David is an accredited Bowen Technique Practitioner, trained by Paula Esson and assessed at final examinations by Julian Baker, Principal of the European College of Bowen Studies.
The Bowen Technique is primarily a remedial therapeutic tool, offering the body an opportunity to restore structural and functional integrity. The technique consists of a series of moves across muscle, tendon and other soft tissues, using fingers or thumbs, applying gentle pressure to effect a movement of the tissue. The majority of moves can be performed through thin layers of ˜non slippy” clothing. In tests, I have been able to effectively put moves in through 18 layers of towel ( although some focused chi may have also been involved there).
The technique cannot be compared to any other form of therapy currently in use. There is no hard tissue manipulation; no adjustments or high velocity movements; no massaging or use of oils; no deep or prolonged pressure and no equipment required. There are no contraindications with Bowen- it can be used on newborn babies to geriatrics, with any presenting condition.
The buzz word in Bowen is ˜Fascia”, the connective tissue intimately related with all soft tissue in the body. There is much active research being conducted of the highest standard, into the nature and modus operandi of this tissue. It has been shown that fascia runs in ˜anatomical trains up, down and through the body to the cellular level in continuous communication. It appears to have the ability to adjust itself in terms of tension, independent of the nervous system and conduct electrical signals at a higher rate.
These anatomy trains running through the body give rise to another buzz word in Bowen- ˜Tensegrity” a contraction of ˜Tensional Integrity “ tensegrity is the goal of Bowen therapy, whereby a situation is reached where there is no bias in terms of tension in a body, pulling along the fascial pathways disrupting structure and function elsewhere in that body. Fascial connections are so complex that pain in a given area of the body could have as its primary cause, an imbalance arising in an apparently totally unrelated part of the body. Shoulder, back and neck pain frequently starts with an injury in the legs, ankle or foot. The secondary problems propagate when the body starts to compensate for, or favour the injury, giving rise to differential tension on one side of the body. The body is effectively pulled out of balance by the soft tissue tightening up on one side. Adhesions between bands of fascia which should slip over each other, further complicate the situation by forming a connection with other anatomy trains they shouldn’t be connected to. These tensional problems go right to the cellular level- incorrect tension in the fascia going through a cell will distort the shape of that cell and compromise its structure and function. Have you ever had your finger in a Chinese finger trap? Easy to push on, but try pulling your finger out- the trap constricts and grips your finger. That is how fascia can behave around tissues, organs and muscles. If it tightens due to some trauma or condition, it constricts that tissue and restricts or cuts off nervous and vascular feeds, compromising structure and function, causing pain.
Bowen appears to work by sending signals to the brain through the fascia, for which the brain has no ˜file”. The moves create signals the brain doesn’t recognise and can’t interpret. Its attempts to do so fires signals through the fascia causing it to adjust its tension back to normal levels. This can happen virtually immediately; Bowen moves are done in groups of four leaving 2-3 minute gaps in between, to allow these signals to ˜cook.”
Bowen’s modus operandi means that it has great potential outside remedial therapy- performance enhancement. Imagine you are a top athlete and have reached a plateau where no matter what you do doesn’t seem to have much effect on your performance. Imagine what would happen if your diaphragm was opened up fascially, increasing your lung capacity and freedom of chest movement; hamstrings were loosened; all that fascia throughout the body distorted by hard training, optimised for tension…
Nomatter what sport you could think of, Bowen could help your performance.
It is now medically recognised that Bowen therapy is the best treatment for frozen shoulder (at least twice as fast as physio) with no painful manipulation. It has effective techniques for carpal tunnel; pelvic misalignment; hay fever; tennis elbow; hypermobility; restricted movement of limbs; irritable bowel; lower back (sacral) pain….the list is endless. I will never cease to be amazed by what this can do.