Bowen in a nutshell
• It may help many conditions, from sports injuries to long standing complaints
• There is no vigorous manipulation
• It’s gentle and stimulating
• It may improve mobility
• It may improve circulation and lymphatic drainage
• Substantial relief is often achieved after only one session
• It helps address both physical and emotional issues
• Bowtech’s certified practitioners are trained to a high standard, fully insured and are required to undertake 16 hours of Continuous Professional Development training every year.
What is 'Bowtech' ?
The Bowen Technique (also known as Bowtech – the Original Bowen Technique and Bowenwork) is a dynamic system of muscle and connective tissue therapy that was developed by the late Tom Bowen in Geelong, Australia. Sometimes called the homeopathy of bodywork, it utilizes subtle inputs to the body (known as moves), stimulating the body to heal itself, often profoundly.
The Bowen Technique offers tremendous benefit to clients with very little effort on the part of the practitioner. It can provide relief for many types of injuries and other health problems, both acute and chronic, and it does so holistically, via the body’s innate healing mechanisms. The practitioner’s moves deliver signals to the nervous system at specific locations (on muscles, tendons, ligaments, or nerves), and the body responds in its own time, within its vital capacity. While there are a few, very specific situations in which a particular ‘procedure’ is contraindicated, Bowen Technique is appropriate for people of all ages, in all degrees of health.
In Britain, Bowtech certified practitioners are members of the Bowen Association of UK . Their web site identifies the Bowen Technique as one of the most versatile and effective therapeutic treatments available today offering significant relief for many conditions. After taking a comprehensive case history and discussed your condition in detail, a treatment will consist of a series of gentle moves on skin or through light clothing, with the client usually lying on a bed or treatment couch, although it is possible to be treated seated. A session usually lasts up to an hour and frequently results in a deep sense of relaxation helping the body to recharge and balance itself.
The Bowen Technique both balances and stimulates the restorative process, beginning once the body is relaxed.
Bowen is referred to as ‘complementary’ - meaning it will enhance and complement other medical treatments. However, it should be noted that receiving other manipulative therapies immediately following a Bowen session can undermine the effectiveness of the Bowen work. It is better to wait a week before starting any other treatments.
The Bowen Technique is holistic and perhaps one of the single most important tools we have to help heal the body. The moves produce good results by penetrating to a deep cellular level – making use of the body’s own ability to heal itself. Moves begin to achieve holistic balance straight away, embracing the client’s physical and emotional aspects.
A classic Bowen Treatment is very gentle. There is no vigorous manipulation. Rolling moves are made on skin, muscles and Tendons and are carried out in short sequences at key structural positions, and incorporate short rest periods between each sequence of moves. Such rest periods are a unique integral feature of Bowen treatment which appear to enhance the relaxation obtained and encourage the subsequent stress redistribution process.
A Bowen Treatment addresses fascia* tissue as well as muscles and skeleton. Fascia is, in part, responsible for posture – so in Bowen we pay it a lot of attention. For example, it affects the way we hold our spine. By influencing the way the muscles and fascia work together, we work to influence the way the structure works – encouraging your spine to adopt a better, less painful, position. We find that his approach often results in a much longer-lasting effect on body alignment than some manipulative therapies.
* Fascia is an internal sheet of connective tissue that covers the structure of the body- allowing flexibility and movement between various parts of the body.
C.Eng Bsc (Hons), MICE, Full Member of The Bowen Association UK
Why I became a Bowen Therapist? It's strange how things work out. I would say that Bowen found me, rather than I found Bowen. Let me explain:-
Some 12 years ago I was Chartered Civil Engineer supervising the construction of A1M motorway just outside Leeds. My partner had read about Bowen and asked me if I was interested in learning the technique. However, since I was working a 50 hour week, I said that I hadn't the time to undertake such a venture and so we did not explore the idea further. That is, until some 2 years later, when just by chance, Bowen cropped up again - twice in a matter of a few days.
We were on holiday in the Lake District. Whilst watching our washing going 'around and around' in a launderette, we struck up a conversation with a lady who happened to mention that she had recently been successfully treated using the Bowen Technique and was keen to spread the word how simple and effective the treatment was. A few days later we were looking for a bed and breakfast establishment in Kendal and happened, purely by chance, to enquire at a Victorian B&B, selected just because we 'liked the look of the place'. It transpired that the husband of the lady running the B&B operated a Bowen Clinic from within the downstairs area of the house. Over Breakfast next morning I asked him why he became a Bowen Practitioner. His answer influenced the rest of my life. He said that he used to be the Headmaster of a school for handicapped children. These children received a wide range of therapies, but Bowen stood out. Such that, on retiring from the school, he decided to learn the Technique. This seemed such a genuine reason, he inspired me to at least find out more about Bowen and so I embarked on a weekend introduction course.
Well, I was so fascinated and intrigued by what I learnt that I duly enrolled for another weekend course - and then another and .... so on.
18 months later, having completed a full training course, I then embarked on an Anatomy and Physiology course (a requirement of becoming a Full member of the Bowen Association UK). I completed my Bowen Training in 2006 via the Bowen Association of UK.
As a post script to the above story- last year I was part of a webinar for Bowen Therapists on 'Palliative Care'. After the presentation I noted that someone from Kendal had logged on. I sent him an e-mail enquiring if his wife ran a B&B. It transpired that he was indeed the same gentlemen that influenced my entry into the Bowen world. After I had introduced myself to him and reminded me of our chance encounter, he responded with a simple one word e-mail : “Serendipity.”
The more Bowen I undertake, the more impressed I become with the Technique. Impressed with the body's ability to heal itself. Impressed that something so gentle can produce such startling results; it’s akin to switching on a light switch – you only need a minimal amount of pressure- excess force is unnecessary. Impressed that comparatively so few moves are required to instigate a change; in fact “Less = More” - the practitioners skill, is to apply just the right amount of Bowen work to instigate a change in the body tension as too many moves are often found to be less productive. Impressed how holistic the technique in that it addresses the whole body.
Being a Civil Engineer was a rewarding career – I feel the bridges that I designed and built have left a positive contribution to society. However, by changing people’s lives for the better at a personal level through the use of the Bowen Technique and giving people back their lives to enjoy once again, or at least improve their situation, is even more rewarding.
Bowen Therapy has spread around the world, since it was first taught less than 30 years ago. With the word spreading on an exponential scale, I look forward to the day when almost everyone will come to know of and appreciate the simplicity of the amazing Bowen Technique.