Is Pain Spoiling Your Summer?
Try the common sense approach to pain relief.
As if the rain's not enough, living with pain can put a real dampener on life. After a while the pain becomes part of life and part of who we are – usually a tired an irritable version of our former selves, unable to enjoy our holiday or time with the children. Pain killers may knock the edges off, but are not a desirable long term solution and maybe other treatments haven't helped or you are put off by some of the harsh manipulation therapies available?
The Bowen Technique has been described as “Quite simply one of the most straightforward and effective therapies available” and uses a common sense approach to treatment. Treatment is gentle and simply put consists of precise, rolling moves over muscle which generates a release allowing the body to relax and re-align. Rest periods during the treatment allow the body time to assimilate the moves and respond accordingly, making the session very relaxing for the client. From back and neck pain to frozen shoulder, sports injury and general aches and stiffness, Bowen has an impressive track record.
Kate Weeks is an experienced Bowen Therapist and has found through her career that it is a mistake to focus treatment entirely on the area of pain; “I find the best results come from treating the person rather than the symptom. Pain often indicates the weak point, but it is important to get to the bottom of what is causing the weak point. My training is in integral anatomy, and knowing how tensional pulls through the body can create these weak points, or hold joints out of alignment, is key. Only treating the area of pain may bring temporary relief but doesn't address the cause.” As the technique works the whole body, clients often report feeling relief of seemingly unrelated symptoms such as digestive complaints or headaches.
Bowen is unique in its method and application and is a tricky one to explain, people often try to compare it to other therapies and so it can be misunderstood.
Bowen – set your children up for life
Is your child complaining of tight shoulders, an aching back, difficulty sleeping or headaches? The Bowen technique is a remedial therapy that is particularly suitable for children. There is no joint manipulation or massage but instead gentle moves are made to release the muscles that are holding the joints in misalignment and causing pain and imbalance. Bowen also works with other systems of the body that cause dysfunction such as the autonomic nervous system and digestive system. Children have great resources, often only needing two treatments. Kate has had great success treating children of all ages, including baby Hannah, six months old: “ Hannah was diagnosed with asthma by the GP, and given an inhaler to use morning and night, after one Bowen treatment she was no longer wheezing and after two if was decided that she no longer needed the inhaler” Hannah’s mum says. Kate says “ I am often asked by clients why they have ended up with back pain or shoulder problems, and the honest answer is that aside from obvious injury there could be twenty different factors that have culminated in the weak spot – what’s important is that the body is worked as a whole, tensions identified and released. These holding patterns start to build in childhood, maybe by sitting long hours over a desk, carrying a heavy bag on one shoulder, playing a lot of rugby etc. If these imbalances were addressed as we grew and before they were a real problem, it is possible that we wouldn’t end up with such chronic problems as adults. It is a bit like ignoring a knocking in your car engine and then wondering why it eventually broke down”
Pain? Bowen Breaks the Back of it.
Clients are often surprised with the results they experience after a course of Bowen treatments. Many clients come for the treatment of back and neck pain, or frozen shoulder, but often find that other symptoms such as headaches and digestive disorders are relieved at the same time. A recent client, who is a scientist by profession, reports; “For five years, I have suffered from IBS, which became particularly acute at times of stress. It was therefore a complete surprise when my Bowen Technique specialist, Kate Weeks, during my first treatment (for lower back pain), asked whether I had been experiencing any problems ‘with my digestives’ and informed me that the BT would help. Indeed, she was 100% correct! Since my first treatment some 3 months ago, I have not found it necessary to take any medicines or have I experienced the slightest discomfort or other symptoms. Even the bloating has abated.I am a convert!” Kate believes the reason for this is that Bowen addresses the imbalances through the whole body, not just the area presented as the cause of pain.
Kate says “ When a client walks into my treatment room for the first time, I can quickly establish the areas of tension by observing how they move. People who present with digestive disorders are often what I call frontline, which means they have a tensional pull through the front of their body, pulling them forward. Once this pull is released, the digestive system can function much more efficiently. These tensional pulls create conflict, and therefore pain in the body and it is identifying these and releasing them that appears to bring the best results in treatments”. The technique uses rolling type moves at key points of the body, with short rest periods to allow the body to respond and adjust. The moves themselves have a releasing effect, and work with muscle, fascia and nerve endings. There is no manipulation or massage, and it can be performed through light clothing. The treatment is extremely relaxing and is safe for babies, children and adults alike.
Is Stress Getting on Your Nerves??
Kate Weeks from The Terrace explains….
Ever wondered why stress can have such an impact on our health? Feelings of exhaustion, depression, aching muscles, headaches and digestive problems are commonly cited ailments in those going through a stressful period in their lives. The stress response is controlled by our autonomic nervous system, namely the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems. It is what is referred to as fight or flight. When confronted with a sabre tooth tiger, our ancestors’ stress response would kick in and release adrenalin, increase blood flow to the muscles, increase heart rate and blood pressure, dilate the pupils and reduce blood supply to the skin and digestive system. All this would enable Mr. Caveman to either fight the tiger or run like mad – once out of danger the parasympathetic system takes over and reverses the effects. However things aren’t as cut and dried these days, are they? If we have prolonged periods of stress in our lives do we ever really feel out of danger? What happens then? If we are having a nightmare with our boss at work, we can neither run away nor fight him and so the adrenalin doesn’t get used up and the parasympathetic system never really kicks in with full effect. The result is palpitations, anxiety, reduced digestive function – or in cases of large adrenalin surges the stomach will empty rapidly, raised blood pressure and a tendency to over react. Combine this with a viral infection and we move onto ME, adrenal fatigue and the like.
So what can be done? Well, it is important to give your body the chance to allow the systems to regulate. The Bowen Technique has a profound effect on the autonomic nervous system, and can balance the two systems very well. Signs that the parasympathetic system is taking effect during a treatment are feeling cold, sleepy, a sense of relaxation and stomach gurgling. Most people feel sleepy and very relaxed after treatments, and as well as easing physical tension in the body it has a knock on effect on the digestive and hormonal systems. Regular treatments through a stressful time has helped many people just to cope better with what’s going on in their lives, and keep them in better shape physically.