Stress, Anxiety and Bowen Therapy
While stress and anxiety have no doubt always been a problem, it seems that modern life has created more stress than ever before, and more and more of us are finding ourselves too stressed out to function properly in our work and personal lives. Dealing with stress can be difficult, but failing to deal with stress can be downright dangerous to long-term health. Stress and anxiety can have detrimental effects on both our mental and physical health that can contribute to everything from heart disease and strokes to obesity and diabetes.
Having suffered anxiety and headaches for a long time, I was advised to try Bowen and was amazed at how good it was for me. I have since had further treatments for bad back amongst other ailments and after one, maybe two treatments I’m as good as new. I couldn’t be any happier with my treatments.
S H, Wokingham, Berkshire
Many recurring symptoms with no apparent trigger, such as general ‘achiness’, recurring illness, digestive problems, heartburn, acid reflux, insomnia, low mood, exhaustion, low tolerance levels and feelings of being overwhelmed are typically experienced when the body is in a state of prolonged stress.
Stress need not be emotional. It may result from excess mental or physical pressure eg. working long hours, ongoing conflict, pushing yourself particularly hard or perhaps experiencing or supporting others through a stressful or traumatic episode. Sleep deprivation, nutritional deficiency, environmental conditions, a virus, infection or some kind of trauma can all take their toll and lead to a build up of stress.
My first Bowen treatment was for stress. The effect was remarkable, so much so that colleagues remarked on how relaxed I looked. I also had a lot of pain in my right hip. Following regular Bowen treatments I have no pain at all.
J A, Crowthorne, Berkshire
About the Stress Response
The nervous system controls most of what goes on in our body. It manages 80-90% of our body’s function including the heart rate, breathing, digestion, hormone release, muscles, the immune system, blood pressure and repair processes. It splits into two branches:
- The first speeds things up and produces the ‘fight or flight’ response that is essential for surviving dangerous situations (the sympathetic nervous system)
- The second slows things down, calms us and gives us rest (the parasympathetic nervous system)
When we are healthy, these two branches are balanced. It is this balance that is vital for the body to stay in good health.
When we are under considerable and constant pressure to meet the demands of daily responsibilities, our body switches to ‘fight or flight’ and prepares us to do battle or to run for our lives. During prolonged periods of stress, ‘fight or flight’ commonly stays switched on and so our body never gets the message to rest. This is when we escalate into fear, anxiety and panic, leading to many anxiety and stress-related conditions. For some this can have a major impact on long-term health.
Bowen Therapy Switches Off the Stress Response
The Bowen Technique is a gentle, relaxing and highly effective hands-on therapy that can be very beneficial in addressing stress and anxiety-related conditions. By affecting the nervous system, Bowen helps to re-balance the body, promoting a reduction in stress levels, muscle tension relief, recovery of energy, healing and repair.
The unique Bowen moves trigger the brain to switch off the ‘fight or flight’ stress response and revert to its natural healing state. This state allows blood pressure, breathing rate and other vital processes to normalise and regenerate. This therapeutically induced ‘alpha state’ not only promotes a feeling of calm and relaxation, but is also crucial in creating new behaviour. The following statements are typical of patients returning for the second or third Bowen treatment.
‘I don’t know what it is, but I just feel better in myself’.
‘I feel somehow lighter, as if a heavy cloak has been lifted from my shoulders’.
‘I slept like a log after treatment and woke up feeling life was worth living’.
‘All of a sudden, I seem to know what I want/need to do and I’m making big decisions
about things now.’
Bowen therapy, introduced to the UK from Australia in the 1990’s, aims to balance the whole person, not just symptoms. Practically any problem can potentially be addressed, with many clients enjoying significant relief in as few as 3 treatments.
Written by Lindsay Evans