How does Bowen Therapy work?
A practitioner will perform a Bowen move where light pressure is placed on a muscle and the muscle is gently stretched. Once the move is completed the body receives the signals through muscle fibre and information is sent along the nerve pathways to the spinal cord.
Every second, the brain receives information about the status of each muscle spindle thousands of times. After the sensory information induced by the Bowen move reaches the spinal cord, it passes through the nerve pathways to different centres of the brain. Here the information is shunted backwards and forwards via a complex, self-corrective feedback mechanism after which the information is sent back down the spinal cord to individual muscles.
When we are awake and moving around, positional information from our muscles, tendons, joints, skin, fascia, is continuously being processed by the brain. When we are lying down and relaxed there is very little activity happening within this self-corrective system.
For an effective Bowen session, it is essential that there is as little interference as possible from the conscious part of the brain (our cortex) or from our muscles, so that this feedback mechanism can re-orient without disturbance. Most people today live in a constant state of high stress and sympathetic ANS (Autonomic Nervous System) over-stimulation.
The ANS controls 80% of bodily functions and is very susceptible to external stressors. The Bowen technique addresses the entire body by restoring balance via the ANS. Healing can occur only after the ANS shifts from sympathetic to parasympathetic state ( rest, relax, repair mode). Bowen Technique enables that shift through gentle moves that are performed on the body. These movements send neurological impulses to the brain resulting in immediate responses and putting the body into a parasympathetic state so that it gets into that rest, relax, repair state. It is often observed during a session, that the client drops into deep relaxation or falls asleep. Both of these changes are indications of a profound release from stress and a shift towards parasympathetic influence. This shift could explain, in part, the common observation that a Bowen Technique session seems to reactivate the recovery process in situations where healing from trauma, sickness or surgery has stalled or reached a plateau.