by Manon Bolliger ND, FCAH, DHANP, CCH
On a simple level, pain signals that there is an imbalance in the body. In fact, any symptom that the body produces signals a degree of “dis-ease.”
Tom Bowen, the man from whom the “Bowen Technique” takes its name, believed that we are all born with a blue-print of health: a natural plan for homeostasis and balance. With gentle non-invasive stimulation, he believed, the body would know innately how to self regulate and heal itself. Tom Bowen was keenly aware that any structural disequilibrium would eventually lead to functional and physiological disequilibria. His gift was to have created a treatment system and methodology based on sensing minute discrepancies in tissue tension, that was reproducible by any trained Bowen therapist enabling them to trigger that self-healing blueprint in the patient.
His discovery was fine tuned over 30 years of practice. During that time, Tom Bowen saw, according to a survey by the Australian Government, over 13,000 patients a year, 80% of them requiring no more than 2 visits to regain their health. It was Tom Bowen’s wish, on his deathbed, to have Ossie and Elaine Rentch teach his technique to the rest of the world.
Having started my study of Homeopathic Medicine 17 years ago, I understood how one simple substance in a minute dose when chosen according to the symptoms of disbalance in a patient would suffice to stimulate the self-healing mechanism of the body. The Bowen Technique fascinated me, as it was the only other treatment method that abided by the same healing principle. In other words, a modality of treatment that uses the smallest of interventions and results in the maximum of responses.
Both treatments are non-invasive and gentle; both work on the principle that “less is more” or the “minimum dose”; both are true healing modalities in the sense established by the founder of Homeopathy, D. Samuel Hahnemann, in his Organon of Medicine: true healing of diseases takes place in the reverse order of the appearance of symptoms.
I have been practicing the Bowen Technique for 10 years and have established treatment protocols for patients involving the Bowen Technique and Homeopathy that will most effectively and quickly restore their health. Now, I would recommend the following patients to have Bowen treatments:
a) patients with injuries:
Injuries if untreated will affect the whole health of a person. Let’s take an ankle injury as an example. At first, there is pain and lack of range of motion, eventually if it doesn’t heal, there is structural consequences because of compensation by the knees and pelvic girdle. Furthermore, if unattended to, there is tightening of the erector spinae which supports the spine that further leads to other structural compensations. The original sprain and consequent pain leads to a cascade of symptoms that reinforce a state of dis-ease. This patient can no longer walk at ease, their general fitness level decreases; they start to perceive themselves as limited, their quality of life diminishes from that point on.
I chose the ankle as an example, but that is true of all injuries, whether a coccyx injury, frozen shoulder or tennis elbow. All these conditions can easily be rectified with a Bowen treatment.
b) patients with “toxic overload”:
Here, I am referring to chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, long term “medicated” conditions, conditions with long-term pain. The synergistic effect of the Bowen Technique with the appropriate naturopathic support for detoxification and lymphatic drainage is remarkable.
The Bowen Technique will not only right structural imbalances, but it also will allow the body to regain proper physiological functioning. Symptoms such as bloating, water retention, constipation, indigestion, heartburn and tension headaches are easily remedied by a series of Bowen treatments.
c) patients with chronic degeneration/inflammation syndromes:
Conditions such as osteoarthritis and any form of tendonitis respond very well to the Bowen Technique because the technique allows the body to get back on track. The “itis” conditions are the body’s best initial response to the injury. The body creates inflammation, swelling and increases bone formation (osteoblastic activity) in an attempt to mobilize and protect the injured area. The problem with this “natural defense” strategy of the body is that it does not seem to know when to stop and the “defense” becomes eventually the dis-ease. What Bowen does so simply is let the body know that the emergency is over and thus the “overdrive healing” mechanism adjusts itself back to an original blue print seemingly pre-programmed in our bodies. This allows the body to actually heal the remainder of the injury.
d) patients with migraines, asthma, TMJ Syndrome, babies with colic, women with PMS, hot flashes, mastitis:
People with such conditions should try Bowen first. Often the primary source of the problem is structural and since the structural, physiological, and emotional components of our beings are so finely connected, why not try the Bowen Technique to unravel these interconnected aspects of our dis-ease?
e) patients with chronic back pain of any kind, sciatica, spasms, lumbago, etc.
I have had many patients whom only required a handful of treatments to rid themselves of years of suffering. There is no need to make bi-weekly appointments or even monthly appointments. Once the body has received the message to self-heal, it does just that. Only new injuries or falls will unbalance the body in the future.
f) patients with sports injuries:
There is no treatment quite as effective as the Bowen Technique for these kinds of injuries. Sports professionals all over the world are being treated successfully with Bowen. Studies have shown that competitors having regular Bowen treatments consistently perform better with an accelerated rate of recovery from injury.
As remedial sports therapist Craig Mattimoe from California has written in a Bowen magazine: “After five years of treating and preventing athletic injuries I can confidently report that no other broad based modality in all of North America comes close to Bowen. Nothing else compares. I work mostly with athletes, particularly football players who are big business in America, and Bowen literally outshines all of the current accepted sports medicine techniques, both traditional and alternative.”
Finally, everyone can benefit from Bowen, from infants to the elderly. People experience a deep sense of relaxation and well-being. People feel energized, find their sleep more restorative, and feel in a better overall mental and emotional state.