I have worked in health care for 20 years, qualifying as a State Registered Nurse in 1987 and then studying Holistic Massage, Sports Massage, Reflexology and Aromatherapy. As a complementary therapist, working in conjunction with GPs, physiotherapists and other health professionals, I have found these Holistic Therapies to be immensely beneficial to my clients over the years. However, I have had some of my most awe inspiring moments in recent years since using the Bowen Technique.
One of my first patients was my friend Joan. For a few months Joan had a problem with a painful thumb, so much so that she could no longer hold a potato peeler or turn a key in her front door lock. After her first treatment she was able to do both again. (Eighteen months later the problem has never recurred!!) I was amazed and started looking for more likely suspects!
There followed her husband Frank with tennis elbow – that took 3 treatments before he reported the pain had gone and his golf had improved! Alison had post-natal depression, and her six month old baby boy had been prescribed inhalers for asthma by the doctor; Caroline had suffered from asthma and chest problems for nearly 20 years; Ellen with a frozen shoulder, sinus problems and a dodgy hip that she thought was going to need replacing; Mary had a very swollen foot resulting from two deep vein thromboses as a teenager, had suffered back ache for several years and also PMT. All of these clients had dramatic improvements almost immediately and the severe symptoms often show no sign of returning. Frequently, they visited me initially for just one problem but, typical of Bowen, they reported some other wonderful “side effects”. The list is endless including Debbie, treated throughout her pregnancy to ease the morning sickness and make her feel more comfortable and energised, who told me that her baby was born “incredibly easily”.
The Bowen Technique was developed by Tom Bowen (1916-1982) in Australia. He had an uncanny ability to read bodies and correct and adjust abnormalities which caused pain. The therapy was first brought to England in 1993. Tom Bowen explained that it was the movement of bad energy coupled with the increased flow of blood and lymphatic drainage that caused the often spectacular return to full health.
Bowen is a light touch therapy and you can be treated through thin clothing. Small rolling type moves are made on precise points on the body. These moves aim to disturb the muscles, soft tissue and energy within the body sending tiny impulses of released energy through to the brain; this causes the brain to search the body for imbalances and sets off a chain of activity at cellular level. This results in the body doing the work for itself, hence the speed of recovery. The body loves habits and rhythms but cannot distinguish between a good one and a bad one, so keeps responding in the same way to stimuli, even though that response might be one we don’t want! Allergies, for example, are habits. Bowen reminds the brain that this is not a very good idea, and knocks it out of the rut it was in, so changing the response to the stimulus.
Because the Technique is so gentle, it is suitable for anyone from newborns to the elderly and frail. The first picture shows one of my two godsons, Sam, during a treatment. The boys both either just giggle the whole time or, on several occasions, they have slept all the way through the treatment.
I work in Hadleigh and do home visits for those who are immobile. Problems that can be dealt with range from back, shoulder, knee and ankle pains, asthma, hayfever, IBS, PMT, anxiety, dizzy spells, Bells Palsy, and helping ladies get through pregnancy with ease, or even get pregnant in the first place! A treatment normally takes about 45 minutes and 3-5 sessions at weekly intervals can be sufficient to achieve lasting relief from long standing pain. To receive maximum benefit it is recommended that other physical therapies are not mixed with The Bowen Technique for at least seven days, although I will often prescribe Australian Bush Flower essences because I find these particularly helpful with a multitude of emotional issues.
Rosemary Cunningham BA SRN ITEC MAR MBTER
Rosemary Cunningham Complementary Therapies.