Frozen Shoulder Study – Dr Bernie Carter
Dr. Bernie Carter at the Metropolitan University of Manchester (UK) conducted a study of 20 patients diagnosed with frozen shoulder who have been treated by the Bowen Technique. Initial data revealed that 77% of the study group have experienced positive outcomes from their treatment.
The evaluation of Bowen was extremely positive by all participants who stated they would recommend it to family and friends as the therapy was so gentle, relaxing and effective.
Participants experienced a significant improvement in shoulder mobility and associated function with 70% of participants regaining full mobility by the end of the treatments, which averaged 3-5 sessions per participant.
Participants experienced marked reductions in pain scores. 40% had pain scores that fell to zero and 80% scored 0-2, or a slight ache by the end of treatment from a starting average score of 7.
Bowen Therapy demonstrated a significant improvement for participants even those with longstanding frozen shoulder.
All participants experienced improvement in their daily activities, returning to all required activities but also hobbies such as gardening, bowling, woodworking, curling etc.
A pilot study to evaluate the effectiveness of Bowen technique in the management of clients with frozen shoulder.
Carter B1, Complement Ther Med. 2001 Dec;9(4):208-15
To evaluate clients' experience of Bowen Technique in the treatment of frozen shoulder in terms of their pain, functional ability and well-being.
A case series that used primarily quantitative methods and qualitative interviews.
Twenty participants with frozen shoulder.
Bowen Technique, using 'frozen shoulder procedure'.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:
Range of active and passive motion (abduction, flexion, extension, medial rotation, lateral rotation and 'wall climb') in both shoulders, pain intensity scores, impact on well-being and health status.
Improvement in shoulder mobility and associated function for all participants. Median 'worst pain' pre-therapy score reduced from 7 (mean 7, range 1-10) to a median 'worst pain' score of 1 (mean 1.45, range 0-5) post-therapy. Fewer pain quality descriptors used by all participants. All participants experienced improvement in their daily activities.
Bowen Technique demonstrated an improvement for participants, even those with a very longstanding history of frozen shoulder. Further trials are warranted.
PMID: 12184347 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
TMJ and Bowen
Dr John Bauman, DDS, in Colorado, completed a research project on the application of Bowen Technique on the TMJ. Masseter muscle tension was assessed and bite and subjective symptoms compared before and after. Immediately after the first session a third said they felt dramatic relief in symptoms and 20 out of 22 showed significance improvement in the post assessment.
Bowen Therapy and AsthmaThe Bowen Therapy National Asthma Research Program
Nikke Ariff did research study between 2003 and 2004 with the aim to test the efficacy of Bowen Therapy for asthma sufferers in relation to frequency and severity of attacks and reliance on medication, over a 12 month period. This research included 24 volunteers who had had asthma for over 5 years, and most over 15 years. 83% of participants reported a reduction in the frequency of asthma attacks with 75% reporting less reliance on medication than before the beginning of treatments. 87% reported a substantial difference in their asthma,with 29% of this group reporting a dramatic difference.
Of 24 volunteers who completed the program, 22 reported that secondary health concerns had also improved, including back, neck and shoulder pain; knee and joint problems; headaches and migraines; hay fever; irritable bowel syndrome and digestion; circulation; insomnia; anxiety, stress, depression and energy level improvement.View Longer Study
The Bowen Technique National Asthma Study
December 2002 to March 2004
Organised by Nikke Ariff in collaboration with B.T.E.R.
The National Research program was launched to determine the efficacy of The Bowen Technique in the treatment of the Asthma condition. The research was aiming to record any changes in their pattern Volunteer’s symptoms in terms of:
- severity of attacks
- and reliance on medication
SELECTION OF CANDIDATES: THE VOLUNTEER GROUP
The parameters set were as follows:
- the volunteers had to be over 16 years of age
- they must not have been hospitalized for their condition
- they must have been diagnosed as an Asthma sufferer by a Gp or hospital specialist
- Asthma must be their main health concern
THE VOLUNTEER GROUP: PROFILE
Of the 24 Volunteers: 16 women, 8 men
Length of time diagnosed as an Asthma sufferer:
- 1 to 5 yrs : 2 (8%) volunteers
- 5 to 10 yrs : 8 (33%) volunteers
- 10 to 15 yrs: 3 (13%) volunteers
- 15 yrs plus : 11 (46%) volunteers
All were fully qualified in the Bowen technique and fulfilled the qualifications set out by the governing body The Bowen Therapists European Register (www.bter.org email: email@example.com).
THE RESEARCH PROGRAM:
The Program was carried out over a 12-month period. No treatment protocol was set for the Bowen therapist to follow. This is because Bowen is a holistic therapy and it was felt that the Bowen therapist should not be compromised in having to treat according to a set protocol as opposed to treating the Volunteer as a unique individual. The Asthma Volunteer kept a weekly diary throughout the 12 month period additionally, a diary was completed for every Asthma attack experienced during the Research Period.
- 7 registered “My asthma has improved dramatically”
- 14 reported “ My asthma has improved substantially”
- 3 reported “ My asthma has improved slightly”
- 20 (83%) reported a reduction in the frequency of their asthma attacks
- 18 (75%) reported a reduction in the severity of their attacks
- 18 (75%) reported they were now using less medication than before starting the Bowen Research project
- 14 (58%) reported they were responding better to their medication
- 17 (71%) volunteers reported their sensitivity to triggers had reduced
Although only 15 of the 24 volunteers used Peak Flow meters at home, all 15 (100%) of them reported their readings had improved.
Volunteers rated their asthma condition on a scale of 0 to 10. Before Bowen treatments were received:
- Mild : 3 (12.5%)
- Moderate : 12 (50%)
- Severe : 9 (37.5%)
- Mild: 18 (75%)
- Moderate: 6 (25%)
TOTAL NUMBER OF ASTHMA ATTACKS:
The total number of Asthma attacks reported showed a dramatic improvement in the second 6 months on the research program:
- First 6 months: Total of 84 Asthma attacks recorded
- Second 6 months: Total of 26 Asthma attacks recorded
OTHER BENEFITS:Of the 24 Volunteers who completed the program, 22 reported that secondary health concerns had also improved within the 12-month Research period underlining the holistic nature of the Bowen Technique. These issues included:
- Positive responses
- Back, Neck & Shoulder problems: 15
- Knee problems & Other joint problems: 4
- Headaches & Migraine: 3
- Hayfever: 8
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome & Digestion: 4
- PMT & Circulation: 2
- Insomnia: 4
- Anxiety, Stress & Depression: 13
- Energy levels: 8
Bowen Therapy and Migraines
Bowen Technique practitioner Nikke Ariff based in the UK, completed the Bowen Technique Migraine Research Program with the aim of studying it's efficacy in healing migraine headaches. Of the 39 migraine volunteers 79% experienced a positive result and said they would recommend the Bowen Technique to family, friends and colleges.View Longer Study
The Bowen Technique National Migraine Research ProgramOctober 2001 to April 2002
Organized by Nikke Ariff
The National Research program was launched by Nikke Ariff in response to results obtained in an earlier Pilot Scheme conducted by her between February – April 2001. The National Research program was launched to determine the efficacy of The Bowen Technique in the treatment of the Migraine condition.
Selection of candidates: The Volunteer Group
No parameters were set before the research program to attract a certain 'profile' of Migraine sufferer. This was deliberate to ensure that the Volunteer Group was random but united by the fact that they were willing to try something new in the treatment of their Migraine condition. The Research Group was recruited from the members of the Migraine Action Association and based on a considered selection of participants on the basis: They were diagnosed as a migraine sufferer by a GP or hospital specialist. The women were well represented at different stages of their menstrual life ie. Regular periods, pre-menopausal, menopausal with without hormone therapy, post-menopausal, hysterectomy.
The Volunteer Group: Profile
- Total of 39 volunteers: 37 women, 2 men
- Length of time participant had been a Migraine sufferer:
- 1 to 15 years : 13 volunteers
- 16 to 30 years: 17 volunteers
- over 30 years: 9 volunteers
All were fully qualified in the Bowen Technique and fulfilled the qualifications set out by the governing body, the Bowen Therapists' European Register – now the Bowen Therapy Professional Association (BTPA).
The Research Program:
The Program was carried out over a 6 week period. This was comprised of a two week treatment period during which the Volunteer received three Bowen treatments in the first two weeks of the program, followed by a four week observational period. The Migraine Volunteer kept a migraine diary throughout the 6 week period, which was completed after every Migraine attack experienced during the Research Period.
The Results of the Bowen Technique National Migraine Research Program
Of the 39 participants:
- 7 registered no change in their Migraine condition
- 11 experienced a decrease in frequency of attacks
- 9 experienced a decrease in severity of their Migraine
- 11 experienced a decrease in severity and frequency of attacks
- 1 participant experienced an increase in frequency
In all, 31 case studies experienced a positive result, yielding a response rate of 79.5%.
The Bowen technique:
Bowen is a gentle, non-invasive, 'hands-on' therapy. It treats the body as a single integrated system and is therefore suitable for all ages from new born babies to the very elderly, from the fit and active to the critically ill. The practitioner uses thumbs and fingers on precise points around the body to make rolling type movements. The pressure used is light, never more than what your eyeball could comfortably bear. It is a distinctive feature of Bowen that after a sequence of moves, the practitioner leaves the room for a minimum of two minutes to allow your body to respond to and process the moves.
Following the results, Nikke Ariff said:
"I decided to use the Migraine condition as a research project (although it could have been one of many other conditions), because of the distress I saw it causing the sufferer. My experience with Migraine proved that the Bowen Technique was very effective because it treated the person as a whole where the Migraine condition can be caused by one or a combination of several trigger factors - none of which are easily identifiable.
I am very pleased and not at all surprised at the success rate of the National Research Programme, which has recorded positive results for 31 of the 39 Migraine Volunteers. I trust that more people will be encouraged to approach complementary therapies with an open mind for the maintenance of their health and well being."
The Migraine Action Association:
Ann Turner, Director for the Migraine Action Association writes "The results from the Bowen Technique National Migraine Research Programme are very encouraging. It confirms that this gentle, non-invasive, holistic therapy can help a wide range of migraine sufferers. The results confirm the findings of the pilot study and the fact that several different therapists were involved illustrates that it is the Bowen Technique which is effective not just one skilled or gifted practitioner."
The results are very positive. As a holistic therapy, Bowen Therapy treats the individual as an integrated biodynamic system as opposed to an isolated ailment. Migraines can be triggered by any one or a combination of factors ranging from hormonal, sleeping patterns, neck and jaw tightness, exercise, travel, lack of food, allergies and stress levels of the individual. These factors are so varied, that a holistic therapy like Bowen must be considered as a valid option for the treatment of the Migraine condition.
Using the Bowen Technique in a Health Service workplace to improve the physical and mental well-being of staffBy Anne Dicker, nurse and Bowen Practitioner
A total of 31 staff at the Northern Rivers Area Health Service, were treated over six weeks, receiving an average of 2.7 treatments. They were asked to fill an initial comprehensive health assessment and a detailed questionnaire at the completion of the project.
Stress was a major focus of this study. The majority reported an improvement in stress levels.
“These treatments have helped to lower my stress.”
“I found these treatments to be very good for stress.”
“My stress levels have dramatically dropped.”
Energy and Well-being was also assessed. 64% reported an improvement in energy and well-being, many reporting an increase in energy.
“I noticed a change two weeks into the course, when I felt more energized than I had for some time.”
“Not as tired.”
Sleep was assessed and 50% reported an improvement in sleep patterns.
“With less pain in my neck and shoulders I have better quality of sleep.”
“Only waking once a night rather than 3-4 times.”
“I now sleep like a baby when previously I was a light and restless sleeper.”
Pain levels were assessed with many staff having multiple areas of chronic pain which would have benefited from longer treatment. However, 78% reported 'better' pain than before.
“The pain in the hips is not as bad.”
“Treatments would usually relieve headaches and I found less need for painkillers. Also I noticed a reduction in frequency.”
“My lower back was aggravated in the middle of my treatment which led to a response of very much better.”
Mobility was assessed and was reported to be much improved with enthusiastic feedback.
“Even 4 weeks later I feel movement is completely free.”
“Do not have any stiff neck now.”
“My lower back feels more flexible now.”
“My hip feels less fused.”
Overall comments -
“I feel much better as a whole for the treatments.”
“Moving about more freely allows me to look and act better.”
“Particularly at work I have felt calm and able to deal with stressful situations with ease.”
In terms of the successful outcomes in pain reduction, mobility improvments, stress reduction, and improvements in sleep, energy and wellbeing further study is warranted.
See longer study
Fibromyalgia and Bowen Therapy
A small pilot study was carried out by Tim Wilcocks, Bowen Practitioner and Instructor, on the effects of Bowen Therapy on Fibromyalgia.
Four participants who had been diagnosed with fibromyalgia for 3-5 years were given 4 Bowen treatments over 5 weeks. They experienced various levels of relief from a few days to a few weeks.
All four participants experienced improvements including better sleep, more mobility walking, cessation of vertigo, eased neck pain, improved balance, and less exhaustion.
Bowen Therapy and the effects on the Autonomic Nervous System
Dr J. Whitaker has shown that Bowen Therapy effects the Autonomic Nervous System as measured by changes in value and pattern of heart rate variability and clinical assessments before and after Bowen treatments.
Psychological effects of Bowen Therapy
Ashley Pritchard, at the Swinburn University department of Psychophysiology, Melbourne, showed that the Bowen Technique consistently reduced the subject's level of anxiety, and enhanced individuals positive feelings by reducing tension, anger, depression, fatigue and confusion.