Understanding the Bowen Technique

24 06 2010

,Any time someone is introducing a new technique there is always the temptation to compare it to other, perhaps already known, techniques . This is understandable as the comparison gives us some tangible element to visualize as we try to grasp the specifics of the new approach. Such comparisons can be helpful in giving a general idea of what’s involved in the new technique.
However, if we want to properly understand the new technique, it is essential to distinguish it from its probable comparisons. This is important not only so we have a clearer idea of what’s unique about the Bowen Technique, but also because a number of likely candidates for the comparison with Bowen are actually counter indicated when being treated with Bowen Therapy if one is to get the full benefits of the Bowen Technique.

1. Bowen is not Massage
Those newly introduced to Bowen often associate it to massage. However its operation and objectives are quite different. Furthermore, robbing or even prolonged touching around a Bowen “move” just applied can weaken the effectiveness of the move. Bowen moves go no deeper than fascia on superficially accessible muscles, and only do so with gentle pressure.
2. Bowen is not Acupressure
Some of the areas of focus in a Bowen treatment will coincide with acupuncture points, but there are so many acupoints some overlap is inevitable. Bowen “points”, though, a more focused intervention is complemented with a more economical application. In the Bowen Technique, one simple move across the structure is all it takes.
3. Bowen is not Chiropractic
No manipulation of the skeletal system is made. Most practitioners and many clients observe vertebral movement, but this is evidence of the body realigning itself and a Bowen treatment working. Chiropractic adjustments following treatment are counter indicated.
4. Bowen is not Directional “Energy Work”
Given its parameters, even energy work can be intrusive. Practitioners can focus too much on accomplishing their own desired results, which may or may not coincide with the client’s needs. Instead, Bowen practitioners are taught to focus on Lee on doing a precise movement accurately, and then physically leaving the room.
5. Bowen is not Physiotherapy or Neuromuscular “Re-Education.”
Stretch reflex, Golgi reflex and reciprocal enervation may be involved in the muscular releases, but these occur on a cellular level and expand out physically. In fact, people may fall asleep during a session, and many will not feel the effects for hours are even up to a few days. These factors distinguish the Bowen technique from remedial exercises or movement training that some people need for long-term recovery.
6. Bowen is not Trigger-Point Therapy
Some points are unavoidably similar even though their referral zones are different. Most trigger points are found in the core of muscles, while Bowen muscle moves are usually made where two muscles is or muscle groups overlap. This and other factors seem to make Bowen most similar to fascia work but…
7. Bowen is not Fascia Release
With each Bowen move, the fascia is rocked amd minutely “disturbed’; is is not forcefully separated. After a series of Bowen sessions, adhesions tend to loosen and scar tissue frequently softens and shrinks on its own because impediments to the natural healing process are removed.
8. Bowen is not Lymphatic Massage
Bowen does stimulate lymphatic releases, in that sinuses will often drain during the session; breast lumps may shrink or be gone within a few weeks; and excess fluids are usually eliminated within the week. Bowen does not, however, use the percussion or vigorous stroking of lymphatic massage, although there is a lot of gentle “milking” done around the sternocleidomastoid (SCM) muscle.
8. Bowen is not Emotional Release Modality
The intent of the Bowen session is not to effect emotional releases. However, some people report the dramatic lightning of spirit and a subtle but pervasive refocusing of troublesome emotional patterns. Many body workers consciously focus on the interface between physical and emotional, trying to touch on that which is hidden behind a protective wall of hyper tense musculature.
Excessive pressure is not needed; Bowen Therapy confirms that the best access is gained by the least threatening approach.

So Then, What is the Bowen Technique?

The Bowen Technique is an entirely unique system of neuromuscular repatterning that works primarily through the nervous system, Affecting both structural and energetic levels. Psychological effects are also reported, these effects include increased ability to focus, mood elevation, improve quality of sleep, and improved coping skills. Also clients have experienced consistent enhanced positive moods and reduced feelings of tension, fatigue, anger, depression, and confusion. A Bowen Session consists of very precise and gentle (tissue. These gentle moves balance the body and stimulate the energy flow within it.

The objective of the Bowen Technique is complete restoration of the body’s structural integrity. Bowen restores joint articulation and structural alignment by providing a powerful stimulus to joint circulation. Concurrently, muscle attachments around a joint relax, taking pressure off the joint so that it naturally realigns into harmonious structural balance. Now, given a structurally sound framework, bodily functions wil proceed harmoniously and healthily.

Philosophy Behind the Bowen Approach

Exploring some of the philosophical concept related to the body, we begin to see how the physical form represents a reflection of all levels of the human subtle energy fields. An understanding of the subtle fields also provides a theoretical basis for understanding Bowen. Just As one studies anatomy and physiology of the gross human form, so two can we explore the anatomy of a subtle dimensions that link the human form. From both the metaphysical traditional literature and current scientific hypothesis, we understand that the physical form has an underlying energetic form or template, and that this template can be identified, measured, and mapped. We also know that certain vibration all patterns correspond to particular areas of the body. As a vibration all were energetic form of body work, Bowen is rather like homeopathy, for a minimal amount of intervention is always thought best.

The body, like any intricate musical instrument, requires adequate tuning for correct function. When two and properly, the body will resonate to create a distinctive tone and vibration all pattern that correlates with its own unique frequency. All musicians know that locating the exact pitch at which a node is to be held is critical. Any small deviation creates a totally different frequency or tone. Also, the quality of the tone is affected by the way in instrument is played. The body is as sensitive to touch as a fine Stradivarius (a violin-like stringed instrument). Pythagoras was aware of the relationship between healing and harmonics, and set up a school of healing based on this relationship.

The message of touch with clear intention is basic to Bowen Therapy. It is a two-way channel, a loop of communication-musical alchemy, if you will. To work effectively with the body, a depth of sensitivity must be developed to the suble aspects of a client’s being. A first touch that is too fast or too deep can be overwhelming, negating the safe space required for working with the body. The other major ingredient is waiting for each response to be fully processed. This way of working adds depth, wisdom, compassion and healing to our lives as healing artisits, and to those whom we touch.




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