look at a person to "see" what the problem was and where in the body it originated; he described this as a "gift from God".


In 1975, a public enquiry, initially suspecting he was some kind of quack, reported that Bowen was treating an estimated 13,000 patients a year, with a success rate of 80% across a wide range of conditions. They did not understand it, but his results were irrefutable. After years of working to help thousands people in his clinic - many free of charge - he trained six men, all physical therapists of some kind in training and background. It was through these six men - particularly Ossie Rentsch - that The Bowen Technique was popularised, albeit with differing names, such as Fascial Kinetics, BowTech, Bowenwork and Fascial Bowen.



None of the complementary holistic therapies offered by Jane Goodman Holistic Therapies is intended as primary healthcare. Complementary holistic therapies work alongside the relationship you have with your professional medical practitioner. If you have any medical concern, you must always consult your GP. As a holistic practitioner, I do not diagnose, prescribe medication or advise you to stop taking prescribed medication without first consulting your doctor.

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