Emma Shackell, Event Rider March 12, 2015

What is Bowen Therapy and how does it work?

The Bowen Technique is a remedial, hands-on physical therapy that takes a holistic approach to treating the body. It is well known that Bowen Therapy prompts the body to reset, repair and balance itself whilst releasing any pain or tension the client may be holding. The most common reason people seek Bowen therapy is for back pain. It seems to be extremely useful for this, although there are many reasons people will seek treatment such as; kidney problems, low energy levels, reproductive problems, the list is endless. The technique does not involve any manipulation or cracking of the joints, it is a gentle technique, yet the results are long lasting, as the body is encouraged to fix itself. On average a person will only need 3 treatments in order for their body to have a change, after that they come back for a ‘top up’ treatment every 4-6 months.

In both the sporting world and the equine world Bowen Therapy is being used more and more by athletes from amateur to elite level. It is used not only to treat injuries, but to also help prevent them. It has also been shown to improve ‘post competition’ recovery times enabling people to be able to continue with their busy lives and training schedules.

My experience with Bowen Therapy

I started studying The Bowen Technique after I received my first 3 Bowen treatments last year. I had suffered with extreme back pain for almost 4 years after suffering a fracture in 2010. No form of physiotherapy or chiropractic therapy helped me, yet as soon as I started to have Bowen treatment by back felt amazing!

In my personal experience I find The Bowen Technique to be particularly effective on many sports people however I find it works exceptionally well on horse riders and their horses. Bowen is best known for triggering a release allowing the body to move softer and more freely without any experience of pain. Personally I am a great believer in treating both yourself and your horse. For example, if you have your horse treated by a Bowen therapist and then the next day you get back on your horse, he/she will be realigned, reenergized and straight in his/her movements. Although its more than likely you as the rider are sitting to one side due to a pelvis shift or maybe you’re holding tension in your right shoulder causing your horse to become stiff in the right rein, leading to tightness through the right side all because your horse mirrors you, this means you could be back to where you started. Treating horse and riders together means you are likely to have a more positive result.

I am currently treating a horse and rider combination, as a student therapist, who compete nationally at Intermediate level, since having treatment the rider has commented on how much easier she finds it to sit up taller and do sitting trot as her muscles are more relaxed and pain free. As a result of this her horse no longer has a left pelvis shift allowing him to move more correctly therefore their dressage scores have improved dramatically and both the rider and her trainer have noticed a difference in how they both perform as a combination. There are many reasons I would recommend Bowen Therapy to people but I think the biggest benefit I find if that it allows both humans and horses to strengthen their bodies correctly, encouraging muscle to form in the correct places and it speeds up recovery time from simple soreness and stiffness to chronic injuries. To find out more on Bowen Therapy or to find a local Therapist, visit http://thebowentechnique.com or http://www.rosefarmequine.co.uk.

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