The Bowen Technique
What is The Bowen Technique?
It consists of a number of gentle "moves" across muscle or tendon in specific places on the body which persuade the body to start its own healing process. Unlike a number of other therapies, the whole body is treated rather than just the area of pain. The therapist does not set out to diagnose the cause of the problem but lets the body try to sort out the problems it finds and so heals itself. Treatment can be given through light clothing. A unique and important feature of the Bowen Technique is that the therapist leaves the room for minutes at a time between sets of moves to allow the healing process to progress. Its very gentle nature is very relaxing and leaves one with a feeling of wellbeing.
Because the body is the real therapist, the treatment continues for some time afterwards. As changes take place the discomfort or pain often reduces and disappears over the following few days.
While Bowen was developed as a muscular-skeletal therapy, it also affects the body's systems, such as the immune system. There have been a number of cases where chronic infection lasting several years has stopped immediately once Bowen treatment has started. So, children who are constantly ill, sometimes because steroids have affected their immune system, can often stop being contantly ill as soon as the Bowen treatment has begun.
How does it work with Asthma?
Key to an asthma attack is the diaphragm. This contracts normally when breathing in and then relaxes to allow expiration. With an asthma-like condition, the diaphragm may be constantly partly in contraction, hence the familiar wheeze of an asthmatic. If a trigger, such as a cold or illness, or an allergy is detected, the diaphragm seems to contract more and more thus allowing the asthmatic to breath in, but increasingly not to breath out. The Bowen respiratory procedure persuades the muscles, especially the diaphragm, to relax more and more. Hence the reduction in attacks and their severity, especially amongst young children.
What about medication?
Parents are always anxious to get their child off steroids as soon as possible. As most children seem to respond quickly to the Bowen treatment, medication has often been reduced quite quickly after treatment has started. Nevertheless, it is important to realise that the medication has been prescribed to safeguard the child from major attack and a possible life-threatening situation. We therefore always recommend that the reduction in medication should be under the guidance of the medical practitioner. Reduction is usally possible quite quickly after Bowen has done its work successfully.
Can Bowen help in a full asthma attack?
Yes! The Bowen Asthma Emergency Procedure is taught on the Bowen courses. It is safe and quick to administer. In a full attack, the person cannot breath out at all. The emergency procedure can release the spasm of the diaphragm and the air is released from the lungs. This also works with other similar situations, such as Panic Attacks and Anaphylactic Shock.
Asthma attacks can be triggered by any of the following: a cold or illness, dairy products which produce extra mucus, animal hairs such as cats, dogs and horses, sharp change of temperature, smoking, anxiety, alcohol abuse and some allergies.
What other conditions respond to The Bowen Technique?
As the Bowen Technique treats the whole body, any condition may respond well. Excellent results have been achieved with, back pain, sciatica, neck problems, "frozen" and other shoulder problems; knee and ankles, headaches and migraines, asthma, hay fever, chronic sinusitis, jaw problems, chronic infection, lymphodaemia and many others.
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Photos by kind permission of the European College of Bowen Studies.