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Bowen Therapy for Stress & Other Health Benefits

Health & Wellness
Last Updated Sep 10, 2020

Bowen Therapy is a holistic therapy that aims to treat the muscles, tendons, nerves and fascia - sheets of connective tissue that are present throughout the body. The primary principle of the therapy is that the body can heal itself. During a treatment a Bowen Therapy practitioner uses thumbs and fingers to gently shift muscles and tissues. This non-invasive technique stimulates the neuro-muscular physiology with the aim of balancing and stimulating the body's energy flows and encouraging self-healing.

Though it is related to massage, Bowen Therapy is gentler, and considered a muscle release technique with more gentle moves interspersed with rest periods designed to give the body time to relax and heal. It is more closely related to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), with the belief in a chi or life force that flows through the body.

Bowen Therapy is particularly effective for muscular-skeletal problems, including those related to pain in the ankle, knee, back and neck. It is also effective in stimulating lymphatic circulation and drainage as well as the autonomic nervous system - which controls cardiac and respiratory functions; among others. It is also effective in dealing with stress related conditions.

What is stress?

Stress is part of everyday life and is dealt with by the body's endocrine system. This produces hormones that are secreted into the bloodstream and help us to deal with stress. Cortisol and adrenaline are termed the 'stress' hormones and work by raising our heart rate and breathing rate. A small amount of stress is normal and healthy, but if we are stressed by everyday situations the continual production of these hormones can cause health problems - such as heart disease and high blood pressure.

Benefits of Bowen Therapy

The primary benefit of Bowen Therapy is relief from muscular-skeletal conditions, but also for a host of other ailments including:

  • Reduction or relief from pain, including sciatica
  • Reduced stress
  • Enhanced mobility
  • Increased energy
  • Enhanced immune system
  • Improved circulation
  • Lymphatic drainage
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Plantar fascitis
  • Depression
  • Asthma

A typical treatment

After an initial assessment of the clients existing condition, the Bowen therapist will ask the patient to drink a glass of water to fully hydrate the body and its tissues. This helps to promote more effective treatment of the nerves, muscles, tendons and connective tissues. Specific movements, utilising the thumb and fingers, are then made across specific muscle groups, tendons, ligaments and nerves. Each manipulation is followed by a rest period, when the body is allowed to rest and repair itself. A single or series of treatments may be required, depending on the individual and the response to treatment.

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Originally published on May 10, 2010

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