Home working, manual work, day to day lifestyle patterns contribute to our body's tension, and the postural patterns it takes on board. These patterns if they build up over time can lead to consistent aches and pains, or tightness in specific muscles (ie constantly looking down at your phone on your work desk, always picking up and moving something one way, and not back the other). Add in exercise/lack of exercise, walking dogs, picking up children a certain way, injuries... all of these contribute to the body then compensating, so it can keep going... till it hits a point, where it wants to tell you it's not happy, and then you get the ache/pain/inflammation aka 'a sore bit'.
It's a bit like a fire alarm, you get that ache or pain, and itis basically the body's subtle way of saying: 'I'm not happy, send help please'
And in true human fashion, 'oh, it's just a dull ache, I'll push on'.
It has taken me a long time, and a number of sports injuries/aches to make me stop and listen when my body now says: 'Something isn't right'
Yes, I use things such as yoga, floatation therapy, stretching, and exercise, and swap the occasional treatment with a friend for a massage... (However, that massage therapists come to me for treatment), but I always have Bowen for both a physical/structural reset, as well as using it to give my nervous system a break.
So, What Is Bowen?
Bowen is a relatively new modality in the holistic world, in comparison to many widely known treatments. Fortunately, people are recognising the benefits of this wonderful treatment and it is giving the recognised treatments such as physiotherapy, a run for their money.
Bowen as a treatment option is a soft tissue treatment (think releasing connective tissue, or fascial release) which seems to be the most commonly recognised word for some people, looking at alternative options for the physio or chiropractor.
Using a series of “moves” on different points of the body influences the connective tissue, and relaxes the muscles, ligaments, and tendons in the body. Allowing them to find their correct length and enabling the body to find, and regain, it’s natural balance and function.
As well as the treatment influencing the physical body, it will also support nervous system regulation (to de-stress) and regulate hormonal balance. You always read about your body repairing itself when it is in “sleep” mode, well Bowen therapy, takes the body out of “fight and flight” and brings you to a level of an almost sleep like state... allowing your body to start its repair job.
Another analogy I use with my clients, is explaining we have 'rebooted the computer in the brain'. We have put in the new programme into the body, the brain is the main processor and relays the signals to the body. Then, the body creates the new feedback loop, takes on board the reset, and changes over a number of days.
Another thing that fascinates me about this modality, is that it looks at the root cause of why you have the issue in the first place.
To give an example, at the age of 13 you fell off your bike and hurt your knee. It’s sore, but not broken, and no need for you to get any medical treatment... but your body has responded to protect, and you will be walking differently to compensate for the pain. Fast forward to your 20’s, you play a sport, have a manual or desk based job... you have your teen compensatory patterns, and your body is still laying down new patterns to suit your adult lifestyle activities. Maybe you have an achy back now and again, but it is nothing, so you ignore the body telling you it is a bit out of balance (because the pain only comes and goes). Life adds in some slips, trips, or falls, emotional and environmental factors to the mix, and then somewhere down the line... the body decides it pushed to the point it can't hold it all together, and you get your output. This may be in the form of a pain output somewhere in the body (as it compensated over the years), or many times we have heard: “I only went go to put my sock on and my back has gone"... so frustrating for you, but the body is so, so intelligent, and it only ever wants to protect you, and it can only cope to a point…
It's also, non-invasive therapy, and there is no manipulation used. This means it is a suitable treatment for everyone, from babies, to pregnant mummies, and the elderly (just in case you have a family member that you think may need a treatment too!)
Just in case you were wondering, what Bowen may have success with...
- Back Pain/Tension
- Neck Issues
- Jaw Discomfort
- Migraines and Headaches
- Postural Issues
- Sports Related Injuries
- Scar Tissue
- RSI (repetitive strain from mouse/phone/sports)
- Digestive Issues
- Chronic Pain
- Hip Pain
- Stiffness In The Body
- Shoulder issues
How Many Sessions?
Generally, we see a client three to four times, roughly once a week for a tailored Bowen session. Over this period, we look for responses and changes in the body, get clients feedback, and then use observations and assessments of the client for our approach for the next treatment (and sometimes the one treatment does the trick, but this isn't always guaranteed). Each individual will respond differently from the next, so it is ultimately a bespoke approach to each client. We may find with chronic longer term issues, may need six treatments or more, but again these are discussed with the client and may be staggered over a time period. If you can get in to see someone sooner than later, it really is beneficial. The amount of times a client has come through the door saying “we have tried everything, and are hoping you can help, you are our last resort”.
Once you have had Bowen therapy, it introduces an awareness of your own alignment to you, and once you notice this, you will actually start to feel when your body is going out of sync, and that’s when (if you haven’t booked in for your MOT) you give your therapist a phone.
To BOOK a bowen therapy with the girls at Aberdeen Bowen therapy, you can use the following link: