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What Is Bowen Therapy?

Bowen Therapy is a dynamic bodywork technique that can be applied remedially or holistically.  It is relatively gentle and can be very relaxing.  It empowers the body’s own healing resources achieving balance and harmony, resulting in fast and lasting relief from pain and discomfort.  Bowen is an all embracing  vibrational medicine therapy, safe to use on any person or animal, from newborns to the elderly, with positive responses to sports injuries acute or chronic and organic complaints.

The precise location of the Bowen moves correlate markedly with much of the latest research into Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) meridian systems, acu-points and myofascial trigger point theories.

Bowen Therapy is a system of manually applied myofascial stimulation to the body, carried out either singularly or sequentially, within strategically placed locations, with some designated resting periods.

The ‘Basic Bowen Move’ is a transverse soft tissue manoeuvre.  These specialized moves are applied at specific point locations over muscles, tendons, ligaments and fascia, bringing about a window of opportunity to promote homeostasis of the body tissues and systems.  

What Makes SMART BOWEN® Different To Other Bowen Interpretations?

SMART BOWEN® Therapy differs for many reasons:

  • There is the comprehensive client assessment process that gives an accurate evaluation of the client’s problems. 
  • Considerable time has spent trialling Bowen Therapy in clinical practice, this has allowed for development of an extensive range of Bowen Moves/Procedures to address a wider than normal range of musculo/skeletal related problems.
  • We have researched the most optimal locations to apply strategic Bowen Moves/Procedures to maximise release and response from the soft tissue and body systems.   
  • There is the comprehensive client assessment process that gives an accurate evaluation of the client’s problems. 
  • All our human clients are treated through clothing, without detracting from the Bowen technique this provides comfort and modesty for many people who would not otherwise seek treatment due to the necessity to remove clothing. 
  • We teach all our students to work effectively through clothing.  This does not mean that they cannot have a client disrobe, but it does give options and skills outside the norm.
  • Considerable time has spent trialling Bowen Therapy in clinical practice, this has allowed for development of an extensive range of Bowen Moves/Procedures to address a wider than normal range of musculo/skeletal related problems.
  • All of our research has been based on sound theories used for many years in other complementary health fields, this has enabled us to use similar processes as ‘remedial procedures’ thus reducing the amount of treatments required by the client to overcome many of their problems.
  • All our research and practical applications have been successfully cross applied to animals.
What Is The Difference Between SMART BOWEN® Therapy For Horses And EMRT?

We prefer not to respond directly to these types of questions as every modality be it Bowen related or not has a place in this world.

Indirectly responding though - no two approaches to Bowen Therapy are alike, our theories, philosophies, application and location of the Bowen move, assessment processes etc., all differ considerably.  One of the main areas of variation though is in the application of the Bowen move.  SMART BOWEN®’s approach is a firmer and more deliberately placed Bowen move we physically move all the layers of tissue from the skin down.  We can vary our approach according to the sensitivities of the animals being worked on without losing the integrity of the Bowen move and whilst applying a more physical approach we are still eliciting from the tissues and body systems a response to the vibrational energy that is also a key component of the Bowen move.


Is SMART BOWEN® Therapy Suitable For Other Animals?

Yes - SMART BOWEN® Therapy can be used very successfully on all animals that have a muscular/skeletal system.

Is SMART BOWEN® Therapy Compatible With Other Forms Of Soft Tissue and Energy Therapies

SMART BOWEN® Therapy can be used very successfully on its own.  However there are times when a client/patient requires a combination of therapies to address or overcome their problem/s. SMART BOWEN® has proven to be compatible with other forms of complimentary health therapies e.g. homeopathy, reiki, reflexology, essential oils, acupuncture and flower essences to name a few.

Although we do not advocate that one combines physical therapies such as chiropractics, massage and osteopathy with Bowen on the same day necessarily, we must always remember that Tom Bowen taught men from those modalities his craft, so he must have felt at some level they were compatible.

In preference to same day treatment with two physical therapies, we would suggest some days up to a week between them.  Staying with one form of therapy for several or more treatments allows the client an opportunity to evaluate the results where as mixing therapies can cause some confusion as to which therapy is actually working and which is not.

How Many Treatments Does One Need?

Every person or animal will respond differently to Bowen Therapy.  Certainly there are many factors that will influence the response a patient has to the treatment such as their overall health, their age, physical fitness, hydration, drug usage, diet, work etc.  Other influences could come from the therapist such as the style of Bowen they use, their skill in applying the technique, their overall knowledge of the body and their years in clinical practice.   

At SMART BOWEN® we suggest that our clients human and animal have one treatment and possibly following up in a week’s time with a second treatment.  After this we evaluate what may be required, if anything.


Do I Need To Rest My Horse For – 4 Days After a Bowen Treatment

In the earlier days of Bowen being taught to students, it was strongly advocated that people did not ride their horses for 4 days post treatment.  Clinical practice has shown us that this is not necessary in most situations, but occasionally can be highly beneficial.  On average we advise that the horse can be ridden or worked lightly the day after the treatment and gradually easing back into full work throughout the ensuring week.

What people need to remember is that having a Bowen treatment especially if it is the first time can be a bit like going to the gym after a 6 month break.  The next day you can expect to feel a bit sore due to the over use of the muscles.  Because we are working over the soft tissue in way that encourages the stretching of fibres there is bound to be a feeling of what is called ‘delayed onset muscle syndrome’, which is the same as the day after the gym workout – the burn (this sensation can last for up to 4 days).

If a horse is expected to work to peak performance immediately following the first Bowen treatment then the rider might be in for a surprise.  Better to ease the horse back into full work, not only will the horse appreciate it, but the treatment will have more opportunity to hold.   Light exercise post Bowen can be highly beneficial as the muscle movement increases lymphatic action which enables more efficient removal of metabolic wastes from the tissues.  Couple this with increased hydration and you have a win, win situation.

Once the horse has had one Bowen treatment they generally do not experience the same level of soreness that can occur after that initial treatment.  The body responds very quickly to Bowen and after the first couple of treatments usually there is minimal discomfort if any post treatment.
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