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Carol Roddy



About Bowenwork®

Bowenwork® is an innovative form of bodywork that utilizes the body's network of muscle and connective tissue.   This gentle therapy was developed by the late Tom Bowen in Geelong, Australia in the 1950's. It uses subtle stretch-roll-release moves known as “Bowen moves" that relax muscles, fascia and the nervous system, stimulating each to function more efficiently. 


Bowenwork® can provide relief for many types of injuries and other health problems, both acute and chronic  by eliciting the body’s innate healing abilities. The practitioner’s moves deliver signals to the nervous system and the body responds in its own time over period of minutes to days.  Bowenwork® is appropriate for people of all ages, in all degrees of health with very few contraindications.

When addressing acute injuries, the practitioner may only need to treat the traumatized area because there has not been enough time for the injured person's body to begin compensating for and accommodating the injury.  However, most practitioners work with people whose conditions have developed gradually over many years.  Here, patterns of dysfunctional muscle recruitment and posture have become entrenched over time and treatment of other areas is also likely to be required.  


Rather than focusing on a single complaint, Bowenwork® addresses the entire body, by restoring balance via the nervous system.  The autonomic nervous system (ANS) controls over 80% of body's unconscious functions like breathing, digestion and reflexes. There are two main divisions of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) - the sympathetic (SNS) and the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS).   The sympathetic response is commonly known as the "fight or flight" response and is responsible for the survival of our species.  If we are confronted with a life threatening situation, the SNS redirects the resources and energy from our immune and digestive system to our arms, legs and brain so we can fight or flee.  Most people today live in a chronic state of imbalance with an overstimulated sympathetic nervous system caused by busy stressful lives, worry about debt, deadlines or just the fact that there isn't enough time in the day.  The parasympathetic nervous system is the "rest and restorative" system that brings the body back into balance after a fight or flight response.   Healing can occur only after the ANS shifts from sympathetic to a parasympathetic dominance (“rest, relax and repair mode”). Bowenwork® enables that shift. During a session, the client often drops into deep relaxation or falls asleep.  Both of these changes are indications of a profound release from stress and a shift towards parasympathetic influence. This is where the Bowen practitioner needs the client to be, to help restore the body.  It is during the rest phase of Bowenwork where we allow the body to absorb the work and take hold without counter interference from the SNS. 


A typical Bowenwork® session generally lasts from 45-60 minutes. Clients usually lie on a massage table or bed, or may be seated in a chair if its more comfortable and wear light, comfortable clothing. Normally we begin by balancing and restoring the natural flow of the body before going to a specific site.  To do so, we have basic relaxation moves in three main areas: 

1.  Waist to the feet

2.  The waist to the shoulders and 

3.  The neck, head and face.

We find that 80% of issues can be resolved by just these three basic moves.

The Bowen response can continue to elicit change in the client for several days after a session. Therefore other forms of manipulative therapy are discouraged for up to five days after a session, as they may interfere with the efficacy of the work.

"Natural forces within us are the true healers of disease"     Hippocrates

Unknown Track - Unknown Artist
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BOWENWORK® Every Body is Better with Bowen


Everyone is unique.  Most people will begin to feel better after just after one visit.  Very recent injuries (acute) can often be resolved in one to two visits.  If an injury has been allowed to go untreated for several months or years, it will take longer to unpeel the layers of compensation the body has developed.  Many chronic conditions can be resolved in 3-6 visits.


In all cases, we follow the lead of the body.  It will tell us what needs to be worked on and you will know when it is time to come back for another session.


Anyone committed to their health and to doing simple things in conjunction with a Bowen treatment is a good candidate.  


Obey the three W’s of Bowen.

•    Water – drink 4-5 glasses of water for the next 4 days after        a Bowen session

•    Walk – If you are inactive/seated for long periods of time         like office work, get up every 45 min and take a short 2             minute walk.  

•    Wait - Other forms of manipulative therapy must be                 avoided for 5 days before and after a Bowen                             session.  These include massage, chiropractic,                           acupuncture, physio, reflexology, and energy work.  This is       because a Bowen sessions starts beneficial changes in             your body that continue over the next several days, and           need to be given a chance to work.  You and I will discuss         how to best schedule your other appointments so that this       5-day before and after period can be avoided.


We also ask that you:

-    communicate about symptoms, concerns, and reactions           that occur during treatment

-    do any exercises you are given to do, as prescribed

-    allow yourself the time to heal.  Do not over exert yourself       and possibly reinjure yourself as you start to feel better.           Give yourself permission to take it easy.  

-    as you start to feel better, discuss changing your                         medications with your physician as appropriate.


Muscle/skeletal issues targeted by Bowen are:

Back pain

Bed wetting in children



Carpal tunnel, numbness in hands and feet

Chronic Fatigue


Digestive and bowel problems, IBS

During and after pregnancy

Edema or lymphatic problems

Fertility issues


Frozen shoulder


Golfers Elbow and Tennis Elbow


Hip/leg length discrepancies, groin pain, pelvic tilt

Hormonal imbalances

Knee, Ankle and Foot problems

Meniere’s disease, vertigo


Menstruation problems


Neck and shoulder pain

Plantar fasciitis

Repetitive Strain Injuries

Respiratory problems, hay fever


Sinus pain, jaw and mouth problems



Cancer Patients:  Can help reduce the symptoms of cancer treatments, such as nausea.


Athletes:  Can also help athletes who want to improve their performance, by tuning muscles and neurological responses.

Bowen is useful in helping babies and children with 



Asthma symptoms

Unsettled or distressed babies

Babies with feeding problems

Failure to latch

Inadequate bowel movements

Projectile vomiting

Neck restrictions

Colic in babies is a generalized term for a baffling behaviour characterized by:

-    crying for long stretches of time with no apparent reason

-    crying behaviour that starts in the first few weeks of life

-    symptoms usually start the same time each day and end as            quickly as they began

-    the baby is inconsolable

-    baby may pull up his legs and clench his fists

-    bowel activity may increase and he may pass gas and spit up

-    cry can turn into screaming


The possible reasons for colic are wide and varying but there is no concrete solid scientific evidence to prove one theory over another.  Some of major factors contributing to colic are thought to be:

-    Newborns have an immature digestive system which is                  digesting food for the first time.

-    Good bacteria in the digestive system is required for proper           digestion and develops over a few months.  This may be one         reason why colic disappears over time.

-    Some foods that nursing mothers eat may contain volatile              chemicals and allergens that may lead to abdominal bloating         and discomfort resulting in colic in newborns

-    During a prolonged cry a baby may ingest air which further             increases gas and bloating leading to more discomfort

-    The psycho-emotional state of the mother is very important if         she is breast feeding.  Negative emotions, tensions and                 anxiety can easily be transmitted to the baby by the mother           and family.


How is Bowen therapy performed on a baby? 


Any Bowen procedure can be done on a baby or child.  The movements are very gentle and safe.


Until the age of about three, the centre of gravity of a child is at the mid-thoracic (mid chest) level. This is where Bowenwork therapy is performed for babies and children.  


The parent is present in the room during a Bowen treatment.  The baby is either lying comfortably on the table or held in the parent’s arms.  Normally 2 visits, 4-7 days apart, are required to see significant relief for a baby with colic.   


At Bowen Pain Management children under the age of three are treated free of charge.


Yes there is! Call Liz Lermitte at Vibrant Pet       519-404-7302



Phone: 1 (519) 381-1227

Carol Roddy - Certified Bowenwork Practitioner

Address: 379 Gem Avenue, Petrolia, Ontario. N0N-1R0


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