Anyone tried this therapy?

Hi, I just wanted to ask if anyone had tried any complimentary therapy called the Bowen technique, which is a holistic, hands on and non invasive therapy. I have been having no luck with anything else and the pain keeps increasing. My visit to the doctor was the usual waste of time, she said ‘you have had a scan and x-ray and all normal’. So, she then put me on Ibuprofen (Naproxen 250) take 1x3 times a day. I started with 1 for a couple of days, was ok, so upped it to 2 a day which is when my headaches started getting worse and was also getting dizzy. So I gave up then, had enough, and didn’t seem to be helping with the pain anyway. My husband suggested the Bowen technique and just thought I would see if anyone had tried it and got anythign from it. I am so fed up of the pain and discomfort, think I will try anything.

Hi SueT :slight_smile:

I’d thoroughly recommend to try it, having done many similar things and knowing that it can hardly harm (if you can afford it). If you’re lucky it can help you with all your local pains and thus quality of life, maybe not Ache, stiffness and fatigue though.

I think it’s good if you get an impression of it before you go, so as not to expect too much directly whilst it’s being done, rather than in the days afterwards:

I’ve listed the Bowen technique in my treatment list along with what 2 people mentioned positively 9 years ago on here. The main caveat wikipedia describes is that each practitioner will do it in a very different way and may have little training or experience (or a lot), which I don’t see as a problem.

I’ve done loads of different types of manual (and other) physiotherapy, partly because I had different ones in the fibro clinic, but also because my many practitioners used a variety of techniques. I’d say each practitioner might have something helpful for you, and personally I would recommend you trying it, especially as at least it is a form that can’t do much harm. (As a contrast many things I tried did do harm, however it wasn’t always possible to know that before or during.)

My main experience is that all these types of manual therapy, mainly acupressure, expert or now self-applied were able to decrease my local pains to almost zero, which greatly increases my quality of life. What I’d hoped but they weren’t able to do is to decrease my overall Ache from overdoing it, my stiffness or my fatigue. The physiotherapy that helped there off and on was whole body cryotherapy.

Looking at my manual therapy list on my treatment list I’d recommend absolutely all of them, if you haven’t yet and get the chance:
Body Realignment
Bowen Technique
Connective tissue massage
Dry needling
Manual therapy generally
Myofascial release
Myofascial trigger point massage
Osteopathy (incl. Counterstrain, Positional Release Technik PRT/Jones Technik - gentler!, craniosacral therapy = CST, visceral therapy, parietal therapy)
Postural Integration (form of body psychotherapy, cf. Gestalt therapy)
Reflexology (incl. foot reflexology, ear reflexology like ear-acupressure and ear-acupuncture)
Scar and Bonework (Sharon Wheeler)
Shiatsu (Japanese form of massage)
Trager approach

Same however goes for all physical therapy, meridian system therapies (acupuncture etc.), or even more generally all the physical treatment forms I list - and actually everything I list except meds… :wink:

Hey Sue,
Ohh the old "We’ve done scans and everything is OK…’ theory. This is very common with many rare conditions. Some medicos like to have clearly defined symptoms, clearly defined scans and thus a clearly defined diagnosis. When you have a condition that presents with undefined symptoms, with unclear scans and a ‘fuzzy’ diagnosis then the treatment regime can be just as undefined, unclear and fuzzy.

I say all of this because my diagnosis was fuzzy for many, many years and I was given every oddball diagnosis they could come up with. The scans they did showed nothing. When I explained symptoms I was told “Well, that just can’t be happening…” but it was and because they couldn’t pinpoint a diagnosis it was all put down to a psych issue. I too gave up on getting an answer. Then one day I had a major incident. I was driving down the road and suddenly lost my sight. I was sent for a brain scan and this Dr came out with the line “Ohh look what we found…” like it was all something new. I could have strangled the man.
So, a long story cut short, I had surgery. Was told all fixed, but it wasn’t. Then they came back with ‘Ohh, but you have a history…’ and I was again put on the medical roundabout/hamster wheel. I’ve gone through a process of elimination. If a dr suggested a treatment, I gave it a go. If they suggested a medication I trialled them all. If there was a therapy, trial it too.

Have I trialled Bowen therapy? Yes.
Now, as I say, my situation is neurological. They found this thing growing in my head. For me Bowen had it’s benefits but as my pain source was neuro related and the surgeries I’ve had disturbed those microfine neurocircuitries within the brain, the therapy did not have the overall benefits I was looking for. Yes, my muscular tensions were decreased/improved but it showed that the source of my pain was not muscular in origin.

My advice: Give it a go, trial it. You never know, it could well be your ‘Key’. And even if it’s not your ‘Key’, it may give you other tools you can utilize to be able to better manage. I have a whole heap of tools I use, from relaxation techniques, to medications, to sleep, to massage, to… whatever works for me on THAT day, at THAT time. For me, no 2 days are the same and what may work wonders today can be of very little benefit tomorrow, so I ‘Mix’n’Match’ to meet my needs TODAY.

If anybody ever tells you management of a rare condition is easy, they have never had to manage one. So how would they know? They don’t. We know this because we’ve been there too, so, come talk to us.

Merl from the Modsupport Team

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Hi JayCS,
Thanks for the answer, feel so alone these days, it’s good to have some feedback. I will probably try the Bowen Technique, after all, I think I’ve tried most things so far over the years. Don’t know how many times can go, as it comes down to cost, we are pensioners, but willing to try literally anything to try to get a bit of relief. The osteopath and chiropractor I tried few years ago were no help at all, and can’t take strong painkillers, so am going to look into it some, as will my husband, and see how it goes,
Thanks, SueT.

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Hi Mod support team,
Thanks for the answer, it’s nice to know someone is ‘out there’ that can give some advice, otherwise it gets lonely. We moved here 10 months ago and was hoping a new doctor woul dhave some better ideas etc, but no luck on that. But she did get the xray and scan done-even if she did say it was ‘normal’. Wonder how they categorize that these days! So, I will be trying the Bowen Technique, not sure how often as we are just pensioners, but have tried so many things over the years, so willing to give it a go.
I agree, people do not understand what it is like trying to live with something like fibro, I was doing ok (more or less) up till about a year or so ago, then it seemed to hit me.
I hope you are not feeling too bad today, I try to stay positive, but it’s just not easy any more.
Thanks again, SueT.


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Hi SueT,

I have tried Bowen before. It’s basically the same as massage, except that it’s not deep tissue (which hurts for some) and it is not constant kneading. You can treat it out, but do know there’s no scientific basis for it and it does not cure or treat Fibromyalgia.

The therapist will softly knead certain points in your body where there’s stiff tissue to relax them, then leave you a while to rest and then come back to the room to knead other points again.

It does help in relaxing your muscles and your mind, which helps with lessening your pain.

But it is at best a very light massage, and it provides some space for you to be mindful.

A massage might be better, except that for Fibromyalgia patients, you have to let your massage therapist know and not do deep tissue if your muscles are very stiff, at least not at the beginning.

I used to do deep tissue massage before I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. Now, I can only do light massage.

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Nice description, Ed1.
Interesting you’ve warned about deep tissue massage.
Generally I fully agree all our physio need to know. Seldom enough for them to hear “fibromyalgia”, they need us to immediately give them feedback if it hurts too much.

I was just really surprised in the fibro/rheum clinic not tolerating most physio, not even gentle things like Qi Gong, but connective tissue massage felt it was tearing me up while doing it, but was a great relief after. To make sure I tried it again, same. So if I ever get the chance I would try it. But looking it up it seems to me different to deep tissue massage?
Here are the two pages from the same website: Deep Tissue Massage Australia | What is a Deep Tissue Massage & Its Health Benefits? to Connective Tissue Massage Australia | What is Connective Tissue Massage, Its Techniques & Its Benefits?
(Only) Connective tissue massage (CTM) seems to have some connection to myofascial release, trigger points & Rolfing, altho I’m not sure of that. It says the therapist talks to you a lot before and it can take 60-90’ - well mine didn’t and it took 20’, but that’s clinic routine for ya… :face_with_monocle:

Hi Sue. I haven’t heard of the Bowen Technique, but now you’ve got me curious. I can tell you, my sister who is 5 years older than me has had so many symptoms and pain (worse than me) and was about to give up completely. She has been allergic to so many things and reacts so badly to anything new. But her pain was so bad that she was using a cain to get around and couldn’t walk very far at all. Anyway, she finally found out she has mast cell autoimmune and was put on some antihistamines and is actually something like an anti-inflammatory diet and also at the same time started laser pain management. She turned around so fast I cannot believe it myself. She now can walk 2 miles a day, and isn’t pain free, but so, so much better! Not sure if any of this relates to you or not but thought I would throw it out there. She said the laser pain management is helping along with the diet, so I might give this all a try myself.
Also, I just recently had some acupuncture treatments. I thought it wasn’t helping so I quit, but after I quit I seemed to be a little bit better so I may go back to that, although my insurance will only cover 20 treatments. I had to try something like this because I can’t take the NSAIDS as they cause me to get a very bad pain and inflammation in my stomach like an ulcer. The NSAIDS are bad news for a lot of people.

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