Monday, March 19, 2012
Guest Post: Bowen Technique
BOWEN TECHNIQUE AND SPORTS INJURIES
When I broke my ankle few years ago, it took very long time for the bones to heal and longer still for my foot to regain its shape and flexibility. Sometimes, I wonder how different my rehabilitation would have been had I known of the Bowen Technique at that point in my life.
Many active sportsmen find the Bowen Technique to be an effective aid in accelerating their physical recovery after a contest or after serious injury. Celebrities such as Bear Grylls swear by it! (See Daily Mail article) Bowen is also becoming very popular with football and rugby teams.
As a practising Bowen Therapist, I have met clients with both acute and chronic problems. In the case of a new injury, the therapy tends to have an immediate effect and usually only 1 or 2 treatments are required. For long term complaints it can take a little longer, as often the place where a problem manifests itself (i.e. in the form of pain or restriction) is not necessarily where the root cause of the problem lies. So, sometimes many layers have to be peeled off in order to free a person from their aches and pains for good, rather than a temporary easing of their surface symptoms.
I have treated people with sciatica, pulled muscles, swollen joints, haematomas, cervical spondylitis, injured hamstrings, frozen shoulder, twisted ankle, injured back and many other unpleasant complaints. It never ceases to amaze me how, within few weeks of treatment, their condition often improves significantly. And better still, once treated successfully, the problems tend not to return.
WHAT EXACTLY IS THE BOWEN TECHNIQUE AND HOW DOES IT WORK?
This soft tissue, non-manipulative body therapy addresses the body as a whole, looking into inter-relationships between various body parts. During Bowen treatment, a series of light, rolling moves are performed over specific muscle groups, tendons and ligaments.This creates a vibration which travels via nerve fibres to the brain and triggers the body's own healing and realigning mechanisms. There are regular waits - not unlike the wait for a computer programme to open after a button has been pressed - in between each set of moves to help the body integrate the work. This is also the reason why in Bowen therapy, ‘less is more’.
WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM BOWEN?
Due to its gentle nature, Bowen is suitable for all ages, from babies to the elderly. It has proven effective in treating various chronic and acute problems, especially of a musculoskeletal nature. Other conditions which responded favourably to the Bowen Technique include:
• head and neck aches
• back pain
• impaired mobility
• ear and jaw conditions
• digestive and respiratory disorders
• gynaecological and fertility problems
• bedwetting and other children’s conditions
• stress, anxiety, depression
• sleep problems
…and many others. This innovative bodywork often brings substantial relief after only one session. Many clients claim that Bowen Technique is the most relaxing therapy they have ever experienced.
Marty Fabianova(BTAA) practices Bowen Technique in her home borough, Stoke Newington, London. She shares a therapy room with another therapist in their private practice in the heart of N16. From March 2012, she will be joining the team of therapists in Shine Holistic on Church Street, Stoke Newington. She is also a qualified Reiki Therapist.
For more information and testimonials visit Marty’s website or Shine Holistic.
My Personal Experience with Marty and Bowen
Growing up, I had patellar maltracking (PM) which required me to wear 2 knee braces. It was a result of my hips widening through puberty and leaving my quadriceps muscles too weak to hold my knee caps in place. Since then, I have always had ‘bad’ knees. In 2009, I further hurt my left knee somehow playing soccer which required physical therapy for a few months (luckily I didn’t tear my ACL). My knees still grind to this day, which is common for people who experienced PM. When Marty and I met in person, I had had a bad left knee pain earlier that week during a fitness class I was taking. Needless to say, I was eager to find some relief as knees are really important for general mobility.
Marty and I met in her home where she was very welcoming and professional. We exchanged medical histories (as I would later be training her in the park) and decided to start with my Bowen treatment first. She took a look at my posture and how I walked. She explained how Bowen Technique is different than massage and there would be several ‘rest’ periods where she would leave the room to allow my body to respond to her touch. Once I was comfortable on the table, she spent a minute or so symmetrically treating my left and ride sides and then left the room for 2-3 minutes. As this was our first session, she did an overall treatment involving my back and legs. She focused on my knees towards the end and I felt the energy pulsing in my left knee when she left the room. Since our meeting, I haven’t had any problems with my knees (touch wood). Unfortunately due to our busy schedules, we have yet to reconnect for another Bowen session.
I describe Bowen Technique as acupuncture with fingertips rather than needles (I have never had acupuncture so this is a guess). Even just one session worked for my knees and I have recommended it to friends with chronic back problems. If you have an old injury that continues to bother you and you feel like you have tried everything, give it one last go with the Bowen Technique.