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A Bowen treatment addresses fascia tissue as well as the muscles and skeleton. Fascia is the sheet of connective tissue that covers the structures of the body – allowing flexibility and movement between various parts of the body.
It is fascia that is, in part, responsible for your posture – so in Bowen we pay it a lot of attention. For example, it affects the way we hold our spine. By influencing the way the muscles and fascia work together, we work to influence the way the structure works - encouraging your spine to adopt a better, less painful, position. We find that his approach often results in a much longer-lasting effect on body alignment than some manipulative therapies.
Gently does it
A classic Bowen Treatment is very gentle. There is no vigorous ‘pulling about’. Rolling moves are made on skin, muscles and tendons and elicit a powerful effect on the body.
Pathways to the Brain
As the muscle is held, prior to the move being made, it is gently stretched, sending sensory information to the brain. There are thousands of these stretch receptors and thousands of times a second they repeatedly send this information to the brain about the status of the muscle that is being treated. The brain sends corrective information back to the individual muscles.
Bowen moves are carried out in short sequences at key structural points with a gap of a couple of minutes between each sequence. The client is left to relax in a comfortable, warm atmosphere. It is a quiet time, with little talking, except for the client to feedback to the therapist about any sensations they may be experiencing.
Scientific research is ongoing – there have been several studies into our work on Frozen Shoulders, with positive results. Some research has shown that stretches of fascia produce small electrical charges and other neurological research has shown that the brain has areas of "body maps", which contain your personal "blueprint". It is believed that the sequences of Bowen moves stimulate the body to repair itself to the blueprint.
Also interesting is that blood tests before and after a treatment have revealed raised levels of chemical activity after the treatment and for all body systems to show a marked improvement in function. Some heart rate studies have shown rapid normalizing of fluctuating rhythms with clients commonly reporting sustained lower stress levels and a feeling of well-being.
The Bowen Association would like to thank John Wilks for extracts from his book "Understanding the Bowen Technique".