Fascia - and the way Bowen Treatments benefit the fascia
Each muscle is enveloped in a connective tissue called fascia.
The fascia connects everything in the body: muscles, bones, internal organs and the central nervous system. It plays a major role in muscle coordination, flexibility, postural alignment and overall structural and functional integrity. In short, this large fluid filled, continuous sheath holds us upright.
Misalignments in this tissue, adhesions and gluing patterns cause inefficient and restricted movement that eventually result in inflammation and pain.
Fascia also holds memories of trauma (physical as well as emotional) by literally shortening, contracting and dehydrating. Fascia surrounds the muscles and if it is shrunken from trauma or dehydration, the muscles will be less able to stretch and move to their full potential.
The fascia can aid normal, balanced posture. However, it can also support whatever patterns of movement and posture the body adopts from off-balance movement. This causes the body to slowly change shape, sometimes into painful unnatural positions.
The same network of connective tissue which contains and links the muscle system of a healthy body can be used to reshape the body when it has been pulled out of proper alignment.
Fortunately, the fascia can be restored to health, returning muscles and bones to their proper alignments and inducing correct movement.
Fascia combines into a continuous sheath that extends through the whole body. A Bowen treatment therefore will also address the whole body and not simply the area where symptoms materialise. During a Bowen treatment, the health of fascia is returned or enhanced. The push and pull of the Bowen moves separate stuck and glued fibres in the fascia, allowing the fluid transit routes to be reopened. Also, when released, these fibres return to their natural alignment, correcting posture and facilitating correct movement. With the health of the fascia addressed, muscle strains and sprains will heal more rapidly, producing faster freedom from pain.
health of fascia has a major impact on
the healthy functioning of all other systems in the body.
Move (Bowen Move)
A typical Bowen move over a muscle or tendon consists of the therapist's fingers or thumbs being placed on the muscle, the skin is drawn lightly away, and a gentle challenge (push) is made on the muscle. The challenge is held for a few seconds before a rolling move is made over the muscle itself.
This action elicits a powerful effect on the body on a number of levels, not just the musculoskeletal system. As a challenge is placed, the muscle is gently stretched. The stretch receptors (which lie alongside muscle fibres inside the muscle) begin to send sensory information along the nerve pathways to the spinal cord. There are many thousands of stretch receptors in each muscle. Thousands of times a second, they send information to the brain about the status of individual muscles.
During treatment, a stretch on the muscle is maintained for several seconds before the move itself is made. During and after the move, further sensory information is sent via nerves to the spinal cord and then to various areas of the brain. After the sensory information induced by the Bowen move reaches the spinal cord, it passes through the nerve pathways to different centres of the brain. Here, the information is shunted backwards and forwards via a complex, self-corrective feedback mechanism.
Following this, information is sent back down the spinal cord to individual muscles. Bowen moves are usually carried out in short sequences of two or four moves, leaving a gap of two minutes between the sequences, when the client is left in a quiet, relaxing, and warm atmosphere.
Bowen moves are made at key structural points in the body, which the brain uses as natural reference points to determine the body's posture. As a result, certain Bowen moves have a huge effect on the way that the body holds itself.
Updated 27 August 2019 14:45
Copyright - Marion Coetzee and Hare-Yama Ryu