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You leave your clothes on for this massage technique

PUBLISHED: 19:00 01 September 2020

During Bowen treatments, the therapist moves gently over key areas of connective tissue Picture: Sarah Woodhouse

During Bowen treatments, the therapist moves gently over key areas of connective tissue Picture: Sarah Woodhouse

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Sarah Woodhouse of Bury St Edmunds specialises in the Bowen massage method - have you heard of it?

Bowen therapy can be performed effectively over clothing. That, paired with PPE, makes it an ideal socially-distanced treatment for alleviating tension Picture: Sarah WoodhouseBowen therapy can be performed effectively over clothing. That, paired with PPE, makes it an ideal socially-distanced treatment for alleviating tension Picture: Sarah Woodhouse

Lockdown has no doubt taken its toll on many of us, and has inevitably created tension throughout our bodies.

While spas are open again in England, many people however are still reluctant to receive any treatments that involve close contact with someone from outside of their household – but there may be an alternative solution that can help work out your knots, all while maintaining a safe and distant barrier between client and therapist.

Bowen – which is named after its founder Thomas Ambrose Bowen – is a deeply relaxing and gentle holistic hands-on therapy that works with the fascia of the body, helping support muscular-skeletal pain and discomfort, as well as stress and anxiety, through the use of precise hand movements. It is believed to be beneficial for those who suffer from back, shoulder and neck pain.

Sarah Woodhouse is a Suffolk-based therapist, reflexologist and Reiki practitioner who offers Bowen from her studios in Bury St Edmunds and Elmswell. She is also a tutor for The College of Bowen Studies, and a member of the Federation of Holistic Therapists and Association of Reflexologists.

Sarah Woodhouse, a Suffolk-based therapist and practitioner who offers Bowen treatments from her studios in Bury St Edmunds and Elmswell Picture: Sarah WoodhouseSarah Woodhouse, a Suffolk-based therapist and practitioner who offers Bowen treatments from her studios in Bury St Edmunds and Elmswell Picture: Sarah Woodhouse

With lockdown restrictions easing, she has been able to reopen her studios and help alleviate any physical stresses that people have built up over the year.

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“For many, it’s getting close to six months since anyone from outside their household has touched them, and because of the gentle moves that we make, Bowen is a really safe and reassuring way to get used to the sensation of a therapist working on your body again,” she explained.

“Bowen works on the body’s connective tissues. Put very simply, each element of your body is connected to the other via a variety of different types of connective tissues, including muscles, tendons, ligaments, and fascia. Pain or imbalance happens when there is a change in these connective tissue tensions. With gentle moves made over key areas of connective tissue, there is no manipulation or adjustment, making Bowen a deeply relaxing treatment.”

Bowen works by gently relieving tension on the body's connective tissues Picture: Sarah WoodhouseBowen works by gently relieving tension on the body's connective tissues Picture: Sarah Woodhouse

As well as being more gentle and relatively non-invasive compared to other massage techniques, Bowen can also be performed effectively over clothing, providing that additional barrier between practitioner and client – ideal for anyone who may have reservations about skin-on-skin contact. Both therapist and client can also wear PPE during the treatment.

“It’s the perfect social distancing therapy. During a Bowen session, we work on the whole body, but we only make around four to six moves at a time before stepping out of the treatment room for a two to five minute break. This break is a key part of the treatment, and allows the client’s body and mind the space and time to absorb the work that we have done, and decide how it needs to respond. It also means that we are reducing the amount of time we spend in the same space as our clients - one of the key recommendations from the government.”

In addition to being more socially distanced when compared to other treatments, Bowen is also more financially-friendly due to the small number of sessions needed before the client start to notice a positive change.

“Changes in circumstances mean that people are thinking very carefully about how they spend their money. Bowen is relatively easy on the pocket, with most clients needing on average around three treatments, each a week apart, to bring about a positive long-term, if not permanent, change to their health and well-being.

“As Bowen therapists, we aren’t interested in bringing our clients back week after week, month after month. Rather, we are interested in holistic treatments that get to the root cause of our clients’ health and wellbeing issues in order to resolve them, not stick a plaster on them.”

For more information about the benefits of Bowen therapy, email sarah@sarahwoodhousetherapy.co.uk or find her on Facebook @sarahwoodhousetherapy.


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