What is Bowen? The Bowen Fascial Release Technique is a complimentary physical therapy. It works over muscle, ligament, tendon, fascia, nerves and skeleton, giving the whole body an opportunity to restore its structural integrity, rebalancing, promoting healing, pain relief and restoring energy.
Where did it originate? Bowen was pioneered by Tom Bowen born in 1916 in Geelong, Australia. His technique was self taught using numerous therapeutic approaches. Over the years many people watched and learned from him but only six men are considered to be the main ones with whom Tom Bowen passed much of his understanding, these were called the Bowen Boys. He died in 1982. In 1998 Julian Baker, who subsequently founded and runs the European College of Bowen Studies based in Corsley, Wiltshire, quite literally stumbled across the Bowen Technique following a serious injury whilst running in the London Marathon that year and it is thanks to Julian and his ex wife and business partner Louise Atwill for their extraordinary dedication, vision and hard work that Bowen is where it is in Europe today.
How does it work? Using a slow, light and precise rolling movement with fore fingers and thumbs over precise areas of the body. This sends information via sensory nerves to the brain about that specific structure. When the information arrives at the brain it is pushed around between the different areas of the brain where a response is made according to the information received. The response is sent back to the structure via motor nerves and certain adjustments are made. To allow this information to work unimpeded we give 2 minute breaks between a move or a group of moves.
How can such a light pressure work? Well, it is a process of impulse conduction. The information is sent from the body structures to the brain via a special kind of electrical charge called an action potential. The energy of the action potential is derived from the nerve itself and not the stimulus. Therefore the strength of the stimulus does not change or alter the speed of impulse conduction along the nerve. It is like firing a bullet from a gun, no matter how hard you pull the trigger the bullet won’t travel any faster. In fact too much pressure will cause the nerve to over stimulate and go into fight or flight mode. Imagine a corn starch mixture. If you try to push your finger forcefully into it you will experience resistance BUT if you allow your finger to rest on the mixture it will let you sink through it with ease. That is how a Bowen move should be performed – gently and slowly.
The result? Working with the body’s innate, natural healing impulses gives us an opportunity to help the body to restore its structural integrity, balancing & promoting physical and mental healing, pain relief and restored energy.