A Bowen treatment consists of sequences of small moves at varying pressures, each at a specific site on the body. The treatment is pleasant – therapists use light, cross-fibre manoeuvres of muscle, tendon or ligament with no forceful manipulation.
A treatment will typically last between 30 minutes and one hour. It can be provided through a layer of light clothing, although you may be asked to remove heavy or thick garments. During this time, the therapist may leave the room for periods of two to five minutes at a time. This allows time for your body to respond to the treatment and for the necessary changes to occur in your body before commencing the next sequence of moves.
Bowen is not an ongoing therapy. The person may experience relief after just the first session and significant resolution or recovery within three sessions. However, chronic or long-standing conditions or repeat injury may require additional treatments and if symptoms do not resolve, you should see your doctor.
Your therapist may advise you not to have any other physical therapy or other forms of manipulation – such as massage, chiropractic, physiotherapy, acupuncture or kinesiology – for one week after the treatment, while your body adjusts to the treatment.
Post-treatment reactions to treatment are not uncommon and include tiredness, thirst, an increase in original symptoms, stiffness, headaches, flu-like symptoms, increased dream activity. Aftercare advice given to each client will emphasise the importance of movement, the drinking of water and the return for treatments. It is vital that a client does not cease the treatment in response to a strong reaction. The moves are so subtle that if a strong reaction is experienced it demonstrates how deep the work can be and further treatments are essential if the full effect is going to be felt.
Most people will have responses within three to four sessions, when even long standing pain has been seen to be relieved in many clients. Some conditions might need to be treated more often, but in either case it is recommended that clients return for regular treatments every six to eight weeks to maintain optimum health.