Myth #6 - Bowen therapy is all you need!
I think most Bowen practitioners have had this happen: A client comes in for, say, a lower back issue. They are seeing shifts and results with Bowen. They tell their doctor (or another health professional) about said shifts and results, and their doctor (or other health professional) suggests they stop going for Bowen. And although it defies all logic, said client calls to cancel their next appointment. This is frustrating for a number of reasons but my Top 2 are: you have probably lost a client. A client, mind you, who was responding favourable to Bowen; and Bowen therapy is being undermined by health professionals who have no idea about Bowen and how beneficial it can be. Who knows? Maybe they think it’s that thing with magnets (please refer to Myth #1 if you want more info on that) and they can’t be bothered to learn more.
I have experienced this myself on a few occasions. It leaves me frustrated, a bit angry, and somewhat sad. Bowen therapy works and it brings relief to so many people who have had no relief from conventional therapies or medicine. It also frustrates and angers me that the medical profession seems to take our freedom of choice, our dignity and our power when it comes to our own health and well-being. One of the things I love about Bowen is the client is very involved in the healing process and Bowen has only the best interest of the client in mind. It doesn’t take your power away. It actually enhances it.
So while I get frustrated when people who are getting results with Bowen are told they should stop coming, I also get frustrated when practitioners think Bowen (or their particular healing modality) is the only therapy a client ever needs. That’s not empowering a client; that’s disempowering them.
I have studied a number of different healing techniques where the teacher preaches their particular technique is THE ONLY thing anyone needs. Really? How is that in any way realistic? To me, it’s like saying that all you need to eat are bananas because they are packed full of nutrients and come in a handy wrapper and then getting mad when someone wants to eat an orange. Or an apple. It’s not logical, right?
I do believe Bowen is the most wholistic therapy a body can experience and I do believe any body can be helped with Bowen. But I don’t believe Bowen is the be all and end all of therapies. That puts a lot of pressure on the technique. Let alone the practitioner and client.
Here’s the thing, though. If I, as a practitioner, say Bowen is the only therapy that can help a client, then I am not serving that client. Bowen can’t help everything all the time. Nothing can. A body wants what a body wants. And sometimes that’s massage. Or acupuncture. Or Bowen. Or pizza. There are so many variables at play that the blanket statement ‘Bowen is all you need’ is incorrect.
I write from personal experience. Over the last five years or so (since I began training in Bowen) my walking gait has deteriorated to the point where walking is awkward and stressful (but thankfully not painful). I have tried many things - from reiki to masochistic masseurs to orthopaedic surgeons and most things in between - to find help and relief. Most of the modalities I’ve tried have helped a bit but never for long and never fully. This includes Bowen. Bowen therapy alone is never going to ‘fix’ my issue. Never. Ever. Ever. But it can help my body to integrate and readjust to the work I need to do to get my leg functioning properly again. This is the dynamic beauty of Bowen - it is a fantastic stand alone therapy but it also dove-tails wholistically with other modalities. I don't mean in the same day or in the same session, but as part of a client’s treatment plan. Bowen can help the body to integrate any other therapy it’s having.
I know Bowen works. It is so simple, yet profound, in its delivery and results. It helps all the supporting systems of the body, as well as mental and emotional components. It’s gentle and effective. And while I think it should be on the top of the list of go-to therapies, I’m okay if people choose something else. I just prefer it to be because they know what their body needs at the time and not because another health professional has convinced them otherwise.
On the Coffs Coast and wanting an appointment? Contact me on 0426 241 435.
I’ve just been for a walk. While that may not sound like much, for me - it’s huge right now. This walk involved actual forward motion, no patella brace and no walking stick. Very minimal jerky movement. And no crying with frustration. Last August, I wrote the blog ‘Bad knees and integrity’, talking about the difficulty I was having with walking and how I was contemplating the physical and metaphysical aspects of what that meant for me. It’s been nearly a year and walking has become increasingly difficult, to the point where a walk further than the front door usually brings me to tears.
It has thrown me, not being able to really go for a walk. And while I can actually walk, after about five steps I falter. It’s like my left leg has forgotten how to take steps. So after living with this for a year, with it getting increasingly worse, I decided I needed help.
As a wholistic practitioner, heading down a more conventional path of healthcare can make me feel hypocritical. If I can’t walk my talk, how can I keep talking my talk? So putting my judgements aside (of myself and other modalities) I took a step in the direction of my wellness. I knew I needed exercises to strengthen my vastus medialis, so my patella would track properly. The exercises proved very successful - my knee cap is tracking like nobody’s business! And with that, my walking has actually deteriorated. This has sent me down a whole different spiraling path of despair. If my knee cap dislocating wasn’t to blame, then what was? I was so focused on my mobile patella that I didn’t see there was a deeper issue involved. Something which was going to take a lot more work than just strengthening one muscle. I needed to retrain my brain and muscles to not only keep my kneecap in place, but to not hyperextend.
Over the past year I have been contemplating the multi-dimensional issues around my knee. What is it that keeps me from moving forward with love, grace and ease? In yoga this week, the intention was Mindfulness. The teacher talked about being mindful of our journey. Which got me thinking about my knee. If the esoteric belief is that the left side represents the Feminine and the knee represents forward movement, what was I not being mindful of moving forward in the Feminine? A friend recently gave me her take on my knee. “Maybe it’s about being present.” Being present. Being mindful. Being present to every step on my journey. Being mindful that it’s about the journey (feminine), much more so than the destination (masculine). So maybe it’s not so much about completing a walk, but about taking each step as it comes. And for me, especially lately, it has been hard to be present. I am often looking into the past or wondering about the future. Whereas really, all we have is right now. And right now I need to take one step at a time. Not worry about how my knee used to be, or how I am going to get through a whole walk, but just focus and be mindful of the step that I am in.
I wish you presence and mindfulness in your journey. With gratitude.
I've been having trouble with my knees lately. This isn't anything new. But the degree of how unstable they have become is scaring me. I have never been able to trust my left knee. (And no, the symbolism of being able to move forward into the feminine is not lost on me.) This comes from a childhood of knee dislocations which would have me wandering along quite nicely one second and then crumpled on the ground the next. These scenes were awkward, and painful, to say the least.
I had surgery on my knee when I was 14. And although my knee has not dislocated since, I have never fully trusted that it wouldn't. I am still realising how much this fear has impacted me in my life. I am hesitant to cross roads, I am extra careful around furniture at knee height (not wanting to inadvertently knock my knee cap out of place, like what happened in drafting class when I was 13). But I've always been okay with just plain walking. And I am very thankful for that. Because walking has always been one way for me to process and to ground. When all else fails, a walk helps.
So it is to a new level of fear that I have come into lately as walking has become increasingly difficult. I don't trust my knee any more to support me. I feel like I am going to topple over backwards and this leads to great jerky moves of my whole body. It's really quite freaky. It's like a startle response without the actual startle. I no longer trust in the fluidity of my movement. In short, I feel like my knee is lacking in integrity.
Which is interesting because this week's Ocean Oracle card is Rosa Rugusa - INTEGRITY. The card, story and message can be read here but what I find interesting is that I am trying to walk a path - walk MY path. And I no longer trust it. And while I know there is something physically wrong with my knee, I can't help but wonder at the metaphysical stuff around it: according to Louise L. Hay's 'Heal Your Body', knees 'represents changes in direction in life and the ease of these movements'; left symbolises the feminine. I remembered today that these jerky movements started a couple of years ago. As I was contemplating the transition from permanent state government job to self-employed healer, I used to walk in the park near my office. It was on these walks that I started to feel unsteady. Now I have transitioned so far into the healing side of things that I forget I was ever an extension horticulturalist. But lately I have been having trouble trusting the process. And although on most levels I feel completely supported, in a couple of ways I feel completely unsupported. It's as if my physical knee is reflecting my internal walk. So as I walk further along my path, in my truth and integrity, I am being challenged by all manner of things which currently seem to manifesting as a dodgy knee. I've got choices up ahead. The path is not only in one direction or even one path. I know I need to keep moving forward, even when that movement is awkward and scary and uncomfortable. And even if my knee is lacking integrity, that doesn't need to reflect the integrity of my choices. In gratitude.