If you've heard of Bowen Therapy but aren't sure what it involves, this blog (written by one of my clients) provides the perfect introduction! Whether you're a practitioner, recipient of Bowen therapy or new to the whole thing - Leah's story proves that Bowen is for everyone. Read on for a unique insight from someone that had never experienced Bowen, and how it helped her achieve her wellness goals
As a self-confessed workaholic in my mid-twenties, I’m probably not the healthiest of clients to walk through the door of Barbara Swiatkiwsky’s Bowen practice in West Preston. My Brunswick diet involves a fair few burgers, I enjoy a drink here and there and my fitness regime is limited to taking leisurely walks. I’d been struggling to improve my wellbeing when I heard about Barbara through some shared networks, and after watching some of her vibrant videos, I decided to give Bowen therapy a go.
Getting to the crux of the issue
I’d opted for a five-session package because I was looking for some long-term solutions, and let’s be honest – if you’re going to do something, do it right.
Barbara took some time to get a good understanding of my lifestyle and health goals. It really boiled down to two main things: I was starting a new exercise regime with a goal of walking 5km, three times per week, and I didn’t want it to hurt. I also wanted to improve my posture, as I was developing some pretty bad back strain due to my desk job.
I got some good advice about the way I sit and move at work, then Barbara provided a ‘foundation’ treatment, testing certain muscles and focusing on my hamstrings and sacrum to relieve lower back aches. It felt great! My walks following the treatment were comfortable – I didn’t experience the usual pain in my calf muscles, so I was excited to see what the second session could do.
A definite improvement
I was pleased to inform Barbara of my improvement, small though it was, as I wasn’t expecting any signs of change until further into the treatment. I’d even chucked an extra kilometre on my last walk for the week, and was more conscious of my seating position at work. Keeping in the region of the lower back, Barbara extended my Bowen treatment to the pelvic area, with particular attention to my hip flexors. She would occasionally type out notes – I could tell that she was closely observing my progress and tailoring her approach based on the results she was seeing.
OK, so why doesn’t everyone know about Bowen therapy?
When I came back for the third session (I really could get used to weekly treatments!) Barbara asked me if I’d noticed anything about my body, and come to think of it, I hadn’t. ‘Nothing?’ she asked, ‘no pain, no strains?’ and the answer was no! I hadn’t noticed that I was feeling fine. That’s when it struck me – I’d only been listening to my body in a negative way, when it was experiencing difficulty. That’s when I allowed myself to start feeling great.
Session four arrived and I was pleased to report that I’d clocked 12km walking around Moomba Festival and not even noticed. Sure, I was tired, but my legs had simply carried me around all day without complaint. I thought that was pretty cool. Barbara did some specialty work on my TMJ (that’s my temporal mandibular joint) because I was getting a few headaches, probably from staring long hours at a screen. I’m a creative consultant and I love my job, but I still get a bit carried away sometimes.
I was still getting a few headaches, so Barbara decided to whip out the big guns. Intra-oral TMJ work is a form of Bowen therapy that is performed from inside the mouth – but it’s not as unpleasant as it sounds! Wearing gloves, she was able to conduct a few short, expertly-planned manouvers around my jaw area. They didn’t hurt, and while I experienced a slight clicking in my jaw the next day – my headaches went away within three days and I haven’t experienced them since (its been quite a few months).
Capping all this off, it should be noted that not everyone will experience Bowen Therapy as I did. Some people will become tired after a session, others invigorated! My advice is to trust Barbara to strategise the best treatment for you – her pragmatic approach is great for people that don’t pay a lot of attention to their bodies but need professional advice to take some positive steps toward improvement. Her way of communicating, along with her general demeanor, is very amicable. You can tell that she likes people, and is very accepting of everyone. She’s also highly experienced with treating a range of body types. If you’re curious about Bowen therapy and think it could help you, I urge you to give Barbara a call! She’s super passionate and I’m sure she’ll be happy to provide a simple introductory session and overview if you’re not ready to opt for the five-session package. Good luck!
Leah Morris, April 2016
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