What does a Bowen therapist do?

The first step to take when considering Bowen treatment would be to book an initial consultation. This will give the therapist an opportunity to find out about your medical history and what problems you would like to get treated for. This will then enable them to assess your situation and form a personalised treatment plan.

Many therapists think that because Bowen promotes self-healing, it should not be used in conjunction with any other alternative therapies, just in case of interference. For this reason, they may advise you to not receive any other manipulative therapies for a certain period of time, as this could undermine the effectiveness of treatment.

In terms of what to wear, Bowen can be applied to both bare skin and through loose and light clothing. If either yourself or your therapist have specific requirements, it can be discussed in the initial consultation.

Before you start, your therapist may ask you to drink water due to the technique requiring fully hydrated cells and tissues.

During the session you will usually lie on a therapy bed or table. The therapist will apply subtle, relaxing rolling moves across particular muscle groups, tendons and ligaments. A feature of Bowen is that between sets of movements the therapist will leave the room or quietly sit down and allow you to rest. The interval allows the body to make a decision about what action needs to be taken in response to the given moves.

Once treatment is complete you will usually be asked to drink more water before being advised of possible physical and emotional changes you may experience.

Follow-up consultations will include a progress review and possible reassessment if you need further or more advanced treatment.

How many sessions will I need?

Session length will differ depending on individual circumstances, but typically you can expect a session to last between 45 minutes to an hour.

In order to get the most out of your sessions, your therapist may recommend having two or three consecutive sessions every other week. This will give you a chance to gain a true perspective on how you respond to the therapy. If you want to continue after that, it’s considered normal to have sessions spaced even further apart.

In some cases people have reported side effects to Bowen treatment. These include flu-like symptoms, headaches, stiffness and tiredness. Holistic health practitioners have long recognised a process which they refer to as the ‘healing crisis’. Tom Bowen described this process as the body ‘resetting itself’. While the body is working to eliminate stress and toxins, the Bowen technique is addressing the root issues. In some cases, these issues rise to the surface in the form of a ‘healing crisis’, reminding us that there is unfinished business.

Even if you experience a reaction, it’s important to persevere with the treatment. Discuss any side effects with your therapist. They will then be able to provide you with appropriate advice such as exercising, drinking water or other tips to help you with your symptoms.

Although everyone will respond differently to treatment, on average most people experience improvement after three to four sessions. There will be exceptions when you may need to extend the amount of sessions you have. This could be the case if you have a longstanding condition. In either case however, it’s recommended that you continue to see your Bowen therapist every few months even after experiencing positive results to maintain good health.

How can it help me?

There are a number of conditions in which the Bowen technique is said to be helpful. These include back pain, neck pain and shoulder pain. People may also seek the treatment for respiratory conditions and headaches. Even injured athletes find the method helpful as a remedial therapy during recovery. It is also worth noting that due to the therapy’s nature, the Bowen technique can be useful for people of all ages.

Here are a number of conditions that the therapy is said to help:

allergies headaches including migraines
back issues knee and hip problems
bed wetting menstrual problems
bladder problems mobility issues
digestive issues repetitive strain injury (RSI)
fatigue respiratory issues
foot problems sports injuries
frozen shoulder stress.

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