FAQ About Bowen
If you have a question that you don't see listed here, or you want more details about a certain answer, please feel free to contact me.
Although the specific objectives vary greatly from one individual treatment to the next, the primary objectives are to:
- Stimulate and activate the body’s healing mechanisms to help the body to remember how to heal
- Eliminate pain
- Put the entire body and mind at rest – “letting go” – so it can use its energies and resources to heal itself
- Engage the body to restore itself back into its own pattern of balanced health
- Greatly accelerate healing
- Reintegrate the communication systems between the body and the brain so the body can have clearer communication within itself
- In his prime, Tom Bowen treated nearly 13,000 patients per year without incident. Since then, thousands of other Bowen practitioners have safely performed hundreds of thousands of Bowen sessions supporting Tom Bowen’s claim of its safe use on anyone regardless of age or physical condition.
- The extremely fit to the sedentary to the ailing can safely receive Bowen sessions. When performed properly, this non-invasive approach is very safe and so gentle in its application that it is for use on anyone with any stage of health, ailment, or illness without the possibility of harm.
- Bowen is gentle in its application and works in a harmonious and mind manner with the body.
- As Bowen Therapy is an effective but gentle and non-invasive technique that works on the fascia, or soft connective tissues of the body, with therapists using light moves over muscle, tendon or ligament without forceful manipulation, it is not surprising that there is no documented evidence to show that Bowen Therapy treatments have resulted in adverse effects in patients.
- Occasionally, although temporary, residual soreness from toxins releasing from the tissues of the body can occur as overall body systems and alignments start to rebalance. In cases where there has been a long duration or the weakening of an area in the body, the changes that are retraining the body with Bowen may show temporary signs of discomfort as the under-used area of muscles re-engages to 'pull it's fair share' and the over-used muscles relax.
- Occasionally, a person who has received treatment may experience "flu type" symptoms as the body is detoxifying itself. Remember, the body is doing what IT knows it needs to do to heal itself.
- Bowen works to assist the body to heal itself. There are no known no negative interactions with medications. Bowen practitioners NEVER suggest that anyone refrain from taking medication, unless they are an M.D. themselves.
- Refraining from taking prescribed medication is between the person and their pharmacist and doctor.
- Bowen is distinguished in its own category because of its gentleness, rapid effectiveness, low cost, and its ability to bring relief using only a short number of sessions. Also, the work is performed with the client lying on a comfortable massage table, fully but loosely clothed and no massage oil is used.
- The biggest difference is that after receiving a Bowen treatment, the body will continue to heal and change for the next 3-5 days or so as though the body received a treatment every day AND each treatment builds and compounds upon the last one.
- Bones do what muscles tell them to do. Most issues with bones are caused by what the muscles are telling them to do. When a muscles stops doing its job, for whatever reason, other muscles compensate by taking over, even though it isn't their proper function. The inactive muscle becomes weak and in some cases, atrophies. The overactive muscles start to dysfunction. This may not be felt immediately but shows up gradually over time, with muscle spasms, pains and, in worse case scenarios, bone and joint degradation. BOWEN signals the brain, the muscles, ligaments and tendons to work in harmony again. This may create soreness, possibly even pain, temporarily, because those weak or atrophied muscles are now being told to re-engage and start working at its proper function. And those overworked muscles now have to remember what their true function is. Bones and joints will eventually have the tension and stress that's been pressed upon them reduced, even eliminated.
- Everyone experiences something different. After a session some people feel energized like they haven’t been in a LONG time, others feel a little lethargic or tired – the body’s way of telling you to take it easy and to go take a nap. Honor whatever your body is “telling” you to do. But don't over exert yourself. Let your body use the extra energy you may be feeling to start healing itself.
- Others feel calm and balanced, others relieved and stress free and peaceful. Remember, your body is going to heal what IT knows is most important, first. Some even feel so different they say that it feels like they are walking in someone else’s body.
- On rare occasions, people may momentarily feel a bit out of balance. For any of these we say, “GREAT, IT’S WORKING!” These displays are wonderful signs that show that your body is responding to Bowen.
- On rare occasion, some people experience “new areas” of tenderness, soreness, discomfort or even some level of pain in their body for a few days after a session. This too is GREAT! Muscles you haven’t used for a long time didn’t have a chance to go to the gym and work out for 8-12 weeks to get back into shape. They had to immediately start working after having been laid-off or not fully working for some time. When muscle compensations and poor postural or movement practices in the body begin to improve, some muscles and joints will have to work a little harder, whether they want to or not, as they recapture their correct function.
- Your body may also be re-tracing backwards through old injuries and traumas for some time as the body works its way back into balance. Your entire body is also releasing toxins and built-up waste products. It is really cleaning house! Muscles that have been held in contraction for some time do build up waste products and lactic acid. Bowen may have shaken your body up a bit to begin moving it out of the body into the bloodstream so you may experience feelings of having worked out or even those that feel like you have run a marathon. Drink more water and go on a walk.
Almost everyone will feel some elimination of their pain or symptoms immediately following a session. This is very common.
- It is important to understand that Bowen is quite different in its approach in helping the body to fix itself and that all symptoms or pains may not “go away” after the first few sessions. It has taken years to get to the point where your body is and it may take some time to get it right again. Remember, we are peeling off the layers of bumps, bruises, sprains, strains, stresses, surgery, accidents, etc...Not necessarily trying to take off huge chunks. It takes a bit of time to affect the deeper levels of the body. Concern yourself with the progress that is happening and focus on the key that something good is happening.
- If and when your body begins to detoxify or unwind, celebrate the fact that something is happening. Understand that your body may continue to change for 3-5 days after the session. Each day your body will often make significant physiological (structural), mental and emotional changes as it releases years or even decades of trauma and stress and the body’s relationship to these factors of the past.
- Some people feel they are slipping backwards a few days after their treatment.
- On rare occasions, old traumas or injuries that have a long established pattern in the body can momentarily flare up. The body has held the pattern for some time and the old pattern is still the familiar –status quo- one it can first readily relate to. It also shows that Bowen did do something and that Bowen and will work for you. Keep going, you are doing just fine!
Some people experience large evacuations of the bowel and urinary tract. What is happening there?
- Once again, GREAT, it's working. Occasionally people do experience huge releases from their digestive tract. The body has held tension, stress and trauma in the stomach, small and large intestines and the body has held onto fluids. Bowen gave the systems a signal to relax and “let go” and that is what it is doing. You may have to take many trips to the toilet for a couple of hours. Wonderful.
- Bowen will assist the body to restore its natural healthy balance even with a chronic problem. Chronic problems can respond more slowly, in some cases, 10 or more sessions may be needed, depending on the gravity of the illness or chronic pain, as the body works to change a long-held and very familiar unhealthy pattern into a new vibrant and healthy one.
- Instantaneous relief have been common, sometimes within just the first few minutes of a treatment substantial changes can be felt by the person! In most cases, some level of relief occurs during or within a few short hours after a session. Results can come within the first week after the session. Again, 3-5 sessions spaced about a week apart are sufficient for most issues. These few visits are still a fraction of the number of visits that people do while undergoing many other forms of care, and in the end there is a huge saving of both time and money.
- Bowen has a long and successful track record helping people with an incredibly vast assortment of problems and conditions.
- Only by receiving a series of sessions can you really know. Be assured that you will know in a relatively short time whether it is helping you as results speak for themselves.
How long will it take for me to get better and how many sessions will it take?
If anyone could predict that...well, now THAT would be amazing. Because of the billions of possibilities that factor in and exist between humans and their ailments, it would be irresponsible to give a definite answer.
- In many seemingly difficult cases that mirror each other very precisely, some took only 2-3 sessions, and some others 10+ sessions. Generally, using most other natural or alternative methods it takes one month of treatment for every year that you have had the condition for the treatment to do any good at all. In nearly every case, Bowen works MUCH faster than this, usually only 3-5 sessions, generally 7 days apart, (in rare cases, more frequent sessions have been found to be very useful) will be all that is necessary to bring the body back into balance for most people.
- Again, most conditions respond very rapidly to 3-5 sessions.
A more serious or chronic condition may take several sessions to begin seeing results and even longer to help the problem resolve. Some conditions are so long-term, extreme and complicated by age or other factors that a complete recovery will not happen. In these very rare cases, ongoing treatment at regularly scheduled intervals is what is needed.
Is there anything I need to do after my session?
Yes, to get the most out of your session, follow the post-session instructions. Also, numerous conditions are caused by incorrect posture, bad sleeping habits, not enough exercise, or just unhealthy habits. For long-lasting relief, these patterns should also be changed. In some cases, simple exercises may be necessary to support treatment. I personally recommend the Egoscue Method of gentle exercises and stretches. One book is entitled, Pain Free by Pete Egoscue.
- Bowen uses a “less is more” approach to healing the body. It is primarily because of the precision used in the application and location of each "Activation". Bowen is more like a laser that goes directly to the point and part of the body that needs addressing, wherever it is coming from, no more, no less. It is also like a 'ripple effect' from the point of the "activation". In other words, Bowen gets the greatest amount of work from each and every individual "Activation".
Why does Bowen use such little pressure, in most cases, when the "Activations" are applied to the body?
Bowen uses such light pressure because it follows a very specific physiologic law of the body, the Arndt-Schulze law, which states the body responds more profoundly and positively to a low level stimulus than it does to a strong painful stimulus. Less really is more in the case of Bowen. It uses the least amount of work in search of achieving the greatest effect approach (i.e. you can use a twenty pound sledgehammer to turn on a light switch in your home if you want to, but is that really neccessary?)
- Also, the art of Bowen is for the Practitioner to apply enough pressure to address the body physically AND at the same time to apply the pressure light enough to address the body energetically at the same time!
Some medical conditions, e.g. pregnancy, only a couple of Bowen "activations" would be a contraindication. However, this should not prevent you from getting Bowen treatments. Many pregnant women have found much relief with Bowen. It is imperative that you inform the practitioner ahead of time of any medical conditions you have. Each session is tailored to the individuals needs.
A resource you can use to find a Bowen Practitioner in your area is at www.bowendirectory.com.