This section is organised as a series of questions and answers. The questions are listed below. Instead of reading through the whole section, you may wish to click on a question and jump straight to that particular answer.
- How does the first session differ from any following treatments?
- Do I have to take off my clothes?
- What will it feel like?
- How many Treatments will be needed?
First, you will be asked to fill in a brief information sheet covering contact details, some basic medical information and a “tick boxes” description of what problems need treatment and where they are. This usually takes about five minutes. It all depends what other things you may wish to talk about. Next, information will be provided on what can be done and what should be avoided, over the following days, to support the treatment and get the best results. There will be explanation of what trigger points are, what causes them and how they may be contributing to the health problems being experienced. Finally, there will some description of what the treatment will probably feel like and what may be experienced over the following days as your body responds to the treatment. I believe that providing this information, before the physical treatment begins, enlists the subconscious mind to support the healing. The brain registers the changes that begin to happen in the muscles as the treatment proceeds and relates those changes to the information that has been given. It all fits. The credibility of the treatment is reinforced and so it is easier to achieve a good outcome.
For Bowen therapy, the short answer is no. A good Bowen therapy treatment can be done through light clothing. It is essential that the patient feels totally at ease during the treatment and it is common for patients to prefer a treatment through clothing. However, it should be understood that the success of Bowen moves depends on a number of factors including: -the controlled, sliding movement of the skin over the surface of the muscles, tendons and ligaments underneath. (Maximum movement is preferable for good results.) - suitable pressure being applied. - accurate placement of the moves. Suitable movement of the skin is quite difficult to achieve through clothing that is thick, tight and/or without any stretch in it (eg denim jeans). Slippery clothing makes things difficult too. Clothing needs to be loose fitting, a bit stretchy and light weight, like t-shirt material. Obviously, the chances of success are increased when the moves are applied to bare skin. There is no possibility of slippage between cloth and skin, which would reduce movement of skin in relation to muscle. Also, sight provides extra valuable information for the therapist. It is easier to find the correct spots for the various moves. Changes in the skin and muscles can be seen, assessed and reacted to more easily as the treatment proceeds. Some patients are relaxed about, and prefer, stripping to underclothes for a treatment. If that is the case, you will be given privacy to prepare and lie on the treatment table, covered with a blanket or large towel. During such treatments, skin will be exposed only as is necessary to complete the moves. The patient must be relaxed to get the best outcome. Feedback is encouraged and valued at all times throughout the treatment. SCENAR therapy requires the SCENAR device to be in contact with bare skin. This is done with consideration for the sensitivity of the patient.
Most often, people say treatments are pleasant, gentle and relaxing. Patients have been known to doze off during a treatment. Bowen therapy is a soft tissue rolling/stretching technique. It comprises a series of movements using the thumbs or fingers, stretching the skin, applying suitable pressure to the muscle underneath and then sliding the skin back over the muscle surface. It feels as if the thumbs/fingers have rolled over the body of the muscle. Some moves may cause fleeting discomfort in some people, sometimes. It all depends on the state of the particular muscles at the time. Next treatment could be quite different. However, the pressure applied is adjusted to suit the tolerances of the patient.
Forceful manipulation is not involved. By addressing problems in the muscles, tensions are reduced and balanced, and the body is able to realign itself as a result of the normal movements involved in daily life. Walking is an effective complement to the treatments because it is such a balanced activity, not too strenuous, works so many muscles and, consequently, helps any realignment to occur.
Emmett technique differs from Bowen in important and significant ways. However, from a patient’s point of view the two techniques feel quite similar and you may well not notice which is being used when, during an integrated treatment.
The SCENAR (and the more basic ENAR) is a hand held, battery powered device, about the size of a remote control. Good information is available on the website about this device, including how it heals, and a summary of research (MacQuarrie University) into it effectiveness in treating chronic neck pain.
The SCENAR works on bare skin. Once it has been adjusted and set to the appropriate mode you will feel sensations ranging from a buzzing vibration, to tingling, to a pricking sensation (as if someone was tapping gently on your skin with the point of a pin). Some settings cause the sensations to pulse. The intensities used are adjusted continuously, as required for patient comfort, according to patient feedback.
Many treatments involve the integration of at least two different techniques and explanations are given at the start of, and throughout, the treatment.
In many cases only one or two treatments are needed for people to experience significantly improved health. Sometimes the first treatment causes a major improvement and the second consolidates things. In other cases, the first treatment causes minor changes only, but sets things up for a major improvement after the second treatment. Some conditions require three or four treatments. Where more than four treatments are needed it is likely that the condition is long term and chronic.
Some people are proactive and choose to have a regular “maintenance/body balance” treatment every two, three or four months. They find that this avoids problems building up as they used to, and that they are able to maintain their bodies more effectively. Others have learned to spot the early warning signs of problems building up. Their experience has been that fewer treatments are needed and better results can be achieved quickly when they get in early with a treatment before things reach crisis point.