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Bowen Technique is a hands-on therapy that addresses the whole body, restoring harmony to the musculoskeletal framework, fascia, nerves, and internal organs.
Using thumb and finger pressure, the practitioner will perform a series of gentle rolling connective-tissue movements over precise areas of the body. These movements impact the autonomic nervous system, neurological system, and energy meridians, allowing the body to realign and restore itself to its original blueprint.
Suzanne Daigle has been practising Bowen for five years. She was first introduced to the practice when she was in desperate need of relief from emotional burnout and carpal tunnel syndrome.
"I worked as a social worker for 25 years," explains Suzanne. "At the end of my career I was falling apart. It's ironic that I worked for so long in the mental health field, but that system failed me when I needed it most."
Her motivation to get well led Suzanne to a Naturopath, who in turn suggested she try Bowenwork to address the carpal tunnel syndrome and her other body pain. Bowen was the first treatment that gave Suzanne the results she was striving for and she knew she wanted to be able to help other people in that way.
Suzanne has seen patients from as young as four days old to as old as 87. She works with athletes, children, the elderly, pregnant women, and people with disabilities. "In Bowen we have a saying," says Suzanne. "Every body is better with Bowen."
One of the benefits of Bowenwork is that the practitioner can be very flexible in how and where they perform the treatment.
While Bowen is usually performed on a massage table, it can also be practised on clients who are sitting or standing, making it great for clients with reduced mobility. It is also possible to perform the treatment on fully clothed clients.
"Practitioners of Bowen often act as coaches that teach people how to change daily habits that lead to injury," explains Suzanne. Examples are mothers who carry their babies on their hip, women who perpetually sit with crossed legs, and those who perform repetitive movements such as typing.
Suzanne says she has also seen Bowenwork deliver great results to clients with temporomandibular joint dysfunction, or TMJD, (pain caused by dysfunction of the jaw), and plantar fasciitis (heel pain cased by a strain of the plantar fascia, which supports the arch of the foot).
"These particular issues are so effectively treated with Bowen because the method address the whole body, rather than just the jaw or foot. Sometimes it is something seemingly unrelated, such as a tight hip, that causes an issue in the foot."
Unlike some other holistic treatments, clients receiving Bowen do not receive treatments on a regular schedule. Rather, they return when they feel their bodies are no longer in balance or they are suffering from a particular issue.
A typical treatment lasts between 30 and 60 minutes. The client is generally clothed, although that can change based on practitioner and client preference.
The room is clear of all possible distractions, such as music and scent, to allow the practitioner to listen to the body. Suzanne describes the treatment as "gentle, quiet, and slow."
The client will begin lying on their stomach. The practitioner will perform a sequence of moves, moving from the bottom of the body to the top.
There is a two-minute resting period between each sequence to allow the body to absorb the movements. The client then turns over to their back, and the practitioner again works from the bottom of the body upward.
Suzanne says Bowenwork is often like solving a puzzle. "Bowen practitioners are trained to think through the information the client gives them, and then observe the body to determine which procedures will best help that person heal," explains Suzanne.
She asks several questions about lifestyle and daily habits that may cause wear and tear on the body, resulting in poor posture or injury. Practitioners are taught a range of procedures that can be used to customize their treatments.
If you are interested in receiving a Bowenwork treatment, you can find a practitioner in your area using the Health Provider Directory. Learn more about Bowenwork or other holistic health treatments in our Holistic Health Guide.
Suzanne Daigle graduated from the Bowtech School of Bowenwork Therapy in 2011 and has operated her own clinic since 2013. She also holds a Bachelor's Degree in Social Work from the University of Calgary. She is a member of the NHPC and serves the community of Flin Flon, MB.