Bowenwork is a dynamic system of muscle and connective tissue therapy that was developed by the late Tom Bowen in Geelong, Australia. It uses small measured inputs to the body stimulating the body to heal itself, often profoundly. It usually results in the relief of many specific injuries and other health problems, both acute and chronic. It does so by using the body's innate healing mechanisms. The practitioner delivers signals to the nervous system at specific locations (on muscles, tendons, ligaments, or nerves) and the body does the rest, responding in its own time as it is able. Bowenwork is safe for all ages and all degrees of health.
Rather than focusing on a single complaint, Bowenwork addresses the entire body by restoring balance via the autonomic nervous system (ANS). The ANS controls over 80% of bodily functions and is susceptible to external stressors. Most people live in a constant state of high stress and sympathetic ANS over-stimulation ('fight, flight or freeze mode'). Healing can occur only after the ANS shifts from sympathetic to parasympathetic dominance ('rest, relax, and repair mode'). Bowenwork helps to start that shift. During sessions clients often drop into a deep relaxation. Bowenwork tends to reactivate the recovery process in situations where healing from trauma, sickness or surgery has stalled or reached a plateau.
How Does It Work?
* Stretch Reflex: Most moves are done either at the origin, insertion or belly of muscles where receptors are located, informing the nervous system on the state of tension, length or stretch in the musculotendinous tissue. These receptors are stimulated during the "challenge" and the "rolling" part of the Bowen move which changes the stimulus received by the nervous system. This can change a pain/muscle spasm loop
* Joint proprioceptors: All moves done around a joint directly affect the joint capsule and ligaments that are richly innervated with proprioceptors. Simulus is received by the nervous system, inviting normalisation of the joint function without the need for forceful manipulation.
* Facia: Each Bowen move is done at the level of the superficial fascia and affects the relationship between the fascia and the nerve, muscle or tendon being mobilised. Fascia plays a major role in muscle co-ordination, postural alignment and overall structural and functional integrity. After a Bowenwork session it is not uncommon to see adhesions loosen up, scar tissue soften and posture and mobility improve without harsh mobilization or stretching
* Segmental viscerosomatic spinal reflexes: Several Bowenwork moves engage these reflexes. They produce referred reactions to the internal organs through stimulation of the skin, muscles and nerves
*Acupuncture points and meridians: Most moves overlap acupuncture points and some actually cross two or three meridians at once. Acupuncturists have commented on the immediate changes of the acupuncture pulses in response to the moves or procedures. The overlap of these two systems could explain the very strong vibrational component of the technique and its effect on the internal organs.
* Harmonic vibration or resonance model: Bowenwork moves set up vibrational patters which bring the body back into balance and harmony.
* Lymphatics: Some Bowenwork procedures activate draining of the lymphatic system, stimulating the immune system
* Detoxification: This is often initiated during a Bowenwork session, thereby improving the body's ability to function at a cellular level