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Integrative Bowen Therapy for Treatment of Chronic Pain

August 31, 2019

Pain is something that we all experience throughout our lives. Whether severe, moderate, or mild, everyone has had to bear some pain. In most cases, pain is a signal from the body that something has gone awry. While we usually consider pain to be sensation felt within the physical body, it does not always have to result from a physical injury. Mental and emotional pains can be felt physically as well. In all cases, the treatment of pain is currently a very relevant topic. As made terribly clear by the current opioid crisis, the mismanagement of pain and discomfort can have dire ramifications. It is an important time to reconsider the human relationship to pain.

As stated, pain affects everyone. Statistics show that over 100 million adults in America live with some degree of chronic pain. Over 500 billion health care dollars are spent annually on pain management and treatment. Standard treatment options are limited and usually focused on pharmaceutical drugs and surgical intervention. Unfortunately, these treatments have their risks. Long term use of NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen or naproxen) and Tylenol can cause damage to vital organ systems. Other treatment options are urgently needed.

Types of Pain
Pain derived from different areas is treated somewhat differently. Consider muscle pain versus joint pain. Muscles are well fed with blood flow, and so can recover quicker from injury or trauma. Joints are complicated structures which are constructed of tendons, in addition to the dense connective tissue that connects bone to bone, called ligaments. As there is less circulatory blood flow within these structures, recovery time is slower, as is the case with common injuries such as tendonitis of the elbow or shoulder. Many natural treatments, including hydrotherapy, use the power of increased circulation to promote more rapid healing of connective tissue, including within the joints.

In cases of referred pain, an injury at one location can actually manifest as physical discomfort somewhere else. Headaches are a classic example of referred pain. In many cases, while pain is felt on the top of the head or behind the eyes, the true source of the pain is within one of the muscles of the neck, upper back, or shoulder. Especially with tension headaches, understanding patterns of referred pain can dramatically improve the potential for successful treatment.

Bowen Therapy Technique
The key to successful treatment of pain is to address the underlying dysfunction while being sure to bear in mind all aspects of the body. Within the musculoskeletal system, it is important to consider the muscle, joint, and connective tissue, as there is a constant dynamic interrelationship between each of these physical components. Hands-on physical medicine modalities will always be necessary to address physical complaints. Comprehensive neuromuscular and myofascial techniques, such as Bowen therapy, are incredibly effective in reconfiguring the body away from chronic pain patterns. In a world of prescription pads and pills, nothing can take the place of physical touch.

Bowen Technique can provide relief for many types of injuries and health problems, both acute and chronic. It does so holistically, via the body’s innate healing mechanisms. The treatment delivers signals to the nervous system at specific locations (on muscles, tendons, ligaments, or nerves), and the body responds in its own time, within its vital capacity. When indicated, additional myofascial elements are added, addressing chronic connective tissue tension and adhesion. This therapy is appropriate for people of all ages, in all degrees of health, and is adjusted to each unique individual’s need.

Rather than focusing on a single complaint, Integrative Bowen Therapy addresses the entire body by stimulating the connective tissue and restoring balance within the nervous system. Many people today live in a constant state of high stress and sympathetic over-stimulation (fight or flight). Healing is promoted with a shift from sympathetic to parasympathetic (rest and digest) dominance. Bowen Technique enables that shift. The goal of each of treatment is not to simply mask the sensation of pain, but to help the body more toward a state of improved function. Naturopathic physicians have many tools at their disposal to consider for the treatment and management of chronic pain, all of which have proven clinical effectiveness and minimal risk or side effect. If pain has become a regular part of your every day, consider investigating a different approach to take steps toward a better quality of life!

Dr. Craig Fasullo has a family practice in Manchester and Stonington, Connecticut at Collaborative Natural Health Partners, where he has helped countless individuals to live more pain free lives. All of the physicians at the clinic are in network providers for most insurance companies and are accepting new patients. For more information or questions, please call (860) 533-0179 or visit:

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