At Hands for Living, we are happy to offer the Bowen Technique for our patients. The Bowen Technique is a gentle form of hand therapy that is applied to specific points of the body, in order to relieve pain and promote healing. It is done using only the thumbs and fingers, and it follows a very specific process for achieving optimum results. For more information on how you may benefit from our Bowen Technique treatments, contact our Lynnwood hand therapy office today!
What is the Bowen Technique?
The Bowen Technique was created by Tom Bowen in the 1950s as a way to eliminate pain and suffering. He had a gift for noticing subtle imbalances in the human body, and he was determined to find a way to correct them as quickly as possible.
This specific form of treatment is done in a “rolling motion” with the thumbs and forefingers on different places of the body as deemed necessary by the hand therapist. The overlying skin is gently moved over the underlying tissue in a small designated area, as far as the your skin is able to move. This helps to stimulate nerve pathways, allowing the different nervous systems within your body to interact.
Before moving from one designated area to the next, your hand therapist will take a small break known as the “two-minute break”. This break allows for optimum interaction between nervous systems and increases the effectiveness of pain relief and healing. By allowing the body to rest for a couple minutes before moving on to the next area, the process of repair becomes initiated. While these “breaks” are sometimes a difficult concept to grasp, they are explained best by the College of Bowen Studies:
“The most fundamental principle of Bowen is that it is the client that is doing the work, not the therapist, and for this to happen the body needs time to be left alone.”
How does the Bowen Technique work?
While the Bowen Technique promotes relief, recovery, and healing through physical touch, the method is focused around the brain’s response to the specific acts of physical touch.
The brain is an extremely interesting and impressive part of the body, as it receives and interprets information from your sensory organs. This includes light, sound, pain, and movement. Every second, there are approximately 600,000 signals that are traveling back and forth between the brain and the body, each one being interpreted and responded to. Whenever you see, hear, feel or even think, your brain uses its past experience to categorize the sensation and respond to it accordingly.
However, in the case of the Bowen Technique, the brain is not able to respond immediately. This is where neuroplasticity, the brain’s ability to develop new neural connections in response to environmental changes, and the “two-minute break” come into play. The body needs time to create a response for the uncommon sensation, and the break is used as a way to evoke that. The brain will send signals to the area that was just treated, and will formulate a concluding response based on the sensation. Since you will most likely be lying down at this point, the response is usually a deep relaxation, which helps to stimulate the healing process and achieve pain relief.
Is the Bowen Technique right for me?
The Bowen Technique can be used to treat a wide variety of conditions. At your initial appointment, one of our Lynnwood hand therapists will perform a physical evaluation to determine the nature of your condition and whether or not the Bowen Technique will be the best course of treatment for your personal needs. Either way, the Bowen Technique is a painless, gentle form of hand therapy suitable for all ages and physical capabilities.