Description of Bowenwork
Bowenwork® is a system of touch that initiates a series of responses through stimulation of the nervous, musculoskeletal, fascial and energetic systems of the human body.
Practitioners perform sequences of small stimulations, called moves, on specific points on the body, interspersed with rest periods. The Bowenwork moves stimulate mechanoreceptors (nerve endings) that overlie both muscles and acupoints. The body’s response to this stimulation, which begins during the rest periods, includes a balancing of the autonomic nervous system and changes in the musculoskeletal system in the direction of increased symmetry. These effects, in turn, remove blockages to the free flow of energy in the body. From the point of view of complementary health care, when the body’s nervous and energetic systems are in balance, its physical, emotional and mental functions are able to return to a healthy state.
For more information about Bowenwork, please visit our Library section, which includes both general background articles and research reports on the effects of Bowenwork on specific conditions.
The Philosophy and Practice of Bowenwork
The purpose of a Bowenwork session is to activate the innate healing mechanisms within the body so that, given time, the autonomic nervous system will self-regulate, energy will move more freely, and the body will heal to the extent it is able.
The work is gentle on the client’s body. In line with Bowenwork’s overarching philosophy of “Less is best,” practitioners aim to provide only enough inputs to elicit the body’s healing response. The number of inputs and length of the rest periods are determined for each client during each session; hence sessions do not have a fixed duration but rather can vary from a few moments to an hour, with the rest periods generally taking more time than the hands-on work.
Responses in the nervous and energetic systems can continue for up to 10 days after each Bowen session. Typically sessions are therefore scheduled a week or two apart to allow these processes to complete before providing new input. The client is given self-care advice about staying appropriately hydrated, performing targeted gentle exercises daily, and seeking advice from other health-care providers as needed.
The work is also easy on the practitioner’s body, in large part because it does not include sustained pressure or repetitive motions. As a result, many Bowenwork practitioners are able to continue practicing for as many years as they desire without suffering overuse injuries.
Learn how Bowenwork helps
Visit our Benefits page to see the list of conditions that are seen to respond well to Bowenwork.
Find a practitioner in your area
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