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Pregnancy and Bowenwork

The Bowen Technique is a gentle manual therapy technique that can benefit women before, during and after pregnancy.

Bowenwork and Pregnancy

A woman’s body goes through rapid changes during pregnancy. Gravity, hormonal changes, and a shifting center of gravity can cause significant pain during the childbearing year.  At a time when pain meds are not the preferred option, Bowen therapy offers a pregnant woman hope for pain relief naturally.

About The Bowen Technique

The Bowen Technique originated in the 1950’s by the late Tom Bowen of Geelong, Australia. With the gift of observing subtle deviations in posture, he discovered relationships in the body. With this understanding, he developed many moves and procedures that helped with a wide array of ailments and body complaints. He was a humble man, attributing this as a “gift from God.” 

The beauty of Bowen therapy is its simplicity and the basic understanding of the human body’s inherent ability to heal. The technique itself is a series of gentle moves performed over soft tissue structures in precise locations, interspersed with wait periods. It is during the wait periods when the body processes the sensory information. Muscles relax, circulation improves, and the body’s autonomic nervous system shifts to rest, relax, and heal mode.

Infertility

Prior to pregnancy Bowenwork helps to set the stage for healthy tissues at a cellular level. Tom Bowen would often treat couples to enhance fertility. There is a fertility protocol that has been developed and many couples have benefited as a result. It has been said that many a time a child was called “one of Tom Bowen’s children” because up until being treated by him, a couple had been unable to conceive! 

Pregnancy Related Pain Issues

Center of gravity shifts causing pain in the low back region.

During pregnancy, the center of gravity gradually shifts progressively more forward as the baby grows in size. The pelvis tilts more anteriorly and the low back curve becomes more pronounced. These changes place additional stress on the spine and pelvic joints and can result in low back pain or sciatica.

Bowen Therapy can be performed in sitting or side lying so the pregnant mom can be seen throughout the entire pregnancy period as many times as is required.

On one occasion, a pregnant client in her 9th month came to my clinic complaining of pain in the front of her pelvis and in her low back. The pain made it very uncomfortable to walk or sleep at night. After two sessions, she was feeling marked improvement with resolution of her pain.

Often times, the pubic symphysis (the front of the pelvis) can be a source of discomfort due to ligamentous laxity. The hormone, relaxin, is secreted to help the ligaments stretch allowing for the ever increasing size of the growing baby. The gentle Bowenwork moves triggered a healing response in this client at a time when she needed to be feeling well for her labor and delivery.

Optimal Fetal Positioning

Breech presentation has also been shown to correct itself after a Bowen treatment. Recently a client was seen in her 36th week with breech presentation. She was seen one time where a combination of moves over her low back and pelvis was performed. Within the week, her follow up ultrasound confirmed that her baby had turned into the head down position.

Rick Minnery, one of the Lancaster midwives in England, sent this anecdote to Sandra Gustafson, Senior Bowenwork instructor, on the subject: “A colleague (midwife) asked me if Bowen might help to turn her baby round (she was carrying her baby breech at 35+ weeks) and was anxious to avoid possible caesarean birth or run the risk of a vaginal breech delivery. I gave her one treatment session with the pelvic procedure, and she phoned two days later to say the baby had flipped over, into a cephalic (head) normal presentation. She was delighted – I was gob smacked!”

Postpartum Concerns

After delivery, the new mom may have pain in her low back, pelvis, or perineum (area between the vulva and rectum) due to a prolonged or difficult birth. Research shows that pain in her perineum may linger in the postpartum period, especially if this was her first child, an episiotomy or tear resulted during vaginal delivery, or if an epidural for pain relief was used during the second stage of labor.

The postpartum mom may experience pain and discomfort in her upper back or neck region from the new postures associated with prolonged nursing. She can be so focused on helping the baby latch on that she is not aware of her hunched shoulders and the position of her neck. Mastitis, lactation problems, or blood engorgement respond favorably to Bowenwork and can be instructed to the client so that she is able to self-treat at home. Bowenwork procedures are chosen to address the specific area of concern in order to promote healing.

Bowenwork is a valuable option for a woman’s health during the childbearing year. It offers pain relief at a time when pain medications are avoided and traditional therapies do not bring adequate results. Numerous women have been helped with Bowen therapy for fertility, during pregnancy, delivery, and post partum. At a time when the body is changing in such a miraculous way to provide an optimal environment for the baby to grow, it is encouraging to know there is natural and holistic approach for pain relief when a shifting center of gravity causes havoc on the spine and pelvis.

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. Ps. 139:13

Author: Mary Falk, PT


Bibliography
Gustafson, ND, RN, Sandra. “The Bowen Technique and its uses in Maternal/Newborn care. http://www.bowtech.com/WebsiteProj/Pages/Document/RecentArticles.aspx

Wilks, John. The Bowen Technique : The Inside Story. New York: BPR, 2007.

Macarthur, A. “Incidence, severity, and determinants of perineal pain after vaginal delivery: A prospective cohort study.” American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, November 2004; vol 191: pp 1199-1204.

 

The Tummy Team provides online programs for core strengthening. 

The Tummy Team Online Program

In the spirit of full disclosure, I am an affiliate with The Tummy Team. This means that I may get a small commission if you decide to purchase a product or membership. I only recommend products & systems that I use and love myself, so I know you’ll be in good hands.

Categories: Bowenwork, Natural Pain Relief, Pregnancy
Post by Mary Falk PT on January 26, 2014

Pregnancy and Bowenwork: Natural Approach for Pain Relief During the Childbearing Year

The Bowen Technique is a gentle manual therapy technique that can benefit women before, during and after pregnancy.

Bowenwork and Pregnancy

A woman’s body goes through rapid changes during pregnancy. Gravity, hormonal changes, and a shifting center of gravity can cause significant pain during the childbearing year.  At a time when pain meds are not the preferred option, Bowen therapy offers a pregnant woman hope for pain relief naturally.

About The Bowen Technique

The Bowen Technique originated in the 1950’s by the late Tom Bowen of Geelong, Australia. With the gift of observing subtle deviations in posture, he discovered relationships in the body. With this understanding, he developed many moves and procedures that helped with a wide array of ailments and body complaints. He was a humble man, attributing this as a “gift from God.” 

The beauty of Bowen therapy is its simplicity and the basic understanding of the human body’s inherent ability to heal. The technique itself is a series of gentle moves performed over soft tissue structures in precise locations, interspersed with wait periods. It is during the wait periods when the body processes the sensory information. Muscles relax, circulation improves, and the body’s autonomic nervous system shifts to rest, relax, and heal mode.

Infertility

Prior to pregnancy Bowenwork helps to set the stage for healthy tissues at a cellular level. Tom Bowen would often treat couples to enhance fertility. There is a fertility protocol that has been developed and many couples have benefited as a result. It has been said that many a time a child was called “one of Tom Bowen’s children” because up until being treated by him, a couple had been unable to conceive! 

Pregnancy Related Pain Issues

Center of gravity shifts causing pain in the low back region.

During pregnancy, the center of gravity gradually shifts progressively more forward as the baby grows in size. The pelvis tilts more anteriorly and the low back curve becomes more pronounced. These changes place additional stress on the spine and pelvic joints and can result in low back pain or sciatica.

Bowen Therapy can be performed in sitting or side lying so the pregnant mom can be seen throughout the entire pregnancy period as many times as is required.

On one occasion, a pregnant client in her 9th month came to my clinic complaining of pain in the front of her pelvis and in her low back. The pain made it very uncomfortable to walk or sleep at night. After two sessions, she was feeling marked improvement with resolution of her pain.

Often times, the pubic symphysis (the front of the pelvis) can be a source of discomfort due to ligamentous laxity. The hormone, relaxin, is secreted to help the ligaments stretch allowing for the ever increasing size of the growing baby. The gentle Bowenwork moves triggered a healing response in this client at a time when she needed to be feeling well for her labor and delivery.

Optimal Fetal Positioning

Breech presentation has also been shown to correct itself after a Bowen treatment. Recently a client was seen in her 36th week with breech presentation. She was seen one time where a combination of moves over her low back and pelvis was performed. Within the week, her follow up ultrasound confirmed that her baby had turned into the head down position.

Rick Minnery, one of the Lancaster midwives in England, sent this anecdote to Sandra Gustafson, Senior Bowenwork instructor, on the subject: “A colleague (midwife) asked me if Bowen might help to turn her baby round (she was carrying her baby breech at 35+ weeks) and was anxious to avoid possible caesarean birth or run the risk of a vaginal breech delivery. I gave her one treatment session with the pelvic procedure, and she phoned two days later to say the baby had flipped over, into a cephalic (head) normal presentation. She was delighted – I was gob smacked!”

Postpartum Concerns

After delivery, the new mom may have pain in her low back, pelvis, or perineum (area between the vulva and rectum) due to a prolonged or difficult birth. Research shows that pain in her perineum may linger in the postpartum period, especially if this was her first child, an episiotomy or tear resulted during vaginal delivery, or if an epidural for pain relief was used during the second stage of labor.

The postpartum mom may experience pain and discomfort in her upper back or neck region from the new postures associated with prolonged nursing. She can be so focused on helping the baby latch on that she is not aware of her hunched shoulders and the position of her neck. Mastitis, lactation problems, or blood engorgement respond favorably to Bowenwork and can be instructed to the client so that she is able to self-treat at home. Bowenwork procedures are chosen to address the specific area of concern in order to promote healing.

Bowenwork is a valuable option for a woman’s health during the childbearing year. It offers pain relief at a time when pain medications are avoided and traditional therapies do not bring adequate results. Numerous women have been helped with Bowen therapy for fertility, during pregnancy, delivery, and post partum. At a time when the body is changing in such a miraculous way to provide an optimal environment for the baby to grow, it is encouraging to know there is natural and holistic approach for pain relief when a shifting center of gravity causes havoc on the spine and pelvis.

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. Ps. 139:13

Author: Mary Falk, PT


Bibliography
Gustafson, ND, RN, Sandra. “The Bowen Technique and its uses in Maternal/Newborn care. http://www.bowtech.com/WebsiteProj/Pages/Document/RecentArticles.aspx

Wilks, John. The Bowen Technique : The Inside Story. New York: BPR, 2007.

Macarthur, A. “Incidence, severity, and determinants of perineal pain after vaginal delivery: A prospective cohort study.” American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, November 2004; vol 191: pp 1199-1204.

 

The Tummy Team provides online programs for core strengthening. 

The Tummy Team Online Program

In the spirit of full disclosure, I am an affiliate with The Tummy Team. This means that I may get a small commission if you decide to purchase a product or membership. I only recommend products & systems that I use and love myself, so I know you’ll be in good hands.

Categories: Bowenwork, Natural Pain Relief, Pregnancy

Post by Mary Falk PT on January 26, 2014

Restorative Categories

 
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Bowenwork is a great option for a woman’s health during the childbearing year. It offers pain relief at a time when pain medications are avoided and traditional therapies do not bring adequate results.

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