IN PRACTICE, behind the scenes with practitioners
by Sarah Yearsley
The Bowen Technique - the gentle touch for natural healing
Bowen was originally developed in the 1950s by Australian Tom Bowen who believed that the body has the ability to adjust, adapt and heal itself. It's a totally holistic and extremely gentle, non-invasive therapy in which the therapist, using only thumbs and fingers, makes gentle rolling movements over muscles, ligaments and tendons at precise points. The process sends impulses to the brain to trigger the body's own healing systems and rebalances body energy. Bowen is suitable for all ages including babies and the very elderly.
We asked registered Bowen Technique Therapist Sarah Yearsley, BTER, Cert ECBS, ITEC from Lewes, East Sussex to tell us about some of the common health complaints that she deals with:
The Bowen Technique therapist will first look for poor body posture and alignment, possibly asking the client to walk up and down and make other movements. The treatment will start with a series of moves around the spine that's common to all Bowen treatments. Depending on the therapist's assessment, there may then be further moves around the sacrum and pelvis.
- If you do any physical work, use your knees when bending, stand correctly and generally avoid putting stress on your back.
- Look into some core strengthening exercises to improve the support muscles around the painful areas: Pilates-style exercises may help.
- Consider natural supplements such as glucosamine and chondroitin, which can help with all sorts of joint and muscular conditions.
Bowen has had some remarkable effects in alleviating asthma, including helping children (See www.relieve-childhood-asthma.com). After the spinal column moves, treatment will most probably focus on relieving tension and pressure around the chest and lung cavities. Moves may also be made behind the ears and down the neck to drain glands. The therapist can also teach a move which the client can carry out themselves to help with difficulties.
- Drinking more water is key to alleviating some of today's most common diseases and disorders. Increased water intake will/may help prevent asthma attacks
- There are natural remedies that may help, such as yamoa. Try them out
- Be more conscious of situations which cause you stress - which is one of the most normal triggers of asthmatic attacks - and try to find ways of reducing the tension.
The Bowen Technique therapist will discuss frequency and severity of symptoms and potential triggers such as allergies, food types, wine and general stress levels. After the core spinal column moves, the therapist will probably focus on specific moves around the neck and head, including temple-mandibular joint (jawbone) moves and treatment on the top of the head to relieve pressure. The session may also include further moves around the trapezium to relieve tight shoulders.
- Note which foods may be associated with attacks. It could be chocolate, or excessively acidic foods such as citrus fruits. If necessary, look for appropriate substitutes.
- Try to relax more - most migraine sufferers are significantly more tense than average. And take a look at the guidance provided by the Migraine Action Association (www.migraine.org.uk).
- Get plenty of fresh air, take regular exercise and practise deep breathing.
Need a Bowen Therapist?
Contact Sarah Yearsley, registered Bowen Technique Therapist, Lewes, East Sussex for a free initial consultation and find out how Bowen can help you:
Tel: 01273 475 735
For a registered therapist in your area call the Bowen Therapists' European Register helpline on 07986 008384 or access the BTER website (www.bowentherapists.com), which tells you much more about the technique and its applications.
Natural Lifestyle Magazine, July 2006
by Sarah Yearsley