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Q: What is Bowen and how does it work?
A: Although new to Canada, Bowen has been practiced since the 1950’s in Australia by its creator, Tom Bowen, and is now a regulated part of the Australian health care system. Even Mr. Bowen himself could not fully explain how such a gentle technique has proven to be so effective. By sending neurological impulses to the brain through the gentle muscle rolls, Bowen “reminds” the body to heal itself. Research shows that from the very first Bowen moves made on the lower back, the brainwaves dip, allowing the body and mind to relax almost into sleep. Such relaxation allows the body to respond to the brain’s command to search for imbalances in the system and to make the necessary adjustments to correct any disorders.
Q: Who can benefit from Bowen?
A: Everyone from newborn babies to the elderly can benefit from Bowen because of how gentle the treatment is. Even a healthy person without any physical complaints can benefit because of its balancing effect on the body’s nervous system.
Q: What conditions can Bowen help?
A: Bowen helps with a vast array of physical complaints including musculoskeletal, digestive, respiratory, circulatory, gynaecological and other issues. Chances are, if it causes you pain, Bowen can help.
Q: What does a typical treatment involve?
A: During a Bowen session, a series of 2-8 moves are performed on the body on the skin or through lightweight clothing. After each set of moves, a few minutes pause is needed where the practitioner leaves the room to allow the body to integrate them. A session can last anywhere from 20 minutes to over an hour.
Q: Why does my Bowen Therapist keep leaving the room?
A: Just like the vibrations that are initiated by strumming the strings of a guitar, your muscular structures vibrate amongst themselves during a Bowen treatment. Once a specific group of muscles and tendons begin their vibrational patterns, they must not be disturbed for a specific time period, usually two to five minutes. Your therapist will leave the room to allow for the maximum effect to take place, as your brain begins the important feedback loop between the nerve receptors and the targeted areas of your brain.
Q: Why is there no conversation during the treatment?
A: Conversation is kept to a minimum so that your body can focus on healing. The less information the brain has to filter, the more it can focus on the Bowen moves.
Q: What should I wear?
A: Bowen can be performed through lightweight clothing, or directly on the skin. If you plan on remaining clothed during the treatment, please do not wear jeans, thick fabrics or tight restrictive clothes, and remove any extra layers
Q: How will I feel after my treatment; are there any side effects?
A: Results vary greatly depending on the patient. Most patients feel completely relaxed and energized following their treatment. Some feel an increase in pain, although it usually doesn’t last long, and some feel an immediate decrease. The effects of Bowen take about a week to cascade throughout your body’s intricate physiological structures. Follow your practitioner’s instructions to the best of your ability.
Q: Why am I told to walk and drink water?
A: Lymphatic fluid, or “lymph” is circulated through your lymph nodes, and is your body’s main resource for healing. Lymph carries valuable supplies throughout your entire body, and removes toxins and waste products for natural elimination. While your blood is distributed by the pumping of your heart, your lymphatic system does not have a pump of its own. It relies on simple movement and water consumption to keep it moving. The majority of your lymph nodes are conveniently located in areas that are stimulated by natural movement such as walking and swimming. As such, these are ideal forms of exercise for the week following your Bowen treatment.
Q: How many sessions will I need?
A: This varies from person to person due to many factors. Many conditions are effectively – and lastingly – changed in fewer than 3-5 sessions, although some conditions may take longer. Musculoskeletal symptoms generally change the fastest, neurological symptoms the slowest. Many people choose to have monthly or quarterly maintenance sessions or “tune ups” once their initial complaints are addressed.