Below is a brief guideline about what to know and prepare before attending your Bowen session.
What to Bring
You will need to fill out a client information form on your first visit, so please prepare your personal details plus information about your presenting symptom(s) and/or medical condition(s), including any relevant report, scan and/or medication details. If you are eligible for Seniors Discount, please bring your NSW Seniors Card or Senior Savers Card and present it to your practitioner. If you use our service under NDIS, please provide your NDIS number and the signed Service Agreement with your Plan Manager if your NDIS is plan-managed. Please also prepare your method of payment.
What to Wear
Bowen Therapy can be done directly on skin or through light clothing. If you choose to be treated on skin, please wear modest underwear. You will be covered with towels during the treatment. If treated through light clothing, please ensure your clothing is comfortably loose and/or stretchy. Please avoid wearing jeans or other thick/ tight/ slippery materials as these may affect the effectiveness of treatment.
What to Know
We recommend you to have some snacks and plain water 30 to 60 minutes prior to your appointment. A stomach that is too empty or too full may make you feel sick after treatment as the healing process stimulated by the Bowen moves consumes your body’s energy. If your appointment is after a meal, make sure you reserve enough time for digestion. You may find all the necessary information from our FAQ page including how the treatment is performed and how you might feel during and after a treatment. Please have a good read before coming to your appointment.
After your Bowen treatment, you may experience different reactions in your body. Below are recommendations of what you should and shouldn’t do after your treatment.
Bowen Therapy may initiate a structural correction during the healing process. Occasionally, some people may experience sensations such as fatigue, headaches, heat or brief shivers, stiffness, occasional sharp pain, or emotional feelings. Such reactions are usually brief and are positive signs that the body is undergoing necessary adjustment. There is no cause for alarm if you have any of these experience. If you are uncertain, please contact your practitioner.
Mobility and Movement
To support rehabilitation, please maintain muscle flexibility by getting mobile regularly and do not sit for longer than 30 minutes at a time. You may have some short and gentle walk daily (preferably on flat ground to ensure pelvic alignment.) As you move, try to balance yourself properly to minimise the chances of re-injury.
Drinking enough water to keep your muscles and connective tissues hydrated is an important part of promoting recovery after treatment. The recommended daily amount for an adult is around two litres (more if you are active or exposed to heat; less if you are a child or have a medical condition that cannot get rid of water from the body as efficiently, e.g. chronic kidney disease, liver disease, heart failure etc.) Stress, air-conditioning, and drinking tea, coffee or alcohol can dehydrate us and should be taken into account.
Please avoid the extreme of heat or cold (e.g. sauna, spa, hot showers, electric blanket, heat/cold pack, ice etc.) for at least 48 hours after treatment as the temperature variances may interfere with the healing process. If you experience soreness or pain, please do not apply heat inducing creams. The discomfort is usually temporary and will improve as your body completes adjusting itself.
Sports and Bodyworks
Start the exercise(s) given by the practitioner (if any) the day after treatment. Avoid contact sports or strenuous exercise until full recovery and schedule other bodywork appointments (if any) at least 5 days after your Bowen treatment. This is to avoid any interference with the healing processes that Bowen Therapy has introduced.
If you have had a jaw treatment, please do not open your mouth wide to bite or eat hard and chewy foods (e.g. apples, steak, nuts, ice etc.) for at least 24 hours following your treatment.
Below are some general advice that may help support body alignment, improve health and prevent injury or re-injury.
Posture and Gait
Maintain a balanced posture to prevent your back and your pelvic region from straining. As you stand, take your weight evenly on both feet and avoid leaning to one side or slouching on your hip. When prolong standing is required, try to balance your body weight, keep your back straight and your pelvis in neutral position, relax your knees and do not lock them or put your weight on them. As you sit, do not cross your legs or put any item in your back pocket. Crossing legs or sitting on an object may create a pelvic imbalance and compensate your healing process.
Entering or Alighting from a Car
For people who have back or pelvic problems, try to keep both knees together as much as practicable as you enter or alight from a car. Instead of stepping one leg in or out, you may place your backside on the seat first and swing legs in together when entering; and swing the legs out and place both feet on the ground together when alighting. This is to minimise the strain on your pelvic region.
Lifting, Pushing and Pulling
If you need to pick up a heavy object, bend your knees and do not overreach or twist your body. Move close to the object prior to lifting and tighten the stomach muscles as you lift. Safe Work Australia has a detailed Guideline about Lifting, Pushing and Pulling (Manual Tasks). You may also refer to the Code of Practice (Dec 2011) for Hazardous Manual Tasks by Safe Work Australia, or the WHS Fact Sheet (Nov 2017) for Lifting, Pushing and Pulling Safely by Western Sydney University.
Whether you work from home or in the office, setting up an ergonomic workstation can mitigate the risk of work-related strain injury. Elements to consider may include a suitable chair, desk, computer, monitor(s), mouse, keyboard, lighting, headset and footrest. You may refer to the Workstation Setup Guide by Comcare Australia or watch this video about How To Set Up Your Workstation created by WorkSafe Queensland.
Pillow and Mattress
We often advise our clients who come with musculoskeletal complaints to check the suitability of their pillows and mattresses. As we spend about 1/3 of our time on bed every day, our pillow and mattress (even the base) can affect our spinal alignment significantly. An appropriate design and firmness of our pillow and mattress should be able to support the pressure points of our body (see pic.1) and to keep our spine in line and in neutral position (see pic.2).
Living a healthy lifestyle can help prevent chronic diseases and long-term illnesses. Besides having a balanced diet, quitting smoking, limiting alcohol consumption and weight control, quality sleep is one of the most important components for rest and recovery. Developing good sleep habits is therefore crucial and highly beneficial.
Diet and Nutrition
Consuming a healthy diet throughout the life-course helps prevent malnutrition as well as a range of noncommunicable diseases and conditions. The Australian Dietary Guidelines provide up-to-date advice about the amount and kinds of foods we need to eat for health and wellbeing. You may also refer to the Healthy Diet Fact Sheet by WHO. To those who have difficulty in getting the necessary nutrients through diet alone, dietary supplements may be helpful. Always check with your doctor or a dietitian if you have any concern.
Fitness and Exercise
Fitness and exercise is another key element that supports our physical and mental wellbeing. Among many good training options, walking, swimming, Tai Chi, Yoga and Pilates are the most common types for rehabilitation and body balance. You may choose a group exercise and/or an individual practice that suits your health needs and condition. If you are required to self-isolate, Walk at Home may be a practical and sustainable alternative.