What your reading now is my first blog for the start of my big journey. I decided to start my first blog off with my main passion; Bowen Therapy! To begin I will explain why I decided to do a course for Bowen Therapy. After completing university I found myself a little lost without the mountain of assignments and exams to study for. It might sound outrageous but I thought to myself why not complete another course. I am passionate about anything to do with holistic practices and found Bowen therapy to be a beneficial treatment in a horses life (and my own).
Over the many years owning my own horses, my family and I always sought out a natural healer to help with any issues we had (for any serious problems the vet was called immediately). We believed that kind, gentle holistic practices had a huge impact on our horses. We continuously had Bowen Therapy administered if they had any muscle, behavioural or performance issues. During a treatment we were always amazed by the response the horses gave. Some behaviours included:
- Standing relaxed with one leg resting
- Licking and chewing
- Excretion of faeces (releasing bowel movements)
There were many others but overall it was clear that the horses absolutely LOVED the treatment. After a few days rest there was always an improvement in the horse's performance. The results we received from treatment always had us annoying the Bowen Therapist for more treatments!
Now I bet your wondering what does Bowen Therapy actually work on and do? Well I can tell you that once you finish this post you will be itching to get your horse treated!
Bowen therapy is the manipulation of the fascia. The treatment process is small moves across-fibre on the muscle. Fascia is a part of a soft connective tissue linking every structure under the skin. You will find fascia intertwined through all muscle structures. It can be seen even on the dinner table. Next time you look at your raw piece of steak you can see a shiny connective tissue in between all the fibers of the muscle. Anything glistening and shining, well that is most likely fascia. Manipulation of fascia has the ability to not only impact the direct underlying muscle, it impacts ALL underlying structures such as deep muscles, ligaments, lymph and tendons. If fascia is dehydrated it will dry out and become extremely dense. This then creates tightness and soreness in the muscle. Bowen therapy manipulates the tight fascia creating movement and hydration. When there is an increase in hydration the muscle can relax and be available for it's full potential.
Bowen is a soft, non-invasive treatment that has a massive impact as it increases lymph drainage, improves blood flow and flow of energy. When you see your therapist doing more talking than actually treating it is OK! Understand that the pauses are allowing for the small moves to impact the underlying structures. The muscles will be affected instantly and will continue to be making changes days after the therapist has driven out your gate. Once your horse has had three days of being left to do whatever a horse gets up to in its paddock (ripping rugs and so on), you will be pleasantly surprised on the result of your next ride.
Now I know you may not have grasped all the technical words that I have used but you may be able to relate to some of the things Bowen Therapy can be used for. These include:
- Muscle injuries
- Muscle wastage
- Rehabilitation from injury
- Reduction of scar tissue from injury
- Behavioural issues
- Sore/cold Back
- Saddle problems
- Problems with being head shy, unable to put bridle on (poll issues)
- Contracted tendons
- Tendon/ligament issues
- Blood flow
- Uneven gait
- Staying or getting the correct canter lead
As you can see Bowen Therapy covers so many issues us owners can experience when owning a horse. Most likely when a horses behaves abnormally there is an underlying cause. So before you give them the silent treatment a Bowen treatment may be in order! If however is a serious injury a vet should be always contacted first and if allowed by the vet Bowen therapy can be ideal for a rehabilitation method. A statement made by Nigel Dodmanin the UK stated "“No one knows exactly how it works,”he says. “But it can have a profound and penetrating effect on the animal.
It still amazes me that this practice can be so helpful to a horse. Every horse I have treated has given me a completely different reaction and I am continuously learning about how they react and improve after a treatment. In posts to come I will share with you all some interesting cases, from racehorses to eventers.
Thankyou once again for spending some time in reading about one of my many passions!
Horse and Hound, 2001. Cited 20/08/2017. Website: http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/horse-care/vet-advice/understanding-equine-bowen-therapy-40713#jMFAmLCCEedIjibb.99
International School of Bowen Therapy, 2017. Cited 20/08/2017. Website http://www.bowen-therapy.com/index.php?inhalt=bowen-therapy