Today I went to a woman for a… well… it’s called Bowenwork Therapy, and it’s tough to describe. The Blue Fire website defines it as:
"Bowenwork therapy is a sacred bodywork that accesses inner healing wisdom. This amazing bodywork allows us to regain our health and to experience rapid transformation."
But I would call it "body strumming". Basically, it’s a massage that is supposed to get your body to heal itself, reestablish screwed up neurological connections, and force you to pay attention to the signals your own body is sending you.
Here’s how it goes down: I walked into the office while Jessica Riley (the therapist, left) was still with another client. I was confused because the door to the massage room was closed, but Jessica was standing there as if she expected me to walk in at that very moment. (The moment I saw Jessica it became obvious to me why my mom and sister smirked when they referred me: she stunningly beautiful.) My confused look must have been obvious (they often are), but she reassured me, "You’re in the right place. It’s Ben, right?" I nodded, she handed me some paperwork, motioned for me to have a seat, then walked into the massage room. I heard some muffled voices, and moments later she reemerged, took my paperwork, looked it over, then disappeared again into the massage room. My mom and sister have both been several times for this type of therapy and I was warned that it is nothing like a normal massage, but I wasn’t really prepared to see a therapist walking in and out of the room.
The woman ahead of me left, and while Jessica changed the sheets we talked a little about what has been bothering me. She asked what other types of physical therapy and massage I’ve done, and then explained a bit about Bowenwork.
Bowenwork is a bit like tuning a guitar. The therapist grabs a muscle, moves it, then releases it. She literally strums the muscle like a guitar string. And after playing only a couple of notes, she leave the room. The purpose is to let your body’s natural harmonics radiate through the body and allow the brain to connect with the muscles that have been treated.
It takes a leap of faith. I disrobed, hopped on the table, and began to relax to soothing nature music. Jessica came in and plucked a couple muscles in my hips, then left. While she was gone I felt my heart rate increase, and a burning sensation near the area she plucked. I told her, and she said that’s normal, then plucked a couple different muscles and left. This went on for a little over an hour, and which point she woke me up from a really relaxing nap I was taking. I actually can’t remember the final time Jessica came into the room, but I awoke on my back in a daze. She told me to take my time getting up, and added that I should touch the ground with both feet at the same time.
Before I left Jessica told me to take 24 hours of rest, not to sit for more than 30 minutes, and to drink lots of water. She said healthy athletes and children usually feel the effects much quicker, and said I may be sore tonight and tomorrow. I was so out of it I called her Jennifer as I left. Oops.
So far I feel pretty good, but it’s killing me that I can’t ride my bike. The weather is so nice right now, and it’s supposed to rain and snow this weekend. I’m just hoping that a day of rest will let me get back out for some running. My ankle is still really sore.
I will probably go again next week. I want to get the full experience, so I’ll try anything twice. If you’re interested, check out Blue Fire Bowenwork Center in Seattle. If you’re not in Seattle, just google bowenwork therapy, or bowen therapy. I think it’s worth checking out even if you don’t have a specific problem. They do full body plucking as well. For now, my plan is to drink lots and relax (wait, did she say it had to be water? )