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Most people think
of the body this way, and
that massage works solely on and with the muscles.
In reality there is a very important connective tissue around our muscles, joints and even cells, the fascia.
The technique is sending vibrations through the fascia to the brain, tapping in the parasympathetic and autonomous nervous system. This is why it is so gentle and yet so powerful
Image with muscles, lymph
( in green) and fascia. Lymph is just below the skin and extremely important for our body functions.
The lumphatic system has no pump, and is activated during the procedure.
MUSCLE FASCIAL RELEASE
Healthy fascia, allowing flow of information, nutrients and evacuation of toxins, increasing mobility
We do things differently at Lbow.
What should I expect?
For the headache treatment.
The headache treatment is based on Bowen. There is a first session where we balance the body and teach it to release and react. Depending on how you will react during the pauses, we put more or less moves on your body, but never more than it can handle. This is determined by the time your body needs and how lengthy a reaction is during the pauses.
The session starts with an assesment talk and I look in your iris to get an idea of your body's condition and stress, weaknesses and needs. We talk about your habits, if you had an accident, if you have asked your doctor for solutions, what other treatments you tried, if you are on medication, have epilepsy, where it hurts, how often, what major changes happened in your life. Your type of headache, the patterns.
Then we start with the basic technique that balances your body and gives it a command to relax, go into parasympathetic ( explained later) and serves as ablue print guide for the practionner.
Indeed a pain in the shoulder could be related to the foot and a pain in the abdomen, to the neck. Most of the times the session moves are followed by sensations, be it images, colors, feelings, tingling, pulling, heat or cold or other minor feelings connected to your body or your heart.
Or you might feel nothing. It all depends on the way you communicate with your body and the state of your fascia. The more liquified, the more communication will reach the stem and the brain.
But, wether you feel it or not, the work is done and you will probably feel the benefits the days to come, in matters of less intensity when having a headache, or if you were not hydrated enough, in form of a "hang over", which is your body taking out the toxins, the trash that was trapped in your fibrous connective tissue.
Sometimes it takes one session to make the pain go away, sometimes we may need more. It depends on the disconnection we have with our body ( we all live in our heads) and how much your body can take on to fix.
Sometimes the headache is related to our shoulders, which requires a specific procedure, sometimes to our heart and respiration, and sometimes to the head and neck.
For chronic cases expect to come at least 3 times.
Sessions last from 1h30 to 2:00 hours, especially the first one.
As any professional will tell you, nothing can be done when there is stress or an acute sense of emergency. The goal to any succesful therapy, is for the sence of emergency to end, especially for chronic situations. The brain must alter its brainwaves from Beta ( focus, stress, awake), to Theta ( half asleep state, day dreaming) or at least Alpha ( relaxed, well being) for any procedure to work. Traditional massages relax the muscles, who let go of tension points, bring blood flow to problematic areas and bring focus of the brain on the work done. This is an effective way to concentrate and get to the goal. But without proper relaxation, you waste the energy of the therapist to get to a point where your muscles will benefit fully of the body work.
Look at your muscles, are they hard? Are you working out regularly and have a lean body?
If you think that having hard muscles is a plus, I would like you to think of a cat. Their muscles are never hard, their skin is detachable, and yet they are the best athletes.
Muscles that are hard are muscles under stress, no matter how lean and strong they are. Muscles are supposed to be relaxed when not in a physical activity.
The goal is to get the muscles to "melt", no matter what treatment you use, in order to get the full benefits.
Bowen is working on a juncture of fascia, lymph nodes and nerve endings. Fascia is the less known and most neglected part of our body, as it is the main structure of our body, the one that keeps everything into place. Fascia keeps moving, separating and hardening, as a spider web that is flexible, full of water and nutrients but also toxins. In the morning we strech to "break it down" as it impairs our mobility. When we stress it jellyfies and compresses our blood arteries to avoid bleeding out in case of a wound. Bowen is working on that wonderful intelligent structure, and gives you back mobility, eases the pains, and balances your body. More on Fascia below.
The parasympathetic system:
Everybody is familiar with computers and the "shutting down" and "stand by" function. Most of us, due to an unatural way of life, stress, worries and denial of feelings or suppression of non acceptable by society emotions ( like anger and aggression for women and self pity or emotion for men), tend to be on stand by mode, even when resting. But our body needs the complete relaxation and the feeling of safety we experienced in the womb or as children, to recuperate, rejuvenate, adjust again to a healthy state.
The parasympathetic system is a system that controls digestion, breathing and the goal is to get the patient/client in that state, where he is completely relaxed and has given all control. To him self. To his body. Not his mind. Not to me.
I like to think that they connect to the source of all things when in that state ( they are very aware of their surroundings, and can leave at any time) and they allow the inner "programming" to take over, scan, and fix the issues that have accumulated with experiences and thoughts.
The technique is not a diagnostic or a curative tool. Some people come from word to mouth, with the expectation to feel sensations, but these should not be the goal. Work is being done wether your analytical brain allows it to be felt or not. For example, some athletes have a different approach towards their body and need harder sensations to let go of the knots and everyday's routine and worries. They push their limits, feel the burn, and sometimes are harder to get out of the sympathetic system. The advice given is for those who want to try this, to give it three sessions, at least. Usually by the fist session the body has been restored and balanced and we can focus on a specific area during the next sessions.
But what will I feel?
It depends on the individual. Some feel no more than a deep relaxation, or extreme tiredness on the day and the next days sometimes. As if a very long stressful period ended and your body goes into exhaustion. But, the reactions vary according to the individual, and they should not be the main focus. It has been observed though that some feel headaches after the session especially if they did not drink enough the day before. The lymph is activated and waste from the fascia ( connective tissue) is entering the bloodstream in order to be evacuated, so some people, get a little hangover while their liver is "spring cleaning" the organism, carried by this self healing process. It only lasts a day and it is harmless, but indicative of the level of waste in the organism.
Some feel heat during the pauses, tingling, slight pain, discomfort, eradication of pain. Some have a moment of emotional cleanse, sadness, or joy, and some just sleep right through it. Almost all have a deep, satisfying,restful sleep the next few days and have noticed a reduction in intensity of their migraines, backpains, and other ailments.
Their way of thinking clears up and their decision making process improves.
When the body starts to feel good, the mind gets clarity, we learn to listen to our bodies signals, and therefor the quality of life increases.
The technique is working for 7 days, as ripples in a lake once a stone was thrown, and it is advisable to not have anything else done a week before and after ( like acupuncture, cranio sacral etc)
Keep a journal of every little change you experience if you have the time.
And drink lots and lots of water! :)
Our bodies have "issues". Sometimes, the body can NOT handle more than a few moves.These are cases where you feel much, and for more than 5 minutes. In this cases the body needs to be respected and given time to replenish, or it will be overworked and you will feel a hangover the next day due to the toxins entering your bloodstream. This is why water is so important.
This video is by Jackie O'Neal
These obvious reactions are not the norm, we usually feel sensations and sit quietly or fall asleep.. I chose to show case this case,with the enthusiastic approval of my client and friend who is an epilepsy sufferer, to give an overview of the electrical impulses and the work done on our fascia. The chronicback pain he experienced over 30 years, left his body after the first treatment.
Unhealthy compressed fascia, trying to stop bleeding.
Fascia is a thin, tough transluscend sheet surrounding all of our fibers, muscles, and organs in our body. It is the web and net that holds everything together, and that goes through your bones, muscles, surrounds your cells, your fibers. It is a fibrous material that contain, separate and allow free movement between all structures so it is inevitable when a muscle is activated, to not affect the fascia that surrounds it albeit a slightly different physiological effect. All structures that are activated during a Bowen treatment be it skin, joints or muscles, have sensory nerves taht give feedback to the spinal cord about the state of that particular structure ( hence some of the sensations of stretch, pain etc)
Fascia is our communicative system. It clumps down when in stress, compressing the blood capillaries and arteries, veins, in order to avoid excessive bleeding. Bowen is allowing the release of the clumpness without damaging the fascia. People who work out hard usually damage their fascia by tearing them up, which gives an impression of building up. In reality often enough the extra bulk derives from tearing and bunching up of the muscle fibres. This creates adhesions through the body and an inability to get rid of toxins. On the other extreme, people who do not work out and have a weight problem will have a lot of congestion.
Fascia must be free at all parts to receive and discharge all fluids and eject all impurities.
Fascia comes in layers, and the moves are specifically chosen for the richness in layers and critical points.
Fascia of the front is different from the fascia of the back and this was created at an embryological level.
Bowen creates impulses in the collagen fibres of fascia, which creates an infinimal electrical charge with strong healing properties, more than with a Rofling technique as used in a traditional massage.
The conductivity of collagen increases and is directly affected with hydration. The impulses created will travel further and farther with an amplification directly affected by the action of proteins in liquid crystals. ( as a screen)
In other words, fascia is extremely responsive to electrical charges and can carry electrical impulses faster than the nervous system. It responds as a whole, regardless as to where a Bowen move was made.
A move on the leg, can carry like a Tsunami, a response to the shoulder, or the ear.
Passages from John Wilks book " Bowen Technique: The inside Story"
Warning: In this video there is one image that shows a deep cut in the forearm, but the rest is under the microscope.
The procedure can be done above clothes. Skin to skin is better though and it is advisable for some specific procedures (for Hammstring for example) Touch is
light and non invasive.
Although many confuse it with healing, cranio sacral therapy or reiki, the technique is basing the moves on physiology and anatomy.
One of the goals is to switch the brain from Beta wavelength to Theta, and achieve the deep relaxation that will be the ground basis for the work. Some people feel odd sensations or feelings during the process.
Sensations vary from bowel activity, somnolence, a tired or heavy feeling, sleep, cold, heat, numbness, tingling etc
Photos Dennis Lehman
To the trained eye and dog owner, there are clear signs of wellness and an improvement of disposition.
At 1:04 we can see a very subtle reaction to the energy released from the move.
At 2:49 he experiences something on his face. A few moments later he iscompletely relaxed and in a playful mood.
Nicole is a reflexologist (zona) and has qualifications in
Iris analyse ( Iridology) Kinesiology and Hypnotherapy. She studied Integrated Bowen.
She wrote two books, one on homebirth and one on the common mistakes but also benefits of holistic nutrition. She worked 6 years as a journalist/researcher in the field of alternative therapies.
She has practiced guided meditation sessions for more than 20 years and massages for over 25 while working as a therapist, artist and lecturer in England, France, Greece, Cyprus, Holland and now Denmark.
She has develloped techniques that she includes in her sessions for an accurate assessment of each case.
She is currently studying Trad. Chinese Medicine, and is taking Bowtech courses.
No. Although there is some energy involvment ( we are creatures that generate and use energy and electricity) Bowen is a physical and physiological technique involving anatomy It is not reiki or something like it, it works on your FASCIA and encourages the brain to go into Theta brain waves and helps your autonomous nervous system to take over and start homeostasis.
It helps your center to readjust, to pinpoint the overcompensating muscles, to ease pain symptoms and to bring everything into balance. It is a physical procedure that generates a lot of your own energy to be released, regenerated and used for your self healing purposes. The practionner switches
the light bulb on, and off. How bright, what color, and what it lits, varies with each case.