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How Bowen Works
The Bowen Technique does not focus on a single symptom but on the body as a whole, restoring balance via the autonomic nervous system (ANS). The ANS controls over 80% of the body’s functions and is heavily influenced by external stressors. The ‘bowen move’ communicates through the ANS in such a way that it triggers a rebalancing process for muscle, nerves, lymph and fascia (connective tissue). The ANS is divided into two areas, sympathetic (fight, flight, freeze) and the para-sympathetic (rest, relax, and repair mode).
Due to the stresses of everyday life a huge majority of people live in the high alert sympatheitic mode, contributing and even causing many imbalances in the mind and body (knotty and tight muscles, physical and mental tension, anxiety, insomnia, high blood pressure, heart conditions, cancer, stroke, and so on).
The Bowen Technique helps to trigger the para sympathetic nervous system to over-ride the sympathetic nervous system, and therefore allowing the body to run in a balanced way, calming everything down and becoming able to cope with the everyday stresses, potentially alleviating the a fore mentioned conditions.
The Bowen ‘move’ and How It Works
The Bowen ‘move’ although extremely simple works in a very dynamic way. It has a dramatic (but gentle) effect on the muscle, connective tissue (fascia), nervous system, lymphatic system, and the circulation, in fact every single single area of the human body.
The first part of the bowen move draws the skin slack back and then applies a gentle pressure on the skin, fascia, nerve and muscle, this ‘hold’ is the first signal to the ANS to stop, pay attention, and then re start in the para sympathetic mode.
The next part of the bowen move gently rolls over the muscle, tendon, ligament, and nerves which sends a ripple through the tissue. This ripple is like a mini shock wave which excites the cells of these tissues. As a consequence of this movement the muscle tissue loosens becoming softer and the toxins in the tissue become freer and are gradually carried away by the increase of blood circulation. These toxins are carried to the lymphatic system (which is also now working to a greater potential) and taken via the lymphatics to the kidneys to then be excreted out of the body.
Tightness or congestion in the connective tissue (fascia) can have a huge detrimental effect on the body causing many problems, including having a detrimental effect on the muscle, circulation of blood and lymph, and nerve endings.
The gentle bowen move pushes the skin over the muscle which creates a sliding effect on the connective tissue (which lies between the skin and muscle). This movement creates a lot of energy and subtle movement in the fascia tissue, freeing toxins, and increasing oxygenated blood and allows the fascia to be restored to its correct state.
With the muscle tissue and connective tissue being loosened through the bowen move it allows for fresh blood to be carried into these areas by the circulation. This oxygenated blood feeds these tissues like a ’breath of life’ and in turn the muscle tissue becomes fuller and stronger and healthier allowing the body to be in a much better state of balance.
As the bowen move is gently rolling over the muscle it is also very gently rolling over nerve endings which are located in the muscle tissue. These nerves travel all the way to the central nervous system (up the spine and into the brain). This very gentle stimulation is where the ANS stops and starts up again in the para sympathetic mode and nervous system imbalances start to be corrected.
Bowen moves are often in key lymphatic areas where there are bundles of lymph nodes. The rolling movement of the bowen move is great at stimulating these lymph nodes and freeing off congested tissue in the area that had become compromised to the sluggishness of the lymphatic system.
Drinking plenty of water and doing walking is crucial after a bowen treatment because it helps the lymphatic system to carry toxins to the kidneys so they can be expelled from the body.