Monday, November 28, 2011

monday moment of zen

"a question not asked is a door not opened."
~ marilee adams

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Thursday, November 24, 2011

thankful thursday

"maybe we're not supposed to be happy. maybe gratitude has nothing to do with joy. maybe being grateful means recognizing what you have for what it is. appreciating small victories. admiring the struggle it takes simply to be human. maybe we're thankful for the familiar things we know. and maybe we're thankful for the things we'll never know. at the end of the day, the fact that we have the courage to still be standing is reason enough to celebrate."

~ meredith grey, grey's anatomy

thanks to you my dear readers, i am ever grateful!

hugs & namaste

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Monday, November 21, 2011

monday moment of zen

“if you truly learn something, how you express

it is different than how

you learned it.”

~ krishnamacharya

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Thursday, November 17, 2011

bowenwork 4 part series - part 4 - sessions, what to expect, other details

lower back procedure

thanks for your continued reading about bowenwork. if you are just tuning in or need to catch up, you can read:

part 1 - what is bowenwork?
part 2 - how does bowenwork WORK?
part 3 - my transition from massage to all bowenwork

and to put the finishing touches on this bowenwork 4 part series, today i'll tell you in with some more details, like what to expect during a session, frequently asked questions, etc.

upper respiratory procedure

how long does a session last?

the length of a session is completely dependent on the unique individuals needs for that session. usually a session lasts between 30 - 90 minutes from start to finish.

do i get completely undressed like i would for a massage?

no, bowenwork practitioners can work through light clothing (think t-shirt or tank top & shorts or yoga pants). personally i prefer to work though light clothing unless the clothing hinders the movement.

is there any oil used like massage?

no oil, creams or lotions are used in a bowenwork session. this makes it super easy for the office professional to slip out for a longer lunch to get a session and go back to the office completely relaxed without a head full of oil like sometimes happens with massage.

how often will i need to come in for sessions?

again, this is something that is entirely dependent upon your unique situation. we will book 2 sessions approximately a week apart from each other to set the foundation of the work. during this time frame, the body will begin the healing process and a lot of symptoms will diminish in severity or completely.

if there is an injury and you have a bowenwork session right away then maybe only two or three sessions will be needed. the first two to help the body to prevent from compensating for the injury and initiate the body's healing mechanisms so that the healing process isn't as long. a third session may be needed a few weeks later to do a tune-up just to ensure the body is healing properly and that chronic issues will not be formed.

if you have been dealing with a chronic issue then more sessions may be needed as you have been dealing with your illness or disease for a length of time. the first two to three sessions are structured similar to what i mentioned above but we may need to continue for several more weeks to help the body get to the root cause of your illness/disease.

upper back procedure

can bowenwork help me recover from a recent surgery?

yes! it is optimal to see a bowenwork practitioner for one or two sessions before going into surgery to relax and prepare the body for what's to come. the body interprets a surgery as a trauma and by receiving bowenwork before can help ease the trauma that is to come. getting bowenwork after a surgery is hugely important to help your healing process. try to schedule your bowenwork session approximately 3-7 days after your surgery (depending on how invasive the surgery was).

how soon should i notice results?

most people start to see results after their first session. it may not be the exact results that they are looking for but the body is doing the best that it can to heal. somethings need to be eliminated or diminished before the body can heal the condition/illness/disease you are seeking relief from.

what if i don't notice any results?

some results are happening but they may be on such a smaller scale that you may not be able to recognize them immediately. that is why bowenwork practitioners will ask that you give it at least 3 sessions before making a decision of whether bowenwork is working for you or not. after 3 sessions if you don't see any results then bowenwork might not be the therapy for you. we don't claim to fix, cure or heal anything and we are not claiming that bowenwork is for everyone. we are only giving your body the messages that it needs to initiate it's own healing. there are plenty of modalities out there and i am sure that if you keep looking you will find the right one for you.

shoulder procedure

what do i expect to happen in a session? do i need to bring anything?

your first session starts with an intake form and we will discuss the issues that you are trying to resolve. each session afterwards we will talk briefly about any changes you've noticed from your last session and see if we are still on target with the goals we set.

you need to bring some light clothing (as previously mentioned), some water to drink after your session and an open mind. try to let go of any expectations you may have and let your body do the healing.

ok, so you've definitely piqued my interest, how do i find a bowenwork practitioner?

if you are in the morgantown, wv or surrounding area, you can contact me directly. my email is

if you are not in the morgantown area, but are in the united states, please visit the bowenwork academy usa page.

if you are not in the united states, you can still visit the bowenwork academy usa page to search the country you are in.

if you have any questions, concerns, comments, please don't hesitate to let me know in either the comments below or send me an email.

hugs & namaste!

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Monday, November 14, 2011

monday moment of zen

"only by giving are you able to receive more than you already have."
~ jim rohn

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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

bowenwork 4 part series - part 3 - transitioning to all bowenwork

thanks for following along in my bowenwork 4 part series. in case you are just tuning in, you can catch up on part 1 - what is bowenwork? and part 2 - how does bowenwork WORK?

part 3 is all about the transition i am currently is of converting my massage therapy practice into an all bowenwork practice.

i remember being in ohio during my first bowenwork training back in january and calling my boyfriend ryan and excitedly telling him that i was switching my massage practice over to bowenwork. his first response was, 'you mean you aren't going to do any more massages?!' i had to laugh because i knew my transition would be slow but the ultimate answer was yes. absolutely yes!!

i knew then what i know now, even though my vision is more clear than ever.

respiratory procedure

so, why switch from massage therapy to bowenwork?

first of all, i have to say that i am not knocking massage therapy or massage therapists at all! i mean no disrespect at all. remember, i am a massage therapist too. but there are a few reasons why bowenwork works better for me than massage therapy.

  • for the reasons mentioned in part 2. there are some diseases, disorders, chronic pains & problems that massage doesn't address.

  • from my own personal experience of working with clients. i have seen clients make huge improvements from crohn's, celiac, TMJ, migraines, infertility, fibromyalgia, and many, many more. bowenwork never ceases to amaze me. some of the best results that i've seen is a client who had crohn's disease who wrote me this beautiful testimonial: "Having suffered with Crohn's disease since the age of 9, it has been an ongoing struggle to maintain a healthy, normal lifestyle. Attempts to control symptoms with corticosteroids and 5-aminosalicylates were mediocre at best, with debilitating side-effects. Since beginning Bowenwork I have seen remarkable improvement in symptoms, especially with gastrointestinal health." ~ T. D. and another client was a 10 year old girl with aura migraines. aura migraines are the hardest to predict and prevent. that sweet girl was put on medication to help prevent her migraines but unfortunately it didn't work for her. i saw her for a session and didn't see her for a month & a half. when i checked in her mother reported that the girl only experienced one migraine since her last bowenwork session. the mother thought this was amazing. she explained that the girl usually gets migraines in clusters but she only had one in a month and a half!
knee procedure

  • from my own healing experience from receiving bowenwork. i have si joint problems and my hips were killing me. i tried everything from massage to chiropractic visits to reiki. these modalities helped for a little while but the problem kept coming back. after my first bowenwork session my hips felt 75% better and that lasted for about a month an a half. i have only had 4 bowenwork sessions for my hips and they are back to normal. i do need occasional tune-up visits to make sure that my hips stay functioning order without pain. but trust me, after my bowenwork session, i was a believer!!

  • as my mentor told me, i can do this until i'm 80 years old if i want to, because it doesn't hurt my body. i was experiencing more pain in my hips as i was giving massages than an any other time (except deep hip opening postures such as firelog). not to mention the pain that i was getting in my hands and wrists from doing several massages in a day.

  • as a massage therapist i was getting frustrated because i was seeing the same clients every week or every other week with the same issues. i was a temporary fix to a deeper problem that massage therapy wasn't getting touching. sure, this is great for job security but that is not what i am in it for. i want to see people get out of pain, heal, and get on with their lives! no body should have to live with pain!
perineal procedure

thought the transition has been slow, i am always keeping my end goal of doing only bowenwork at the forefront of my mind. i believe in the work that much!!

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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

what i'm currently reading

babaji the greyhound

here are the two books that i am currently reading. each one is focused on a passion of mine: bowenwork and yoga.

what are you currently reading?

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Monday, November 7, 2011

monday moment of zen

'normally, we do not so much look at things as overlook them....'
~ alan watts

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Sunday, November 6, 2011

bowenwork 4 part series - part 2 - how does bowenwork WORK?

continued from the bowenwork 4 part series. read part 1 - what is bowenwork?

so, interested in finding out more about bowenwork and how it exactly works and what it's good for? welcome to part 2 of 4 where we will discover exactly that!

upper back procedure

how does bowenwork work?

there are many theories about the physiological mechanisms by which bowenwork brings about the results for which it is famous. in addition to the rebalancing of the ANS, autonomic nervous system, bowenwork moves and procedures may reset the body to heal itself by activating, through the nervous and endocrine systems among others, the following mechanisms:

  • stretch reflex: most moves are done either at the origin, insertion or belly of muscles where receptors are located, informing the nervous system on the state of tension, length or stretch in the musculotendinous tissue. these receptors are stimulated during the ‘challenge’ and the ‘rolling’ part of the move, which changes the stimulus received by the nervous system. this can change a pain/muscle spasm loop.

  • joint proprioceptors: all moves done around a joint directly affect the joint capsule and ligaments that are richly innervated with proprioceptors. here again, stimulus will be received by the nervous system, inviting normalization of the joint function without the need for forceful manipulation.

  • fascia: each bowenwork move is done at the level of the superficial fascia and affects the relationship between the fascia and the nerve, muscle or tendon being mobilized. fascia plays a major role in muscle co-ordination, postural alignment and overall structural and functional integrity. all of these are negatively affected when the fascia stiffens, contracts, torques or dehydrates. following a bowenwork session it is not uncommon to see adhesions loosen up, scar tissue soften and posture and mobility improve without harsh mobilizations or stretching.

  • segmental viscerosomatic spinal reflexes: several bowenwork moves engage these reflexes. they produce referred reactions to the internal organs through stimulation of the skin, muscles and nerves.

  • acupuncture points and meridians: most moves overlap acupuncture points and some actually cross two or three acupuncture meridians at once. acupuncturists have correlated the indications and effects of bowenwork moves with the corresponding acupuncture points. they have also commented on the immediate changes of the acupuncture pulses in response to moves or procedures. the overlap of these two systems could explain the very strong vibrational component of the technique and its effect on the internal organs.

  • harmonic vibration or resonance model: bowenwork moves set up vibrational patterns which bring the body back into balance and harmony.

  • lymphatics: some bowenwork procedures activate draining of the lymphatic system, stimulating the immune system.

  • detoxification is often initiated during a session, thereby improving the body’s ability to function at a cellular level.

TMJ procedure

what can you use bowenwork for?

bowenwork can be beneficial in a wide range of situations. it can assist recovery from many conditions, from traumatic injury to chronic illness, depending upon each individual’s capacity to heal. many clients report that bowenwork is THE most relaxing modality they have ever experienced.

some of the conditions that often respond favorably to bowenwork are:

· back pain and sciatica

· digestive and bowel problems

· earache and TMJ problems

· migraines and other types of headaches

· fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome

· hip, knee, ankle and foot problems

· menstrual and hormonal irregularities

· neck, shoulder (including frozen shoulder), elbow and wrist problems

· groin pain, pelvic tilt and uneven leg length

· respiratory problems and hay fever

· repetitive strain injury, carpal tunnel syndrome and tennis elbow

· sports and other traumatic injuries

· pelvic, low back or sciatic pain during pregnancy

· colic, feeding problems, asthma symptoms, or unsettled or distressed babies and children (including neonates and infants as well as older children)

· regular tune ups, stress relief, anxiety, sleeplessness and for relaxation

if there is something you can think of that isn't on the list above, please don't hesitate to ask. i will be happy to let you know in my professional opinion if i think bowenwork will be able to help.

read here if you missed part 1 - what is bowenwork

read the rest of the series:
part 3 - converting my massage practice into all bowenwork practice
part 4 - sessions, what to expect, other details

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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

bowenwork 4 part series - part 1 - what is bowenwork?

as most of you know, i'm a licensed massage therapist. and you've probably seen me mention bowenwork on a number of occasions as well. some of you are probably wondering "just what the heck is bowenwork?!"

welcome to my bowenwork 4 part series where we'll delve deeper into bowen. i hope to answer some of your questions. but if for some reason you have more, don't hesitate to ask!

so, first of all, what is bowenwork?

bowenwork provides gentle and profoundly effective signals to the brain for healing and recovery through the stimulation of special receptors in the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and nerve bundles of the body. these stimuli can result in deep relaxation, resetting of muscular tension and range of motion, lymph drainage, pain and inflammation reduction and pain relief. (more details coming in part 2 of 4.)

where did bowenwork come from?

bowenwork came from australia. tom bowen developed it over a period of several decades by working with athletes and injured laborers. it arose from his study and profound understanding of the structural and healing mechanisms of the body and his interest in osteopathic principles. tom bowen practiced in australia from 1958 until his passing in 1982.

how did i find out about bowenwork?

lucky for me, i have a fabulous mentor that lead me in the right direction. my mentor, kate, is a massage therapist and a yoga teacher like myself. i originally asked for her to become my mentor when i started massage school. she told me about bowenwork pretty early on, saying that i needed to check this out, that it was fabulous work. of course i said i would, and i did, briefly... but after a couple of months go by she reminded me again. that was in december of last year and after doing more in depth research, i immediately signed up for the first two training modules in january of this year. at which point i knew i had found my home in the bodywork world!!

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