Bowenwork

Pain Reduction and Improved Quality of Life

The benefits of deep tissue massage and similar modalities are well-known for pain and stress reduction, but there is another form of therapy that offers a subtle yet highly effective alternative to the typical massage session. Bowenwork was introduced to the United States twenty years ago and stands on its own in the field of bodywork. Bowen is the only modality that combines both physical and energetic elements to pinpoint stress patterns held in the body. A Bowen session is not a massage. Clients, if they prefer, can remain fully clothed.

The Bowen Technique, originated by Australian native Tom Bowen in the 1950s, is based on an approach that aims to restore harmony of the autonomic nervous system that is responsible for 80 percent of the body’s functions. Health and well-being can suffer when the nervous system is in overdrive from stress; this state of prolonged fight or flight can manifest in numerous ways including insomnia, migraines, chronic anxiety, persistent pain and digestive distress. Healing cannot happen until the parasympathetic nervous system kicks in, the part that enables the body to rest, digest and repair. The heart of Bowenwork lies in the body’s ability to heal itself with gentle influence on the nervous system.

Prompting the nervous system to respond, Bowen practitioners focus on observing fascia, widespread connective tissue that envelops every part of the body—from the most superficial muscles to the deepest layers comprising organs, bones and nerves. It is through this connective tissue that a practitioner can decode the body’s stress patterns. A practitioner will spend time feeling and seeing patterns of tension before applying a few gentle moves. Then will allow the body to remain still for a few moments before continuing. The practitioner will return to assess changes and responses. Sometimes there will be a change in leg length or a subtle change in the fascia itself. That will tell the practitioner how to proceed. People of all ages can receive the benefits of Bowen, and sessions can be tailored to individual needs; clients who cannot lie flat on a massage table can have treatments in the comfort of a chair.

Bowenwork practitioners see clients with a vast range of health complaints, the most common being both acute and chronic pain. Bowen’s effect on long-standing issues can be profound, and results are typically seen within one to three weeks. Migraines, PTSD, menopausal symptoms, fibromyalgia and infant colic are just a few conditions that respond positively to treatments. Bowenwork also promotes recovery after illness, trauma or surgery.