What is involved in a Bowen treatment?

An initial treatment will usually address the whole body, but each session will vary depending on the presenting problem, and the client's capacity to heal.

Most of the work is performed through light clothing, and usually with the client lying face down. This is not always necessary, and the client can be seated, or standing if needed e.g. for pregnant women, or infirm clients.

A feature of the work is that between sets of moves the therapist will leave the room and allow the client to rest. This is a key element of Bowen and is a defining aspect of the technique as well as being one of the most important. The break allows the body the opportunity to create a decision about what action needs to be taken in response to the moves given.

As humans we create appropriate responses to most situations. We can clearly establish where danger is present and determine how we should respond. Similarly we are able to define appropriate responses to other stimuli, whether it be sexual, social, pain, heat, cold etc.

With a Bowen move the response mechanism is thrown into a degree of confusion as to what the appropriate response should be. The moves aren't painful and so therefore defence isn't called for. There is no friction or rubbing so no need to increase fluid to the area. The breaks give the nervous system a chance to establish the correct actions. In the process other information can be gathered by the body and it is common for areas not being directly treated to respond to the treatment.

A session will last generally around 45 minutes to one hour. Treatments should be scheduled for between five and seven days apart and an initial set of three treatments is recommended in order to establish whether the client is likely to respond to treatment.

Most people will have responses within three to four sessions, when even long standing chronic pain can be relieved. Other conditions might need to be treated more often, but in either case it is recommended that clients return for regular treatments every six to eight weeks to maintain optimum health

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