Is Bowen Therapy Safe For Pregnancy?

Pregnancy can come with its own host of issues such as aches, pains and muscle imbalances. But often, pregnant women aren’t aware of the options that are safe for use during pregnancy. Bowen Therapy is one option that is safe for all stages of life, including pre-conception, pregnancy and post-natal.

How can Bowen aid in fertility?

Often, women who are trying to fall pregnant may have issues because of stagnation and an overstimulated nervous system. Bowen treatment can help to calm the nervous system down and increase blood and lymph flow. It also helps to remove some of the stress about conceiving, especially if there has already been difficulty.

It’s important to note that Bowen is not a stand-alone treatment for fertility – medical interventions may still be necessary. But it is a helpful tool to add into the regime.

How can Bowen help during pregnancy?

Bowen is a safe and effective treatment to use during pregnancy, because it is a light touch modality. Some moves are avoided for safety – so please do let me know if you are pregnant!

It can help to relieve issues such as:

Pelvic pain & instability

Lower back pain 

First time mum anxiety

Common muscle imbalances caused by pregnancy

Basically, any problem that arises during pregnancy due to muscle imbalances, tight fascia or an overactive nervous system – Bowen can support you through it.

I will often prescribe some homework to help mums-to-be maintain muscle strength. This makes it easier to rebuild strength after the baby is born, and speed up recovery.  After all, you need to be at your fittest to keep up with your child!

It can also be used to help induce labour if needed. However, this is a very intensive protocol – you need daily treatment for 3-4 days. So it’s best to use your local Bowen practitioner if this is the plan!

Bowen helps post-natal issues

The benefits don’t stop after you’ve had your little one! Bowen is fantastic for post-natal care.

Some of the things that I commonly help mothers with include:

Sore shoulders from breastfeeding

Sore arms from carrying

Overall body pain post-birth

Strengthening the body 

Mastitis

Stress management and calming the nervous system

Due to my training as a pre and post-natal yoga teacher, I can also support you with balancing exercises that you can do at home. This will help your treatment to hold and benefit you for longer.

There are even ways that Bowen can help with your little ones – but we’ll discuss that further in another post. 

Is it time to introduce Bowen into your care plan for pregnancy and beyond? Book in your first session today, and we can make a treatment plan to support your needs.

How To Find A Calm Space When You’re Overwhelmed

When you’re a mum, you will feel overwhelmed at times. But you need to have ways to find a calm space when overload hits. Let’s look at some practical ways to do that.

The Problem With Overwhelm

When you’re doing too much, you’re disconnected from your body. You’re giving so much to others that you completely forget yourself in the process. 

The problem is, if you disconnect from your body, it’s difficult to process your thoughts and emotions. You’re more likely to lash out, fight, or make mistakes. And that just leads to more stress. It’s a vicious cycle.

How To Find A Calm Space

Take a break

The most useful thing I have found as a mum who needs to calm down sometimes? Taking a break away from the family. This isn’t a time to yell at the kids that you need to be alone. Just let them know that you need 5 minutes to be alone, because you feel whatever emotion it is. 

I explain to my children that I’m feeling angry, or frustrated, and that taking time out helps me to feel better. This works differently depending on the age of the child, of course – but do what you can do to make space for yourself.

Get moving

No, this isn’t just about exercise and endorphins. This is about releasing the energy that is pent up in your body when you’re feeling strong emotions. You need to get that energy out – so find out what works for you.

When we’re angry, a lot of energy goes to our hands so we can fight. So punch a pillow or use your upper body to move something heavy. When we’re scared, energy goes to the feet so we can flee. If that’s how you feel, stamp your feet, jog on the spot or do some jumping jacks.

Listen to music

We all have our favourite songs that lift us up or let us belt out our energy through our lungs. It might be one song, or it might be a whole album. But science supports the healing powers of sound.

Whenever a song gives you a sense of calm or confidence, add it to a playlist. Then, when you hit a state of overwhelm, crank the music and feel it melt away. This is great to use in combination with moving your body, too.

Why I Don’t Recommend ‘Breathing’ (Still Mind Meditation)

Sure, breathing can be used to calm the body. But honestly, it doesn’t work for many people which can lead to more street and feelings of inadequacy. Most people can’t do something that low in energy when they have pent up emotions or a busy mind. That’s why I recommend movement and redirecting thoughts instead of focusing on your breath, at least to start with. 

My favourite thing to do before yoga is to do an Osho Active shaking Meditation. This is a method of meditation which is an active meditation comprised of shaking and moving for the purpose of releasing energy from the body. To me, that is a much more achievable way to find calm when you’re stressed out.

For those with a busy mind when they are still, perhaps trying to go to sleep, I recommend Yoga Nidra.  This is the process of shifting your awareness to different parts of your body, rather than trying to eliminate thinking. There as so many Yoga Nidra's available but my favourite is available here for download.

How I Cultivate Calm During A Session

My Bowen sessions are designed to cultivate calm in the mums that come and see me. The room is set up so that your kids can play around us – they don’t have to be away. There are baskets of toys to play with. So you can really take some down-time without worrying about your little ones. It’s time for you to find your calm space.

Does time to relax sound like something you need? Book in your appointment today, and we’ll get you back to a calm space in no time.

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Tips To Help Relieve Anxiety Naturally

Many people these days experience symptoms of anxiety. Some might have daily symptoms, and others might feel anxious when they’re highly stressed. Either way, anxiety can impair your thinking and put a strain on your nervous system. So here are a few ways to naturally relieve symptoms of anxiety.

Learn your triggers

Anxiety can have different triggers, depending on the person. Some might be tiny little events that can send you down into an anxiety spiral. The best way to empower yourself is to learn your triggers, so you can make a plan for them.

It would be great if we could just avoid them altogether. But unfortunately, a lot of anxiety triggers are unavoidable parts of everyday life. So instead, make a plan for how you can deal when they do arise. 

Move your body

Anxiety will trigger the fight-or-flight reaction in your body. So until you do one of those things, it’s going to keep nervous energy pent up. The best way to let that energy out is to move your body.

How you move your body depends on how you feel. You might prefer some calming yoga moves, or you might like to sweat it out in the gym.

 

A lot of fearful energy tends to go to the lower body so that you can run away if you need to. So if you don’t have much time, try jumping up and down or stamping your feet to release some energy. 

Get off the caffeine cycle

When I meet people who experience anxiety, they will often be on a mix of uppers and downers. In the morning, they’ll jolt themselves up with caffeine. In the evening, they’ll try to taper down their anxiety with alcohol. Then they’ll sleep poorly, and need caffeine again in the morning.

The problem is, both caffeine and alcohol can make the situation worse. Both can trigger or exacerbate anxious symptoms. Caffeine in particular will elevate your stress hormones.

If you can’t give up cold turkey, switch your coffee out for green tea. It has some caffeine, but also compounds that calm the nervous system.

Get some bodywork

A little-known fact is that the body will release calming, feel-good chemicals when it is touched in a nurturing way. And there’s no better way to experience that than bodywork treatments.

If you experience regular anxiety, make bodywork part of your management plan. A therapy like Bowen can help to release the tension from the body without inflicting pain – so it’s much friendlier for the anxious brain.

How I work with anxiety

For someone who experiences anxiety, it can take time to relax the body. Often a client will take a while to trust that Bowen is safe, and they can relax on the table. A client will often display signs of anxiety in a shaky energy, as well as certain body postures and non-verbal cues.

My goal is to release the tight, taut fascia that is common with clients who experience anxiety. Your body is constantly guarding itself against threats, so knotted fascia is like a layer of protection. We need to teach the body that it’s ok to relax the muscles and allow you to move freely.

If you want to experience how Bowen can help with anxiety, book in an appointment today.

 

 

Note: If you want to learn more about anxiety, I highly recommend Rewire Your Anxious Brain by Catherine Pittman and Elizabeth Karle. It will help you to understand the processes behind anxiety, and how you can work with those to feel better.

Feeling The Pressure? Tips To Relieve Stress Naturally

The modern world is full of things that make us feel stressed. But unfortunately, that can build up and lead to burnout, illness and injury. Mums are under even more pressure, thanks to the expectation that we should ‘do it all’. So here are some ways to manage your stress naturally.

Make time for yourself

When you’re stressed, you can find yourself feeling like you don’t have any ‘you’ left. But it is essential for you to do something for yourself at least once every week.

This is particularly important for mums. Your partner should be encouraging you to get out of the house, away from the kids! Otherwise you will lose yourself. 

Even if it’s just 1 hour each week where you go for a walk or a drive, take that time. It’s much easier to keep perspective when you can step away from stressful situations.

Let yourself suck sometimes

I know it’s hard to admit – but sometimes, you will suck, especially when you’re under stress. And that’s ok. Life is resilient, and so are kids, so your world won’t shatter if you’re not the perfect mum all the time. 

Motherhood is not a performance. You practice it – and yes, sometimes you’ll get it wrong sometimes. But that’s ok. Your mother would have made mistakes too! Remember – you have survived 100% of the bad days you’ve had so far.  

Communicate

When you’re stressed and frustrated, it can be easy to blame others and project onto them. But it’s important to catch yourself out and communicate in a more authentic way.

When you want to tell someone how you’re feeling, start with ‘I feel...’, not ‘You did...’ - it means others are more likely to listen rather than defending their position. And if they are listening, you will feel heard, and this can relieve some stress.

Watch your thoughts

Often, stress can be started, or at least exacerbated, by your thoughts. So in order to catch this out, you need to be aware of the thoughts that are going through your mind when you are stressed.

Observe: are your thoughts kind, or are they mean? Is it helpful? If you said it to a 5 year old child, would they burst into tears? The goal is to speak to yourself the same way that you would speak someone that you love when they are under pressure.

Move your body

If you’re not moving your body regularly, you’re missing out on one of the best stress-relief options out there. Whatever it is that makes your body feel good, do that.

If you like your movement slow and calming, go to a yoga class on a weekly basis, or practice it at home. If you’re more into high-energy options, dance – and by dance, I mean unstructured, free movement. Dance like nobody is looking – because they probably aren’t!

Have more sex!

Sex is a great way to relieve stress – as long as you’re enjoying it, of course! It stimulates happy hormones and chemicals, allows you to connect with another person, and is a great exercise as well.

If you’re a single mum, or if you prefer the solo option – self-sex is just as beneficial for stress relief. You can connect with yourself just as well!

Get touched regularly

Human beings need physical touch to be healthy and thrive, especially when it comes to stress. So one of the easiest ways to relieve stress is to engage in regular touch.

Bodywork is the best bang-for-your-buck option. It will help you to relieve that stress by stimulating feel-good chemicals. But you’ll also experience the benefit of relieving the nervous system and muscles of the physical stress.

Is it time to get some bodywork to relieve some of your stress? Head over to the booking page, and we’ll have you feeling better in no time.

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First Bowen Therapy Appointment? What To Expect

It can be intimidating to walk into a first appointment – especially if you don’t know what to expect! So let’s go through everything you need to know before your first Bowen Therapy appointment.

Things Your Bowen Therapist Needs To Know

Bowen might be gentle, but in order to give you the most effective treatment, I need to know a fair bit about your health history. Here are some things I need to know that you might not think of!

- Your overall health history

- Any rods, pins and surgery that you’ve undergone over your lifespan

- Dental implants – these can be a problem if I don’t know about them beforehand!

Other implants, including breast, cheek and butt – I need to know about all of these. Plus I can tell it’s there, because it feels different to body tissue, so you can’t hide it from me!

I may also ask questions that seem to be a bit random. This is because I need to get a holistic picture of your life – not just what your muscles are up to. There are psychological and emotional aspects to care as well as physical, so I will need to be aware of those. 

What Happens During The Session

We will start by discussing some of the above information, and what I can help you to address. I will assess how your body is moving and holding itself. Then we will start treatment.

Bowen treatments are gentle – it’s like the homeopathy of bodywork. I will let you know where you need to be positioned on the table. Then, I will All you need to do while it happens is breathe, so you can experience all of the benefits. 

If you prefer, I can treat you over light clothes. You can also ask to stop or pause at any time if something doesn’t feel right. Whatever makes you feel comfortable will lead to the best outcome of the treatment.

A lot of clients ask me about the ‘wait-time’ that occurs during treatment. This is because the nervous system needs time to take the message, take it up to the brain, and then respond to it. The blood and lymph need time to start moving. So there will be pauses of 90-120 seconds to allow for all of this to happen.

It’s important to remember that I don’t ‘fix’ your body. I just guide it to heal itself. Often, simple awareness is all the body needs in order to solve the issue.

Bowen Therapy Aftercare

If you’ve never had Bowen before, you may experience mild side effects after your treatment. So here are a few things to keep in mind after your treatment:

Drink plenty of water, to support lymph flow and reduce the ‘detox’ effect

Take it easy the next day – you may experience lower energy, but try and go slow instead of propping yourself up with caffeine or pushing through it

Stick to gentle movement, such as walking, to support lymph flow without taxing the body

How Often Do I Need Bowen Therapy?

This is like asking ‘how long is a piece of string?’ The worse the injury, the more treatments that you will need. People may need sessions once a week times per week until the body heals. Others may need just 3 sessions to heal. 

To speed up the healing process, I will often give you homework to do. This might include exercises and stretches to train your muscles to stay strong and stable. It might be tools to help you stay calm and collected. You will get the best results possible if you do your homework!

Ready to book in your first Bowen Therapy appointment? Head on over to the booking page and get yourself booked in today.

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MY APPROACH TO BOWEN THERAPY

Every practitioner brings something different to the table. We all have different reasons about what we do and why we do it. So I thought I’d share a bit about my journey with Bowen Therapy, and how I approach it today.

How I Discovered Bowen Therapy

The way I found Bowen was actually through my own personal experience. I’d had a dodgy arm and shoulder, and had numbness all the way down to my fingers. I tried many different therapies unsuccessfully. Then I was treated by a Bowen student – and walked away pain-free after one session. I was astonished and very grateful.

Being the curious creature I am, I had to figure out why Bowen had helped me so much! So I studied it. What I learned is that Bowen looks at the body as a system. You might need to treat someones back and pelvis to fix a pain in the foot, or the other way around. Many other modalities miss out on this holistic view.

Now, Bowen the focus of what I do – my favourite tool to help others on their healing journey.

How I Approach A Bowen Therapy Session

My passion is integrated health. I use my knowledge of yoga to observe your posture and see how your body is holding itself. From this, I can identify what is misaligned. Sometimes, I might get you to move your body in different ways so I can pinpoint an imbalance.

The important thing that’s important to remember when you have a treatment is that I am not the solution. I will help you uncover the best way to heal, whether that is Bowen or something else. Your body is doing the work, I’m just making it as easy as possible for it to do just that.

A session with me is like an hour of meditation. All you have to do is breathe deeply, and be aware of what you’re experiencing. This will calm your nervous system and emotions down, and allow the greatest benefits to happen.

If something feels wrong, then just let me know – you’re in the driver’s seat. Do you need a break? Do you need a tissue? An extra pillow? Whatever your body needs is absolutely fine. 

Why I Prescribe Homework

It’s also essential to look at what you’re doing in your daily life. Bowen can’t undo the things you do every day to strain your muscles, so you might need to train the muscles to hold you better. This is why I’ll prescribe homework such as yoga exercises. 

The same goes for your mental health. I love to share with clients the research I’ve done into the nervous system and how we can work with it. There is science out there that can teach us how to keep developing and become our best selves. So I might suggest books or other resources to help you understand what’s out there to help.

Does Bowen Therapy sound like something you want to experience? Next week, we’ll talk more about what to expect in a session. Otherwise, pop over to book your session today.

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