The Bowen Technique is a revolutionary method for the treatment of your body’s imbalances. When someone asks me, “How does it work?” My reply is, “Very well.” It is difficult to describe the simplicity of this technique without making it sound trite, it is difficult to describe the profound effect of this technique without sounding as if you are exaggerating. A technical explanation is necessary for some and reassurance is all that is required for others.
The Bowen Technique is “a dynamic system of muscle and connective tissue therapy…that… balances the body to allow it to heal itself. The work consists of a series of precise moves on specific points of the body.”1 The moves are gentle, and there are often two to ten minute waits between each set of moves. The aim is to create a balanced flow of energy throughout your body.
If a tent’s support ropes are too lose, it will fall over, if they are too loose on one side then it will sag on that side and the whole structure will be unstable. If they are pulled too tight then the tent fabric will tear. Your body is something like that. Bones are supported in place by the strutting of various connective tissues.
The consequences of an imbalance in one area is unlikely to be localised to that area, one imbalance winds its way throughout your whole structure. This imbalance can affect your organs, your chemistry, the integrity of your muscles, and lead to pain, emotional distress and disease. The healthy electro-magnetic flow is disrupted.
One of the most common problems occurring, in this age of the motor car, is whiplash. The head is suddenly jerked forward and back or sometimes wrenched from the side. The resulting tissue damage is painful and can last for a lifetime. The neck muscles fibres are overstretched or torn. The body quickly initiates a healing response in the neck and often the shoulders are splinted by becoming swollen. This is initially good but the swelling if it remains can inhibit the flows of blood, cleansing lymph fluids and energy to the damaged area thus inhibiting healing.
Sally, had a minor car accident two years before she came to see me. A utility, attempting to stop on a wet road, ploughed into the rear of Sally’s stationary small car. She saw it coming in the rear view mirror and at the time of impact turned to prevent her dog in the front seat from being hurtled forward, so she was slightly twisted at the moment of impact. At the time of the accident she hurt her neck, but took this as normal and assumed it would go away.
Months later Sally still suffered from headaches, a stiff neck and bowel problems. She tried many forms of treatment and although they helped enormously the problems returned sometimes worse than before after a few weeks or months.
Part of Sally’s job was data entry. This task became increasingly difficult and Sally’s work performance suffered. She became anxious about losing her job and being able to pay the mortgage. She cut down her hours at work because of the pain and then couldn’t afford any treatments on her neck.
When I saw Sally, the pain was chronic, the headaches periodic and although she is an essentially optimistic person she was depressed at times. I asked Sally to lay on the treatment bed, on her front and very gently applied the first set of Bowen moves. I then left the room to allow her the space to relax and for the moves to take effect. Because she was so tense I left her for three or four minutes and when I returned, she raised her head to look at me and said, “What did you do? My whole back started to tingle and it was as if I was swaying from side to side.” I said, “That is the effect of your muscles relaxing and rebalancing themselves.” The tingling had finished so I proceeded. Sally eventually got to turn over and I applied gentle Bowen moves directly to the tissue of her neck. The right side was very tense. Again I left the treatment room for a few minutes. By this time Sally was relaxed and enjoying the mellow relaxation she was having
When I returned Sally was lightly asleep. She woke when I touched her neck, her eyes were wide, she smiled, “My body did a cork screw and my neck kinda stretched.” She said. Sally responded well to the treatment, she came for three sessions and by the third session her neck was completely free, her diahorrea gone and to date she has not had any headaches.
The Bowen practitioner is a catalyst, setting in motion a self healing stimulus. The application of the technique is a study in delicacy and restraint. The Zen catch call “less is more” really applies. It is important not to do too much. The Bowen moves are information being programmed into your body. The simplicity of the moves enables your body to integrate the information and do something with it in the direction of healing.
Think along these lines, if you are attempting to learn something, and in that process you get over loaded with complex information, then you get overwhelmed and your brain gets distracted and tired and proceeds to shut down. Your body is no different, information needs to be feed into it in bite sized bits and given time to assimilate, then the next piece of information can be, in turn, synthesised. After trauma or illness the tissues involved hold a cellular memory of that derangement. Often you body can heal itself without intervention, but sometimes it needs help to shake off the cellular memory of the shock, your body is still is protecting itself. It has forgotten, because of the severity or impact of the shock, how to be in balance. The Bowen Technique reminds the body that the trauma is over, and very quickly enables it to harmonise itself.
Often repetitive work such as typing can affect your arm or wrist, resulting in the so called ‘Carpel Tunnel Syndrome” or Repetitive Strain Injuries (R.S.I.). This can be debilitating and threaten livelihoods. The problem discomfort, although localised in the forearm or wrist, is often the result of problems in other areas of your body which, in their turn, cause a secondary problem in the arm, exacerbated by the repetitious actions. It is also important to take into consideration how much you like your job or how well organised your chair and desk are, that is the ergonomics and the psychology. A Bowen treatment always looks at your whole body, your posture, your general condition to aid treatment and recovery. Many people with debilitating ailments have been helped with The Bowen Technique. My point being that half the battle of curing health is the removal of the obstacles to recovery.
Tom Bowen (1916-1982) lived and worked In Geelong a seaside country town south west of Melbourne, Australia. After serving in World War II he returned to Geelong and became interested in alleviating human suffering. He noticed that certain simple moves on the body had peculiar effects and from his humble initial observations developed a comprehensive system of treatment now called and taught as the Bowen Technique. Tom Bowen saw his work and insight as a “Gift from God.”
Your body is like a fine sensitive musical instrument. Like any musical instrument you require tuning for correct function. Your body is as sensitive to touch as the strings of a tuned Stradivarius. The tuning of your body creates a resonance pattern, that is, a pattern of harmonious movement of the whole body. Muscles in dynamic healthy tension move easily in relation to each other creating an ease of movement and increased gracefulness. This is the song of your body. To create this harmonic whole relationship, one part with all other parts, the Bowen practitioner must direct the Bowen Technique moves to precise positions with the correct tension in order to initiate a radiating vibrational pattern that correlates with your specific frequency of health.
The Bowen Technique is a tactile art. Practitioners send vibratory probes and messages into the tissue and observe the response. If your body is tense in some area, then the practitioner will sense this and the technique will differ. The gentle rolling movements of the practitioner’s fingers over your muscles send signals to the proprioceptors, that is, nerve endings, in the muscles and a equalisation occurs in the tissue. If you are tense the moves are short and choppy but if the area is more balanced the moves are longer and more rolling in quality.
There are many other problems that may be addressed by the Bowen Technique; allergies, digestive and elimination problems, all manner of musculo-skeletal mal-alignments, respiratory ailments, colic in babies, menstrual and fertility difficulties to name but a few. This simple but profound technique is effective, gentle and noninvasive. When you go to your first session put your expectations aside. You will be both delighted and disappointed if you do not. You will be disappointed if you expect chiropractic adjustments, deep tissue manoeuvres, a massage or hands on energy techniques, it is not any of those things. You will be delighted by the deep relaxation, energy responses and easing of symptoms that will occur.
Maggi Nimmo has studied and practiced the Bowen technique since the late 1980’s. Her interest in the subject and exploration of the Art of Healing is inspired by the limitless questions of the ability of human awareness to transform itself. Maggi is a Master Healer and runs courses in Hatha Yoga, the Bowen Technique, Cranial Technique, the Philosophy of Consciousness and Self Awareness seminars. Maggi is a Master Healer and guide for both your body and spirit.
Contact: Maggi Nimmo
Clinic Address: Number 15, Street 9, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Mobile Cambodia: +855 (0)10348601
Mobile Sydney: +61 (0)403095779