How I found Bowen Therapy:
I have been in pain most of my adult life... since high school, really. I hardly remembered what it was like to not be in pain, it had become an annoying companion to daily life that I became so accustomed to, I barely realized it was there most days.
I have scoliosis, have taken a few spills off of horses over the years and (as bad as it is) I know that I use my body very "one sided"... I just can't get the stall clean as quickly or the house vacuumed as evenly if I use both sides of my body!
After I had a fall off of a horse (o.k. I bailed... it was a redneck version of tuck and roll, stunt style. Only not nearly as cute as the falls on t.v.) and a root canal in the same month, my pain levels spiked to new, midnight panic inducing levels.
I tried many things- Had my bite adjusted, took pain killers, etc. In the past I had tried chiropractic, accupressure, massage and, of course, different pain killers.
This time I had a friend suggest Bowen. I did a little research and called Jolean Parker. She fit me in right away and God used her hands to apply a miracle to my life.
I left the first session pain free, after showing up that day in tears.
There was a lot of rebalancing that my body needed time to do, but I continued to see Jolean for 2 more weekly follow up treatments and I remain pain free to this day with only maintenance visits when I feel that I need it. (I do plenty of things to get my body out of wack still.)
My sciatic nerve doesn't cause me pain any longer. My hips, knees and feet hang miraculously straight when I ride (something I always struggled with). My TMJ only bothers me slightly, when I am stressed and clench my jaw, but I now know how to stimulate the soft tissue myself and experience immediate relief.
Bowen was truly a gift from God for me.
I felt an immediate and strong desire to learn as much as I could and after many long hours of reading case studies on people and horses decided I needed to pray about becoming a certified practitioner to work with horses.
God provided open doors and signs that I was moving in the right direction the whole way and continues to bring me to people that I can offer my hands to help. Bowen has become a great source of joy in my life and a way that I can see the Creator doing wonderful things in scientific ways...
Bowenology Levels 1 & 2 (coursework + 50 hours documented practicum)
Bowen Therapy for Animals (coursework + 50 hours documented practicum)
Business and Ethics for Certified Animal Bowenolgy Practitioner (plus Equinology Anatomy course)
I started my Bowen Therapy training in March of 2010 at the Parker School of Bowenology, with Jolean Parker, the West Coast's trainer for Bowen Therapy International. Here I completed my certification for Levels I & II for work with people. Upon completing and documenting 50 additional hours of practicum, I began training for my Animal Bowen certification. This course was also done through the Parker School of Bowenology and taught by Debbie Stallions, who is a wonderful mentor and we continue to discuss new technique development and the latest research that can be applied to soft tissue manipulation and Bowen work.
Upon completion of an Equine Anatomy course through Equinology, completion of an additional 50 hours of practicum doing Equine and Canine Bowen and an additional certification course on Business & Ethics for final certification, I was given my final certification. While I did receive training working with dogs, my specialty and area of study is Equine and I do not work with dogs (other than my own) at this time.
What is Bowen Therapy?
A series of simple, gentle, non-invasive moves done across specific muscle and connective tissue that can be performed right there in the barn isle, an arena or any safe, level surface. Rest periods are incorporated to allow the body to process the information and respond (often you'll notice that I'll work with an area in the hindquarters, then move to the front of the body... moving back again to the hindquarters and so on.)
Rather than overpowering the body, this therapy stimulates the body's ability to heal itself. This "reorganization" of the soft tissue has the ability to bring relaxation, increase healthy energy and relieve pain. All systems of the body are accessed, allowing the muscle and nerve tissue to relax. Adhesions vanish, toxins are shed and circulation increases due to the dynamic nerve/energy pulse inherent only in "Bowen moves".
While Bowen work does fall under the classification of "massage", it is not a massage in the traditional sense. The movements are very specifically targeted to each area being worked with and then the body works to restore this area on it's own.
Treatments take approximately 45 minutes, but may be shorter or longer, depending on each horse's needs. For best results, two to three treatments at 5-7 day intervals may be required to bring about lasting relief. This will depend entirely on each specific horse and how their body responds to the Bowen work. After the initial treatment(s), only maintenance visits are normally needed.
Bowen Therapy originated in Australia and was developed by Tom Bowen. It is entirely independent of any other modality and is based on clear cut anatomy and how it's components interact. It is not based on any new age, oriental or aboriginal theory or system. Mr. Bowen considered his abilities a "gift from God".
It is a powerful tool to help the body rebalance itself, easing or eliminating pain and discomfort. If Bowen therapy will help your horse, you will notice changes during the session and immediately after treatment, but the most dramatic changes normally take place in the following week.
Bowen is not only valuable in addressing long standing issues, sports injury pain and so forth, but it is extremely beneficial for regular maintenance to increase circulation, open the lymphatic system & promote drainage of dysfunctional fluids and keep the body in balance. Horses travel more evenly with each side of their body, tend to heal from soft tissue injuries more quickly and in general are more physically content and able to use their bodies correctly. (Making Bowen an excellent part of your preventative health program.)
As a Bowen therapist, my goal is to restore equilibrium to the whole body, not simply treat one area/injury. This may include recommendations where hoof care, paddock/stall situations, feed changes and/or veterinary diagnostics are concerned. I will not attempt to diagnose any ailment/injury and Bowen work should not be used in place of veterinary consultation.
During a treatment a horse may stretch various parts of his body, shake her head or other movements as they are processing the Bowen work. This is normal and should be allowed by the handler/owner.
Horses in every discipline from Reining to Dressage (and even our weekend warriors) are asked and expected much in training and in the show ring. Their bodies require the ability to travel evenly on each side of their body to perform well and stay healthy. Horses that sustain injuries often carry with them the effects of that injury for a long time- resulting in imbalances elsewhere in the body. When we use Bowen Therapy to address those injuries and the rest of their body as a whole, we help them to find their optimal balance , allowing them to perform at their best.
Endurance horses are expected to travel many long miles, often over rough terrain. It is important that they be able to use their bodies evenly and in comfort, recovering quickly and efficiently from minor injuries on a regular basis.
Bowen for Retired Companion Animals:
Many horses are retired primarily because of age and soundness issues. Often times those same soundness issues can be addressed and relieved with Bowen Therapy, nutritional changes, changes in their movement abilities (stall to pasture for example) and hoofcare. When all of these factors are looked at together, we can come up with a plan for keeping your retired horse comfortable and happy for a long time to come, possibly returning them to part time work :~)
Free or Discounted Services for Rescue Horses:
I have a strong desire to help those with no voice... Horses that are in pain coming out of rescue situations need help and often, rescue organizations cannot afford the fees associated with body work. If you are operating a legitimate rescue or have adopted a horse from a rescue organization and need assistance for a horse in pain, please contact me to discuss free or discounted services.
Bowen for Riders:
I believe that I can help your horse, but you may not be aware that your body's imbalances may not be helping him at all. There are ways to address these imbalances for you, during the appointment for your horse. Please ask me for more information. If you are a rider in pain, I can provide referrals for therapists in the area that are accepting new clients and focus their work on people only.
Schedule a Session:
If you would like to schedule a session or have more questions, please email me or call 530-906-7500. Email is usually the best way to get a hold of me at first.