Research into Bowen – Stroke

There is little published research in the mainstream biomedical literature about the efficacy of Bowen therapy. However I have found this:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21359262

In summary, while this report is an early assessment of the impact of Bowen therapy in chronic stroke, the improvement gained suggests further investigation is appropriate.

LOVETT BROTHER RELATIONSHIP OF THE SPINE

LOVETT BROTHER RELATIONSHIP

Used clinically for decades by many body workers including Bowen Therapists,  Chiropractors & Osteopaths,  I was fortunate enough to attend workshops in the last few years with some wonderful Australian expert teachers and learn the theory of the Lovatt Brothers and more ways to bring changes to the body. The main theory is that if there is dysfunction at one end of the spine, it will reciprocate with problems at the other end, as per the diagram.
In the most simplest of explanations when there is a rotation in L5 there will always be a rotation in C1, its ‘Lovett Partner’, even in the absence of symptoms of pain or lack of function at C1. With all the listings they can work both ways. For example, a  dysfunction at L5 can cause a C1 dysfunction and a C1 dysfunction can cause an L5 dysfunction. When one is out of neutral so will its partner. Often it is necessary to address the Lovett Partner as well to get a lasting or even successful correction. Remembering that the joint above and below at the dysfuction is also likely to be affected you can see the cascade of musculoskeletal problems that can arise. This is why treating TMJ and sacrum/coccyx together in some people is so important.  Anything that disrupts the mechanics of the sacrum and the coccyx can create adverse mechanical tension in the central nervous system leading to all sorts of musculoskeletal, neurological, visceral and hormonal problems that seem very confusing and hard to figure out.  Early treatment before a problem becomes chronic is paramount. Always consult your doctor for medical assessment and diagnosis.  https://boweninlothian.co.uk/contact-me/

lovatt brother relationship

Diagram and content courtesy of John Garfield

If you love Yoga, you’ll love this!

Interesting article from the Head of European College of Bowen Studies (ECBS) Julian Baker

The Bowen Technique & Yoga practice

Many people practising Yoga will have heard of Bowen or perhaps seen flyers and leaflets for the technique around.  Introduced to the UK in the early 90s, it has become one of the fastest growing therapies in Europe and especially popular in the Yoga community.  Yet it is not just physical aches and pains which can be addressed by Bowen. n much the same way that someone might feel more positive or energized after  a yoga session, we often see a similar ‘well being’ response after a Bowen treatment.

Clients will often report at follow up sessions, that apart from changes in their measured pain patterns, that they have somehow shifted, mentally and emotionally.  This rarely manifests in a conscious release, but in more subtle but noticeable shifts.  Several clients over the years have reported that they have stopped smoking that week.  Not from a specific effort to do so, just that they didn’t feel like doing it any more.

“I handed in my notice this week” is another one that I here reasonably regularly.  Again not from an explosive response or a knee jerk reaction to a specific incident.  Instead the realization has come that, similar to smoking, what they are doing is another form of destructive behaviour and that they need to move away from it.

Shifts in relationships, both personal and professional are not uncommon and from a whole body perspective this is perfectly rational .  With physical treatments we are often fixated on a measurable outcome in terms of pain reduction, range of movement and so forth.

Yet our emotional and mental trauma is played out moment-by-moment in our bodies.  If we are stressed, or upset, we don’t think stress or upset, we feel.  It’s part of our language of comforting another.  “How do you feel?”

This feeling is as much a part of our pain as our bad back or twisted neck and more likely to stay with us and become part of our being than any kind of physical injury.  We will all be able to recall instantly a time when we have felt hurt by a remark, heartbroken in a failed relationship or over the death of a loved one.  There’s that feel word again!

A response to these events might be to go into ‘therapy’ where we explore our emotional past and present with a sympathetic counselor and a box of Kleenex. “How does that make you feel?” we might here.  Instead perhaps the question should be “where do you feel that?”

The loading of the neck, shoulders, back, knees, pelvis amongst other areas in times of emotional impact is something we can all appreciate and the feeling of release through yoga postures is well documented and personally appreciated.  It stands to reason therefore that if we associate these regions as where we will store our stress, it’s probably a good idea to gently move them and release them.

The Bowen Technique has often been called physical homeopathy as well as the Yoga therapy.  Rather than aim specifically for a dramatic physical or emotional ‘release’, the shifts are often just incorporated into the psyche.  One day I felt like a doughnut, the next I didn’t.  No shift, just a gentle sea change.

A well designed Yoga session might aim to address the whole of the body and its ranges of movement.  Similarly, a basic Bowen treatment will cover virtually all the major stress loading areas of the body with a  few simple moves.

The moves are consistently small and kept to a pressure which should be mutually acceptable to both client and therapist.  Once a series of moves is applied, the therapist backs off and lets the body do its own thing.  This has been compared to the practice of allowing the mind and body to ‘become one in stillness.’

I was reminded of a Vanda Scaravelli quote recently “Movement is the song of the body.  We sing when we are happy and the body goes with it like the waves of the sea” 

A Bowen session does not seek to impose the will of the therapist on to the body of the client.  Instead the tensional relationships that exist in the human form, are touched and moved gently, then rested, to allow for the movement to begin. Even in the stillest sea there is always movement.

From a practical perspective, Bowen is a physical first aid kit or structural tool box. Once the basic application and understanding of the technique is mastered, the principles can be applied equally well in an active yoga environment as in a more passive therapy environment.

Many Yoga teachers and practitioners use Bowen moves during yoga sessions to enhance movement, deepen asanas and breath and allow release.  The now famous pelvic procedure has been used more than once on frustrated yogis struggling with a lotus, with jaw dropping consequences and long queues afterwards!

Julian Baker ECBS

http://thebowentechnique.com/who-or-what-is-the-bowen-technique.html

 

Dem Bones, Dem Bones

Skeleton dancing

Many people know the song, Dem Bones, Dem Bones, Dem Dry Bones!

You know the one:

“The toe bone’s connected to the foot bone,
The foot bone’s connected to the heel bone…”

So what’s my point?

Everything is connected and there are no spaces in between.

This might seem rather elementary but think about it for a moment.

Your body has a line of connective tissue that runs from the bottom of your feet all the way up the back of your legs and body to your scalp, called the superficial back line. If part of that line is damaged, cut or malformed for any reason, then your body could start to compensate.

Why am I telling you this?

Many people suffer from the following foot problems as a result of that compensation.
(Image courtesy of Anatomy in Motion)

Illustration of foot problems, from Anatomy in Motion

Possible remedies include soaking in Epsom salts and doing exercises such as the following:

  • Hold onto the door handles of an open door for balance and squat – slowly. The aim is to stretch that back line. Stand up again, slowly. Do this a few times every day.
  • While holding onto those door handles for balance, roll your weight back and forward, to get a rocking motion, from heel to toe.
  • While sitting, roll your foot over a cricket ball, rolling pin or similar. This should help strengthen and lengthen the muscle and connective tissue.

Of course another (very relaxing) remedy is to come for a few Bowen sessions with me at Bowen in Lothian. Call me now on 07989 133215 to see how we can get dem bones back to walkin’ around.