Lisa Gets Therapy - Bowen Style!

  I've written about it many times before, the ability to recover from your workouts is just as important as the effort you put into your heavy duty sessions. Its important to make sure you eat enough good protein and carbs, and get in all your macro nutrients so that your body can recover and build lean muscle. Of course supplements play a big part in recovery too. 

click pic to watch video of Bowen session  
I take quite an array of supplements including Balance WPI powder, Beta Alanine, Vit C, Omega, Flax, the Balance joint food and Ultimate Recovery Stack which has helped me feel so much better after heavy workouts.

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However in addition to all the food and supplements, there's still one thing that I know I should be doing to my body to help me recover from all the pounding I've given my muscles, joints and connective tissue....and that's massage! 

Getting a massage is very important to your body as it enhances your body's blood flow and helps to flush out some of those toxins in your body to enhance recovery.  It also helps to get some of those ‘knots' out of your body so you can workout without pain.  And without pain, you can workout more efficiently and train harder. 

But I haven't been listening to myself lately and have been working around my pain.  I'm sure you have a list just like mine.  There's the left knee with slight tendonitis from all the pummelling I've given it with cardio (yes shock horror I've been doing cardio) and of course from squats, lunges etc.  The lower back pain, occasional tight traps and generally lethargy that comes with a sore and inefficient body.

I've been reluctant to getting a massage because I'm really not a touchy feely kind of person.  I don't particularly want someone to touch me or dig their hands/fingers into my body and give me that pain sensation.  Maybe its just me or I have the wrong idea of what massage is or I've never really let anyone give me a good massage.  Plus I don't particularly like the idea of getting oil rubbed on me or my biggest paranoia - having to get some of my clothes off!!!!

  So that was my dilemma, I needed to be fixed but didn't want anyone to touch me.  Go Figure!  The universe must've heard my pain and sent me the healing hands of Natalie Hammond, a Bowen Therapist.  Natalie happens to email me one day after being told by someone else that she should email me to see whether I'd be interested in her way of therapy.   I thought ‘why not', this has to be a sign that this is my way of getting ‘fixed'.

left: Lisa with Natalie

On meeting with Natalie, to be honest I did feel a little nervous but excited, as I was putting myself into another person's hands.  She gave me an overview of what Bowen Therapy was and reassured me that there wasn't going to be too much ‘touch feely or oil or taking my clothes off in our session' so that gave me some comfort.  She said Bowen therapy works on using your energy channels and muscle/nerve manipulation to realign - or as she put it - reconfigure my body's computer.  I'm totally into the wholistic approach and understand that you need to realign the body, as goodness knows, my body is way out of tune - so Natalie and I are kindred spirits in our thinking.

Then it was on with the treatment.  As mentioned earlier, I have a few things that needed realigning. So I trusted my body in Natalie's capable hands to do her thing and all I needed to do was relax....yeah right!  Easier said than done for me.

  First she had me lying face down on the massage table and covered me with a towel (yes leaving my clothes on too...phew!) then she just did 2 pressure movements.  One was on my lower back and the other on my lower glutes, she probably had her hands all of 30sec on me.  Then it was 2 minute rest by myself while she was out of the room.   

left: Lisa in forced rest
I thought ‘what?  Was that it??!!!!'  Nat assured me that this is starting the body's process to be reconfigured and its important that I rest and relaxed.  So there I was, being told to rest.  Something I usually tell my clients!  Yikes someone else telling me what to do.  I thought ok this is going to help me get better so I tried to relax.

She comes back then does another set of pressure movements on my upper back, then she pops out again for 2 minutes.  Then back again to sort out all the toxins from my neck, then another 2minute rest.  Man, by this time, I tell you I'm feeling very relaxed both from the unique ‘pressuring' and from the forced rest.  Sorry Nat, I know you have some real technical terms for what I'm saying so sorry if I got some of this wrong, but Go Figure viewers, you get the generally idea don't you?

All through the treatment, I could feel my body trying to resist the relaxing.  I know I should relax but my body is resisting.  I could feel increased bloodflow through out my body and the nice warm fuzzies but still there's something deep inside that says 'no!'.  Occasionally I would get involuntary muscle spasms from the areas Nat had manipulated but it certainly wasn't uncomfortable.  A spasm similar to what you'd get hours after a great workout.


By the end of the treatment, about an hour, I felt very drained and relaxed.  But interestingly revitalized too.  I had walked in there like an old woman with sore knees and a wonky left hip but was quite surprised that both my knees and hips felt heaps better afterwards eventhough they'd hardly been touched.  I just wanted to go home and rest and enjoy the feeling of being 'shattered' but no, Trixie, wouldn't have that so I had to take her for a walk. 

I noticed while out walking that my knee didn't hurt, wow, that little bit of manipulation did the trick of my tricky knee.  I still felt quite warm and relaxed while walking but I tell you, I just wanted to crash when I got home.  That night I felt very good and could still feel my body buzzing although was satisfactorily tired.  I had a great night's sleep too!

I'd say this is definitely my kind of massage. I didn't find it invasive. Nat went in, got the work done in the most efficient way and with no pain to me.  If you're not a ‘touchy feely' girl like me and probably prefer a massage that isn't too hands on then I'd definitely recommend giving this form of therapy a go.  I'm not totally fixed but I'm certainly on the way to feeling much better and my training is much more energetic too!


Thanks Natalie for your healing hands and making me rest!

I'm currently doing the video of the session which will give you more of an idea of what Bowen Therapy involved - or doesn't involve!

In the meantime you can check out Nat's business: Aquarius Bowen Clinic at her 

She is based in Mt Eden, Auckland


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