Bowen Therapy is a dynamic system of muscle and connective tissue therapy. Bowen Therapy works by gently influencing the fascia, a specialised connective system that forms a three-dimensional web within the body - it is this fascia that literally binds our organism together, interconnecting its internal structures within a flexible band or sheath of collagen & connective tissue fibre. Its function is to attach, stabilise, enclose & separate muscles. Fascia interpenetrates & lubricates every bone, muscle, nerve, artery & vein, as well as internal organs such as the heart, lungs, brain & spinal cord. Together, muscle & fascia make up what is called the myofascia system.
Fascia Therapy lies right at the heart of a healthy organism & is at the forefront of latest research highlighting its role in the body's healthy function & regulation. Fascia is essential to our internal bio-mechanical regulatory balance, ensuring flexibility & freedom of movement, tissue hydration & a pain free body. By gently manipulating the body's fascia, Bowen Therapy helps the body navigate its intricate dance between core stability and free movement - the central axis that maintains vitality & healthy function, high performance, fast recovery from injury & disability, weight & metabolism, & which is vital to our daily life.
Bowen Therapy & the Fascia:
Bowen Therapy is a remedial, hands-on therapy that is applied using gentle pressure, that may be enjoyed by individuals of all ages and in all stages or degrees of health. The treatment is different to regular massage, as it uses a specialised technique of a series of rolling-type moves over precise areas of the body, and stimulate the fascia, muscles, ligamentis and soft tissue. These areas are also dense in neuro-vascular-endocrine transmitters and neural transmit points, which positively influence and calm the nervous system. It also stimulates the parasympathetic component that calms adrenalin response, beneficially slows our breathing and heart rate, and re-establishes homeostatic balance. This is particularly helpful when we are hardwired to a stress or fight-or-flight response. With regular treatment, the body can be trained to overcome negative or detrimental patterns, and learn to self-regulate within soft limits.
When the practitioner also has a full training in Traditional Chinese or Oriental Medicine, Bowen Therapy gains much greater potential, resonance and strength. This is because the 'active areas' that Bowen uses, are located at specific acupuncture or acupressure points. The meridian or channel system of Traditional medicine, called the Jing Luo, is the earliest medical understanding of the body's fascia & how to promote healing, using areas classified as acupuncture, acupressure or acupoint sites. Traditional Bowen may be practised without any knowledge or understanding of how this deeper system works with some effect. However, when there is proper understanding of the unique actions and indications, and their greater influence when skilfully patterned with other individual, group or series of points or channels, therapeutic outcome & strategic clinical depth of understanding & interpretation is understandably enhanced.
The Well Body Clinics & Bowen Therapy:
The Well Body Clinics offer two levels of Bowen Therapy:
Bowen Therapy Technique: otherwise known as Original Bowen Therapy.
Bowen Therapy and TCM: a specialised advanced approach that integrates the clinical & therapeutic benefits of meridian and channel theory, using Traditional Chinese Medicine, & active acupoints.
The central component of the nervous system controls over 80% of bodily functions and is very susceptible to physical, mental, emotional and environmental stress and tension. With our increasing reliance and habitual dependencies on technologies, our modern lives are often out of sync with our internal system that follows a older and slower rhythm. Many patients share how they live in a constant state of 'doing', varying degrees of stress, and a sense of pushing beyond their capacity. This adrenaline-response leads to many symptoms in clinic connected to difficulty switching of, relaxing mentally at the end of the day, often leading to problems with sleep, anxiety, digestive and gut related issues, or pain that is often linked to a nervous system dysfunction.
The Well Body Bowen Clinic treats a full range of trauma, ill health, relaxation needs as well as some patients coming for treatment with a sense that their organism needs some kind of support. Treatment is a beneficial across a wide range of conditions, and is also an effective treatment when other techniques or healing have reached a plateau.
There are many theories about the physiological mechanisms by which the Bowen technique may work. Bowen Therapy is understood to integrate the whole body, helping the subtle homeostatic systems to recalibrate by restoring balance to the autonomic nervous system (ANS). In treatment, this is encouraged by short resting or wait periods, when the body catalyses and integrates these shifts. During treatment, patients often fall asleep or enter a state of deep relaxation, as the neural focus shifts from our stress or autonomic response to parasympathetic dominance.
Stretch reflex: The Bowen rolling move gently works with the body's fascia and soft tissue, either at the origin, insertion or muscle belly. These areas are rich in neural receptors, informing and providing neural feedback on the tonacity, stress, length or stretch within the musculo-tendinous tissue. During Bowen release, these receptors are stimulated, influencing and changing the feedback loop to the nervous system, and breaking a pain/ muscular-ligamentis pain loop
Joint proprioceptors: Gentle soft tissue moves surrounding articulations & joints, directly affect the joint capsule, tendons & ligaments. These areas are densely innervated with proprioceptors, inviting positive feedback from the nervous system, triggering normalisation of the joint structure without need of invasive manipulation.
Fascia: Bowen works at superficial fascia level, influencing the interplay between fascia & nerve, mobilising muscle & tendon integrity. Bowen, by influencing the fascia, supports muscle health & co-ordination, postural & structural alignment, & overall integrity of the neuro-endocrine system. It is particularly useful to help ease stiffening of the fascia, contraction, torques, or dehydration, & promoting positive spinal reflexes.
Lymphatic drainage: Bowen may focus on cleansing & stimulating the lymphatic system, stimulating the metabolism & the healthy function of the immune response.
Bowen Therapy can assist pain release, recovery and rehabilitation from many imbalances, trauma, injury and chronic illness. The following common conditions are listed by Bowen Association UK and/or treated in The Well Body Clinics
- Plantar fasciitis, sports injury or trauma
- Repetitive strain injury, tendonitis / tennis elbow
- Carpal tunnel
- Hip, knee, ankle, groin pain, pelvic tilt or torsion, leg alignment or shortening
- Shoulder, neck pain, cervical, thoracic, lumbar & pelvic whiplash
- Back pain, sciatica, trapped nerve
- TMJ, jaw clenching or bite down
- ENT - Ears, nose and throat symptoms
- Headaches - Hormonal headaches, tension headaches, migraine
- Allergies / hay fever
- Digestive and bowel complaints
- Fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, ME
- Respiratory problems - coughs, colds, sinusitis asthma, bronchitis, ENT
- Immune health
- Endocrine / hormonal health
- Gynaecological health