The Bowen Technique: Eczema
by Janie Godfrey
There are a number of commonly seen conditions that defy most attempts to control or eliminate them. One of these is eczema and its persistent nature is especially frustrating because so many children are afflicted with it.
But I have learned to be fairly optimistic when someone brings a child for Bowen treatment for this distressing condition. Most of the children have had patches of eczema, usually behind the knees, in the folds of the elbows and around the hairline and eyes.
After an initial two or three Bowen treatments, the patches have disappeared or are down to just a bit of non-bothersome flakiness. If the eczema flares up again, usually after some months of being clear of it, they come back for one top-up and it is gone again.
However, one little girl’s eczema was well outside the commonly seen condition. 3-year-old P arrived for her appointment with her mother with the saddest little face.
Her eyes looked worried and wary, her mouth was in a tight, down-turned frown. She was suffering considerably with her eczema. Her scalp, through her blonde hair, was scaly and red; her arms were encased in special gloves from her fingertips to her armpits.
She also had significant patches on her back and stomach and legs. Her skin was red and raw looking, clearly painfully inflamed from this condition. She was constantly agitated and scratching one area or another, her mother trying to calm her and keep her from doing so as much as possible.
P’s eczema first appeared around 8 months of age. She had seen hospital specialists during the following year but the eczema remained the same. Around age 2, P was taken off dairy and the eczema cleared for about 6 months.
Then it came back, quite suddenly and severely, for no apparent reason. Her mother was using two different creams, a special soap and antihistamine tablets at bedtime to try to stop the itching.
P had been tested for allergies and was off everything to which she showed sensitivity. Her sleep was very disturbed, her appetite poor and the eczema was affecting her behaviour in negative ways. It was at this point that they came to try Bowen.
P was understandably nervous about a new treatment and was very weepy and anxious. She sat in her mother’s lap while I did the gentle little Bowen moves on her back, legs and around her neck.
Relieved that that was all there was to it, she gave me a tiny smile as she left. When she came for her second treatment one week later, the change in her scalp was immediately noticeable – it was much less scaly and more hair had started to grow in.
Her mother reported she was not itching as much and was settling at night and sleeping through most nights. Again, treatment while she sat on her mother’s lap.
One week later, for the third treatment, her mother reported that her body was reacting to the treatment and, in conjunction with the eczema diminishing, lymph glands in her groin and neck had swollen during the week. Flaky skin patches were now clearing in a couple of days, where it used to take a couple of weeks.
Her hair was continuing to grow in and thicken. P’s fourth treatment was two weeks later and the glands were now only slightly swollen and the eczema reduced even further. There had been periods when P hadn’t been itching for a day or so.
P had even gone without her arm-length gloves for two days. She was much less weepy, whiney and agitated than during previous treatments and sat happily during it. She was thirsty afterwards and gave me a smile and said “thank you” when she left.
The day booked for treatment No.5, a fortnight later, was a lovely sunny day and P had been out running and playing in the sun with her sister -without her gloves on. She was so much better and having such a great day, her mother forgot the appointment! So the fifth treatment took place a week after that and the difference in P was amazing.
She did not have her gloves on and her arms were a normal skin colour, although still a bit rough to the touch. She was eating better, sleeping better, hair still thickening and only a very few small dry patches on her scalp. P was bouncy, happy, smiling, excited and very happy to have her treatment. A transformed little girl.
Contacts and References
For further information, List of Accredited Practitioners or full course prospectus contact:
European College of Bowen Studies
38 Podway, Frome, Somerset BA11 1QU Tel/Fax: 01373 461 873
Todays Therapist, Nov/Dec 2004
by Janie Godfrey