Bowen Therapy for Sports

Bowen Therapy helps you stay injury free

Although not well publicised, growing numbers of athletes and their physiotherapists are discovering that regular Bowen treatments can enhance performance and reduce the incident of injury. It has also been reported that when athletes do experience an injury Bowen brings rapid relief and optimises recovery to get them back on track quickly.

Paula Esson, Bowen practitioner (previously Head of Sports Science at Gateshead College) Director of CBS (College of Bowen Studies) and also Director of the Northern Integrative Health Practice quotes ‘Improvement with Bowen in sports is superb – the player is better focused and more in tune with his/her own body’s performance. If the body is in balance and the musculo-skeletal system is recruiting in the right order the player is mentally free and more fluid to concentrate and focus on the game. It is almost as if you can take a step back from yourself and you can focus on the game tactics with greater clarity.

Hamstrings are a common cause of injury in sports and research was carried out as the effectiveness of Bowen for hamstrings and these were the findings:

The effects of the Bowen technique on hamstring flexibility over time: A randomised controlled trial

The hamstring muscles are regularly implicated in recurrent injuries, movement dysfunction and low back pain. Links between limited flexibility and development of neuromusculoskeletal symptoms are frequently reported. The Bowen Technique is used to treat many conditions including lack of flexibility. The study set out to investigate the effect of the Bowen Technique on hamstring flexibility over time. An assessor-blind, prospective, randomised controlled trial was performed on 120 asymptomatic volunteers.

Participants were randomly allocated into a control group or Bowen group. Three flexibility measurements occurred over one week, using an active knee extension test. The intervention group received a single Bowen treatment. A repeated measures univariate analysis of variance, across both groups for the three time periods, revealed significant within-subject and between-subject differences for the Bowen group. Continuing increases in flexibility levels were observed over one week. No significant change over time was noted for the control group.

Article (PDF Available) in Journal of bodywork and movement therapies 15(3):281-90 · July 2011 with 293 Reads
DOI: 10.1016/j.jbmt.2010.07.008 · Source: PubMed

I remember when I was competing and I tried Bowen Therapy for the first time after numerous other therapies back in 2005, I thought what the heck is that it will never work! In fact I was really quite grumpy about the whole treatment. At the time I was a “No pain No gain person” and unfortunately I was not told that it was gentle and that my therapist was going to leave me on my own for a few minutes at a time. However something obviously changed in my body or I wouldn’t now be a Bowen Therapist. The number of times I hear from athletes when they get off the couch after the first treatment – well that is so gentle it will never work and yet here I am still treating them. One bodybuilder in particular comes to mind, he reminded me of me when he got off the couch after my first treatment. He now sees me regularly and has bought vouchers for treatments for friends of his.

Although not well publicised for many years Bowen Therapy has been and is being used in professional uk sport such as netball, rugby and athletics.

So how does Bowen work with Athletes!

  1.  When exercising your body is put under stress, in most instances it does not therefore need additional stress in the form of a painful treatment, it needs to be calmed down. Bowen works by releasing the trauma in our fascia and my belief is that if we ask the body permission to release the trauma by putting in gentle moves, the fascia actually allows us to go deeper which allows for more healing  in the body to take place. If you have for example a sore knee, would you rub it harshly or very gently? Watch someone who tells you that something hurts and see.
  2. With a Bowen treatment I would take a detailed history, often the presenting pain is not the original source and the actual injury may well have occurred months or years ago.
  3. I am a UK athletics coach and personal trainer and therefore use this knowledge and movement patterns to ascertain how the injury could have happened in the first place so for example did you twist an ankle and carry on which could potentially have caused the remainder of the body to compensate this causing the current pain. I will often carry out assessments and look at the way that you walk or move.
  4. Bowen therapy treats the whole person and body not just a specific area so if you have for example a pulled hamstring, rather than just working on the hamstring I will look at the possible cause and carry out moves throughout the whole body to re-align it not just the hamstring.
  5. An important part of my Bowen treatments is trying to ensure that the problem does not happen again. I therefore will (if necessary) prescribe exercises (normally only one so that it happens!) and work with you to ensure that you are aware of movements you may be making which caused the injury to occur so that you can avoid them in the future.
  6. Bowen calms the nervous system down, this means that you generally feel relaxed after a session and allows a better breathing pattern hence improving performance. Tension and stress within the body whilst training have a negative effect.
  7. Regular treatments ensure that the body is kept at an optimum level, prevents injury and allows you to consistently train thereby enabling you to perform at your peak.

Therapists in Residence:

Lee Avery

What our clients say about us

I understand that you are giving a talk to a group at a Fibromyalgia Group so I thought I would drop you a line and let you know who I have been since I saw you in Octobers last year and you may wish to quote my email in your chat.

When I came to see you I was in a lot of pain especially in my neck and shoulders and some in my lower back which was having a massive effect on my sleep and general well being. I had tried physiotherapy, Chiropractor and osteopath before having Bowen Therapy. Since my treatment with you I now rarely have any pain and now manage to get a good nights sleep which In turn has improved my quality of life which is why you haven’t seen me.

When I had my first treatment I must say I was sceptical (not sure if spelt right) and sometimes felt worse once I was home but after 4 sessions I decided to have a break from treatment and see what would happen and the the results have been amazing a complete life saver in my view. I no longer find that I am feeling depressed and am able to cope with life so much better and have even started exercising again.

I would say to anyone give Bowen a try and don’t dismiss it till you have at least a couple of sessions. After suffering for YEARS Bowen Therapy has in effect given me my life back. I am due to see a rhematoligist at the end of the month due to an unexplained swelling/lump that I have on my wrist which may or may not be the cause of intermittent pain I am getting in my thumb joint and also to see if I do indeed have Fibromyalgia (recently had lot of eye trouble which has been put down to dry eye) Always something with me but at least I am no longer in constant pain.

Late I know but thank you so much as you were a great.

— CS, Wokingham

Hi, just thought I would let you know that I spoke with my aunt last night, and she is very pleased with the service that you provide. Her feet felt great afterwards.

So, thank you, she thought it was a lovely experience.

I know that she has booked a second appointment so she has happy feet for Christmas! I am sure that she will spread the word amongst her friends.

Having developed a very painful and debilitating “frozen shoulder” which was impacting on my ability to lift my left arm higher than just a few inches, I was becoming concerned aboutthe amount of pain-killing drugs I was having to take to get through the day. I heard about the “Bowen Technique” through a friend and in desperation decided to book an appointment with Lee, to see if it could possibly help the condition. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but after just one pain free and relaxing session, I was amazed to find that the mobility in my shoulder had noticeably increased. Five treatments and about a month later, my shoulder was completely back to normal with its full mobility restored. That was seven months ago and my shoulder is still absolutely fine in every way. I can’t thank Lee enough for her help in using the “Bowen Technique” to completely cure my shoulder

— Emmi Birch

So you can see I have a lot to THANK Bowen and you for…. There were times when I was going to give up – purely from the fear factor of not having a “loo” on that journey – but it’s amazing what you can “hold on to” …….I have been feeling very well and my body is improving almost weekly – my fitness is probably 100% up on this time last year and I feel positive, happy, calm in myself

— Pauline - Cookham

Afternoon Lee Thank you for seeing me on Monday. I have made an appointment to see a doctor on Thursday and will let you know the outcome.The spasms around the ribs have almost gone, I am sleeping wonderfully and my neck is more flexible. I have been ambling around (and drinking water!) since Monday and this morning I’m feeling brighter. Looking forward to Monday! Kindest Regards Jo

— J K - Maidenhead

HI Lee, Oh my its all better thank you so much can’t really believe the difference:you are magic. Thank you so much. Best regards and have a good Christmas if not seeing you before.

— Prue Clifton

Since the start of my Bowen treatment I have had relief from pain that I have had for several years. I would recommend it to anyone who has any problems with their health. Also I find that my body and mind seem to be a lot more relaxed, feeling of well being.

— E.C - Maidenhead

Hi, I met you last week at Wexham Park Hospital, where you did a taster session
on myself. I’m very interested in having another treatment with you. I had great relief from the session I had with you.

— TS - Langley

Hi Lee
I just thought I’d give you an update after my therapy yesterday. I felt so relaxed for the rest of the day and my painful right shoulder really subsided as the day went on.

I woke up this morning and felt brilliant! Hardly any aches and pains at all. I’ve had a great day with boundless energy. I’ve achieved so much, silly little things really but they mean a lot to be able to do these things that a few weeks ago seemed impossible.

I eventually called it a day at 4.30 pm and took a good book into the garden with a large glass of wine!

For the first time in weeks I feel totally normal and still very relaxed.

I’m looking forward to my therapy next week.

See you then, Kind regards,Sue

— SF - Bracknell - Poymyalgia

Hello Lee,

I’ve been meaning to send you a progress report for a while. My second treatment was nearly 3 weeks ago now.

Everything is doing really well! My leg and right side feels very different and ‘connected’ again. I realise I had got used to it not feeling right and now I’m definitely noticing the difference. I’m sure I’m moving in a more balanced way. The improvement has been dramatic after the last treatment. I did have some recurrence of aches down the leg and/or sciatic area some days later but this didn’t last very long. I find it hard to believe that two sessions have achieved this result.

I am delighted with how you and Bowen have helped me. Thank you so much; it’s a wonderful therapy. I’m feeling sure that this change for the better is permanent – but I’ll certainly call you if I do have any concerns later.

I hope all is well with you.
Best wishes JC

— JC - Isleworth - Sciatica

As a well-established curtain manufacturing business in the Maidenhead area, I know how important it is to offer a personal, high quality service to my clients.

I would therefore like to thank you for reaching the same high standard in you recent dealings with me. I was recommended to use you by Sally Radford of the Amber zone after I was diagnosed with tendinitis in my knee. I was a little apprehensive a first but you put me at ease very quickly. The treatment is like nothing I have ever experienced before however, I don’t need to know how it works, all I know is that it does. Three sessions and I was pain free and now I am even able to dance in the kitchen (when no-one is looking).

Thank you for your help and I will find it easy to refer my client’s to you, knowing that they are in safe hands.
Many thanks

— SW, Maidenhead

If you would like to have a chat about some of the treatments provided.