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The Little Medicine Chest - Bowen Technique 05/06

Hello, & a warm welcome back to your monthly Little Medicine Chest.

This month I thought I would tell you of my experience of an increasingly popular therapy, which we offer at the Little Massage Clinic:


At our practice we constantly swap treatments with each other in a bid to look after each other's health & improve any new techniques or services we offer. (It's a great perk!) In November 2005, I had a course of 3 treatments with Annie Harrington, who is a valued member of our practice. Annie qualified as a nurse in 1975, & since then has been on a journey opting to practice in natural medicine in a bid to provide less invasive forms of getting & staying well, as well as treating short & long term health problems. Annie's approach is genuinely caring & warm. She takes time to ensure everyone is treated as an individual, providing a top quality holistic service to everyone who visits her.

In between treatments I developed a cricked neck, which made driving & massaging very difficult. I don't whether I slept funny, or in a draught, but you know what a pain in the neck is like. So during my next consultation, I informed Annie of this, & she set to work very gently & with great care popping me into various positions, until on the final move, all stiffness disappeared like magic & the pain went from a 9/10 to a slight ½ out of 10. I slept the best I had all week & was comfortable. I was astonished that something so gentle could be so powerful.

Annie describes Bowen Technique as..

"a gentle and non-invasive holistic treatment that aims to restore balance to the body by using small, gentle moves to specific areas of the body. Because the therapy is so gentle, it is considered to be suitable for all ages. Precise, light movements are applied either directly on the skin or through light clothing to the muscles, tendons or ligaments. A delicate, cross-fibre movement is used to release tension and energetic blocks held in the muscles, allowing the body to rebalance itself naturally and therefore maximise the potential for healing.


The technique was developed in Australia by Thomas A Bowen (1916-1982). Although he did not explain or document his theory of how the Bowen Technique worked, he did allow six apprentices to study his methods with him during his lifetime. Bowen continually developed his methods of treatment and as the apprentices studied with him at different times of the evolution of his therapy, this resulted in slightly different emphasis on the various methods by the students. Oswald Rentsch studied with Bowen for two and a half years and was commissioned by Bowen to teach the method to others. The Bowen Technique is now being taught and practised in Australia, North America, New Zealand, Europe and the United Kingdom.

The Treatment

A Bowen treatment usually takes place with the you lying on a couch or sitting in a chair. I use my fingers and thumbs to 'roll' the muscles and connective tissue using gentle pressure at specific points. Many of the points used correspond to the trigger points used in massage or the acupressure points. The movements assist blood circulation and lymphatic drainage, helping to clear toxins from the body. A session usually lasts from half an hour to an hour with frequent pauses between movements to allow your body time to assimilate changes. You are left to rest at the end of the treatment for the same reason.

Symptoms that may respond well to the Bowen Technique include back pain, sciatica, neck and shoulder problems, sports injuries, migraines and headaches, menstrual problems, chronic fatigue and stress related problems."

So if you fancy a gentle way of addressing those nasty niggles, give us a call; Annie will be delighted to help.

Remember, you can write to us at the following addresses if you have any specific health queries you would like us to tackle & publish in our Little Medicine Chest Post Box.

Have fun & be well,

Nicolle Mitchell I.T.E.C., EMBODY, A.C. Registered

Holistic Health Therapist & Practice Manager

Thought for the month : "Live as if you were to die tomorrow, learn as if you were to live forever." Mahatma Gandhi

Contact details:

The Little Massage Clinic

Tel: 01209 711686


DISCLAIMER: we do not diagnose or guarantee cures. We aim to help people make informed choices about their health. Any changes in lifestyle, diet, mediation, supplementation or remedies, should be taken with your G.P.'s or health professional's support.





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