The power of bodywork
I believe in the idea that there are 2 kinds of power, Internal and external. What I refer to as internal
or true power is defined by Webster’s as;” power ability to act or produce an effect, have influence
over others”. Or the ability to inspire, encourage, and lift others up. In martial arts Internal power is
Yielding, Power coming from within, finesse, relaxed, accepting what is and indirect.
What I refer to as external or false power is defined by Webster’s as; command-“implies the power to
make arbitrary decisions and compel obedience, to exercise a dominating influence over”. Or to
produce fear, use physical force or intimidation. In martial arts external power is tense, direct,
struggling, destroying your opponent.
This is like the difference between Bowenwork and traditional bodywork such as deep tissue
massage and chiropractic. In traditional bodywork the therapist uses physical power to force the
client’s body into releasing its tension. By putting excessive physical force on the client’s body the
therapist can cause the body to guard and become tense. In severe cases causing bruising and
more injury to the client. Eventually causing the clients body to rebel against what was done to it.
That is why clients can feel good for a day or two after a session then the pain comes back.
In Bowenwork the practitioner is simply encouraging the clients body. The simple and gentle rolling
motions over the nerve ending remind it how to relax by stimulating the parasympathetic nervous
system to release tension but more importantly giving the clients body the ability to choose how and
when it wants to heal. The pauses after each set of Bowen moves give the body time to make the
best choice for itself on how to heal. That is why most Bowen clients feel better several hours to
several days after a session.
Giving the body the ability to choose for itself how and when it will heal allows the body to have a
more complete healing process and the lack of force on the body prevents the body from rebelling
against the therapy being used. This is how Bowenwork can completely resolve many issues in just a
few sessions, allowing the body the choice to stay in a healthy pain free pattern.