How Does Bowen Work?


To be honest, we're not entirely sure, but here are some ideas...


One of the least understood areas of the body is the brain. Even specialists in the study of the brain will disagree about its most basic functions, with some saying that the brain is a whole and other insisting that it operates within a modular system with a bit for each mental function. Yet we can be sure that the brain is responsible for the entire system and that any attempt to effect physical change has to be examined and accepted by the brain.

There are something like 600 000 signals that travel from the brain into the body every second and these return to the brain with the information which is interpreted and relayed back to the body. Whenever we feel, hear, see or even think something, the brain brings in past experience in order to catergorise the sensation and create an appropriate response.

In the case of The Bowen Move, the brain is unable to do this instantly and needs more information to form a response. As it is, just when the brain is asking for more information, the therapist has left the room, and therefore the brain has to send specific signals to the area in order to gauge a response. If the patient is laying down, the immediate response is nearly always rapid and deep relaxation. The patient will also often report that they feel a tingling or warm sensation on the area just worked. "It felt like your hands were still on me," is a common response. We believe this demonstrates that because the move is out of the ordinary, the brain is looking for information about what has happened.

One of the more difficult elements to come to terms with is how little is done during a session. In addition, the patient may well walk out of the treatment room feeling that little or no improvement other than a sense of relaxation. However, the reactions to Bowen in the days following a treatment can often belie its soft and gentle approach. Stiffness, soreness, headache and "I feel like Ive been run over by a bus!" are all common. All are excellent sign that the brain and body have started the process of repair.

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