You have body aches, back pain, or some issue limiting function somewhere in your body. You know the standard pathways you’ve taken–massage, physical therapy, chiropractic–and what results you’ve had in the past. Are you ready for a new adventure in bodywork? If so, it’s time to learn about Bowenwork soft tissue therapy.
Of course you haven’t ever heard about Bowenwork! Buzz is building, however. Until the late 1980’s, Bowenwork was mostly performed in Australia by Tom Bowen, the originator of the technique, and a handful of his apprentices. Now it’s a therapy that can be found globally. Luckily, you are in the proximity of a certified Bowen therapist.
Often performed by a licensed massage therapist (LMT) and deeply relaxing, the similarities to massage end there. Bowenwork is performed with the client clothed and no oil or creams are used. Whereas massage is constant skin contact, Bowenwork uses fewer, more precise moves to engage the body’s healing response for deeper and longer lasting change. In fact, changes set in motion by a Bowenwork session can continue to develop and play out over the course of three to ten or more days after the session. That means that muscle tension patterns are capable of resetting for a more balanced and efficient result, reducing pain and improving range of motion.
How Does It Work?
With the gentle and minimal touch of a Bowenwork “move”, two things happen: the body gets the message that the crisis is over, and can pull out of sympathetic (fight or flight) response and switch to parasympathetic mode (rest and digest), where healing and repair can occur. Next, the body’s innate healing mechanism is engaged through the autonomic nervous system, which means that now your brain is paying attention to the information being sent by the receptors in the soft tissue (muscle, tendon, ligament, connective tissue) and a big-picture plan for rebalancing asymmetrical tension patterns is put in place as the brain sends it’s orders back to the tissues. As you sink into a deeply relaxed state on the table, there is a whole lot of healing activity going on in your body in the pauses between the moves. It’s almost counterintuitive that so little work can be so powerful, and as a Bowenwork practitioner, I’ve often been asked what kind of “voodoo” this work is! It is delightful to witness the capability of our bodies to right themselves.
Conditions Bowenwork can Address
Bowenwork can address standard physical issues such as back, neck and hip pain; knee and ankle issues, shoulder/frozen shoulder problems; tight jaw or TMJ symptoms, concussion from sports or auto accidents. But because it’s also working through the Central Nervous System, it can support organ function as well, helping with digestive issues, allergies, asthma and reproductive/hormonal balance.
The gentleness of the work also makes it ideal for people who might feel too fragile at the moment for other kinds of bodywork. Bowenwork is an excellent choice after surgery to shake off the trauma and pull the body back together for quicker healing and less pain. Bowenwork is safe and gentle enough for oncology patients as they go from diagnosis to treatment and into recovery. Procedures to help with nausea and fatigue are a godsend, and noticeably help with loosening restriction and improving range of motion after mastectomy. Clients with Parkinson’s, fibromyalgia and MS have felt relief and slowed progression of their conditions with regular Bowenwork. Even colicky babies and the elderly benefit from this gentle work.