How does the Bowen Technique work?
A Bowen treatment consists of a series of light, rolling type movements made by the therapist over particular muscles at particular points. In between each set of moves there is a short break of a few minutes. These breaks are essential because, in the breaks, the body is reacting to the effects of the moves and is changing. Bowen could be described as a treatment on the brain and the nervous system. If a muscle is in spasm or tension, it can only maintain this spasm or tension because the brain is constantly renewing the command to the muscle to stay in spasm or tension. (Many cases of back/joint pain have a muscular cause.) Bowen encourages the brain to reassess all the messages it is sending out to the rest of the body and will usually then correct any messages that are wrong, i.e. unnecessary muscular tension/spasm, ineffective messages going to the organs, spasm in the bowel (IBS), etc.
So, in the case of a back problem, instead of massaging the tension out of a muscle, Bowen just gets the brain to recognise that it doesn't need to be holding the muscle in tension. When the muscle is relaxed, the joints are not being pulled out of line anymore and the pain-causing pressure on nerves is released.