What is Bowen?
The Bowen move
The Bowen move is applied to specific areas of the body. It involves a rolling–type of move using the thumbs and forefingers, designed to move and activate the underlying tissue and nerve pathways. The Bowen move involves a light touch without deep or prolonged pressure.
During the treatment the practitioner will leave the room or (the stable) to allow the body to respond to the treatment and process the practitioner’s input. The practitioner will then return following the break to examine how the body has responded and determine what more, if anything, needs to be done.
These breaks are probably the least understood part of Bowen and yet it is during these breaks that the treatment starts to take effect and changes are instigated. The most fundamental principle of Bowen is that it is the client’s body that is doing the work and responding, not the therapist. It is therefore vital that the body is afforded this time and left alone.
It is a common misconception that because Bowen is a light touch, it cannot reach and treat deep tissue. This is not the case and it is important to remember that there is nothing that you can achieve with deep tissue work that you can’t achieve with Bowen.
How does Bowen work?
With patience and light touch, our ability to reach, palpate and treat deeper tissues without creating pain or being invasive is very effective. Apart from being unpleasant, a firm, painful treatment can also raise the possibility of damaging tissues.
Traditional approaches often struggle to be effective because they tend to focus on the area of pain, or problem presented.
The beauty of Bowen and the treatment itself is that it doesn’t look for sites of pain or focus on them. Instead the body is treated as a whole and we have seen remarkable results and success treating chronic and long-standing pain.
In Bowen we specifically aim to work over connective tissues and fascia. Connective tissue has contact with every single part of our body and therefore connects everything together so that all of the tissues have a relationship with each other.
Superficial fascia is more important than many of us realise. It gives us the spring feel to our bodies and acts as a shock absorber as well as being a very important infection fighter. It is also an endocrine organ, secreting hormones such as leptin, which is involved in the regulation of metabolism and appetite.
Fascia also allows us to communicate with all the other organs in the body, and most importantly, the central nervous system. Not only does this layer determine the way information is transmitted to the brain but it also determines which part of the brain it will go.