Bowen – a value for money treatment for sportspeople

When three years ago Grand Master Roy Oldham IX, a senior instructor with Global Taekwon-Do UK, found himself aged 70 with considerable pain in his right hip and quads, walking with a pronounced limp and in considerable pain, he turned to the Bowen technique with BTPA member Kathryn Phillips following a recommendation from a friend of his.

Sharp pain of 8-9/10 at worst, and at best a dull ache of 4/10, he found that his right leg gave way around 20 times per day. He would have to stop at least once even if walking only 100m to the bank, whilst sitting in the office and lying down gave him maximum pain. He was also walking with a very pronounced limp swinging his right leg out to the side.

Senior-Instructors-Master-Oldham

Rather sceptical that something as gentle as Bowen would work for him, he arrived for his third session with Kathryn after spending several very busy weekends judging, and hence on his feet 8am-6pm each day. As he got on the couch he was clear that sometimes he could now walk for an hour at a time but then he would seem to relapse. He had by this point however, on advice from Kathryn, changed his car from a Mercedes, which was pulling his legs round to the righthand side and also was drinking more water. On arising from the couch after receiving Bowen work, Roy felt different and a lot better and he could walk almost normally.

Over the next few months, seeing Kathryn once every 3-4 weeks around his busy schedule of training and of driving long distances to venues and spending many hours on his feet judging at tournaments, Roy’s leg had reduced to collapsing only 1-2 times per day and soon after that only once per week, compared to the initial 20 times per day.

He no longer walked with any sign of a limp and his pain levels were down to zero. By 8 months and 10 sessions in total he found his body was readjusting itself within 24 hours of any issue arising.

Roy says that ‘After trying many different types of treatment I was pleasantly surprised at the results of Bowen Technique. I really thought my career had come to an end. That recommendation from a friend was the best advice ever.’

Roy now has top-up sessions when he needs them as he continues to challenge his body (Just 26 sessions in total over 3 years makes Bowen a very good value therapy for an ongoing sportsman).

Part of the Unified International Taekwon-do Federation (UITF), GTUK’s national squads enjoy an abundance of International Championships at European and World level and as one of the largest Taekwon-Do Associations in the UK it has clubs located from Scotland to Cornwall.

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Surgery – placebo or justified?

Researchers in Oxford are hoping to find out if a commonly-performed operation used to treat shoulder pain actually works – or whether its success can be attributed to the placebo effect.

The use of a surgical technique called arthroscopic sub-acromial decompression has increased by more than 700 per cent in the past ten years but there is no hard evidence to show how effective it is. There is a growing concern that the vast increase in the frequency of the operation being performed needs to be justified.

Now a team at Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre are comparing the effectiveness of the operation with a placebo operation as there are a number of conflicting views about the effectiveness of surgery for shoulder pain.

While some reports show that arthroscopic or keyhole surgery is no more effective than physiotherapy to relieve pain, others show that it can be helpful and provide a useful treatment option. Other results suggest that removing a piece of bony spur from the shoulder – a procedure known as decompression – during surgery may be unnecessary, and that actual process of undergoing investigative arthroscopy can in itself produce benefit.

“The fact that a period of no treatment can also be beneficial for patients completes a rather confused picture,” added Ms Cooper. “It’s quite clear that we need to perform some definitive studies to show what really helps people with this type of shoulder pain. Pressures in the NHS are such that surgeons are being encouraged to prove the benefits of their practice, so that’s what we hope to do in this study.”

Surgery should be the last choice for sufferers of shoulder pain with many effective treatments available. A study into the effect of Bowen Therapy on shoulder or neck pain was conducted in the summer of 2008. 271 clients new to Bowen were treated and of these 86% showed a full or partial recovery after only 3 treatments. For more information on the study, click here. The Bowen Technique helps the body remember how to heal itself. The gentle yet powerful Bowen moves send neurological impulses to the brain resulting in immediate responses of muscle relaxation and pain reduction. The moves create energy surges. Electrical impulses sent to the nervous system remind the body to regain normal movement in joints, muscles and tendons. This helps relieve muscle spasms and increase blood and lymph flow.

PW reported “Very quickly I regained more movement in the shoulder and the level of pain reduced quite a lot” after Bowen treatment for a frozen shoulder. LF also had Bowen treatments for a frozen shoulder and said “Through the gentleness of Bowen Therapy my shoulder has gradually regained its mobility and the pain associated with a frozen shoulder has almost disappeared. This didn’t happen overnight, but over the course of 9 treatments. The result is that I no longer need surgery – patience and perseverance paid off! “. For more testimonials on how Bowen has helped people with shoulder pain and more, click here.

The ramblings of a rambler – how to stay safe while walking

May is national walking month. Make the most of the good weather and the glorious British countryside; get your walking boots on and head on out to the great outdoors.

Ramblers-on-Kinder-Scout-001

Rambling is an activity enjoyed by many across the country, keeping thousands of people active and healthy everyday.  However, it is important to take care of your body when you are a rambler. It’s common to suffer from ankle or foot problems due to the uneven terrain or poor walking boots that neglect to support your ankle adequately. Rambling also puts pressure on other parts of the body that are not used to such exertion; these could be your knees, leg muscles, even shoulders from carrying a rucksack for a prolonged amount of time.

As a rambler, you need to recognise and treat these problems in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle and positive well being. A number of clients who are regular walkers have looked to Bowen for treatment on sprained ankles, knee pain and stiffness, ligament aches and back pain.

Bowen on lady

One client sought Bowen Therapy after having tried a number of medical professions for assistance for their heel pain that had been tormenting for 6 months. After consulting a doctor, podiatrist and even trying acupuncture, the client was not getting any relief. After being successfully treated by Bowen Therapy the client is now pain free and has returned to their hobby, rambling. To find out more about how Bowen Therapy can help such injuries, visit the testimonials page here.

Of course not everybody suffers from injuries however, it is important to take precautions when hiking to maintain a healthy well being. Here are some tips to keep safe whilst walking:

  • Invest in a good pair of walking boots. The boots should ideally support your whole foot including your ankle to prevent any injuries when walking.
  • Stretch after you finish a long walk, this should prevent muscle aches.
  • Wear thick walking socks to avoid blistering of the skin. Waterproof socks can also be bought for wet weather walking.
  • Leg cramps are a common problem when rambling due to fatigue. To avoid suffering from leg cramps, keep hydrated and maintain your blood sugar levels with high sugar foods such as bananas or apples.
  • Use an appropriate walking rucksack with shoulder and back support straps. This will prevent back ache and relieve your shoulders of the pressure of carrying extra weight when walking.

For more general information on walking, visit the Ramblers Association website, here.

 

 

Stress Awareness Month

Women between the ages of 25 and 34 are said to be the most stressed.
April is National Stress Awareness Month and, according to a survey carried out by Kalms, climbing the career ladder, being a parent, paying the mortgage and trying to maintain a social life all trigger higher stress levels in women aged 25-34.

The study also concluded that, over a year, the average Brit gets stressed 208 times and men and women tend to worry about different things.

Neil Shah, Director of the Stress Management Society said: “Women worry more about bills and finances, and juggling their time, but men are more concerned about working long hours and debt.”

The Bowen Technique is a natural, drug-free, non-invasive, complementary therapy that can help combat stress.

Rather than ‘making’ the body change, Bowen ‘asks’ the body to recognise the ailment and make the changes it requires.

During the 30-60 minute treatment, the Bowen practitioner makes small, rolling movements over muscles, tendons, ligaments and soft tissue at precise points on the body, using only the amount of pressure appropriate for that individual.

No hard-tissue manipulation or force is needed or used.

Between each set of moves, the body is allowed to rest for a few minutes, to allow it to absorb the information it has received and initiate the healing process.

Bowen is known for its soothing qualities for physical complaints; however it is an extremely relaxing experience that can have many emotional benefits too.

One client said: “It is exactly what I needed at a time when stress in my life has been at a peak and for quite some time now. The results I am experiencing are beyond my expectations, as I find old injuries are eased out and movement in my neck, jaw, legs releasing into some kind of freedom for spontaneity such as I felt in my mid-20’s.”

Read the rest of the client’s testimonial here.

If you are stressed, or are caring for somebody is, and are interested in how Bowen Therapy can help you visit the website to find a Bowen therapist near you or call 07713 552 858.

Never heard of Bowen therapy? The word is getting out!

www.bowentherapy.org.ukNever heard of Bowen therapy? The word is getting out!

Originating in Australia, Tom Bowen was seeing 13,000 people a year before the days of social media.  Just hearing that makes one realise immediately that this therapy is something different and indeed a major achievement for a boy born in Brunswick, Victoria of parents who moved to Australia from Wolverhampton in the UK.

Self-taught in bodywork and a manual worker himself, he worked mostly from the home of Stan and Rene Horwood who supported him in building his osteopathy practice.

Tom Bowen had come up with a different way of looking at the body and restoring alignment of its bones and thus function of its organs and glands, whereby rolling over soft tissue tensions enabled them to release and no longer hold the body out of alignment.

The proof that his technique works is in the results it obtains, often when a person has tried many different therapies previously without success. They are not responding because someone has told them ‘this will work’, they are responding because when Bowen-work is carried out in the correct places on the body: using the correct pressure for both that person and for the specific tissue-type being worked upon, the body and brain work together to restore balance.

This body work results in tissue tensions easing, with bones and other hard tissues becoming able to return to their correct positions resulting in a range of benefits such as relief from trapped nerves, improved blood circulation and lymphatic drainage, better posture, greater lung capacity and more.

This is not about treating specific conditions. It is about relieving symptoms of pain, restricted movement and poor organ and gland function to help the body to return to a state of balanced tensions and to a greater symmetry.

Bowen technique came to the UK in the mid-80s with people using it as an adjunct to massage but Tom Bowen considered himself an osteopath and his techniques have the ability to impact the body profoundly and often quickly on a physical level as well as frequently on an emotional one. Even longstanding misalignment and pain can often respond within just a few sessions.

Many people from a wide range of backgrounds have been very happy to go public about the relief they have felt following Bowen therapy and here are just some examples:

Bear Grylls with his BTPA practitioner Sarah Yearsley.

Bear Grylls Born Survivor

Sotherby’s former Europe Chief Executive Henry Wyndham and his BTPA therapist Ghislaine Vaughan.

World Champion motorbike racer James Ellison has held titles as British Superbike Racer, one time British Champion and two times European Champion as well and he is very aware of how Bowen from his Bowen therapist Andy Wildsmith Pattison has improved his health and performance.

GB Triathlete Victoria Gill ‘noticed significant physical performance benefits as well as improvements in general wellbeing and overall health’ as a result of receiving Bowen from Caroline Kremmer.

Most recently, musician Diamond Dac has found relief with his BTPA practitioner Camelia Pop.   Read his story here.

If you are interested in finding out more or have stories you would like to share please get in touch with us.

A sad but cautionary tale.

Recently a report in the Daily Mail caught my attention. The account was about the death of a gentleman who had attended a clinic for treatment for backache. The gentleman, in his 80th year was reported to have been generally fit and active.

‘He lost consciousness and appeared to be paralysed from the waist down during treatment.’  

His wife was in the clinic with her husband and witnessed the incident.  Despite every effort to save the gentleman’s life, he died at the local hospital the next day as the result of ‘a traumatic spinal cord injury.’  The police have launched a criminal investigation to establish whether criminal negligence was a factor in his death. The investigation is ongoing. The practitioner was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter and has been released under investigation whilst enquiries continue.

I have to emphasise here that the practitioner was not a Bowen Therapist.

Regardless of this fact, lives have been irrevocably changed. The detail provided in the report is superficial and conclusions should not be prematurely reached without full knowledge of the facts.  A responsibility I would not wish to have.

A sobering thought for myself was ‘what if?’ What if that had happened to me? What would I do? What did I not do? From a professional standpoint, I would be asking about skill maintenance and individual support. In addition, I am now thinking about what support I would get from my professional organisation if it had been me involved. Thankfully I am part of a professional organisation, the BTPA, that does provide support and, I believe, would support colleagues in extremis.

As this very sad story conveys, we do not know what the future holds. Be mindful of your knowledge and expertise. A sobering reminder to approach your clinical practice with ‘fresh eyes’.

Linda Birnie MSc, Cert ECBS, MCNHC, MBTPA

Scared to the bone

Spooky season is upon us and costumes including ghosts, witches and skeletons are coming out of the cobwebs.

The number of skeletons about is keeping our minds on your bone care. Bone troubles shouldn’t be a worry this Halloween with the help of Bowen therapy. Be it broken or fractured bones or aches and pains, Bowen could be the solution.

Bowen therapy is the gentle rolling movements, which sets the scene for the body to heal itself. It is a drug free, non-invasive treatment ‘asking’ the body to change rather than forcing.

One Bowen client suffered with 3 broken metatarsals resulting in immobilised foot for 3 months. They said: “My first visit resulted in the limp completely gone and after 3 visits the swelling has virtually disappeared and the added bonus is that my posture has gratefully improved.”

Don’t keep bone problems in your closet along with the ghosts and ghouls.

For more information on Bowen therapy call 07713 552 858, or send an email to ask@BowenTherapy.org.uk.

We can’t keep the stress away unless you get in touch, so find your nearest Bowen practitioner here.