How can Bowen Therapy help?

Bowen Therapy is a wonderful whole-body technique. Some people may have heard of Bowen Therapy but may not be aware that it can also help concussions.

Bowen Therapy helps to rebalance the Autonomic Nervous System, which is extremely important after a concussion and helps to initiate the healing process. Bowen Therapy also increases blood, nerve and lymph flow, all critical in concussion recovery. A recent study has shown that lymph flows in the brain which was not previously known. Bowen Therapy involves a rebalancing of the lower and upper body and neck. This is very important in the concussion recovery process, as the body may have begun to take on some compensating patterns, and the neck may have sustained a strong flexion or extension force, which is particularly true in the case of whiplash injuries.

The TMJ may also may have been affected in a concussion injury. Bowen Therapy is very helpful in rebalancing the TMJ, which is important in increasing blood supply and rebalancing the vestibular system or balance system after a concussion. The TMJ is closely related to the trigeminal nerve which controls most of the blood supply to the anterior part of the brain. Bowen Therapy work on the TMJ is at the core of addressing the trigeminal nerve.

When the body's innate healing process has been stalled due to a head trauma, this can result in a slow recovery. In cases of post concussion syndrome, Bowen Therapy can be very helpful in restarting a stalled healing process. It's a bit like providing the spark plug to the engine. Bowen Therapy encourages the body to remember how to heal and return to it's original blueprint or homeostasis which is the body's most efficient recovery process. In effect Bowen is helping to override the slow stalled recovery process. It can also help to speed up the healing in cases where the concussion would have resolved on it's own.

The number of sessions required to help resolve symptoms depends on how long it has been since the concussion. The sooner a concussion is addressed, generally the fewer the number of sessions required. The most optimal time to start Bowen Therapy is 24 - 48 hours after a concussion. There can be a delay in symptom onset, and this gives time for symptoms to fully surface. Acute concussions sustained within a few days to weeks will likely require 2 - 4 sessions. Medium to long term concussion symptoms will likely require weekly sessions ranging from approximately 5 up to a few months.

Return to Work and Return to Play protocols as outlined by a primary care physician or physical trainer can be begin once symptoms are no longer present.

[1] C.C. Giza, D.A. Hovda, “The new neurometabolic cascade of concussion”, Neurosurgery. 2014
[2] Cognitive Rest May be Crucial After Concussion; Neurology Reviews. 2014.
[3] M. McClincy, “Recovery from sport's concussions in high school and collegiate athletes”, Brain Injury. 2006
[4] Human Anatomy and Physiology 7th Edition, Pearson International Edition
[5] F. Paparo. “Anatomic Relationship between trigeminal nerve and temporomandibular joint”, European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences. 2008.
[6] R. Lang, “Neurogenic control of cerebral blood supply”, Experimental Neurology. 1974