Written by Elinor Bester
The powerful and gentle therapy that is the Bowen Technique is a natural and holistic treatment that can be useful in all stages of bringing a new child into the world. Bowen is a soft tissue relaxation technique that is performed by doing a series of gentle rolling moves in specific sequences, interspersed with essential wait periods during which the body processes and responds to the moves, dropping into an ever deeper state of relaxation and healing as the treatment progresses.
How Bowen is useful in Preconception:
The first stage where Bowen is useful is in preconception preparation. As leading Bowen practitioner and author of The Bowen Technique John Wilks says “Bowen is so good at getting the body healthy on a cellular and tissue level that it can really help the body to be more receptive”. A couple of Bowen Treatments to detoxify and get the body into excellent health prior to conception can go a long way to ensuring a smooth pregnancy. It is also effective in regulating the menstrual cycle and enhancing fertility (in both men and women).
During pregnancy Bowen can also be a very useful tool to assist a smooth transition through all the rapid changes occurring in the body. Hormonal changes, a shifting centre of gravity, altered pelvic tilt and more pronounced curve in the lower back, as well as simply making space internally for a rapidly growing baby, all take their toll on the mother.
The First Trimester:
In the first trimester Bowen is useful in managing the nausea of morning sickness, fatigue and emotional fluctuations and helping the body adapt to the new state of pregnancy. As the pregnancy progresses it can help relieve lower back pain, sciatica, respiratory issues and gastric discomfort.
The Third Trimester:
In the third trimester Bowen can be invaluable to help the pelvis adjust and ease the associated discomforts of the extra pelvic pressure, including cramps and aching in legs, feet or groin, varicose veins and haemorrhoids, and edema (swelling from excess fluid in the tissues). Clients can be treated seated or side lying and can be worked on as often as she needs relief. In the words of a recent client: “My leg cramps and lower back pain disappeared overnight, never to be seen again, and after several Bowen Treatments I feel the best I have throughout the whole pregnancy.”
Rick Minnery, a highly experienced midwife in the UK has also found Bowen to be very effective in turning babies who are posterior or breech.
Bowen has been used in labour wards and home births all over the world and can be very helpful in easing the potential discomfort of the delivery.
Post Birth and Babies:
Post birth, Bowen Therapy can be excellent to support your body in healing and returning to ‘normal’. Mastitis and lactation problems respond well to Bowen Therapy and the breast moves can be taught to the client so she can self treat at home as needed. As it is so gentle, Bowen Therapy can be used on babies to help them recover from birth trauma, ease symptoms of reflux and colic, address feeding difficulties and help them settle into their new existence out of the womb.
In summary, Bowen Therapy is a valuable option from conception to birth and beyond and for both mother father and baby. It offers a gentle effective alternative to medication and provides excellent support throughout this time of rapid change.