Well I think I might have just experienced one of the most painless, relaxing and effective ways of relieving stress and pain. It’s called the Bowen Therapy Technique and it was carried out by a friend of mine Hilary Farrer.
She kindly offered me a session so that I could experience it firsthand. She was great as she carefully explained to me what it was all about –
“The Bowen Technique uses a series of simple, gentle moves across muscle and connective tissue. It is similar to plucking a stringed instrument that sends harmonic vibrations that encourage the body to adjust and rebalance itself. Because it works in harmony with the body, the Bowen Technique is incredibly effective for any muscular, skeletal, or nerve imbalance. It has also been successful in treating chronic pain due to injury. The technique is so gentle it can be used on anyone from infants to the elderly. It produces a deep relaxation and can release blocked emotional energy, which can accelerate the healing process.
“The basic Bowen “Move” is precise and light. It targets specific muscles, and tendons. Using fingers and thumb, the area is manipulated; the muscle is then challenged and moved in the opposite direction. The patient then will be left for 2 minutes; this allows the released energy to travel through the body fully before the next “Move” is performed.”
It was first developed by Australian Tom Bowen in Australia in the 1970’s but didn’t reach the UK for a few years after that.
Bowen is heralded to be an effective treatment for; Asthma, Scoliosis, Frozen Shoulder, Fibromyalgia, hip and back problems, muscular and skeletal injury, autonomic nervous system imbalances, chronic pain due to injury or emotional trauma, as well decreasing stress and general pain relief.
With all the training I do rarely a day goes by when I don’t have any kind of pain! On this particular day I had a big dose of DOMs from a “heavy on the overhead” wod the day before, plus recovering from competing in Manchester’s Strongest Woman! However, I didn’t really have any intense pain or issues. Hilary was disappointed! – But only because she wanted me to see for myself how quickly the results kick in.
After Hilary had explained everything to me she put on some very relaxing music, I laid on my front on a massage table, and the treatment commenced. I have to say that normally when I am in that position I am preparing myself for the normal battering of a full body massage, however, Bowen is a very gentle procedure in comparison.
Although I felt Hilary touching different parts of my body (ankles, legs, hip, arms, shoulders etc) it was a very gentle touch, I think I was expecting a pinching sensation, but I didn’t really feel anything. At first it was a bid disconcerting when I heard her leave the room after just a few minutes (for the 2 minutes energy release described above) – but this happened about half a dozen times and I was so relaxed I forgot about it. Although at one point I panicked slightly as I remembered my phone was still switched on and might ring at any time!
The hands on procedure lasted about 30-40 minutes and at the end I have to say I felt some relief in my arms, and I felt incredibly relaxed. I also slept like a log for the first time in ages that night.
Hilary told me that it takes about 3 or 4 treatments to make a difference to chronic pain and problems, and individual treatments are about £40 – making them favourably comparable with physio and massage sessions.
My brother, Jim Haddad, had received Bowen treatment from Hilary for a frozen shoulder and he told me, “I had been suffering with my shoulder for a number of years. After 3 sessions of Bowen from Hilary it is now completely pain free.”