Tom Bowen developed what has come to be known as Bowen therapy. First beginning in the 1950s he decided that by placing his fingers on areas where there were muscles, and so muscle pain, he could, by using his thumb and fingers, apply pressure to these areas that would reduce pain. The process involved pulling back any loose skin, exposing the muscle better, and then applying this pressure with a quick release. This therapy was repeated steadily, with short rests for the therapist, over a period of half to three quarters of an hour. During the time the therapist is taking a break, they may even choose to leave the room. This quiet period is believed to help the body continue to heal, diminishing pain and tension. Bowen believed that this process stimulated the relaxation of the muscles and so diminished pain. His practices are much admired, and used, in his homeland of Australia and in Europe. Americans are learning about and using this therapy and its popularity can be seen to be growing.
He treated people for most of thirty years using his theories. Bowen estimated that he had treated some thirteen thousand patients a year and had an eighty eight percent success rate.
Bowen therapy works very well on back pain. It is safe to use on anyone from a small child to a senior. It can be used to ease the pain from anything from strain to injury or chronic pain. Although manipulation therapy practitioners like to point out that it does not resemble chiropractic therapies in the least.
Treatments are done on fully dressed patients, since no powder to oils are used on the patient. Most patients only require up to three sessions, spaced a week apart, to deal with their pain. It is believed to also improve mobility, posture and improve tissue integrity. Bowen claimed that the therapy he designed would relax the patient, and allow them to use their body’s natural healing power to help get rid of the pain. He believed that his therapy was long lasting and allowed for a feeling of balance in the body.
Bowen’s therapy strongly pushes the three W’s; walking, water and waiting. He felt that allowing twenty minutes daily helped to diffuse pain. Drinking eight to ten glasses of water daily was to help flush pain from the patient’s system. Waiting meant that once a treatment had been done the patient was not to do any physical intervention. He believed that even a back massage could mess up what he had done to relieve pain only days before. He also taught his patients to avoid extremes of both hot and cold; to eat lots of fruits and vegetables as he felt this too helped to diminish pain and to keep your feet together to keep your body balanced.
In the ongoing search for alternative methods to get rid of back pain Bowen therapy is certainly a safe one to try. You might even find it works for you!