Mental Health

Bowen for Mental Health
Bowen for Mental Health

Mental Health

Mental Health Awareness Week takes place from the 9th May 2022.  It is an annual event, aiming to help the whole of the UK to focus on achieving good mental health. The Mental Health Foundation started the event 21 years ago. Each year the Foundation continues to set the theme, organise and host the week. This year's theme is loneliness.  Loneliness is affecting more and more of us in the UK and has had a huge impact on our physical and mental health during the pandemic. Our connection to other people and our community is fundamental to protecting our mental health and we need to find better ways of tackling the epidemic of loneliness. We can all play a part in this. (Source: Mentalhealth.org)

What is Mental Health?

People with a physical disability are more likely to experience a mental health problem, while people with a mental health problem are more likely to experience a physical health problem.

  • More than 15 million people - 30% of the UK population - live with one or more long-term conditions, and more than 4 million of these people will also have a mental health problem.
  • People with long-term physical conditions are more likely to have lower wellbeing scores than those without.
  • People with cancer, diabetes, asthma and high blood pressure are at greater risk of a range of mental health problems such as depression, anxiety and PTSD.
  • Of people with severe symptoms of mental health problems, 37.6% also have a long-term physical condition. This compares with 25.3% of people with no or few symptoms of a mental health problem.

This has been taken from the Mental Health Organisation https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/statistics/mental-health-statistics-physical-health-conditions

bowen treatment for anxiety

These statistics are frightening and over the years to help address this I have studied psychotherapy, hypnotherapy, positive psychology, emdr plus along with a few others to help address these problems. This gives you the opportunity to have a gentle hands-on-therapy, to be able to talk, not talk or a combination of the two. It really is about what you need to do.

Bowen Therapy for mental health problems whether it be insomnia, anxiety, depression, or stress works with the body’s nerve receptors to calm down the nervous system. This prompts the body to move from the fight, flight, freeze mode to the parasympathetic mode. Bowen Therapy works with the fascia which holds onto trauma throughout the person’s lifetime and can help to release these emotions. It is common not only for a person to feel very relaxed but to experience a release of emotions, either during or following a Bowen treatment. Some other benefits that make Bowen Therapy a good choice is that the treatment is very gentle and can be carried out through light clothing so there is no need to undress. There is no force, or manipulation during treatment and after a few moves there is a break allowing the body to do the work.

A common feature of people with anxiety, depression and stress is poor posture as people hunch over and cross legs and arms to make themselves as small as possible so that they feel safer. This inhibits breathing which in turn can make the anxiety worse and can cause misalignment in the body which can cause pain thus compounding the problem. Bowen Therapy can help address the misalignment problem as well as the mental health conditions and there are specific moves to help with breathing.

Women’s Health

Bowen Therapy for Women's Health

Bowen Therapy has been used to help with a wide range of Women's Health issues ranging from fertility to the menopause. I have been absolutely thrilled to help clients with fertility issues and hearing their positive pregnancy news is always very exciting. This was a wonderful email I received from a very happy client which absolutely made my day.

“My life has changed so much since last time I saw you (in a good way ) and you were part of this. After we finished working together, I made some changes in my life, I become pescatarian, I started to be a bit more kind to myself when I needed and I enjoyed my "time of the month" pain free. On 17th of June we found out I was pregnant and 2 weeks ago we were told that we will be having a baby boy due on 21 of February”
CA Bracknell

Fertility issues appear to be focused on the brain-pituitary-ovarian axis. Stress, negative emotions, and unbalanced FSH disrupt the hormonal communication between the brain, pituitary, and ovaries. Sympathetic overdrive decreases ovarian blood flow and egg production as well. This is where the Bowen Technique excels-rebalancing the nervous system to increase parasympathetic activity leading to a balancing out of hormones, decreased stress levels and increased blood flow throughout the body. Bowen can also be used alongside all fertility treatments such as Clomid challenge, IUI and IVF.

Though virtually all women experience menopause, it has remained taboo for many women. Hormonal changes during menopause typically bring unpleasant symptoms, but relatively few women talk about or address their menopause symptoms. On average, most symptoms last around 4 years from your last period. However, around 1 in every 10 women experience them for up to 12 years. I have also worked with several clients with different aspects of the menopause. I recognise that this can be a very difficult time and affect us all very differently. Bowen Therapy for the menopause treats the body as a whole and has been shown to help with various symptoms including hot flushes, tiredness, anxiety, sleeplessness and many other hormonal issues. Everyone is different and the number of sessions required will often vary. Often three are sufficient as this lady found. To find out more about the menopause please read my blog.

“I can highly recommend Lee, she treated me for menopause issues and was amazing. After three sessions the hot flushes had gone and so had the ice-cold feelings, not to mention the lower back pain and tight shoulders! I was also sleeping much better. Lee is very knowledgeable about the body and helped me with some posture issues and better sitting positions also. Thank you, Lee.”
DP Twickenham.

To find out more about the menopause please read my blog.

Men’s Health

Men's Health Matters!

A recent report from the Samaritans showed that (https://www.samaritans.org/news/real-people-awareness-campaign-encourage-men-seek-help/)
Two in five (41%) men in England, Scotland and Wales aged 20-59 do not seek support when they need to, because they prefer to solve their own problems. The survey also showed that men often don’t want to feel like a burden and don’t feel their problems will be understood.

The survey found that some of the main reasons why these men find life tough, and struggle include debt or financial worries (36%), relationship breakdown or family problems (30%), loneliness or isolation (29%) and job loss or job-related problems (25%).

Generally (although certainly not in all cases) men are less in tune with their bodies and one of the most important things that I do is listen to what is being said.

Bowen Therapy treats the person as a whole and on the first treatment it will generally address the most important issue, so if a gentleman has come with pain because he is unable to sleep, often the first result will be a good night's sleep as this is when the body repairs itself.

Bowen Therapy switches off the “flight or fight” response which means that stress levels and anxiety generally reduce. This can have a knock on with posture as if we are anxious, we tend to stoop and close in on ourselves.

It can also help with re-alignment, posture and re-occurring injuries, so Bowen Therapy is simply great for men as well as women.

I also look very much at what you do for a living and any sports as often problems are caused by our everyday living and work, so it is important sometimes to change the way we sit or move to prevent the same problem keep cropping up.

I am seeing many more men now who are experiencing symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome, mental exhaustion, and anxiety , to find out more about this please read my blog on Men's Health.

Pain

bowen treatment for pain
bowen treatment for pain

Pain

Whatever type of pain you are experiencing whether it be Lower Back Pain, Shoulder Pain, Neck Pain or Plantar fasciitis, Bowen can normally help. Bowen for pain relief works on a deep level. It gently and powerfully helps your whole-body tore-balance the tensional relationships of the connective tissues (fascia). This in turn can take the pressure from the painful area and relieve the symptoms.

It does not just work on the specific area. Bowen Therapy is also known to relax your central nervous system, allowing your body to be more in its ‘rest and repair’ state which is so often under active in our highly stressed modern lives. This helps you stop tightening your fascia when stressed thus aggravating the problem, (try clenching your fist and see how the remainder of the body feels particularly the jaw and shoulder).

When we are in pain we compensate and start moving the affected area in a different way. We will change our posture to accommodate the pain and over time we compensate more and more until the other side is unable to cope as it can change our total posture.

The beauty of Bowen is that we look at the whole body – it is all connected! I will look at what you do for a living, the movements you make and really work to get to the root source of the pain. Exercises can also be prescribed where appropriate and sometimes changing the way you move can really stop the problem from re-occurring. My aim is not just to relieve the pain but prevent it coming back. This is where my personal trainer background and the exercise and rehabilitation course I attended really help.

I have treated some people who have been diagnosed with carpal tunnel, carpal tunnel syndrome or RSI and sometimes it stems from problems in the back or the jaw. Headaches and migraines likewise can come from tense shoulders and even sometimes the ankle being out of alignment. Whiplash can often be a cause of a misalignment right through the body, as can neck and shoulder pain. Frozen shoulders are often a result of a problem with the pelvis being misaligned.

Plantar Fasciitis

bowen for plantar fasciitis

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar Fasciitis is quite common and affects 1:10 people. It is a painful condition in the foot often caused by repetitive strain to the plantar fascia. The plantar fascia is a thick fibrous connective tissue which runs from under the foot from heel to toes. It functions as a type of shock absorber to the foot when moving, walking, or running.  However, it’s quite rigid.  If too much traction is put on the plantar fascia, “trauma” such as an accident or “over-doing it” may result in micro-tears of the fascia.  These micro-tears result in inflammation and pain. Plantar Fasciitis however can result in pain throughout the whole body not just the foot.

bowen treatment for plantar fasciitis

What causes Plantar Fasciitis?

  • Plantar fasciitis is most seen in people with poor foot biomechanics that put stress on the plantar fascia.  Flat feet, weak foot arches and over-pronation are common causes due to over-stretching of the plantar fascia.
  • Common risk factors include:
  • Activity
  • Sports such as running, walking or dance that place stress on the heel bone and attached tissue increase the risk of plantar fasciitis, especially if the intensity of exercise is increased.
  • Extended standing or on-feet
  • Activities or jobs that require a lot of walking or standing on hard surfaces can lead to stress and fatigue of foot muscles.
  • Weight and pregnancy
  • Additional weight, even through latter stages of pregnancy, increases strain and stress on plantar fascia.
  • Flat feet, over-pronation
  • Arches are the foot’s shock absorber.  With lack of arch, or arches that are weak and/or over-pronate, additional strain is placed on the plantar fascia, which absorbs the force.
  • Shoes with poor support
  • Shoes that provide no support put strain on the plantar fascia. Ballet flats, converse sneakers and flip-flops are not good for feet.  All these shoes are thin-soles and provide no arch support. High heels can also encourage the achilles tendon to shorten, adding additional strain on heel tissue.
bowen treatment for plantar fasciitis

What are the symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis usually causes pain in the heel of the foot.  For some, it may be felt in the arch area or other parts of the sole of the foot, although heel pain is the most common location.  The heel may also have mild swelling.

The pain tends to be worse in the mornings or after resting.  The first few steps out of bed can feel intense, like a knife sticking into the bottom of the foot but improves with activity as feet warm up.  For many, pain may also be felt after long periods of standing or starting to move after being seated for a time.

For those doing sport, the heel pain usually makes itself known after exercise, but not normally during.

To find out tips for helping Plantar Fasciitis please read my blog.

Insomnia

Insomnia

Frighteningly 1 in 3 of us do not get enough sleep. This has a direct impact on both mental and physical health.

How much sleep do we need?

Women need more than men and an average adult needs 7-9 hours’ sleep per night. When we sleep our bodies repair soft tissue, process our learning release hormones and restore our energy stores ready for the next day

bowen treatment for anxiety

Lack of sleep can disturb the hormone balance in our bodies which in turn can cause a poor immune system, stress, weight gain, sugar cravings, high blood pressure, it can impair cognitive ability and increase risk of injury.

How to help get a good night’s sleep
1 Routine – go to bed the same time each night and get up at the same time.
2 Avoid over stimulation before bedtime. Screens are known to disrupt sleep so instead of looking at a laptop, mobile or tv try reading a
book.
3 Create a calming environment and avoid wi fi lights. An old fashioned clock is better than using a mobile for an alarm. Diffusing essential
oils such as Lavender can aid relaxation and sleep as can meditation.
4 Avoid caffeine from late in the afternoon. There are many calming herbal teas available such as chamomile or specific night time ones.
Avoid things like hot chocolate as the sugar content can create spikes.
5 An obvious one – get comfy and be at the right temperature.
6 Have a Bowen Treatment.

How Does Bowen Therapy help with Insomnia

It has been proven touch can stimulate serotonin production which helps to regulate temperature, mood and appetitive.
Pain can prohibit sleep and Bowen therapy addresses the musculoskeletal issues helping to prevent pain. The gentle Bowen moves help the body’s nerve receptors to calm down the nervous system and reduce pain and anxiety which in turn aids a good night’s sleep.

To find out more about Insomnia please CLICK HERE

Anxiety

Anxiety – You are not alone!

In England, 1 in 6 people report experiencing a common mental health problem (such as anxiety and depression) in any given week. This information has been taken from the charity “MIND” whose report was in 2017.

bowen treatment for anxiety

What can cause Anxiety

People can react differently to different life events situations. For example job changes and work stress, Family and relationship problems can cause anxiety in some people whereas others sail through these problems. Recently I have been treating a number of people for driving anxiety after being involved in a car accident, whereas many of us would get back in the car with no problem. Health problems can also cause anxiety such as asthma, heart disease, it’s unpleasant and worrying not being able to breathe easily, something many of us take for granted. Unfortunately I am seeing more and more young people with anxiety due to pressure of school work and the impact social media is having on their lives. I recently shared an article about the impact of technology on children. Just click CLICK HERE to see this.

Different types of anxiety:

Generalised Anxiety Disorder This is when people feel worried most of the time and is not related to specific life event triggers. This can interfere with their normal everyday lives.

Social Phobia This often affects people who have a fear of being criticized, embarrassed or humiliated. These people will have anxious feelings around social events and not like speaking in public, being assertive or making small talk.

Specific Phobias
There are a huge variety of phobias, such as heights, spiders, flying Most of the time these can be avoided but some can be difficult to avoid and bring on panic attacks even with the smallest of triggers.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (also known as OCD) These people have ongoing fears which can often lead to the obsession of carrying out certain rituals or behaviour. Such as a fear of germs, so constantly washing hands or safety so a ritual of keep checking doors are locked and things turned off. Most people accept their behavior appears silly but continue with it irrespectively.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)This can happen after someone experiences a traumatic event. Often their life, and safety of themselves or others around them. This often manifests in re-experiencing the past such as flashbacks of the event and avoidance of anything related. It is worth noting here that everyone is individual and what one person will feel is a traumatic event, another might not see it that way.

Panic Attacks
These are often a common symptom for people with an anxiety disorder and can happen for no apparent reason. They can be very frightening as often there is a shortness of breath, chest pain, dizziness and sweating.

 

Things that can help with Anxiety

There are many things which can help with anxiety. Breathing techniques, restorative yoga, mindfulness, hypnotherapy, cbt, good nutrition, regular exercise, homeopathy and bowen therapy to name just a few.

Here is a useful video to watch about Anxiety.

Bowen Therapy for Anxiety

Bowen Therapy for anxiety works with the body’s nerve receptors to calm down the nervous system. This prompts the body to move from the fight, flight, freeze mode to the parasympathetic mode. Bowen Therapy works with the fascia which holds onto trauma throughout the person’s lifetime and can help to release these emotions. It is common not only for a person to feel very relaxed but to experience a release of emotions, either during or following a Bowen treatment. Some other benefits that make Bowen Therapy a good choice is that the treatment is very gentle and can be carried out through light clothing so there is no need to undress. There is no force, or manipulation during treatment and after a few moves there is a break allowing the body to do the work.

A common feature of people with anxiety is poor posture as people hunch over and cross legs and arms to make themselves as small as possible so that they feel safer. This inhibits breathing which in turn can make the anxiety worse and can cause misalignment in the body which can cause pain thus compounding the problem. Bowen Therapy can help address the misalignment problem and there are specific moves to help with breathing.

There is a wealth of advice about anxiety available now. I have put some links below for your reference.

For information from the charity "MIND" CLICK HERE
For information from the "Mental Health Organisation" CLICK HERE

There are also meditation and mindfulness apps on mobiles such as “Calm”, Headspace and “The Mindfulness App”

Sciatica

What is Sciatica?

The sciatic nerve is the largest and longest nerve in the body. It originates in the lower spine, branches into the pelvis, then travels down through the buttocks and the back of the legs and branches into the lower legs and feet. Sciatic pain occurs when there is pressure on, or damage to, the sciatic nerve, and can cause pain to the lumbar spine including; bulging disc, joint inflammation, wear and tear. Spine degeneration can cause this irritation. Bowen for Sciatica has been shown to relieve this pain.

What are the symptoms of Sciatica?

Sciatic pain can vary from infrequent and irritating to constant and debilitating. Symptoms vary from each individual and depending on severity but often include one or more of the following;

  • Constant pain in only one side of the buttock or leg (rarely in both legs)
  • Pain that is worse when motionless
  • Pain that occurs sporadically
  • Leg pain that is often described as burning, searing or tingling
  • A sharp pain that may make it difficult to stand up/walk
  • Weakness, numbness, or difficulty moving the leg, foot, and/or toes

How can you avoid getting Sciatica?

While back pain due to sciatica, and other causes, is common, there are a number of measures that can help to prevent it occurring or reduce the likelihood that it will recur:

  • Maintain correct posture when standing, walking and sitting.
  • Don't smoke.
  • Maintain a healthy body weight.
  • Practice safe lifting techniques. When lifting, bend the knees and keep your back straight. By doing this, the strain is taken by the hips and legs, not the back. Hold the object close to the body. The further away from the body the object is, the more stress is put onto the lower back.
  • Undertake exercise that maintains aerobic fitness and strength and flexibility in the abdominal and spinal muscles.
  • Ensure that your back is well supported when seated.
  • Use chairs that provide good back support and are designed to provide a good seating posture.
  • A lumber roll or contoured cushion can help to provide lower back support.
  • Avoid carrying a wallet in your back pocket.
sciatica symptoms

What can you do to help alleviate the pain

  • Carry on with your normal activities as much as possible
  • Regular back stretches
  • Start gentle exercise as soon as you can – anything that gets you moving can help

Bowen Therapy and Sciatica

Bowen for Sciatica works on a deep level, gently and powerfully helping your whole body re-balance the tensional relationships of the connective tissues (fascia) which in turn can take the pressure off of the sciatic nerve and therefore relieving the symptoms. Bowen Therapy is also know to relax your central nervous system, allowing your body to be more in its ‘rest and repair’ state which is so often under active in our highly stressed modern lives. This helps you stop tightening your fascia when stressed thus aggravating the problem. (try clenching your fist and see how the remainder of the body feels particularly the jaw and shoulder). Many clients find themselves unable to get comfortable in bed and thus suffer poor sleep. It is important to address this issue also as sleep is when the body repairs itself. As Bowen Therapy calms the body down this aids with relaxation of the fascia which in turn can help with a good night’s sleep.
I treat many clients for sciatica, and if they have been experiencing it for a period of time before coming for treatment, when they first arrive often the pain is on the opposite side. This is because naturally when we are in pain we compensate and start taking the weight of the affected side. We will change our posture to accommodate the pain and over time we compensate more and more until the other side is unable to cope as it can change our total posture. The beauty of Bowen is that we look at the whole body – it is all connected! I will look at what you do for a living, the movements you make and really try and get to the root source of the pain. Exercises can also be prescribed where appropriate and sometimes changing the way you move can really stop the problem from re-occurring. My aim is not just to relieve the pain, but prevent it coming back. This is where my personal trainer background and the exercise and rehabilitation course I attended really help. If you have any questions, do please contact me.

Some feedback from just a few of the clients whom I have treated for Sciatica

"Dear Lee Thank you for this morning. Invoice all paid and pain free"

M R Oxon

"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 (Hip, sciatica, back and neck pain)

"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. Best wishes Judith (Cann)

JC Isleworth