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Bowen: an enjoyable pregnancy is at hand

Hollywood has spurned a generation of pregnant celebrities, radiantly posing on the cover of magazines, having the best time of their life. Yet for the average British woman, pregnancy can at times be painful or exhausting, or both!

Bowen during pregnancy
© Thinkstock

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Just a few Bowen treatments could make the difference between an uncomfortable pregnancy and a glowing, enjoyable one.

The Bowen Technique comes from Australia and was developed by Tom Bowen in the 1950’s and 1960’s. He carefully observed how people walked, sat and moved to draw conclusions about where their pain was coming from, and then after years of experimentation and clinical trials he perfected the Bowen Technique procedures.

Bowen can help relieve a variety of conditions such as: back problems, headaches, sciatica, constipation, allergies, pelvic tilt… Sounds like a pregnant woman’s best friend.

How does Bowen work?

A Bowen therapist will use their thumbs and fingers to move over muscles, fasciae, joints and tendons. “I pull the skin slightly, hold for a little while and then I go back over the soft tissue of the muscle,” says Karin Starzacher, a BTAA certified Bowen practitioner. Every movement is followed by a pause or timeout where the therapist leaves the room for a period of time, thus leaving the patient to relax and absorb... It’s that simple.

But what happens below the surface is more complex. When the fascia that protects the muscles is stretched, it sends sensory information through the nerves to the brain. This data goes though a self-corrective feedback mechanism in the brain, and is then sent back down the spinal cord to individual muscles.

It’s as if Bowen “reconnects” the body with the brain, allowing the self-healing mechanisms of the body to kick in.  “Bowen will balance the nervous, lymphatic and hormonal systems along with the circulation, and it also works on the body’s musculoskeletal system. Basically each single move that we do with the Bowen treatment already addresses the body as a whole,“ says Karin Starzacher.

Bowen therapy and the art of enjoyable pregnancy

“Obviously when you’re pregnant you want to avoid taking medication because you don’t want to harm your child, so with the Bowen technique you can do this and still get very effective pain relief,” says Karin Starzacher.

Much of pregnancy pain comes down to back aches, sciatica, headaches and leg pain. These generally arise from strain on the spinal cord, and increase as the unborn baby becomes heavier. Bowen uses the body’s innate healing ability to handle these pains. It’s how Bowen does this that sets it apart from other therapies.

  • Firstly, treatments can be given while sitting or laying on the side, which means they can take place right until a woman goes into labour.
  • Secondly, there’s no need to undress and the treatment itself consists of moves that are so gentle that clients often fall asleep. So it’s non-invasive and no-fuss.
  • Thirdly, the success of the treatment depends on how relaxed a patient is, as that will determine how well information passes through the brain to the nervous system. This makes it one of the most enjoyable therapies out there.

“I was four months pregnant and was experiencing sharp pain in my lower back. After three of four short Bowen sessions the pain disappeared completely. The remainder of my pregnancy was smooth and relaxed as I looked forward to the arrival of our little one into our lives,” said Agne, 28, and first-time mum. 

Bowen is particularly recommended in the later stages of pregnancy, when the foetus has turned around in the womb. It realigns the pelvis, which is crucial to an optimum birth and removes aches in the back and pelvis.

And even after childbirth, Bowen is useful. It will help realign the body, balance hormones and help deal with exhaustion, one of the primary causes of postnatal depression  (PND).

So, enjoyable pregnancies are not only reserved for only the rich and famous. With a bit of help from Bowen, you and your baby bump could look good enough to be on one of those front covers too.

Additional information about Bowen

  • Most problems can be treated with 1 to 3 sessions, while chronic recurring problems may require occasional ‘top-up’ treatments
  • Each session lasts between 30 to 60 minutes
  • Sessions usually take place at 5 to 10 day intervals
  • Price depends on location, but normally ranges between £30-£50 per session
  • Get more information and find your nearest Bowen therapist: Bowen Association of the UK or 0700 BOWTECH (0700 269 8324) (national rates apply)

Posted 21.04.2011

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