I often get asked this question. It all depends on what you want to achieve. It’s worth asking yourself the following questions:
But it made me think.
So I’ve given three scenarios here:
Why did having a massage work for me in this case?
In my opinion the fact that this injury was not linked to postural problems or was not the result of any other injuries, had a huge impact on the success of the massage. Timing is also very important. By having the massage very early on, the body did not have to make any compromises to be able to function. Also, the massage brings fresh supply of blood to the affected area and helps start the repair process.
First of all, chronic pain is often defined as any pain lasting more than 12 weeks. It persists often for months or even longer. The fact that the person has had this pain or tension for a while means that the body had to make some changes to be able to move with maybe less pain.
Having a massage will not help in this instance as the body has had to make compromises and, as a result, will be out of alignment. A massage could help release tension and give temporary relief but will not realign or create the changes that the body needs.
Bowen Therapy, on the other hand, would help re-balance or re-align the body and, as a result, you would likely feel a reduction in pain. Sometimes it can take few sessions before you are completely free of pain as it all depends on what your body is going to do.
Your body knows exactly what it needs to do and it will prioritise on what is best for you at that moment. For example, if you have knee pain, it might be that your pelvis is out of balance and needs to be re-adjusted to remove the pressure from the knee which created the pain.
With Bowen therapy we don’t focus on an injury or condition. We need to know the health history of our clients to plan the treatment and try to understand what is going on, especially for an ongoing matter. But then, we look at the big picture; we look at the person as a whole, as anything that happens to us can be the result of past issues.
Since I started having Bowen treatments three years ago, my body has become more aligned and I very rarely now have an injury. I used to have daily headaches, tension around my neck and shoulders and a nagging pain around my lower back for years. Massage only helped me temporarily to feel better during the treatment and very shortly after. It also relaxed me but it’s only when I started having regular Bowen treatments that I could see and feel changes in my body. I no longer have these nagging aches, pains and tension that I used to have.
I still like having a massage as a treat as it feels so good and I love it. BUT, if I have a problem, I will chose to have a Bowen treatment as I know that I will have results.
A lot of people think that if they have an injury and do nothing, meaning no exercise, the injury will go away. It’s true that in many instances the pain will disappear and make us feel that we are ok now. So we go back to our exercise routine!
So what exactly happens when we have an injury and then do nothing?
The body will have to make some adjustments in order to function.
What are these adjustments?
It basically changes your posture. It can be anything from the way you stand, move or even tilt your pelvis forward slightly; turn your foot or feet inwards or outwards; move your head forwards… you get the picture? – there are hundreds of possibilities!
You have to be aware that your body will do anything to help you, but in the long run these postural changes will create other problems as they are not natural positions for the body and as I said earlier they are a temporary measure that the body takes in order to make us feel at ease – ideally until we do something about it.
The body has a lot of survival mechanisms which will come into place when needed.
If you have an injury, even a slight muscular pain and you are uncomfortable when moving, do something about it, as it won’t go away even if you rest. The quicker you act, the quicker the recovery. If you don’t, at some point in few months or even years, you might develop another problem which you’ll think is an isolated problem but in most cases it’s linked to an old injury.
Some therapies that manipulate the body by cracking, twisting or rubbing soft tissue, work but then the body relies on them and loses its ability to heal itself. Bowen on the other hand does not manipulate. The practitioner whilst performing gentle moves gives information to the body and the body does the work. In a way, it gives the body its power back, lets the body decide what it needs to do to get better.
What is very important is to find the therapy which works for you and is going to help you maintain good health.
Everything in this blog is my opinion based on my personal experience and years of practicing bodywork.