Stress Relief – its something we all seem to strive for in our too busy and overwhelming world.
The first sets of Bowen moves in each Bowen session is always dedicated to calming the body, getting the mind in the room, on to the table and out of it’s maze of intertwining circuits of desire and obligation.
The body can only heal itself when the parasympathetic nervous system is acting (rest and digest). The defense, recovery and repair system will do amazing things, but only if we are relaxed enough for all the body parts accept that they don’t have to be on alert or scared. The nutrients we eat can work to our fullest advantage when we are at calm and at rest.
Bowen can also be useful for emotional release. We hold emotions in our fascia when we don’t know what else to do with them in the moment. Held emotions will tighten the fascia into “armoring” which can result in the hardening of the soft tissues leading to micro-adhesions and pain. The Bowen moves releases the tenseness and allows the emotion to resurface, be acknowledged and released.
That’s why I found this Bowen article charming (link below), in that it equates Bowen to vitamins….and he’s right. Bowen can be the vital part of your bodywork program that relaxes and resets your body to that it can heal.
When my clients come off the table at the end of a Bowen session, the least amount of praise I sometimes get is, “I feel so relaxed”. and that my friends is a great complement.
Why do we have pain and weakness in one part of the body and not another? When you fall or trip, is it always on that one side? do you always seem to land on that one knee? tweak that same ankle? OR when working with your hands and arms, does that one elbow see to take the brunt of the work? is it the wrist that seems to complain first? OR does your lower back seem to give out before anything else?
This is your body trying to send you a message about the underlying emotional – mental issues that are unresolved.
When we have any kind of unresolved trauma or drama in our lives, the memory and energy of that fight-or-flight-or-freeze stress remains, stuck in our tissue. If we don’t do any physical or personal emotional work to release that stress, it will slowly grow with time by accumulating additional instances. At some point the “pool of stress” will effect the surrounding tissues with enough impact that pain, dis-function and maybe dis-ease will result. Unresolved it will get louder and louder and until it gets your notice–enough for you to pay attention to it.
Here is the pattern of any chronic issues: it started with a small annoyance, was ignored, it got more frequent, was ignored, it got larger (louder), was maybe superficially treated–but really just ignored, etc…until finally it seems all of a sudden, there is this big issue. and we wonder where it came from. hmmm….?
So here it is. It hurts. What to do?
There are lots a charts and graphics around (like the link below) that can point you in the general direction.
Shoulders = carrying a burden that is too heavy, given to you by your family, the world (right side) or your self(left side). what and why are you carrying it? what happens if you put part if it down or ask for help? remember that it takes a village?
Hips = support in your life, financial(right side) or emotional(left side). what kind of support do you need? must it come from others? or can you support and love yourself? who is not capable of supporting you?
Heart = love and connection. where are you disconnected from yourself, your family (given or chosen), community, your maker? how are you experiencing shame, loss, lack, anger? who can make you feel loved? how do you connect with yourself and others? what blocks are in the way?
the list goes on….
The trick is to do this emotional work ALONG WITH the physical together. Doing this work from two arenas, emotional and physical, you will create a spreading spiritual effect. The results are greater; swifter strides towards releasing the agony.
In my clinic, we do this with work with good results. Reiki, Quantum Touch or general Energy work for the physical side and talking though bubbled up sub-conscious images that the theta state brings for the emotional side.
This is exactly the kind of work that represents the first energy work session I ever had and kept me coming back for more. It eventually lead to me learning and taking it on as a profession.
It’s great stuff. and body pain tells you where to start the path.
I don’t know David Wolfe, but I follow his page/blog. He commonly touches on topics interest that are thoughtful, compassionate and informative. So I was delighted to read his blog today and see him call out Bowen for the chronic pain relief associated with Fibromyalgia.
This is very exciting to see Bowen mentioned and recommended by those outside the Bowen community. It really is a wonder technique that works wonders on all sorts of acute and chronic issues.
Give it a try! It is one of the best natural healing techniques to use.
You’re laying in bed, just about to drop into sleep, and there’s the itch or twitch that startles you back from slumber. or the knee jerks that make you feel like a puppet with someone else pulling the strings. Some legs get wild enough to force sleeping in a bed separate from their years-long partner. Whether on the sofa or in bed there seems to be no escaping the legs that want to move.
I’ve helped clients with Restless Leg Syndrome. I’ve done it using Energy and Bowen, individually and both in separate sessions.
Bowen helps neurological issues by loosening fascia which restores tissue hydration and unrestricted communication with the limbic system. Moist tissue can respond to our activity demands, recover from those exertions and rest when “in waiting”.
Fascia also holds our body memory or muscle memory- the patterns or reactions that we carry out without conscious thought. It also hold the somatic memory of injuries and trauma that we have incurred. Balanced fascia is more fully in communication with our limbic system which houses the emotional-mental portions of the injuries and traumas. The feedback between the fascial and limbic systems integrate the physical and emotional-mental responses to new and chronic injuries. This will make healing responses more appropriate, releasing cascading inflammation, edema and chronic muscle spasms.
Energy sessions help rest the spirit and can reveal the spiritual reason for the physical manifestation. Our work on this plane is activated by our family and friends when we are young, usually by age 7 through misunderstanding and trauma. If we don’t respond by facing and resolving the issue, it will be presented to us time and again, louder and more painful each time, until it gets our full and complete attention. 🙂 Each of us have a unique and varied life course. Energy work can help “lift the lid” on those unresolved reactions that we buried in our bodies and memories. As adults we have more control over ourselves and our environments and have better tools to help remove these bundles of pain and sorrow. Our itches and twitches are our sub-conscious trying to tell us something.
Either way, getting some relief from the itch, pain and twitch in yours will help you get needed rest and feeling better!
I talk a lot about how fascia is important. It’s where the knotted patterns of our life and life style lay encased in living tissue. The impact and remnants of physical injury is in the fascia. Emotions are felt and trauma lies buried in our fascia. Our energy bodies are attached to our physical bodies via our fascia. Right after we are a bunch of cells, the first organized tissue is fascia and all other tissue is formed as slips of tissue off the fascia. It surrounds, holds, support and shields every structure in our bodies. It communicates information faster than our nerves–much faster. And it provides transportation for fluids, to keep itself and every thing under it’s supervision hydrated and strong.
What’s not to like about fascia?
I ran across this article some time ago, like July 2010 and found it again in a saved folder.
Which is interesting, since I’m coming to believe that all the energy work I perform with my clients is really just fascia work. Meaning, when I project energy from my hands or through intention, my target is the connection between the physical body aka fascia to the etheric body, the first level of our energy body. As physical beings, sometimes we don’t “feel it” until it actually becomes physical. When the fascia relaxes, the mind can let go and the spirit is relieved. Which make perfect sense. With energy work, I’m coming from the spiritual to the physical. I just didn’t have a clear idea of where that interface took place. It works something like this:
opening the energy field, activating the physical connection to fascia with Reiki, crystals, essential oils and sound, stimulating information about locked patterns from the sub-conscious, voicing – bringing into the conscious-physical level – the mental or emotional injury, releasing it from the body, restoring light-ness and peace to the aura and physical body.
With Bowen Technique, bodywork that targets fascia using acupressure point access, it works in the opposite direction. In a Bowen session there can be lots of prerequisite moves and procedures, but the sequence that results in the “final” pain release also usually triggers emotional and trauma related discharges. Usually the originating injury happened years ago and the chronic tension pattern had later erupted into pain from a more recent and relatively benign over-stretch or twist. It’s this old impairment that is let go. With Bowen, it works like this:
stretching muscles & tendons, dragging fascia along for the ride, releasing chronic physical patterns & pain, discharging suppressed emotions and trauma, relieving the heaviness of life burdens from the body.
So I’m observing this wonderful synergy in practice: Energy work and Bowen.
Same work from two different direction. I see it more clearly and more in-depth with each client.
The fascia is the bridge between…a truly wonderful thing.
Headaches. There are so many “kinds”. WebMD says there are 150 diagnostic headache categories. The cause of headache can range from a “bump on the head”, to emotional, illness, hormone imbalances, inflammation, medication, chemical, stress, fluid levels, activity levels, allergies, and the list goes on and on. When you have a headache, it’s sometimes hard to ignore. It’s difficult to think or concentrate, even soft noises seem too loud, and slight irritations become a huge pain in the what-i-sit-on.
If the cause of the headache is known, then it’s much easier to address. This is usually the case with acute pain–the source and result are closely linked by time and the detective work to a solution is clear.
But what about when pain is chronic and/or unresolved?
Bowen Therapy can address headache and migraine intensity, duration and frequency.
Bowen Therapy, also know as Bowenwork in the US, uses a series of gentle moves on structural tissue (muscles, tendons and ligaments) to affect the fascia and nerves. Treatment at pivotal locations in the body, neck and head relax the internal mechanisms that propogate headache and migraine, reducing and shutting down the stress and myalgia.
The first Bowen session is generally about assessment and bringing the body to a sort-of “ground-state” of balance on which to build further work, including treatment of the loudest issue that is presenting at session time. It is important to commit to at least three Bowen therapy sessions, a week apart, to give the body and brain time to work any adjustments and corrections in the body structure and function. Each additional session further informs the body’s intelligence to identify any imbalance or misalignment that is locked in as chronic pattern(s). This work will process through the body over the course of 5 days, correcting and adjusting itself back to it’s “healthy” state, or as close as possible. After three sessions is a good point to review the overall progress. The total amount of time for treatment and recovery depends on personal history and healing tempo.
It seems that I can’t see it or hear it often enough: Fascia is amazing. It holds us together. It is our body’s silent communication system, more rapid than nerves. It transports fluid between muscle, organ and circulatory tissues, keeping them supple. It collects fluid around damaged tissue like a bandage. Think of healthy fascia as a series of fine net stockings or cobwebs that surrounds every fiber, bundle of fibers, groups of bundled fibers, tissue groups, organs, separating body compartments in large sheets or diaphragms, supporting and holding everything in it’s place. It’s everywhere. It’s pervasive.
Fascia can be physically damaged by injury or as a byproduct of some medical procedures, just like any other tissue. Fascia also reacts to our emotions by contracting over the trauma that is energetically held in the body like a bandage.
“Damaged” fascia is not the fluid flexible net of fibers that functions fully. Injured fascia is tense, jumbled and convoluted, like a fisherman’s net that has gotten balled up and tangled. Over time these areas, will become tightened, knotted and kinked, stiffening into armor like hardness.
In this compromised condition, fascia can not transport fluid nor relay messages as is normally found. The tissue is it supports become dry and brittle and incommunicado from the rest of the body.
Injured fascia can cause severe, disabling, chronic muscle pain. It affect not only the tissue that is armored, but all muscles and tissues that have to work differently because of this restriction.
When there is a restriction in one area of the body, there will be compensation on the other side of the body in a diagonal direction. That “overworked” area will cause another area, diagonally across the body to compensate.
Pretty soon there is a zigzag of stressed body areas. So often what hurts is not the originating point of the problem. Neck injuries can become hip and leg issues and vice versa. Ankle issues can show up in the shoulders. So what needs help the most? Where it hurts now or the original injury?
Bowen to the rescue!
Bowen works with fascia as it’s target. When skin, muscles and tendons are moved, the fascia they are connected to moves. If gently and methodically done, the fascia will again separate into it’s beautiful web-like structures. The armor will soften, the tissues are hydrated and the information highway is connected again.
On the other hand, tissue and it’s associate fascia is moved quickly, hard and fast–it resists and stays in it’s armored state. Remember the corn-starch and water experiment? If you handle it with too much force, it resembles a solid brick. But if you handle it slowly, it feels more like sand or liquid. The same is true of fascia–the slower and gentler the better.
In my opinion, almost all all chronic pain announces an underlying fascia issue. The longer the pain has been in place, the more compensating patterns have been erected. And the more hardened armor, locking it into place will be present.
A series of Bowen session will unwind these patterns. By gently manipulating fasical sheets through their connections to other tissues, the elasticity is returned. Relaxed fascia loosens it’s grip on muscles, organs and other tissue allowing the communication and fluids to flow at more appropriate levels. Oh, what a relief!
Who hasn’t been hit in the head… learning to crawl/walk, horsing around with siblings, playing sports, falls, car accidents…the list is long. But if the
impact is strong enough to “ring your bell”, it means your brain has been sloshed around enough to warrant some attention. Everything inside the skull is soft and doesn’t take kindly to rapid changes in direction. Not only housing the cognitive or mental parts of our nervous systems, it holds eyes, ears, glands and other hormone producing and affecting structures.
Bowen Technique can help the tissues in and around the skull soften and reshape. When better tone is achieved in this areas, all body systems will return to a more normal pattern. The sooner you get Bowen after your head injuries the better and faster you will see results.
More tidbits about Parkinson’s that I find particularly interesting…..
Parkinson’s and the Vagus Nerve
This article is about how ” Parkinson’s disease (PD) may be caused by an enteric neurotropic pathogen entering the brain through the vagal nerve, a process that may take over 20 years. ” Translated to plain English “enteric neurotropic pathogen” means a “gut” “nerve loving” “microorganism (virus, bacteria, etc)” In the case of this study, it’s a virus that travels up the vagus nerve to the brain and affects the brain producing Parkinson’s.
What rings my bells is that the Vagus Nerve is involved.
The vagus nerve comes in pairs. They both communicate with the vital organs. However the vagus nerve that branches to the left side of the body more strongly services the organs below the diaphragm: stomach, liver, spleen, pancreas, kidney, intestines. The right branch more directly services the organs above the diaphragm: the lung, heart, pharynx.
And Bowen Therapy has an excellent procedure that addresses vagus nerve function directly. It affects just about all things in the chest and gut–pain and discomfort to rhythms stabilization, pressure levels, stones and spasms, infections, depression and hormone balances and behavioral issues. just about everything and the kitchen sink. No, it don’t cure these issues. But Bowen Vagus procedure is very complimentary to any treatment plan–working the fascia to release any strains on the vagus nerve, freeing them to function to their fullest potential.