Family Magazine, December 2005

A real help with fibromyalgia

By Janie Godfrey

Conditions such as fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome (I.B.S.) and myalgic encephalomyelitis (M.E., also known as chronic fatigue syndrome) affect a considerable number of people with a very considerable number of painful, uncomfortable and debilitating symptoms. The response of orthodox medicine has varied from, at worst, telling sufferers “it’s all in your head”, to trying its best to alleviate symptoms with a variety of pills, treatments and genuine concern and sympathy. But there is no clear medical evidence to pin down exactly what is causing these conditions, so no targeted treatment is available. Doctors know that they can’t do much for patients and many would welcome anything that helps as, of course, would all who suffer with these baffling and incapacitating conditions.

​The Bowen Technique, however, has had some wonderful successes in controlling the symptoms of these illnesses as well as sometimes restoring the person to a full, healthy lifestyle. Bowen works by stimulating the body’s own resources accurately and deeply and the resulting effects reflect this multi-system reaction. In short, Bowen prompts the body to remember how to heal itself.

​Sam, an active and fit man in his early 30’s found himself with a diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome/ME after a stay in hospital for repair work on an injured knee. He had been laid low with CFS about 8 months before he came for Bowen treatment. He had recovered from the very debilitating stage of the illness but was still far from well. He was only able to go in to work for two hours a day, and sometimes not even that much. He had to have a nap in the afternoons and go to bed early. Socialising was a rare event. The nature of his job meant that he would have to face a career change if he was not going to get better. Sam began responding almost immediately to Bowen treatment with improvement in a stiff and aching neck, headaches, a feeling of stuffiness in the ears, “woozey” head, and energy levels. Each weekly treatment added to the improvement and within a month he was able to do without the naps and begin to accept social invitations again. After several months, he undertook two trips abroad and suffered no real ill effects from the plane journeys, climate changes and activities. Nine Bowen treatments moved Sam into a continually improving state which held steady as he got back to his regular duties.

​Bowen can have the effect of re-integrating, or re-connecting not only the body’s systems, but also the body-mind-spirit connections that are so crucial to a sense of wholeness as a person. This is a subtle effect and often difficult to quantify or put into adequate words but nonetheless, this effect seems to be of great importance to someone with fibromyalgia/CFS/ME. Jeannette, a woman in her 50’s, had been coping with FM for over a decade. She had been faithfully following a very exacting exercise regimen – but sadly with little result – to try to regain a sense that her legs were connected to her brain and the rest of her body, as she felt they were weightless and didn’t connect her to the ground properly.

This sensation, of course, constantly made her feel unsure of her balance and steps. After her second Bowen treatment, she stood up and started laughing loudly with delight and amazement, saying over and over that her legs felt heavy and solid, connected to her upper body, and she could feel the ground under her feet! She has Bowen treatment every two to four months and it has maintained this “re-connection” now for well over a year. Additionally, her energy levels are tremendously improved and she is living a nearly normal life, very infrequently hampered by the low energy, pain and exhaustion she had for so many years.

​Family Magazine, December 2005