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The Bowen Technique

 

          The Bowen Technique is a soft tissue remedial therapy, named after

           its innovator Tom Bowen. The technique involves the therapist using

           fingers or thumbs to move over muscle, ligament tendon and fascia in

           various parts of the body.

           The work is very subtle, relaxing and gentle involving no hard or

           prolonged pressure. During a session the client will lie on a

           therapy table or bed, although the work can be effectively carried

           out with the client in a chair.

           Most of the work can be performed through light clothing, although

           some therapists prefer to work on skin. The ultimate choice should

           be that of the client's however. Although each session will vary

           according to the skill and experience of the therapist, as well as

           the presenting problems of the client, an initial treatment will

           address the whole body. As a general rule, moves will be made over

           the lower and mid back and legs, the upper back and shoulders before

           finishing with neck moves with the client supine (face up).

           A feature of the work is that between sets of moves the therapist

           will leave the room and allow the client to rest. This is a key

           element of Bowen and is a defining aspect of the technique as well

           as being one of the most important. The break allows the body the

           opportunity to create a decision about what action needs to be taken

           in response to the moves given.

           As humans we create appropriate responses to most situations. We can

           clearly establish where danger is present and determine how we

           should respond. Similarly we are able to define appropriate

           responses to other stimuli, whether it be sexual, social, pain, heat, cold etc.

            With a Bowen move the response mechanism is thrown into a degree of

           confusion as to what the appropriate response should be. The moves

           aren't painful and so therefore defence isn't called for. There is

           no friction or rubbing so no need to increase fluid to the area. The

           breaks give the nervous system a chance to establish the correct

           actions. In the process other information can be gathered by the

           body and it is common for areas not being directly treated to

           respond to the treatment.

           A session will last generally around 45 minutes to one hour although

           this again will vary according to the way that individual therapists

           work. Treatments should be scheduled for between five and seven days

           apart and an initial set of three treatments is recommended in order

           to establish whether the client is likely to respond to treatment.

           Reactions to treatment are not uncommon and include tiredness,

           increase in original symptoms, stiffness, headaches, flu like

           symptoms, increased dream activity. Aftercare advice given to each

           client will emphasise the importance of movement, the drinking of

           water and the return for treatments. It is vital that a client does

           not cease the treatment in response to a strong reaction. The moves

           are so subtle that if a strong reaction is experienced it

           demonstrates how profound the work can be and further treatments are

           essential if the full effect is going to be felt.

           Most people will have responses within three to four sessions, when

           even long standing chronic pain can be relieved. Other conditions

           might need to be treated more often, but in either case it is

           recommended that clients return for regular treatments every six to eight

          weeks to maintain optimum health

 

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