The Bowen Technique is a remedial, efficient, holistic hands-on therapy applied using gentle pressure on precise points. The Bowen Technique prompts the body to reset, repair and balance itself. Clients report the experience of relaxation, pain relief, improvement of function and recovery of energy as well as other benefits to enhance wellbeing.
Bowen is suitable for all ages from newborn to the elderly and frail. It treats the whole person rather than specific symptoms and a whole body treatment is usually given as it is common for the body to be affected in other areas not just the site of the original problem.
A Bowen treatment usually takes place on a massage couch. Light clothing can be worn and an initial full body session will last around 45-60 minutes. Breaks are built into the treatment as the soft tissue moves need time to take effect before continuing. Treatments should be scheduled between 5-7 days apart and an initial set of 3 treatments is recommended in order to allow the client to respond to treatment. It is not unusual for clients to have reactions after treatment such as a change in energy, headaches, become thirsty and a slight increase in the original symptoms before things improve. It is important to drink water to hydrate and release toxins and return for another session.
Some long standing conditions may need to be treated on a regular basis in order to prevent reoccurrence and maintain good health and wellbeing.
A postural assessment is carried out before treatment in order to determine areas that are under strain or where movement is restricted. The aim of the treatment is to relieve pain whether it is a headache, back pain, tennis elbow, knee pain, arthritis, tennis elbow or neck pain. Bowen therapy also assists in treating emotional as well as physical issues. In short it assists in balancing any aspect of the body.
Testimonials detail the relief it has given to many clients and once they have experienced the outcome are all too happy to recommend to others.
‘Twelve years ago, aged 21, he broke his back when training with the SAS after his parachute failed to inflate at 16,000 feet.
"I should have cut the main parachute and gone to the reserve but thought there was time to resolve the problem." He landed on his parachute pack, which was like an iron bar, and fractured three vertebrae.
It was extraordinary that he was alive, let alone not paralysed - but incredibly the spinal cord, which channels messages between the brain and all parts of the body, had not been severed.
Bear was treated at Headley Court, the defence forces' rehabilitation centre in Surrey.
"The doctor said I was a miracle man. I had come so close to severing my spinal cord. Because of my age and my fitness, they decided I could avoid surgery."
Instead, he underwent ten hours a day of physiotherapy, swimming, stretching and ultrasound treatment - a programme designed to help servicemen get back to active duty, but rarely available to civilians.
The alternative - and one offered to most people in a similar situation, but without Bear's peak fitness - is surgery to fuse the broken vertebrae.
'I had nightmares for months. Still, I was lucky to walk away without surgery - but ever since, I have suffered twinges and pains."
Deep massage helped, but he says he always felt physicall
y 'unbalanced' by his injury.
Then a year ago his wife suggested he see a Bowen therapist. The Bowen technique, developed in the 1950s, involves using rolling movements over muscles, ligaments and tendons.
This is said to send impulses to the brain to trigger the body's own healing system.
Precisely how it works is a mystery, but many professional football clubs maintain a Bowen therapist as it has been shown to be very effective in realigning the skeletal structure.
"I was sceptical, but wanted to keep an open mind," says Bear.
He went to see a East Sussex based Bowen therapist Sarah Yearsley.
"With the slightest squiggle of her fingers, it felt like petrol was being put back in my tank and I could feel all the stress seeping away. More importantly, after my back accident, my spine and pelvis had lost alignment, so I felt unbalanced."
Sarah explained that Bear's pelvis was slightly twisted - and that this would cause endless problems and backache.
Most fans of Bear's Born Survivor series will not have noticed anything wrong, yet a subtle misalignment - visible only to the expert eye - can impact on total health For Bear, who is often jumping out of planes, having complete structural alignment is even more important than for the average person.
Bear describes himself as now 'hooked' and has treatment every month.’