Welcome to Highton Bowen Therapy
Gabrielle Smith welcomes you to Highton Bowen Therapy. Gabrielle’s interest in Bowen Therapy began in 2007 when she took her unsettled and very unhappy 3 month old baby, Charlie, to see a local Bowen therapist. That night Charlie and his parents experienced their first complete night of sleep in three months and Charlie was a content and happy baby from that day forward. Bowen had had an incredibly positive and lasting effect on her family!
She was astounded at how just a few gentle moves over her son’s body could bring about such a profound change. It wasn’t until she visited a Bowen therapist for herself, to address her chronic lower back pain, that she experienced the true power of this healing technique and decided she wanted to find out more.
When her second child started school, the timing was right for Gabrielle to explore a new career path. With her lifelong interest in holistic approaches to healing, it seemed a logical choice to study a technique that she had discovered such a passion for.
Children’s health and wellbeing is an area of special interest for Gabrielle. With over 20 years’ experience as a Primary School Teacher, she has seen the growing incidence of learning and behavioural problems amongst children, childhood anxiety and associated issues such as sleeping disorders and bedwetting; all issues that the Bowen technique can assist. Gabrielle offers a caring environment in which clients of all ages can experience the relaxation and healing benefits of the Bowen technique to address emotional, visceral and musculoskeletal issues.
Gabrielle is a member of the Bowen Association of Australia and is passionate about he continued professional growth in conjunction with ‘Bowtech’ the Bowen Therapy Academy of Australia.
What is Bowen Therapy?
The Bowen Technique is a soft tissue therapy which involves a series of gentle moves over specific points in the body. The moves set off a series of signals via the ‘facia’ which is the nerve filled connective tissue which envelops and connects every structure in the body. These signals help restore balance via the autonomic nervous system, helping the body to relax, unwind from long held tensions and stimulate its own innate ability to heal.
For many of us, stress is a constant factor in our lives. Living in a state of heightened stress can affect our immune systems, sleeping patterns, digestion and many other aspects of our health. Allowing the nervous system to slow down during a Bowen session encourages the body to begin the healing process and achieve wellness on a physical, emotional, energetic and spiritual level.
Bowen therapy is suitable for all ages, from newborns to the aged, as it is safe and gentle with no vigorous manipulation. It addresses both acute and chronic conditions and substantial relief is often achieved after only one session.
Because this technique is so effective, it has been widely embraced by a broad spectrum of people. Health professionals are impressed by the effectiveness of the Bowen technique and the diversity of problems addressed by it.
Can Bowen Therapy Help Me?
The original Bowen Technique can assist recovery from many conditions, from traumatic injury to chronic illness, depending upon each individual's capacity to heal.
The technique should be considered for:
- Back pain and sciatica
- Digestive and bowel problems including IBS
- Earache, ear infections and migraines
- Jaw problems (grinding of teeth, TMJ misalignment)
- Bell’s Palsy
- Fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome
- Knee, ankle and foot problems
- Neck/shoulder problems including frozen shoulder
- Groin pain, pelvic tilt and uneven leg length
- Children’s bedwetting, anxiety and sleep issues
- Respiratory problems and hay fever
- RSI, carpal tunnel syndrome and tennis elbow
- Sports and accident injuries
- Back and joint pain during pregnancy
- Menstrual and hormonal irregularities
The Bowen technique can also be used as a general wellness regime, to correct minor presenting issues and keep the body balanced and in general good health, thus preventing small problems from becoming much larger ones. A Bowen treatment from Highton Bowen Therapy will leave you feeling relaxed, rejuvenated and balanced.
What to expect during a session?
During the client's first visit an in depth consultation, including musculoskeletal assessments, will help attain a thorough picture of the client’s health so that an individualised treatment plan can be tailored.
A typical Bowen Therapy session generally lasts from 25 – 45 minutes. Clients usually lie on a massage/bodywork table or may be seated in a chair if required, for comfort. A session involves one or more ‘procedures’, each of which consists of several sets of ‘moves’. The moves are gentle but purposeful and can be done through light clothing. Between each set of moves the practitioner pauses for as many minutes as are needed for the client’s body to begin responding. As the nervous system begins to adjust the tension level in the muscles, the practitioner senses when the client is ready for the next set of moves. A common approach in a session is to balance the entire body by addressing the lower back, then the upper back, and then the neck.
In contrast to other hands-on modalities, where the practitioner imposes correction on the client through manipulation, 'Bowtech' - the Bowen Technique facilitates the body in healing itself, with minimal intervention. Because of the subtle nature of Bowen, and the body’s continuing response to it over several days thereafter, other forms of manipulative therapy are discouraged for up to five days after a session as they may interfere with the efficacy of the work.
When addressing an acute injury, Bowtech practitioners may apply moves on or around the traumatised areas. However, most practitioners find themselves working with clients whose conditions have developed gradually over many years, and patterns of dysfunctional muscle recruitment and posture have become entrenched over time. In these cases, Bowtech practitioners often need to take a more ‘whole-body’ approach to facilitate optimal alignment and recovery.
The beginning of Bowen Therapy!
Thomas Ambrose Bowen (1916-1982) began developing his technique in the 1950s in Geelong, Australia. He became interested in ways to alleviate human suffering and began to notice that certain moves on the body had particular effects. Tom Bowen developed his technique without having previous formal training in any modality or discipline. In fact, he frequently stated that his work was 'a gift from God'. He continued to develop and refine the technique throughout his lifetime with the help of his friend and secretary, Rene Horwood.
Mr. Bowen was extremely busy in his Geelong clinic, performing about 13,000 treatments a year. This was verified by the 1975 Victorian government inquiry into alternative health care professionals. Considering treatments were seven days apart and most people needed only one to three treatments, an amazing number of clients passed through the clinic and benefited from his gift. Mr. Bowen also held free clinics for children, people with disabilities, and community service workers.
Tom Ambrose Bowen
In 1974, while attending a national health conference In Adelaide, Australia, Oswald Rentsch met Mr. Bowen for the first time. Although he knew nothing of Mr. Bowen's work, Ossie spontaneously asked if he could learn from him. Mr. Bowen shook Ossie's hand, held it for some time. A couple of hours later Mr. Bowen sought Ossie out and said. You be down at my clinic next Wednesday at 9 am.
For the next two and a half years Ossie studied Mr. Bowen's technique, ultimately being authorised by him to document the work. Mr. Bowen had no notes, charts or manuals, but with the help of Rene Horwood, Ossie produced a true representation of Mr. Bowen's original technique. In 1976, Ossle and his wife, Elaine, began utilizing Mr. Bowen's methods in their clinic in Hamilton, Victoria.
Dedicated to preserving the technique and ensuring it was taught in its original form, they founded the Bowen Therapy Academy of Australia in 1987, eventually naming the technique Bowtech- The Bowen Technique. Since then, Ossie and Elaine have honoured the promise Ossie made to Mr. Bowen on his deathbed, to spread his work throughout the world. Today, over 26,000 people have completed Bowtech training in thirty countries and in six languages.