Is Bowen therapy good for anxiety?
I share how I can support you with anxiety, using Bowen therapy and many more solutions
Firstly, I was taught that anxiety is simply a label we have given to an energy in the body, we usually believe its a negative thought or feeling that we shouldn’t have and that we need to get rid of it to be better. In actual fact, everyone at some point has anxiety and its totally ‘normal’, so you can be gentle on yourself and know its okay to feel anxiety. Its more what it stops you doing that can make you feel limited, so lets look at solutions.
Of course there are many different practices for the mind, CBT, meditation, prayer, taking supplements etc the list goes on and its about finding something that resonates with you. I choose to practice short moments of strong mind, as it really soothes and supports me and I love the idea that no matter what I think or feel, it leaves no trace, like a line drawn in water, or a firework in the sky. For more info on this practice, you can click here.
So, to start with, you know you can be gentle on yourself and think okay its an energy in the body that will resolve and how can I best relax and take care here?
It might be a good starting point to ask yourself what is going on at the moment that might contributing to anxiety, is it work? When you are around certain people? Something you feel uncomfortable or low confidence about? All of these are totally ‘normal’ to have anxiety over and if there is no cause, don’t worry about reflection isnt leading to any useful insights.
On some level, we are simply cute beings that want to be our best at all times.
Foods to nourish
Avoiding strong stimulants such as caffeine, alcohol and sugar could support, as these can exacerbate anxiety. Of course a little is fine if you don’t want to stop this, but I once had a client say ‘I don’t drink much tea’ and when I asked him what that meant for him, he said 7 cups! So its relative to you.
Exercise you enjoy
Exercise will get those endorphins flowing and usually brings relief from sitting with the feeling of anxiety. Perhaps try and join a class with a friend for extra support.
Remembering the bigger picture
Focusing on what things you do enjoy and what is it you love to do can soothe. Focusing on all the positives in your life can simply be enough to shift the focus from the anxiety misery. Of course these suggestions are all things to chip away at to support you, you can write these down or you might find it easier to catch yourself on the downward spiral.
Belly breathing can soothe
Often we are breathing more shallow from the chest, when it comes to feeling anxious, especially with panic attacks. If our breathing isnt supportive, then this may lead to digestive problems, poor posture and stress, this may also lead to poor sleep and lack of concentration. So test out breathing in and letting your belly expand, as you breathe out let your belly fall in. You could try a cycle of breathing in for 3 and out for 3, or even increase this to 6 seconds. You could do this winding down before bed, or when you feel a strong overwhelm of anxiety.
Figure of 8 visualisation
Visualisations can soothe, imagining the figure of 8, which is one of my favs to share, in that you imagine yourself and the ‘thing that is bothering you’, you draw a figure of 8 around yourself and the other person, place or thing, relaxing the whole time as much as possible, then you imagine a direct slice happening between yourself and the other person/place of thing and them flowing away in water. The idea here is that you remove yourself away from the stressor. You an be really gentle here and just test it out.
Bowen technique for anxiety
When you come to see me for a treatment, I will listen and understand and we look at solutions together on what could support you in your lifestyle, looking at all aspects of you. We have a beautiful move in Bowen called the respiratory move, which is very opening and soothing to the abdomen and rib cage, supporting the fascial front line. This picture below shows the front line, taken from Anatomy Trains book by Tom Myers 2007. This is showing our connectedness in the body and if one area is impacted, then most like the other areas running through this line might be. In terms of anxiety, you can see the chest, ribcage, abdomen and pelvis are all linked here, so releasing here will allow more relaxation, more opening of the ribcage and more ability to breath easier.
Benefits of relaxing with bowen
Common tension areas I see in practice, are the jaw and temple area of the face, which I work over too. It also feels nice to give yourself an hour to relax on the couch, be listened to, understood and have sore points squidged, aligned and relaxed. The respiratory move also supports asthma suffers too.
The aim is to relax you and in doing so there are multiple benefits, one is that Bowen can re-set the ANS – autonomic nervous system – put simply the nervous system, which controls our fight or flight response, if we are in too much fight, from stressors, an agitated nervous system, too much caffeine stimulation, then more adrenaline is released in the body, you will have higher stress and anxiety. This impacts our digestion and sleep. When you are relaxed and soothed, your body has a chance to kick back for a bit and operates in the PNS parasympathetic nervous system, which is our resting and sleeping state supporting with digestion, elimination, sexual response and immune system functioning.
Whilst anxiety is a natural energy to feel, if its preventing you from doing something or getting you down, then its time to reach out, I have listed many options of solutions but coming for a Bowen treatment will be sure to relax, reset you and balance the body
If you would like to be squidged, aligned and soothed from stress and anxiety, then contact me here.
Relaxation is our natural state, as seen more obviously in nature, for example the trees aren’t sweating that they don’t know what the future look likes, nor the flowers quivering due to fearing lack of money, or the bees worrying about their bumbly round body image, they are just doing their thing in complete relaxation.
Relaxation supports all of our body systems & mind to work at their best. A regular form of relaxation is a great way to provide self care & it can be whatever works & provides support to you. I love to take short moments of mind & body relaxation, also called strong mind, which can be carried out anytime, anywhere, with nothing else needed, it is so easeful & the results are very quick & profound. It supports stability of mind no matter the worries, fears of uncertainty, we never know what is around the corner, so to simply focus on each moment is very refreshing. This doesn’t mean that we can’t plan or prepare for the future, but for me, it has meant I can live a happier life where I feel contented, no matter the thoughts or emotions I have.
It is an ancient Tibetan practice that has been developed for the modern day. This practice has ultimately supported me to see the best way to take care of the self, how to make decisions & have clarity on how I would like to live my life. This is a pic of me below on a relaxation retreat, ahhhh super relaxed. See here for more info https://www.bright.how/ also books can be found here.
Exercise You Enjoy
Do something you actually enjoy, working out doesn’t need to look like pain & misery e.g. running for hours on the treadmill, do what is practical & will fit into your life, maybe a 7 minute workout each morning would work for you, or a Pilates class? There are many around, I personally love Sean Vigue pilates, he is on YouTube, so you just need a mat. I also have been tuning into a kundalini yoga class with Kirsty who is so down to earth, lovely & Bristol based. What about Hula Hooping!? It will help boost the happy endorphins & to promote good sleep, which is essential at this time.
Food To Nourish You
Our eating habits may well have changed due to panic buying, fear taking over when shopping that you forget what you need, or comfort eating. Even amidst comfort eating, be kind & gentle on yourself, you are a soft squidgy animal being that is feeling a lot at this time. I definitely laid into eating more sugars, alcohol & caffeine at the start of the pandemic, but now I have settled back into a typical diet, one where I relax, eat plenty of veg, protein, carbs, choccie & cake when I feel like it, but mostly cut out alcohol & caffeine as it triggers off urinary infections for me. I always say go with what you see you need to eat, if you listen to your body it will tell you. It definitely feels a time to nourish, bake & enjoy food together if you can. If you notice some foods don’t agree with you, test it out by not eating them for a few weeks & see how you respond, even better go & get some intolerance testing done here is a great lady I know which can help with that. She is still doing online testing.
I love juicing, my favourite is apple, carrot & ginger, I also love raw choccie occasionally, here is my fav, yum yum!
Office/Work Posture at Home
Adapting to working from home, I wonder what are postures are like? How many hours a week, a month, a year do we spend doing the same actions repeatedly at work? If you are used to staring at a screen, give yourself little eye breaks every so often by looking away into the distance, hopefully there will be something nice to look at too! Below is a suggested desk height posture, I use a portable adjustable laptop stand, but there are fixed stands available too. You can also get an iPad stand & a phone stand to save holding the item, its way more relaxing just try it! An ergonomic mouse really supports my wrists & a good chair is a great help too, here are some supportive chair options. These can all be used at home as they are lightweight and portable.
Earthing Mat & Electromagnetic Chips
I love Wifi & the benefits of the internet & I am often seen with at least two devices! Yet I also give myself down time away from the screen, this can look like doing something else that you love, maybe going for a walk. There is this idea that Wifi rays can not be so good for us & we do not really know the long term side effects of living with Wifi. The truth is I am not sure what to believe, but what I do know is I love to take care & it feels supportive for me to sleep on an earthing mat & I buy earthing chips which can be stuck on all your devices too. I do not need to intellectually understand how this works but it feels a supportive thing to do & I share it here so you can read more & go for it if you would like to.
Whether in your garden, sticking your head out of the window, like a dog in the car, or your daily allowed walk, really enjoy the fresh air, which is seriously low in pollution at this time. I have seen more stars at current in Bristol than ever before as there is less pollution. The bluebells are amazing at this time!
We spend a vast amount of time in bed over our lifetime, please invest in a good quality pillow & mattress that will support to keep your spine aligned. Also how do you wind down for bed? A few stretches? A bath? I love to relax in short moments which supports me to feel calm & when I remember, I naturally reflect on the day & all the things I enjoyed. It is when we are asleep that the body gets a chance to reset, so do take care of yourself here.
Relaxing Treatments at Home
Whether a hot epsom salt bath, full of magnesium to soothe aches & pains, a foot soak with some rose petals, foot scrub, home made facial, gua sha crystal massage, don’t forget to treat yourself. I found these heated eyemasks by Spacemasks, which are amazing.
Focus on What You Love!
For me that looks like dancing, colouring in book for grown ups, walking & smelling flowers, watching netflix, catching up with friends & family. This is a time which is difficult, but we also are having to adapt to a new schedule, so to focus on your loves is a good support with the change. You could start by writing a list if you are not sure, no matter how small it is.
Reach out, for personalised self-care guidance or to share any feedback from this post.
Thanks for reading, please take care of yourself you little precious beings.