Complete Balance Holistic Therapies

Bowen for digestive and respiratory health

By Helen Mawson

In this article I will share with you some information concerning how I treat digestive and respiratory problems with The Bowen Technique. I will also talk a little about how these two issues can often be linked and about what symptoms people experience as a result of imbalance in these areas.

Diet & Lifestyle
Clearly both diet and lifestyle are important factors in establishing and maintaining good digestive health. A diet that contains the right nutrients for your unique needs is vitally important for vibrant health and well-being. Getting enough hydration is also vitally important, as is taking regular exercise that works for your body type. Another very important factor here concerns minimising stress and inflammation as much as possible. This factor could be an article in itself! Taking steps to reduce the stress you experience in your life will serve to help your health on so many levels including better digestion and absorption.

You are what you absorb
Forget about being – you are what you eat, in reality, you are what you can absorb. It might be that you are eating very healthily and doing everything right most of the time, but still your digestive problems persist. This could be to do with absorption and the way your body works as per your own unique physiology. Some people for example simply cannot digest certain foods. Some people may be able to digest certain foods with the aid of a specific digestive enzyme. We are all very unique in terms of our body biochemistry. As I hinted at above, digestive health can also be linked to stress and / or emotional problems.

The Bowen digestive / respiratory procedure
This procedure can assist the body to start working at its optimum in terms of digestive and respiratory health at a physiological level. The procedure also helps the body relax and re-balance and people often report improvements with emotional and stress related problems including depression, anxiety and panic attacks. Stress and emotional issues can often be at the root cause of both digestive and respiratory related symptoms. I have found Bowen to be invaluable when treating an individual’s digestive problems from a physiological perspective and also in addressing stress or emotional imbalance that might be causing other physical problems. The procedure can also often kick-start sluggish digestion, and metabolism significantly.

The procedure is done in two parts;
1. The first part of the procedure is applied to the patients back on the thoracic area over the erector spinae muscles on both sides of the body. Whilst doing this we bend the leg slightly which helps to lock the thoracic vertebrae and gives a release in the respiratory cavity. Often people experience a sense of expansion and feel as though they can breathe more freely after performing this.

2. The second part of this procedure is applied on the front of the body. One finger is placed on the epigastrium while gentle moves are made on either side of the body on the rectus abdominis on the rib cage. Often whilst these “moves” are being applied the digestive system starts to wake up and make noises!

Problems that have responded well to this procedure
In practice I use this procedure a lot and I have found that a multitude of symptoms and issues seem to respond well to it. This procedure is well indicated when the following issues are present;

Respiratory symptoms;
Breathing difficulties
Asthma
Bronchitis
Emphysema
Colds
Hay fever
Coughs

Gastro-intestinal symptoms;
Abdominal discomfort i.e. colic, hiatus
hernia and indigestion
Bloating
Heart burn
Nausea
Malabsorption issues

Liver, pancreatic or gallbladder problems

Diaphragm problems and tightness

Stress, shock, anxiety, grief

The Traditional Chinese Medicine connection
In Traditional Chinese Medicine or TCM for short, the Large Intestine and Lung meridians are coupled or connected. Often the symptoms that present when we look to treat with the digestive / respiratory procedure are interrelated and impact upon both Large Intestine and Lung function. We see the parallel of TCM reflected in the Bowen Digestive / Respiratory procedure as this one procedure impacts on these two areas of health.

Another interesting point to note here, is that in terms of TCM practitioners look at Lung and Digestive health when treating skin disorders. Often imbalance in those two areas has an impact on the skin or manifests (presents) itself in the skin. This would be another indicator that using the Bowen Digestive / Respiratory procedure may be helpful for an individual.