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Your Horse

July 2002

Complementary Therapy of the Month: The Bowen Technique


A gentle, hands-on way of balancing and realigning the body's systems, the Bowen Technique is a popular therapy among riders and horses.

We all know how it feels to be out of sorts -whether it's due to a physical injury, tiredness, stress or health problems. But how many of us simply put up with not being 100%, blaming our lethargy, aches and pains on an old injury or stress at work? If this sounds like you, then the Bowen Technique is a therapy worth investigating.

The brainchild of Australian Thomas Ambrose Bowen, the technique uses special touches which focus on crucial junctions of muscle and bone, nerve pathways, blood and lymph circulation and energy flow.

It's a hands-on therapy and Bowen practitioners make a gentle rolling move with their fingers or thumbs on specific areas to activate the body's own healing abilities, relax muscles, stimulate circulation and realign skeletal imbalances. No force is used. Instead, the practitioner taps into energy that's already present in the body and helps to free any blockages.

It's important to remember that the Bowen Technique is not about treating one particular problem, such as a damaged muscle, but rather the body as a whole. Each body, be it human or equine, will respond to the Bowen moves in different ways.

Bowen practitioners act as mechanics, fine-tuning the vibrational frequencies of the body (energy and matter vibrate at varying frequencies), to achieve a balance which is essential for health.

The moves are made with the intention of creating harmony within the body so that the body makes its own adjustments and achieves its own balance.

Equine benefits
In humans, the Bowen Technique can help relieve sports injuries, back, neck and knee problems, respiratory conditions and allergies, chronic fatigue, headaches, whiplash injuries and lots more. Its versatility has spread to the horse world too, with the emergence of specially-trained equine therapy practitioners.

As horses are prone to injuries, stresses and strains due to their active lifestyles, they often respond well to the Bowen Technique. Also known as muscle release therapy, the approach can be used to alleviate a whole host of muscular and skeletal problems in horses, as well as improve circulation and kick-start the healing process.

Horses usually find the subtle, rolling Bowen movements calming, and the technique can help conditions such as muscle wastage or uneven muscle development, stiffness, lameness, back problems, filled legs and incorrect gaits. By balancing and realigning the body's systems, a skilled Bowen practitioner may alleviate a horse's discomfort and improve his way of going.

Take a break
Frequent breaks, when the therapist leaves the treatment room, are a unique feature of the Bowen Technique. These breaks within the treatment session are vital as they enable the body to absorb the messages sent by the therapist via Bowen moves.

On his or her return, the therapist will note any changes in body alignment or muscle tension and act accordingly.

Results range from instant, dramatic improvements to more subtle improvements and a feeling of well-being several days after a Bowen Technique session.

For Further information, contact Beth Darrall on 01242 251465
or visit her website: www.equinebowentherapy.com

Read all about it
The Bowen Technique, by Julian Baker, is available from the Your Horse Bookshop for the special price of 114 inc p&p. Written by one of Europe's most experienced Bowen teachers, the book explains in detail the concepts and principles behind the therapy. For a copy, tel: 01326 569696.

For more on the Bowen Technique and other therapies, get a copy of Complementary Therapies for Horse and Rider by Susan McBane and Caroline Davis. Priced at 117.99 inc p&p. For a copy call the Your Horse Bookshop on 01326 569696.


Your Horse, July 2002

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Sarah Yearsley

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Telephone: 01273 475 735