How does it work?
The Bowenwork Technique affects the body primarily through the nervous and bioenergetic systems, to bring it into a state of balance.
Autonomic Nervous System Rebalancing
The autonomic nervous system controls over 80% of bodily functions (cardiac, respiratory, peripheral circulation, reproductive, endocrine, gastrointestinal) and is very susceptible to stress and emotional tensions. For healing to happen, the body needs to shift from sympathetic (fight or flight mode) to parasympathetic (rest and relax) dominance. For this to happen, it needs time and space to literally unwind and ‘digest’ physical and emotions stress. The Bowen Technique facilitates these positive shifts.
Most Bowen moves are done either at the origin, insertion or belly of muscles; tendons, or ligaments, where the Golgi and Spindle nerve receptors are located. These receptors inform the nervous system of the state of tension, length or stretch in the muscles and tendons and are stimulated during the rolling part of the Bowen therapy movement.
All Bowen moves done around a joint directly affect the joint and ligaments, which are richly innervated with proprioreceptors, those nerves that sense the position of your body.
The Bowen Technique stimulates lymphatic circulation and drainage.
Many of the Bowen moves are performed along the spine over the erector muscles (two thick columns of heavy muscles on either side of the spinal column which run from the base of the pelvis to almost the full length of the spine.) These moves appear to produce reactions to other areas of the body.
Often people will mention that conditions were addressed, other than the one for which they originally sought consultation, even though the practitioner did not know about them (e.g. improved digestion, elimination circulation or sleep).
The fascia, which are sheets of connective tissue, connect everything in the body; muscles, bones, internal organs and the central nervous system. They play a major role in muscle coordination, flexibility, postural alignment and overall structural and functional integrity. Bowen moves free the relationship between the fascia and the nerve, muscle or tendon being addressed.
Acupuncture Points and Meridians
The Bowen Technique stimulates circulation of energy and clears energetic blocks. Coincidentally, several of the moves are located along acupuncture meridians or on specific acupuncture points which are known to stimulate and balance the body’s energy.
A Bowen move consists of mild finger pressure against the side of a muscle or tendon for about three seconds, then a rolling movement over the top of the muscle or tendon, the a release, which allows the muscle or tendon to spring back to its normal position. Bowen moves are often performed in pairs, called ‘stoppers’ that contain the effects of subsequent moves within a limited area
Then muscles or tendons are moved to create an impulse that rebounds from the stoppers back and forth for about two minutes until the area relaxes completely. This relaxation response is most probably mediated by the Golgi tendon apparatus. When the tendon is pressed sideways, then released, the Golgi apparatus sends an impulse to the spinal cord that causes a relaxation reflex in the muscle.