So what is a Bowen move and what does it do?
Here's a good simple explanation. Enjoy!
Muscles operate in 2 ways– stretch and relax. 3-d movement is made possible by the use of
sets of muscle groups moving a joint, each contracting in a different direction. Muscles
and tendons are full of many different nerve receptors that sense tension, pressure and position.
They are part of the autonomic system for that area of the body.
Bowen Therapy uses a "move" 90 degrees across (perpendicular to) the muscle or tendon. The
therapist places his/her fingers over the centre of the muscle belly and then lightly
takes skin slack to the outer edge of the muscle. Slight pressure is then exerted so that
the muscle is exposed to a gentle stretch. On the breath out, the
practitioner "moves" their fingers across the muscle. This results in
discharge of the nerve spindles within the muscle or tendon that can cause instant
relaxation of that muscle or other associated muscles.
The receptors in the fascia that surround the muscle inform the nervous system of the
state of tension, length or stretch in the muscles and tendons that are stimulated during
the rolling part of the Bowen therapy movement.
In Bowen Therapy, these moves can have the ability to reset the autonomic nervous system
from sympathetic (fight/flight) to parasympathetic (rest/relax and repair). This can
result in greater blood flow, pain calming, oxygen delivery and restoration of cellular activity in the
whole distribution of that segment of the ANS (both in muscles and organs). Posture can be
restored and pain reduced..
An added benefit of bowen moves is the stimulation of lymph flow, which aids in
So how cool is that? One innocuous move that seems to have a profound affect on the
nervous system and structure of the body, that can help people in pain!