With the Tennis Season in Full Swing, Bowen Therapy proves a hit!

With the tennis season in full swing, sport related injuries start to become an increasing pain. Every year people around the country are inspired to get up off the couch and get down to the tennis courts – sometimes with disastrous results! Even top sportspeople at peak fitness can be prone to injury. Defending champion Kevin Anderson had to withdraw from the New York Open because of a right elbow injury. Britain’s two-time singles champion Andy Murray will make a welcome return to Wimbledon in the doubles after missing last year’s Championships with a career-threatening hip injury. This year the Wimbledon championship runs from 1st -14th July.

Bowen is fast becoming one of the world’s top sports therapies. An increasing number of athletes and sportspeople use regular treatments to enhance their performance and reduce their risk of injury.

The benefits of Bowen for sports?

· It can provide remarkable relief from acute injuries

· It can help to prevent injuries before they happen

· Encourages optimum performance

· Can help to reduce recovery time between sessions

· Can help to prevent pre-existing injuries from reoccurring with age

Tennis elbow is caused by a strain to tendons in the forearm. The tendons become inflamed where they join the bony part on the outside of your elbow joint. Any activity that involves gripping and twisting of the forearm can cause this type of strain – in fact most cases aren’t actually related to tennis or any kind of exercise. Client feedback from Bowen for tennis elbow includes comments such as “The throbbing pain from my elbow to my hand disappeared” and “The results are amazing, the constant ache I had in my forearm has disappeared and what a relief that is.”

It can also help with performance and injuries in other sports as this testimonial demonstrates “I was asked to try Bowen Therapy by my football physio as I had been having problems with my back, groin and upper leg muscles for most of the season. I’d been to a chiropractor a few times and on my last visit she had advised there was nothing really wrong with my bone structure. I continued to play but still felt restricted in my movements, so I decided to give Bowen a try. After a couple of treatments, the problems I had been having virtually disappeared. I was able to touch my toes with the palms of my hands, something I’d not been able to do for a long while, and I seemed to be able to go the duration of a game easily where I had been struggling before. When people ask, ‘does it work?’ I find the best way to tell them about it is my scoring ratio since having Bowen. I’d only scored 5 goals in 27 games before Bowen treatment. From the time I started having treatment until the end of the season, I scored 10 in 12 and from my point of view that says it all! I also didn’t miss a game through injury.”

So as the Wimbledon championship gets underway, take a look at the Bowen Technique so you can start exercising without any aches and strains. To find a practitioner local to you or just to find out more about this gentle but highly effective technique, visit the website for more information: http://www.bowentherapy.org.uk/

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Is maintaining your garden leaving you as stiff as the scarecrow?

Today sees the start of national gardening week (30th April – 5th May). This year the RHS are calling on gardeners up and down the country to share their love of home-grown produce with this year’s theme – Edible Britain.

National Gardening Week is the nation’s biggest celebration of gardening and raises awareness of the difference that gardens and gardening can make to the lives of everyone in the UK.
Edible Britain helps to highlight that everyone has space to grow something delicious to eat, whether it’s a single pot of herbs on the windowsill or an allotment overflowing with courgettes and potatoes.

Those of you that are green-fingered will know that gardening and tending to a vegetable plot can be tough on your muscles and joints, causing strain and excess muscle tension.

Back pain is a common problem for keen gardeners and allotment-keepers.

Bowen Therapy is a natural, drug-free, non-invasive, complementary therapy that has had some marvellous results with back-pain sufferers.

A national study, carried out by The Bowen Therapy Professional Association (BTPA) in the summer of 2006, showed that 95 per cent of back pain sufferers experienced either complete relief or a marked improvement, after a series of no more than three Bowen treatments.

As it prides itself on being able to trigger the body’s own healing systems, you wouldn’t suffer any of the side effects that you may with prescribed drugs.

Rather than ‘making’ the body change, Bowen ‘asks’ the body to recognise and make the changes it requires. With primarily fingers and thumbs, 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.

If you suffer from back pain and want to try Bowen therapy, visit http://www.bowentherapy.org.uk to find a therapist near you.

April is IBS Awareness Month

IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) is a highly common digestive condition that can cause many unpleasant symptoms, such as; abdominal pain, constipation, bloating and diarrhoea.

If you have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), you are not on your own – IBS is common and yet many people remain undiagnosed and do not realise that their symptoms are IBS. Between 9 – 23% of the global population is affected by IBS and it is more common in females accounting for 2 out of 3 cases.

Whilst IBS is largely unpleasant, the cause of the condition is predominately unknown and even the healthiest of people can suffer from it. Celebrities that have spoken out about their struggles with IBS include Tyra Banks, Jenny McCarthy and Kirsten Dunst.
IBS symptoms are not predictable and vary from day to day. If IBS is not managed, it can interfere with a person’s life and affect them physically and emotionally.
It is thought that IBS may be caused by a disruption in the interaction between brain, nervous system and the gut, and it is believed to be brought on by stress. We do know that stress can make the symptoms worse or be a trigger. Due to the lack of knowledge of this condition, many people have to suffer as treatments are not guaranteed to be effective.
Bowen Therapy can help to aid IBS alongside other digestive conditions. The Bowen Technique is a drug-free, non-invasive therapy applied primarily by small, rolling movements over muscles, tendons, ligaments and soft tissues. These movements are applied at precise points on the body, using only the amount of pressure appropriate for the specific individual.

There is no force or hard-tissue manipulation needed, and between each set of moves the body is allowed to rest for a few moments. This is done so the body can trigger it’s own healing systems; instead of making the body change, Bowen ‘asks’ the body to recognise what’s wrong and begin to make the changes it requires.

Here are what some Bowen clients say about Bowen and IBS:

“I was very dispirited after nearly 12 months of conventional treatment – painkillers, fibre drinks etc. All of which were pretty ineffective; including diet control. Bowen treatment has given me back control of my life. I can plan ahead and know if I have a relapse there is treatment that will work for me. With IBS there is a treatment that will work for you to treat the cause and not just the symptoms.“
“I initially saw a Bowen therapist when my doctor said I had IBS and it couldn’t be treated. After 3 sessions I had no symptoms and IBS has never returned. That was 11 years ago and I visit my Bowen therapist whenever I have symptoms that need treating. Bowen work goes beyond the treatment that any doctor can give me.”
“After suffering irritable bowel symptoms for some time, I had 4 sessions of Bowen Therapy. Even after the first session, I felt much more relaxed and my energy level increased. I have had some improvement in my IBS although it comes and goes.. I intend to continue with top-up treatments at intervals as I feel Bowen has really helped me.”
“Bowen is a truly amazing treatment, I cannot praise it enough! It cured me of an illness that hospital consultants only scratched their heads at. I still use Bowen to keep me in check. Love it.”

If you suffer from a digestive condition and want to know how Bowen Therapy can help you, then please visit http://www.bowentherapy.org.uk to find a Bowen therapist near you.

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.

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.

Let us talk ‘Balance’: what do we mean?

Let us talk ‘Balance’: what do we mean?

A client recently sent me this photograph of her brand new flip flops after she had worn them for just 5 hours following a trip over a kerbstone. It told a story which I thought I would share with you here.

Being ‘out of balance’ sounds ‘airy fairy’ but is it really?  I see clients every day and think ‘gosh you are out of balance’. Those who do sport tend to know EXACTLY what I mean – they feel it. What am I looking for? Is it a ‘feeling’ that I as the practitioner has that something is not right?

Well yes, partly, but mainly it is a visible asymmetry and a palpable difference in tensions as the body is worked on. One  shoulder higher than the other; a shoulder further forward than the other; a foot turned more in than it ought to be; a spine more bent over; a section of spine which does not bend when the person  leans forwards to undo their shoes; a lean in the upper body to one side or the other; or a tendency to always have one leg bent when standing or to put that leg out to the side; a pelvis more thrust forwards so that the upper body leans back to try and maintain a centre of gravity. In many cases a combination of all these factors and more.

Does this matter? I hear you ask and, as a holistic health practitioner, I would say yes it does very much matter. Ignore such ‘imbalance’ at your peril as they will often accumulate as each instils compensatory tensions such that they layer up over the years and decades.

A hunched forward body will compromise bodily functions via a range of routes – potentially impinging nerves, compressing organs as a result of the abdominal cavity being reduced in size, restricted breathing due to the lung size being reduced within the overall smaller space, walking made more difficult as the body tries to maintain a centre of gravity, a greater risk of falls, and much much more.

As the diaphragm muscle draws itself down the lungs suck in air to fill the vacuum created and the organs in the abdominal cavity are compressed momentarily as the thoracic cavity expands to hold the air, the pelvic area expands slightly and the sacrum and coccyx (our ‘tail’ or balance point) tilt (watch this YouTube Video).

As the diaphragm reverts to its resting dome, expelling the air from the lungs in the process the wave moves up the spine to expand momentarily the sutures between the bones of the skull (watch this YouTube Video for full explanation) giving the brain a slight compression as the organs are released from their compression.

This cranio sacral rhythm supports the effective functioning of the body by repeatedly and alternately massaging the brain and then the organs. To be fully effective all vertebrae should be independently mobile and any soft tissue tensions which are holding vertebrae out of alignment could lead to one or more nerves being compressed or trapped leading to pain and/or malfunction of related organ(s). A diaphragm muscle in spasm or impaired will serious impact whole body function.

In similar fashion if a shoulder is being held forward even at rest then it is quite probable that the soft tissue tensions that are holding it will in due course lead to functional issues such as entrapment of nerve fibres or restricted range of movement. The very presence of an imbalance of this type in the upper body will cause compensation elsewhere to try to retain centre of gravity.

A so-called ‘longer’ leg will tend to be bent or put out to the side to enable the eyes to be brought level with one another as the brain functions better this way. As the body will tend to lean to the ‘shorter’ leg side, that leg will start to support greater and greater percentages of the body’s weight. In this way, persistently standing on the ‘shorter’ leg will compress the ankle, knee and potentially challenge the (femur head) hip as its supporting gluteal and related muscles struggle to hold it in its shallow ‘cup’., all on that one side. This is likely to result in yet greater ‘shortening and ever increasing ‘lean’.

Balance matters. We should all try to avoid crossing our legs or ankles as these create torsions in the body (most particularly the pelvis) which then have to be compensated for in other parts of the body. Try to stand 50:50 on each of your two feet – with that measured both from side to side and from front to back of your foot.

If tensions are holding you out of balance consider Bowen as a means of restoring tissue tensions to their correct function and thus avoid the need for artificial supports to prop up your feet and body.Kathryn

Kathryn Phillips BSc(hons) BTPA cert ECBS PRM MAR IIR regd TATh

BTPA Regional Interest Group (RIG) Coordinator

 

Bach Flower remedies: How they can support and enhance Bowen therapy

Bach Flower remedies: How they can support and enhance Bowen therapy

by Jacky Stevens BSc (hons) Cert ECBS MBTPA BFRP

Jacky Stevens

As a Bach Flower Registered Practitioner I see on a daily basis the marvels of using these simple remedies for health, especially when using them alongside Bowen therapy. The impact of our emotions on our general state of health cannot be underestimated and this wonderful healing system based on the essences of natural flowers and trees is a gift to us all that constantly fascinates me.

Dr Edward Bach was a  qualified bacteriologist and pathologist undertaking original research into vaccines and working in private practice in Harley Street. After working on wards receiving soldiers returning injured from France in 1917, he suffered a bout of severe illness himself from which the prognosis was very poor. He became convinced he need to advance his work as far as he could in the time he had left and after his own experience realised he had a sense of purpose about his own life and that he aspired to a more holistic approach to medicine. He took up a post offered to him at the Royal London Homeopathic Hospital. He adapted the vaccines he had been working on to produce a series of seven homeopathic nosodes. Although this discovery brought him some notoriety in homeopathic circles, he wanted to find remedies that would be purer and less reliant on the products of disease and to this end began collecting plants, particularly flowers. By 1930, he became so enthused by the direction this work was taking him that he gave up his Harley Street practice and was to devote the rest of his life to developing a new system of medicine that he was sure was to be found in nature. Following his own intuition as a natural healer, over many years of trial and error and after much personal suffering and sacrifice, he completed his life’s work in 1934. He passed away at only 50 years old in 1936, leaving a legacy of a simple system of natural medicine now used all over the world.

Dr Bach understood that the true cause of illness and disease in human beings lies in the personality, in the mental and emotional way that we see ourselves and how we interact with the world around us. The Bach Flower Remedies work on an emotional level, helping to balance negative emotions, empowering us to find the inner strength to get through difficult times and to stay positive. In practising the Bach system of healing we don’t label people with an illness; we are not treating any specific disease, we are treating the patient as a whole.

“It is the patient to be treated and not the disease”
Dr Edward Bach

This holistic approach is also true when practicing Bowen therapy, it is not the disease that is as important to the Bowen practitioner, it is the person as a whole. The Bach remedies are similar to Bowen in that they are a way of helping body and mind to heal itself, a way of getting back balance naturally. Bowen therapy with a personal mix of Bach remedy to suit the individual coming for therapy can be a very effective approach as the two healing therapies work very well together.

Rosa canina, Wild Rose.

Rosa canina, Wild Rose. One of the Bach remedies

Dr Bach’s 38 Bach Flower Remedies provide us with a lovely, simple and easy to use set of tools to help with the healing process. A Bach flower registered practitioner can help any individual explore how they are feeling to find a combination of remedies to help the healing process, but Dr Bach designed the system to be simple so that with minimal guidance anybody can learn to use it for themselves.

If you’d like to find out more, just contact Jacky via email, jacky@wellbeans.co.uk, or via her website www.wellbeans.co.uk