The Bowen Technique for trauma

by Helen Mawson

In this article I would like to share with you some information on how The Bowen Technique can help the body to deal with trauma whether after an accident surgery or other traumatic situations.


When I talk about trauma I am referring to situations that challenge the body’s ability to remain in a state of balance or anything that puts the body seriously out of balance. This could be a car, sporting or some other form of accident. Trauma could also take the form of surgical or medical procedures and pregnancy and childbirth are also be included.


When a traumatic incident occurs the body responds by setting up changes throughout its systems. One of these changes involves inflammation being created within the body. This inflammation will then set up complex patterns of hormone and toxin release that can have a significant impact upon health and effect an individual in many different ways.


Another effect of a traumatic event could involve compensation whereby the body adopts a different structural pattern that allows it to compensate for the sustained injury. The body is incredibly resilient and when faced with a problem will develop coping mechanisms as a response. For example in a car accident if the original injury sustained was a blow to the pelvis and if this is left untreated it could have significant effects on the whole body. Even a slight twist in the pelvis can cause uneven leg length, shoulder rotation, knee and ankle problems as just a few examples.


Accidents in any shape or form can have significant impact upon the body and obviously some are more serious than others. Specific groups of people are more susceptible to accidents than others and this also has a bearing on how the body deals with the trauma. For example if you play a particular sport the body might have adapted to deal with this as best it can.

I have found the following to be important when treating accidents;

• Treat as early as possible after the accident – In an ideal world it would be most beneficial to treat an individual as early as possible after an accident occurs. I have however often witnessed old injuries resurfacing and resolving with treatment. Trauma can be locked into the body at a cellular level for years!

• Locate the source of the original injury – Locating the original injury is often very interesting as the body does not always present this straight away. Often complex patterns of compensation have being set up by the body in order to deal with injuries. I am a body worker and also a detective!

• Emotional implications – In practice I often witness emotional release when patterns of trauma are corrected within the body. This will generally have significant positive impact for the body and the individual.


Surgery will cause the body trauma at different levels depending on the severity of the problem that is being addressed or operated on and the body’s ability to heal and deal with the anaesthetic or analgesic after the surgery.

In practice the issues I have helped individuals address after surgery have included;

• After effects of anaesthetics and analgesics
• Improving mobility
• Dealing with scar tissue
• Working on muscular strength
• Regaining structural balance

Pregnancy and childbirth

Pregnancy and childbirth is significant in its impact upon the female body and its structure, there are too many issues for us to go into in any great detail here so we will cover this lightly. Woman are all different anatomically, structurally, emotionally and the implications for pregnancy and childbirth vary significantly.

In practice I have found that Bowen can help with the following in pregnancy and childbirth;

• Posture – The ability of the body adopting the correct posture can help in so many ways but essentially it allows the body to adapt to the weight of the growing baby which is crucial for the body and structure to remain healthy and balanced.

• Creating space – The female pelvis is an amazing structure, it undergoes so many changes in its lifetime, pregnancy and childbirth being the most significant. Bowen work in this area will help create space and enable the structure to work as effectively as possible which will help the body function at its best.

• Emotional trauma – The emotional release often experienced when working with woman after pregnancy and childbirth can be significant for both mother and baby. With some woman birth trauma can re surface and present in the structure several years after birth. The emotional and structural relief after this work is completed is often significant.


My lifelong interest in holistic health and self- development led me to train in The Bowen Technique, Health Kinesiology and Reiki & Seichem. I undertake regular Continued Professional Development training (CPD) which enables me to be a full member of the Bowen Association in the UK and Australia. I am also a full member of the Kinesiology Federation in the UK and The Reiki & Seichem Association in the UK.

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