Healing with the heart

Written by Tom Clarke :

Driving north towards Manila I saw a huge sign; a man's face 30 + feet high with a benevolent smile (elections coming soon) and a caption saying, “How many lives will you change this year?” Without missing a beat, thinking about the Bowen I do and what I was hoping to see the next day, I replied to the sign, “A lot more than you – God willing.
In the December '09, issue of Bowen Hands, where all of our practitioners are listed I found for the first time a listing for the Philippines. After a 6 year wait my wife was returning to her homeland and her family. During three wonderful weeks while she enjoyed all the family things, I was doing Bowen on a few family members and a few friends every day. (family here includes – but not limited to - mother, father, sister, brother, aunt, uncle, cousin, nephew, niece and in laws etc., etc.) So, I kept busy with the usual satisfying results.
Time had run out. Vacations - so long in the dreaming - go so very fast. We will fly back to the U.S. On Thursday. We came to Manila a day early so that I could meet the practitioner I has found in our magazine. We had been in contact back and forth by email for a few days.                    
Julie Williams - Julie Pocknee Williams, because there is another Julie Williams in the same building where her condo is located - finally established phone contact with me and I knew in her first sentence that she had learned to speak in Ossie's country – an Aussie. We had wanted to have some time to talk but Wednesday was her day to do volunteer work in a very poor section of Pasay, a Metro Manila suburb. I asked to meet her there so that I could work on some people also and share the load. We were to start at 8:30 the next morning.
We were late – a whole other story if one is not familiar with Manila traffic. By the time we were afoot we were going along a passageway maybe six plus feet wide; mostly cemented but with occasional holes, rough spots, etc. We were moving along as quickly as possible stepping over babies an occasional dog or chicken and persons working in the space doing washing, cleaning, meal preparation and what have you. It was unexpectedly clean and almost everyone greeted us with a big warm smile and a good morning. When I started down the walkway I saw poverty with a capital P. After just a few minutes I saw instead a very happy, congenial community where I was most welcome.                                    
Contact with Julie came with instant recognition. Here was a woman bent over four children spaced out on a workout type mat putting in quality Bowen moves on one and moving to the next one and continuing. I had on a shirt that said Bowenwork with my name in smaller letters – besides what other white guy was going to appear in the loft of a smallish chapel complete with wife and the two Australian friends who were visiting her. Introductions were necessarily brief. Julie got back to work and I was able to start working on people on a bench next to Julie's mat. There was only room for me to do one at a time while Julie was doing two to four at a time. With the kids wait time was minimal and I was informed that if I kept a person down for too long they probably wouldn't come back the next week. Depending on the person's problem we were doing things like putting in stoppers then doing an appropriate procedure and maybe a move or two from another procedure then off the bench or floor and another one take their place. The pace of the treatments made me think of the term that Craig Matimoe used in his landmark article on concussions in a Bowen hands article from a few years back – Bowen on the fly.                                           
Personally, I love watching a good practitioner put in really good Bowen moves and that was Julie. It was obvious that she had done a lot of Bowen. She was so good with the the kids, as an example, hugging the frightened, complimenting those being worked on and easily showing them how to lie or turn over. Of course most of Julie's work was done from the left side as she stepped across the little bodies reaching across them instead of going around and of course, for the people on my bench there was no other side. My favorite was seeing Julie hitting the lat with her thumb then reaching quickly across and doing the right side with the forefinger of the same hand on the kids on the mat.                                                     
She told me that she would never know how many would show up so she had learned to be able to treat as many as possible and still leave by 11:30 for lunch on the run then on to the Cerebral Palsy clinic where she treats that and similar afflictions and where most patients are showing marked improvement. Since we finished before the deadline there was time to treat two stroke patients who could not come to the clinic and as Julie worked in impossibly dark and cramped conditions she was giving instructions to the family regarding their care. They had both shown considerable improvement I was told.                                             
This was not a typical Bowen office with tables and quiet and high expectations. But as I watched the thought that came to me strongly was – This is what Bowen is about; and as proficient as the hands were, this was Bowen from the heart. No words I write or pictures taken can begin to express the feelings I experienced watching this woman hugging, comforting and treating these children. As I write this article safely back in the United States, I am so overwhelmed that I can't speak and my tears are falling on the keyboard.          
Julie Williams, may God continue to bless your work and these hurting, innocent children. Tom Bowen would be very proud of you.

Humbly submitted
Tom Clarke

Reedsport, Oregon, USA



Bowtech is a gentle form of bodywork in which very subtle moves performed over the muscles and connective tissue send messages deep into the body, retrieving cellular memory of a preferred relaxed way of wellbeing. Results can be remarkable, even from the first session; often only a few sessions are needed to correct the presenting problem.
There are frequent but very essential pauses throughout the session that allow the body time to respond and begin the healing process. The practitioner can target a specific problem or address the body as a whole.

Can the Bowen Technique help me?
The original Bowen Technique is extremely gentle and is considered appropriate for anyone from pregnant women to newborn babies, the frail and the elderly. It can assist recovery from many conditions, from traumatic injury to chronic illness, depending upon each individual’s capacity to heal. No adverse side affects have been reported.

The technique should be considered for:
Back pain and sciatica
Digestive and bowel problems including IBS
Earache, ear infections and migraines
Fibro myalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome
Knee, ankle and foot problems
Groin pain, pelvic tilt and uneven leg length
Menstrual and hormonal irregularities
Neck/shoulder problems including frozen shoulder
Respiratory problems and hay fever
RSI, carpel tunnel syndrome and tennis elbow
Sports and accidental injuries
Baby colic

Who to Choose?

Who to choose?
We are now getting more and more Alternative and Natural Healing businesses in Mackay and surrounding suburbs. This can become confusing for clients. They may have had the same therapist for awhile and wonder ,"Will I try someone else to see what they do?"
Someone may have just started up and will undercut the usual prices, so it looks advantageous to give it a go. So, do you go on price alone in these hard times?Can they fix my bad back or sore knee or shoulder. Your thoughts may be, you won't really know unless you" give them a go".
Having been a massage therapist for over thirty years, I have heard all the questions. When clients ask me how to choose a therapist, I tell them a few things to look for. Are the premises clean? Is their manner professional in the treatment room? Can you claim your health care benefits back. (You pay it each year, so you should claim it back.) Most importantly; What is their experience and qualifications?
If they are registered with a health care provider, this ensures they have insurance and qualifications of a professional body standard. eg. AAMT. (Australian Assoc. of Massage Therapists) BTAA (Bowen Therapist Assoc. Australia) BAA (Bowen Assoc. Australia) to name a few.
Never forget there are “horses for courses”.
If you want a relaxing massage to pamper yourself, then look to a Spa. This is their forte. You will be surrounded with relaxing music, darken room and all will be soothing to the soul as well as the body.
If you have an injury, muscle or tendon related , look to a clinic that specializes in repair and rehab. Rarely will you find them both in the same clinic, as they are different qualifications. (Bowen therapy does treat both).
When you are booking your appointment, ask the questions. You are the client so you want to know up front the best treatment they can offer you.
If the answers aren't what you want or you don't feel reassured,then keep looking. We aren't all the same.