Bowenwork: A Unique Approach to Healing and Pain Relief

Posted by on Jul 16, 2013 in Massage Topics, Questions Clients Ask, Wellness Ideas | 2 comments

BowenworkI first heard of Bowenwork from a friend who lives with multiple sclerosis. She raved about it’s gentle ability to make real change in her pain levels. And now I’m excited to offer a new type of healing work for you!  

This week’s blog is a guest post by my Bodyworks colleague, Lorelei Nissly, LMT who is a certified Bowenwork practitioner. Look for our ad in the Lancaster-Berks Natural Awakenings print magazine, including a special offer for 50% off your second Bowenwork session.

Bowenwork is a unique and exciting approach to healing and pain relief. A gentle, soft tissue relaxation technique, Bowenwork is an unusual form of bodywork because the moves are performed, without oil, in specific locations on the body, followed by pauses of several minutes, to allow the body to integrate the effects of the work.

You are thinking, “But what can it do for me?” Bowenwork can be beneficial in a wide range of situations. It can assist in recovery from traumatic injury to chronic illness, depending upon each individual’s capacity to heal. Also, many clients report that Bowenwork is the most relaxing bodywork they have ever experienced.

Some of the conditions that often respond favorably to Bowenwork are:

  • Back pain and sciatica
  • Neck and shoulder problems
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome and tennis elbow
  • Sports injury and most traumatic injuries
  • Migraines and other types of headaches
  • Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Hip, knee, ankle and foot problems
  • Anxiety, shock and grief
  • Digestive and bowel problems
  • Earache and TMJ problems
  • Menstrual and hormonal irregularities
  • Groin pain, pelvic tilt and uneven leg length
  • Respiratory problems and hay fever

So that’s an impressive list. Now, how does it work? A Bowenwork practitioner acknowledges the body’s innate intelligence and intrinsic ability to heal itself. Light pressure stimulation to muscles, tendons and fascia, as well as gentle rolling actions over the tissues, send nerve reflex signals, triggering responses not only at the site of the moves, but throughout the whole body. The inputs are received by the body on many levels. More specifically, Bowenwork resets dysfunctional tissue tension patterns in muscles, tendons, fascia and joints. This results in changes in the stretch-length of muscle fibers and joint realignment, via spinal reflexes and the central nervous system.

The concept of minimal touch is central to Bowenwork. Often only a few sets of “moves”, along with several pauses for the work to integrate, will produce noticeable benefits. Heart and breathing rates have been observed to slow down as Bowenwork signals the central nervous system, encouraging the resetting of abnormal tension patterns and postural imbalances, restoring optimal organ function, detoxification and elimination of waste products and improved lymph drainage, oxygenation and blood circulation to tissues.

The Bowen practitioner facilitates a deep internal process within the client’s body, which creates a state of relaxation. This can occur rapidly or over a number of days after the session depending on severity, chronicity and the body’s individual ability to heal.

Well then, what’s it like to receive this work? Sessions of Bowenwork differ from massage in their application technique. While massage is generally a hands-on method with the therapist applying oil or lotion and being in constant touch with the client, Bowenwork uses no oil and combines minimal light moves, often over clothing, interspersed with hands-off periods to allow the client’s body to relax and respond. The practitioner usually leaves the room during these periods.

Bowenwork is best performed as a stand alone procedure, not incorporated with any other bodywork. This keeps the subtle work clear from other influences, input and over-stimulation to allow client and practitioner to assess true progress. We start by scheduling two sessions, one week apart to set the basic foundation of the work. A week after the second appointment, we know more about how your body is responding. At that point, client and practitioner decide together how to proceed.

Because this technique is so effective, it has been widely embraced by a broad spectrum of health professionals who are impressed by the diversity of problems it can address. Bowenwork is now supported throughout the world by the Bowenwork Academy and a large faculty of dedicated, accredited instructors.

The name “Bowenwork” honors Tom Bowen who pioneered and perfected the work from 1950 until his passing in 1982. Mr. Bowen was extremely busy in his Geelong, Australia clinic, performing about 13,000 treatments a year on the clients who traveled to him and benefited from his gifts. Toward the end of his life, he entrusted a very few people with documenting his techniques and teaching the work to others.

Bowenwork is being taught and practiced all over the world. Now that I am trained to do this highly effective work, I can offer it right here in our local community. I invite you to make your appointments with me at Bodyworks Integrative Health soon so that we can see how your body can be “Better with Bowen.” Look for our ad in the Lancaster-Berks New Awakenings print magazine, including a special offer of 50% off your second Bowenwork session.

I look forward to helping you with this amazing technique, to reduce your pain and increase your function, energy and ease.

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Quick Tips for Warding Off or Kicking a Cold!

Posted by on Feb 17, 2011 in Wellness Ideas | 0 comments

If you feel that little scratch in your throat, or have caught the cold that’s being passed around this winter season, here are some tips for keeping it away or kicking the symptoms quick!

Push those liquids. Do whatever it takes to get yourself to really stay hydrated. If you’re more likely to drink tea, tap water, ice water, natural juice, whatever it may be, do it. Liquids will help flush out your system and keep all of your best immunity armor in tip top shape.

Gargle salt water. Make yourself a simple glass of warm water and salt. It helps with inflammation in your throat while at the same time clears out irritants or mucous, flushing out possible bacteria and viruses.

Let the whistle blow. Keep your nose clean to reduce the impact of a cold. When you feel stuffiness coming on, make sure you try to keep your nasal passages clear. Saline nasal spray can help and good old tissue paper works well too. You can also try a neti pot. Users swear by them.

Pour on the honey. Often times there is little need for cough medicine. A few teaspoons of honey can have similar effects without all of the nasty side effects.

Take a break, if you can. If you feel sickness coming on and you have the flexibility to take a day off, the rest early on will help you fight it better. Many people wait to give themselves a break until they are in the thick of it. Being well-rested can make recovery time much quicker.

Move some. Light activity can actually boost your immune system, and taking a walk outside will give you some fresh (germ-free) air to help with circulation and overall wellness.

Keep up the healthy diet. What you put in your body when its defenses are down or weakened is what is going to be used as energy to fight the invading germs and to repair your body to feel better. Make sure you are loading up on things that are beneficial to your cause! High-quality proteins (think lean meats, beans, fish) help build new white-blood cells and brightly colored fruits and vegetables give you the important nutrients for your immune system needs!

Sleep it out! Not getting enough sleep suppresses immune function even when you aren’t sick. Make sure you log those zzz’s so you equip your immune system as best as possible.

Echinacea, Vitamin C and Zinc. Keep up on your vitamin intake, focusing on these three key ones to support your body’s wellness functions.

What are some of your best home remedies that you swear by? Be well!

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