Bowen Technique and R.S.I. (Repetitive Strain Injury)

The Bowen Technique: R.S.I. (Repetitive Strain Injury)
by Janie Godfrey with thanks to Alice Hughes

The effects of repetitive strain injury can make themselves felt at any number of points along the pathway of the repeatedly used area. It is very necessary to look at the person as a whole because R.S.I. is almost always the manifestation of misalignment in the spine, neck or jaw.

It is not just the repetitiveness but how the body holds itself in relation to all of the demands made on it, including the mental and emotional demands.

The very nature of Bowen is that it treats the whole person and, in so doing, will prompt the rebalancing and proper alignment of the source of the problem. A frequent sign of this response is that, after a Bowen treatment, a person is much more aware of their body posture.

Bowen Technique practitioner Alice Hughes is the Student Health Advisor at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and is also a Registered General.Nurse and has a MSc in Health Promotion.

She has had an exceptional amount of experience with the effect of Bowen on R.S.I., as this is the exactly the kind of complaint that so many of the students at Guildhall have, especially the music students. The constant pressure to give a first class performance can produce both physical and psychological problems.

Music students need to practise for several hours a day. Their daily programme may consist of Orchestral Training, recitals, teaching, individual practice and outside engagements. Drama and Stage Management students have to work long and intense hours, often working into the evenings and weekends. Ambition often drives students to exceed their physical limits.

During one year, Alice treated nearly 100 students with Bowen, each student receiving an average of 3 treatments, one week apart.

The majority had long-standing physical problems with injuries related to overuse, poor technique or poor posture. As most music students started playing an instrument aged eight or even younger, in addition to the new injury they may have an old injury that needs to be treated as well.

Alice has achieved a very high success rate using Bowen to treat these students and very few have had to be referred for any other treatment beyond Bowen.

A third year piano student presented herself with a pain in her left wrist. She had been experiencing pain for several years in her wrist and forearm. Although she had seen other health professionals nothing seemed to help.

After her first Bowen treatment her wrist felt much improved and she was much more aware of her body posture. She felt relaxed and had a tingling sensation in her back and arm, which lasted for several days following the treatment.

The second treatment was given a week later. This time the student reported that the pain had moved to her upper back and neck, possibly the source of where the pain originated. Following three treatments this student was able to return to her full timetable.

Vocal and wind instrument students appear to benefit greatly from the Bowen Technique, particularly the moves that normally benefit those with respiratory complaints. It is not uncommon for the students to report a greater lung capacity following a treatment.

Back and neck tensions, RSI, tense jaws, lower back pain, frozen shoulders, sprained ankles (and more) have all been treated effectively. Bowen Technique practitioners regularly see very good resolutions in cases of R.S.I. no matter what the contributing factors have been.

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, May/Jun 2004
by Janie Godfrey with thanks to Alice Hughes