Thursday, 1 May 2008

Helicopters, paper aeroplanes and the bowen technique

Well today the children made helicopters and paper aeroplanes at a group that they go to. When I say helicopters, I guess you could say these are more like paper equivalents of the sycamore seeds that you see falling in the autumn. They are incredibly easy to make - just requiring paper and a paperclip and scissors and surprisingly effective (unlike my usual attempts at making paper aeroplanes and kites!).

The kids didn't take part in many of the other activities (ds1 was persuaded to attend a session on Japanese art, though I didn't see if he produced anything) and as expected spent most of the time running around in the field with some new-found friends.

And today I had, what is hopefully my last (for a while) chiropracter session. This time she used the Bowen technique which I have never heard of before to help some of the more muscular aspects of my back pain. The Bowen technique is described as follows (see )

"The Bowen Technique is a remedial therapy that is applied by the therapist applying gentle pressure to soft tissue with fingers and thumbs. There is no deep tissue work or high velocity thrust movements as in chiropractic and there is no massaging of areas, so therefore no friction.
As a therapy it is incredibly gentle, both on the client and also, importantly, on the therapist. Another advantage to Bowen is that there are no contra indications and it can be used even in acute situations, where other forms of therapy might be avoided. In fact, as far as Bowen is concerned, the more acute the better. The tiniest of babies through to the frailest of adults can be treated and as the work can be performed through light clothing, it is ideal for these two particular groups of client....

...How Does It Work?
There are something like 600,000 signals that travel from the brain into the body every second and these in turn come back to the brain with information which is then interpreted and sent back out. Whenever we feel, hear, see or even think something, the brain brings in past experience in order to categorise the sensation and create an appropriate response.
In the case of the Bowen move, the brain is unable to do this instantly and needs more information to form a response. As it is, just when the brain is asking for more info, the therapist has left the room, and therefore the brain has to send specific signals to the area in order to gauge response. If the client is lying down, the immediate response is nearly always rapid and deep relaxation. The client will also often report that they feel a tingling sensation or warmth in the area just worked. "It felt like your hands were still on me," is a common comment. This demonstrates that because the move is out of the ordinary, the brain is looking for information about what happened.
One of the more difficult elements to come to terms with is how little is done during a session. In addition, the client may well walk out of the treatment room having felt little or no improvement over and above a sense of relaxation. However the reactions to Bowen can often belie its soft and gentle appearance. Stiffness, soreness, headache and feeling like "I've been run over by a bus!" are common. All excellent signs, they demonstrate that the brain has started the process of repair.
This process when started is generally rapid and it is not uncommon for even longstanding pain to be reduced or resolved in two or three treatments. Most sports- or work-related problems will be dealt with also within the two or three treatments, making Bowen not only effective, but cost effective for the client as well.
Although muscular skeletal problems such as frozen shoulder, back and neck pain account for the majority of presentations for Bowen, there is a lot of work that is effective with more organic problems. Although it's important to point out again that we don't treat specific problems, Bowen has been widely used with asthma, migraines, irritable bowel, infertility and reproductive problems. Even hayfever, the blight of so many summers, is affected excellently with Bowen.
There are no such things in this life as guarantees and this can be said of Bowen as well. The beauty of it is that it is simply offered to the body. If the body accepts it then it can and will start the process of repair. If it doesn't accept it then no harm is done."

Well I certainly felt the warmth and tingling described in the above snip. There was also a weird feeling on my face as if I was about to grow a bristly beard after the Bowen 'moves' around my neck area! I also noticed as I reversed out of the parking space on the way home from the session that I could turn my head round to a point where I don't remember being able to turn it before! I'm not sure whether it will have done any good, but I'll see how I feel tomorrow. Hopefully I wont feel as if I've been run over by a bus tomorrow (already felt like that on and off for the past month), but if it can ease the residual pain then it will have been worth it.

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