Originally developed over half a century ago for use in humans, Bowen Therapy has also been adapted to animals – including dogs — with great success.
You may have heard of Bowen Therapy for humans, but this non-manipulative modality for pain relief and injury recovery has also been adapted for use in animals. Animal Bowen Therapy is having a significant impact on the lives of dogs and other animals, and yields remarkable success in treating a wide array of conditions.
What is Bowen Therapy?
Bowen Therapy stems from the work of Australian therapist, Tom Bowen (1916-1982). He treated an estimated 13,000 human patients a year with the techniques he developed, and saw an 80% to 85% success rate in reducing symptoms associated with a wide range of conditions. After his death, many of his students continued his legacy; today, Bowen Therapy is practiced in many countries and is taught worldwide.
This unique therapy can help accelerate healing and recovery with only a few precise “moves”. It works with the autonomic nervous system and helps detoxify the body by putting it in rest and repair mode. When performed on specific points, each Bowen move activates the nerve cells, which send a message to the brain. The brain receives the signal, processes it, then responds back, asking the body to re-balance itself.
Bowen is a holistic therapy – it’s not meant to isolate a specific ailment, symptom or condition, but factors in the body as a whole. Animal Bowen Therapy takes into account the dog’s lifestyle, emotional state and overall well-being. By observing the dog’s movement, physical symptoms and imbalances, a practitioner can tap into his blueprint and reset his body to heal itself.
What are Animal Bowen treatments like?
A Bowen treatment consists of a series of small light-touch moves across fibres, muscles, tendons and ligaments at precise locations on the body. The practitioner generates a vibration (Bowen Move) in a specific area, which if given enough time, resonates until the tissue tension in the area is reduced and relaxed.
Each dog’s unique needs dictate the treatments and moves. The dog is either lying or standing comfortably and is never forced to physically participate. Periodic breaks are required to allow the body time to realign and rectify itself before the next sequence of moves.
The first Bowen treatment takes about an hour, and includes an assessment of the dog’s movement, imbalances and symptoms. Sessions are spaced a week apart for optimal results. A series of treatments is generally recommended for most conditions, each building on the last. Longstanding issues may require additional treatments or a maintenance plan.
What are the benefits?
Animal Bowen Therapy can effectively relieve acute and chronic pain, improve posture and joint mobility, speed recovery from injuries and accidents, reduce physical and emotional stress, and enhance overall health and energy. Here are just some conditions Animal Bowen Therapy can help resolve:
- Stifle injury
- Shoulder/neck injuries
- Degenerative myelopathy
- Digestive issues
- Spine misalignment
Most dogs experience relief after three sessions, and often the results are surprising. Many people report that while their dogs were undergoing treatment for one concern, they also experienced restored movement and energy, changes in hair coat, and reduced emotional and behavioral responses.
Animal Bowen Therapy is a safe and gentle modality, with rapid and powerful effects that will promote your dog’s health and overall well-being.
Animal Bowen case histories
Chloe, a ten-year-old Lhasa Poo, was experiencing neck and back pain and had difficulty walking. She was placed on restricted activity, pain medication and a weight reduction plan.
Chloe suffered a herniated disc two years before, and was not able to roll over on her back. She had also undergone double knee surgery four years prior. She’d recently had an MRI and spinal tap done, but a diagnosis was not confirmed.
The day after I gave Chloe her first Animal Bowen treatment, I received an email from her “mom” reporting that the little dog slept through the night and was full of beans that morning. In fact, Chloe insisted on walking further than normal. The following week, I visited Chloe for a second treatment and afterwards received this email: “Chloe was just lying on her back! She hasn’t done that for a long time!”
Chloe continues to do well and has not experienced a relapse. She is back to her normal walking schedule — and rolling on her back on a regular basis!
Tucker is a German shepherd who was diagnosed with degenerative myelopathy. He could not use his hind end; he would drag himself around the house and required assistance when to go to the bathroom. Depression was a big concern for Tucker; you could see him slowly losing interest in what was happening around him. A wheelchair was purchased so he could go on his daily walks, and he began to engage again.
Degenerative myelopathy is a progressive disease that affects the spinal cord. Currently, there is no cure, and we weren’t sure if Bowen Therapy would help. We had nothing to lose, however, so we set up a treatment plan. “If you could improve Tucker even 1%, I would be happy,” his person told me at the time.
I started working with Tucker on a weekly basis. One month into our treatment, I received an email saying that Tucker stood for about 30 seconds and walked five steps. I passed this off as a one-time event, but as we continued with our weekly schedule Tucker’s improvement amazed us all. He took progressively more steps, stood for longer periods, and wanted to play with his toys. Three months later, Tucker was getting up and walking around the house on his own.
Today, Tucker goes outside on his own and does his business without assistance. He wobbles sometimes when he gets excited or tries to run, and his hind end will go out from under him when he’s playing and not balanced. He can’t do lengthy walks but does enjoy an unaided walk to the postbox on a daily basis, weather permitting. We are uncertain how long these results will last, but the 1% mark has been surpassed beyond our expectations.