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Wonder From Down Under: The Bowen Technique

© Judyth Reichenberg-Ullman ND, MSW

Rapid results are the norm with Bowen rather than the exception. Chronic conditions may resolve in only one or two treatments, given one week apart. In some complicated cases more frequent treatment may be useful, but is not usually necessary for most people. I have been continually surprised by how quickly the body responds to the Bowen Technique. I am skeptical of treatments until I have seen them work. Although the Bowen Technique is relatively new to this country, other Bowen practitioners are reporting the same kind of good results that I have seen in my own practice. Because the Bowen Technique is highly systematic and practiced in the same way by each practitioner, the results are usually quite predictable, and depend more on the technique itself and its applicability to a person's condition, than on the practitioner who is using it.

The third aspect of the technique is deep and long-lasting healing. When people come off of the treatment table after a Bowen treatment, they often exclaim "the pain is gone!", "I feel really different!", or "What did you do?" It is unusual to have no immediate change for the better. Even in those cases, change often occurs within the next few days, following a brief healing crisis in which the symptoms are temporarily worse, then greatly improved. In most cases the first treatment starts the healing process and the second, or occasionally the third treatment finishes it. While being treated with the Bowen Technique it is important to avoid other forms of massage, chiropractic or bodywork for at least one week after each treatment.

The Bowen Technique results in relief of pain, increased joint mobility, improved circulation, and correction of joint subluxations and muscle spasms. Bowen practitioners are able to help back pain, whiplash, temporo-mandibular joint syndrome (TMJ), sports injuries, knee problems, frozen shoulders, tennis elbow, bursitis and headaches. It is also used effectively to adjust the coccyx, correct pelvic and menstrual problems, and to stimulate healing in hayfever, asthma, colic and bedwetting. That may seem like a lot for one technique, but it can be really effective for these conditions, which may have a musculoskeletal or neurological origin.

Here are the cases of three people from my practice who responded well to the Bowen Technique:

Nancy, 23, had had pain in the hips since she was a teenager. The pain was severe and radiated down the outside of her legs to her knees. It would come on particularly when she was angry or upset. Exercise would make it worse, and it had come on from extensive gymnastic practice in high school and college. No treatment had ever been successful in relieving the pain. After two Bowen treatments, Nancy reported that the pain was completely relieved. It returned once after an emotional trauma a few months later and one treatment took care of it.

Sam, 52, had chronic spasms in his neck and shoulder. He never seemed to be able to relax. He worked too hard and took his problems home from work. During his Bowen treatment, Sam went into a very deep state of relaxation, nearly asleep. When the treatment was finished, he said that he had not felt that kind of rest in years. The effects stayed with him and his pain completely went away within a week after his second treatment. He then took his first vacation in a decade.

Jill, 49, had asthma and chronically swollen, painful knees. The Bowen moves were able to relieve her bronchial spasms and allow freer breathing, but did not totally cure the asthma. Her knees, however had a complete reduction in swelling and pain, and considerably increased mobility after two treatments. Now she can go up and down stairs without pain.

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About The Author
Judyth Reichenberg-Ullman, ND, DHANP, MSW is a licensed naturopathic physician board certified in homeopathic medicine. She graduated with a degree in ...more
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