Bowen Technique

shoulder-adjustment1The Bowen Technique is a soft tissue remedial therapy, named after its innovator, Tom Bowen. The technique involves the therapist using fingers or thumbs to move over muscle, ligament, tendon and fascia in various parts of the body.

The work is very subtle, relaxing and gentle involving no hard or prolonged pressure. During a session the client will lie on a therapy table or bed, although the work can be effectively carried out with the client in a chair.

What will happen on my first visit?

The session will begin with the practitioner taking a full lifestyle and medical history, followed by a detailed description of any presenting conditions that may need treating. Providing that there are no medical reasons that would prevent treatment the practitioner will then discuss with you what will be involved, and what reactions to treatment that you may experience. If during the consultation, it is deemed inappropriate for you to receive treatment, you will be advised of this and may be referred to an alternative practitioner of a more suitable technique, or in some cases back to your GP.

Most of the work can be performed through light clothing, although some therapists prefer to work on skin. The ultimate choice should be that of the client however. Although each session will vary according to the skill and experience of the therapist, as well as the presenting problems of the client, an initial treatment will address the whole body. As a general rule, moves will be made over the lower and mid back and legs, the upper back and shoulders before finishing with neck moves with the client supine (face up).

A feature of the work is that between sets of moves the therapist will leave the room and allow the client to rest. This is a key element of Bowen and is a defining aspect of the technique as well as being one of the most important. The break allows the body the opportunity to create a decision about what action needs to be taken in response to the moves given.

A session will last generally around 45 minutes to one hour although this again will vary according to the way that individual therapists work. Treatments should be scheduled for between five and seven days apart and an initial set of three treatments is recommended in order to establish whether the client is likely to respond to treatment.

Reactions to treatment are not uncommon and include tiredness, increase in original symptoms, stiffness, headaches, flu-like symptoms, increased dream activity. Aftercare advice given to each client will emphasise the importance of movement, the drinking of water and the return for treatments. It is vital that a client does not cease the treatment in response to a strong reaction. The moves are so subtle that if a strong reaction is experienced it demonstrates how profound the work can be and further treatments are essential if the full effect is going to be felt.

Most people will have responses within three to four sessions when even long-standing chronic pain can be relieved. Other conditions might need to be treated more often, but in either case, it is recommended that clients return for regular treatments every six to eight weeks to maintain optimum health.

Information:

The Bowen Therapy Professional Association    www.bowentherapy.org.uk

Practitioner:

Melinda Beaufoy