The Bowen Technique: The Essential Hamstring Move
by Janie Godfrey
One of the exercises on Advanced Bowen Technique workshops for experienced practitioners is to answer the question: “If I had only one Bowen move to use, which would it be and why?” For many therapists, the Hamstring Move would be the move of choice.
The muscle group collectively known as the hamstrings are a powerful and heavily used group of muscles. Much is required of them, whether you are a busy young mum, a professional athlete, a horseback rider or just out for an evening’s dancing.
The Bowen Hamstring Move is a key one for problems and pain in the lower back because of the hamstring muscles’ connection to the processes of the whole lower back region. In addition, because of the correspondences between one area of the body and another, Bowen practitioners have found the Hamstring Move is able to influence problems in the shoulders and temporo-mandibular areas.
The move sends a massive vibration through the muscle group and prompts the tone of the muscle length to return and relax. As soon as it relaxes, the sacroiliac joint drops back into position.
Bowen practitioner Paula Esson says of the Hamstring Move: “It is a huge, huge player for any injuries or complaints from the waist down and certainly bowel problems as well. In scoliosis or kyphosis, while you can’t change the curvature directly, Bowen can release the surrounding connective tissue (fascia).”
Bowen practitioner David Howells finds the Hamstring Move has a great balancing effect. It balances the pelvis and the pelvis is absolutely basic to the whole body.
The Hamstring Move is very frequently used to provide a foundation for the rest of the bodywork. David treats many athletes, both amateur and professional, and footballers with hamstring problems are very often back in play, better than before, after just one Bowen treatment. In addition, the athletes all find that The Bowen Technique enhances their performance.
Paula Esson, who was head of Sports Science at Gateshead College, couldn’t agree more with this observation. She says: “Improvement with Bowen in sports is superb –the player is better focused and more in tune with his/her own body’s performance.
If the body is in balance and the musculo-skeletal system is recruiting in the right order the player is mentally free and more fluid to concentrate and focus on the game. It is almost as if you can take a step back from yourself and you can focus on the game tactics with greater clarity.”
And it is not just athletes who have bad hamstring injuries. David treated an 82-year-old woman who injured a hamstring as a result of a slip on a bus in winter. She was delighted to find that after only one treatment, she was back to normal and pain free.
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, Jul/Aug 2001
by Janie Godfrey