Bowen Therapy - A remedial muscle technique - Creating stillness in your body
By Tree Green Qi, Jan 22 2017 03:31AM
Your body has a still-point – an inner knowing of what it needs to feel aligned, balanced and healthy.
When people ask me how Bowen is different to other forms of physical therapy my answer often varies. But one thing I always mention is for people to imagine the difference between force and stillness.
Bowen to me feels like the body becomes still. Think about how stillness in the mind may feel.. What does it feel like not to be overwhelmed with the sheer force of our thoughts, past and future, the never ending to do list. The weight of the ‘to be’ list. And just be. Be in the moment doing only what’s in front of you. One thing at a time. One thought at a time. Bowen does this with your body.
Bowen brings you into your body. It makes you want to be in your body. Grounded, aligned, still, balanced. We all have this natural longing and this innate inner healing desire.
It is a gift to be able to create it for the mind. It is a blessing if we can find this feeling in our bodies.
With so many therapies, assessments and tools. How do you know which one to choose. Osteo, chiro, massage,...? Even as a therapist, I ask myself the same question. Seriously, not because I don’t know but because every person is different and requires an individual approach. Bowen therapy is different to other physical manipulations. Picture a footy player getting a treatment after a match. Their muscle therapist will use physical force with their hands, arms and elbows over broad surfaces to invigorate the muscles to better recover, creating better circulation and keep the muscle smooth and to boost circulation. You can imagine how the muscles get physically stimulated by the application of force. Resulting in the sensation that makes you feel all happy, soft and gooey after a good massage treatment.
Bowen on the other hand, even though it also uses physical techniques, seems to work quite differently. The Bowen move is a rolling and stretching over muscles, tendons, ligaments and trigger points. It follows certain sequences of applications and considers the muscles and connective tissue as an interconnected network. But instead of picturing a footy player getting a massage rub down after practice you can picture a violin player, tuning their instrument. That’s what Bowen is to me. Fine tuning the body. Slowly, gently, precisely. Listening and feeling. Finding resonance.
Most of the Bowen moves are applied across the fibre of the muscle, meaning that the pressure is applied perpendicular to the way the muscle runs. There are four steps to a Bowen move. Locating the point to which the move is being applied, drawing a ‘slack’ (which may consist of skin and tissue) in the opposite direction of the intended move. The next step is to apply pressure to the area and roll the thumbs or fingers in the direction of the intended move to finally release the pressure and release the targeted point. This is a flowing movement and the pressure used is dependent on the area to be treated, its location, sensitivity and the individual. Less is more is a principle that many Bowen therapists work by. Naturally this physical impact influences the body, releases trigger points, improves circulation and lymphatic flow but there is something special about Bowen work, too.
The targeted application of the moves, the resting periods and the use of the sequence often have a deeply relaxing impact on the nervous system. By stimulating the targeted areas we increase the exchange of information between the cells. This can give the body a chance to re-align and restore its own healing mechanisms. This is the healing desire I mentioned earlier. The feeling of being content and happy in our body, in the moment, feeling grounded, aligned and balanced.
To read more about what conditions respond well to Bowen check out the website and facebook page.
And to gift yourself the experience of Bowen therapy, get in touch. Sessions in the Western suburbs are limited. For bookings at Kundalini House in North Fitzroy follow the link on the website to book online or call 9482 0325.
Wishing you lots of calm and happiness
Bowen Therapist & Kinesiologist