Why I Love Bowenwork

I love to get freer and feel more ease – that’s why I practice yoga, meditate, eat well, etc. 

About 2010 I was diagnosed as bone on bone in one knee after multiple surgeries due to old skiing injuries to the same poor knee (predating Yoga). The 3 medical opinions agreed: tough it out as long as you can bear the pain – knee replacement is not a good option for you. So I turned to my Yoga Therapy to remain active and get out of pain. I made great progress, but not full function. Then I discovered Bowenwork. After several sessions I had no more knee pain, was running up and down the stairs again, comfortable on long walks with my dog. I was thrilled. I knew right away that I had to become a Bowenworker in addition to Therapeutic Yoga. 

The other reason I so immediately grasped Bowenwork is that it starts with the body as an integrated system – where the function of any one part is dependent upon its interaction with the whole. It focuses on addressing the system, and root causes, vs simply improving symptoms. This is contrasted with most of Western medicine which treats the body as a series of unrelated parts and primarily treats symptoms, which can get into a “whack-a-mole” game of “fixing” the body. Everything I do is from a systems perspective: Yoga, Therapeutic Yoga, Bowenwork, Family Constellations, Ayurveda, Neurodevelopmental Movement.

What is Bowenwork?

Unique form of neuromuscular re-patterning

Bowenwork was developed in Australia by the late Thomas Bowen. It is a unique form of neuromuscular re-patterning. It works first by re-balancing the Central Nervous System, and then primarily through the fascial system leading to both structural and energetic shifts. Fascia is everywhere: it is a 3-dimensional matrix that interpenetrates and surrounds all parts of our body. Fascia plays a major role in muscle coordination, postural alignment, and overall structural and functional integrity. All of these are negatively affected when the fascia stiffens, contracts, torques or dehydrates, such as with injury, surgery, sports, repetitive use, aging, etc. Bowenwork helps to restore balance, ease, improved function, and to facilitate the body’s innate ability to heal. 

Bowenwork is a completely new concept in bodywork. It is neither derived from nor similar to any other physical modality:

  • Misalignments commonly right themselves - yet there is no manipulation of joints or bones as in chiropractic.

  • Muscle tensions and strains are relieved, fascia rehydrates, adhesions release, scar tissue softens, and normal lymphatic flow is restored - yet there is no heavy pressure or squeezing as in massage or deep tissue work.

  • Posture and mobility improve without harsh mobilization or stretching.

  • Meridians show immediate improvements - yet the work does not resemble acupuncture.

All the major systems of the body are influenced during a Bowen treatment: nervous, fascial and skeletal, cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive, immune, lymphatic – supporting muscle coordination, postural alignment, and overall structural and functional integrity.

Can Bowenwork help me?

Bowenwork is completely safe and appropriate for everyone from the highly trained athlete to newborns, pregnant women, the elderly and chronically ill. This work is holistic in that it works on all levels: physical, structural, chemical, energy meridians and even psycho-emotional.

Bowenwork has been successful in addressing:

  • musculoskeletal problems such as back pain, neck pain and more

  • sciatica

  • joint pain & mobility issues

  • sporting injuries

  • TMJ

  • head trauma and concussion

  • frozen shoulder

  • carpal tunnel syndrome

  • foot and ankle issues such as hammertoes, bunions, plantar fasciitis

  • internal conditions such as migraines, digestive and elimination complaints,

  • colic in babies

  • poor sleep, anxiety, depression, grief

  • respiratory problems, including asthma

What can I expect in a session and afterwards? 

A Bowenwork session is done on a massage table and can be performed through lightweight clothing. Bowen “moves” consist of gentle, precise, rolling movements on muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, and even organs. These stimulations activate a systemic response so powerful that there are frequent but very essential pauses throughout the session that allow the body time to respond and begin the healing process. This rhythm of movements and pauses is soothing and most clients fall asleep at least once. Benefits are usually apparent within just a few sessions, even with long-standing conditions. Bowenwork results are lasting and profound because it is the body that does the work. (For someone unable to lay down, work can be done sitting in a supported position or in a wheelchair.)

Clients often report improvement in seemingly unrelated problems that they hadn’t prioritized or mentioned to the practitioner.

A Bowen session initiates a cascade of beneficial changes that continue for several days. Applying other manipulative or energy therapies during this time can interrupt this process and undermine the overall effectiveness of the Bowenwork. It is therefore recommended that the patient waits a week before commencing any other manual or energy therapy.

How many sessions will I need?

Results can be remarkable, even from the first session. Most people find that a small number of treatments are enough even for long standing complaints. Then periodic “tune-ups” can help you stay ahead of the wear and tear of everyday life. A Therapeutic Yoga session can be combined to give you a personal movement program for home use to maintain and continue improvements. 

Is Bowen right for me?

Bowenwork is an especially good choice, given:

  • hard to resolve issues (“I’ve tried everything”)

  • know I won’t do a home program from Yoga Therapy (time, ability, etc.)

  • prefer to receive therapeutic touch

  • desire to support my body’s ability to self-heal

For more information about Bowenwork http://www.americanbowen.academy/