How Does it Work?

Simply stated, the Bowenwork® technique allows the body to reset and heal itself. When a person is injured or in pain they will use their body differently in an effort to reduce the pain. Over time these postural changes, in an attempt to compensate for the initial pain, result in additional physical ailments. Often these resulting ailments can continue to cause pain even if the original problem is resolved. Following this progression of injury, all the systems of the body are affected including digestion, heart rate, breathing and muscular tension. Bowenwork offers a way to rebalance the body and relieve the damage caused by the original injury and the resulting compensations in the body.

The work consists of hands-on gently rolling, connective tissue moves at special receptors in the tendons, muscles and ligaments of the body. These movements are applied in a series of prescribed patterns. By selecting appropriate combinations and sequences of moves, the practitioner is able to address the body as a whole, and/or to target one or more specific problems.

These movements on muscle and connective tissue prompt soft tissue release, sending neurological impulses to the brain. Because the impulses travel through the internal pathways of the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS), they stimulate whole brain responses, which address every system in the body—internal organ systems as well as musculo-skeletal structure. Bowen therapy strives to balance the parasympathetic and sympathetic parts of the ANS such that the body heals and relieves itself of toxins. Considering that the ANS controls 90% of what happens in our bodies -from heart rate to muscular tension -having an ANS in balance is critical for good health and long term wellness. The response of the ANS to the Bowenwork moves can result in deep relaxation, resetting of muscular tension and range of motion, lymph drainage, pain and inflammation reduction and pain relief. Because it addresses the body as a whole, Bowenwork treats beyond the presented symptom and makes physical, chemical and emotional adjustments within each system. It is generally agreed that the therapy works primarily through the nervous system on both structural and energetic levels. Healing occurs through the response of the body’s Autonomic Nervous System to the Bowenwork moves.

Anatomically speaking, the basic Bowenwork “move” applies gentle pressure on a muscle or tendon and then rolls over it without sliding on the skin. As a result, the spindle cells and Golgi tendon bodies down-regulate the muscle’s resting tension level. The surrounding fascia (connective tissue) becomes less solid and more fluid, allowing greater movement of blood and lymph through the tissue and enhancing nutrition to — and waste removal from — the site of injury. The lack of overstimulation on the skin surface and the limited number of precise moves helps to focus the nervous system’s attention on the essential points. The body continues to respond for several days afterwards unless interrupted by injury or strong external stimulation, including other bodywork.