HEALTH: Healing, without hurting
Abigail SaltmarshThe Bowen Technique has been widely used in Australia for some time. Now the therapy is growing in popularity in the UK as well. ABIGAIL SALTMARSH spoke to one practitioner who has brought the technique to NorwichThere's no pushing, no pulling and no heavy manipulation - yet proponents of the Bowen Technique suggest it can ease all sorts of physical problems.Abigail Saltmarsh
The Bowen Technique has been widely used in Australia for some time. Now the therapy is growing in popularity in the UK as well. ABIGAIL SALTMARSH spoke to one practitioner who has brought the technique to Norwich
There's no pushing, no pulling and no heavy manipulation - yet proponents of the Bowen Technique suggest it can ease all sorts of physical problems.
Allison Maltby offers to treat people in Norwich for a range of health issues by simply rolling her fingers over problem areas.
Allison, who moved to the city in 1996, discovered the gentle form of treatment after giving up her career in the civil service and training in holistic health.
'I worked for the pension service and then Job Centre Plus but decided I wanted to make changes in my life,' she explained.
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'I discovered kinesiology first and found it gave very powerful results.
'It gave me a new direction in life and made me want to help others. I trained for three years and have been practising it since 2004.
'The Bowen Technique was something I began to do last year when I decided I wanted to be able to offer people another therapy as well.'
Allison, who is also a Reiki master and healer, practises Optimum Balance Kinesiology, which brings eastern philosophies of acupuncture, chakras and meridians together with western approaches to health and physiology.
'The Bowen Technique is more physical than kinesiology yet it is just as gentle,' she explained.
'Unlike some other treatments, there is no deep tissue work and it can be performed on someone who is fully clothed.'
The technique was devised by Austrialian osteopath Tom Bowen. The practitioner uses thumbs or fingers to make a series of precise rolling movements over muscles. There is no heavy manipulation and the idea is that the movements direct the muscles to where they should be.
During the treatment there are short breaks to give the body the chance to respond.
'You are offering the body an opportunity to change,' explained Allison. 'The body then chooses whether to respond or not - but in 80 percent of cases it does so.'
Through the Bowen Technique, Allison works on areas of particular stress. She says the treatment can be helpful for neck and back problems, frozen shoulders, joint pains and muscle spasms.
'It can be great for sports injuries too and can also help enhance performance. It can also work will for people with asthma, bronchial problems and even migraines,' she said. 'Because it is so gentle, it can be done on people of any age.'
She said appointments could last for up to an hour. Those having sessions were advised not to undergo other treatments at the same time.
Once a treatment had finished she suggested they walk around for a while and drink lots of water.
'What is interesting about the Bowen Technique is that the improvements happen once the person has left, over the following days, as the body heals itself,' she explained.
Allison said that although the Bowen Technique was still not widely used, it was a growing therapy.
'Many people have heard of it but are not sure what it entails. Once they try it and discover that it can work, however, it is something they often come back to,' she added.
Builder William Kirk, 56, from Wroxham, has suffered back problems for the past 10 years.
A working life of lifting heavy materials and handling equipment has caused him to experience significant pain every so often.
'From time to time I would find myself bent over and doing the old chimpanzee walk,' he said. 'My back would hurt so much that it would be hard to stand up.'
William used to go to a chiropractor for treatment until his wife found out about the Bowen Technique.
'My wife is interested in alternative medicine and kinesiology, and met Allison,' he explained. 'She then told me about the Bowen Technique and thought it might work for my back problems.'
To begin with, William admitted he was sceptical about the technique.
'To be honest, I could not see how a treatment that was so gentle could really work. To begin with there is no great change but then over the next day or two the pain eases off, and you do see results.'
William now visits Allison every time his back flares up and says his body always responds well to the treatment.
'I think my body must go out of line through my work and that puts stress on my back,' he said. 'The Bowen Technique helps me to be able to stand up straight again and the pain goes away.'
For more information on the Bowen Technique and Allison Maltby's other treatments call 01603 418358 or visit www.kinesiology4health.co.uk