1. Stretch Reflex– most moves are done either at the origin, insertion or belly of muscles where the golgi cells receptors are located, informing the nervous system on the state of tension, length or stretch in the muscle and tendinous tissue. These receptions are stimulated during the “challenge” and the rolling part of the Bowen move. In case of a pain muscle spasm loop, we can break this vicious cycle by changing the stimulus received by the nervous system.
2. Joint Proprioceptors– All moves done around a joint directly affect the joint capsule and ligaments that are richly enervated with proprioceptors. Here again, stimulus will be received by the nervous system, inviting normalization of the joint function without the need for forceful manipulation.
3. Fascia– Each Bowen move is done at the level of the superficial fascia and affects the
relation between the fascia and the nerve, muscle or tendon being mobilized. The fascia plays a major role in muscle co-ordination, postural alignment and overall structural and functional integrity. All these will be negatively affected because following injuries the fascia will stiffen, contract, torque and dehydrate. Following a Bowen session it is not uncommon to see adhesions loosen up, scar tissue soften and posture and mobility improve without harsh mobilization or stretching.
4. Segmental Spinal Reflexes – These reflexes are engaged in most basic procedures to produce referred reactions to the internal organs through stimulation of skin and muscles.
5. Automonic Nervous System (ANS Rebalancing) – Bowen Therapy may have its most profound and important effect here where the body’s self healing mechanisms are governed. The ANS controls over 80% of bodily functions and is very susceptible to external stressors. Most people today live in a constant state of high stress and sympathetic ANS overstimulation. Healing occurs after the ANS shift from sympathetic to parasympathetic dominance. The technique seems to catalyze that shift – during sessions, patients often quickly fall asleep or drop into deep relaxation and loud peristalsis can be heard. This indicates a shift towards parasympathetic dominance with release from stress at a deep level. This could explain why a few Bowen sessions frequently reactivate the recovery process, where healing from trauma, sickness or surgery has stalled or reached a plateau.
6. Trigger Points – Several Bowen moves overlap with recognized trigger point locations. By clearing these trigger points, referred pain will be relieved and joint mobility and muscle co-ordination will be improved.
7. Acupuncture Points and Meridians – Most Bowen moves overlap acupuncture points and some actually cross two or three acupuncture meridians at once. Acupuncturists have correlated the indications and effects of Bowen moves with the corresponding acupuncture points. They also commented on the immediate changes of the acupuncture pulses in response to moves or procedures. The overlap of these two systems could explain the very strong energetic component of the technique and its effect on the internal organs.
8. Lymphatic Drainage Nodes and Lymphatic Circulation – Bowen Moves overlap the location of nodes and drainage reflex points that regulate the lymphatic system.
9. Tissue Tension Sense – Bowen Therapy does not use forceful manipulation. A unique skill of the Bowen practitioner is “tissue tension” sense, meaning the practitioners are able to discern stress build up in muscles and contracted soft tissue enabling them to personalize specific Bowen procedures to assist healing and recovery.
10. The Key to Success – There are frequent but very essential pauses throughout the session that allows the body time to respond and begin the healing process.