bowtech better with bowen  


Fiona Milnes
Advanced Bowen Practitioner
BA (Hons), BSc, BTAA
07763 991 556


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Information on the role GPs, Bowen Technique therapists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, nurses, chiropractors, osteopaths and many other healthcare providers can play
in helping their patients to return to or remain at work.

It is well documented that the NHS has a low impact on musculoskeletal pain of unknown causes. Many people have personal experience of this low impact causing many to seek alternative therapies. Although many claim to help sufferers, nevertheless only a few are completely effective. Of those few, the Bowen Technique is one of the most effective with a high success rate and generally needing only a few treatments to completely resolve the problem thus ensuring less time is lost at work.

Despite decades of research and posturing to explain chronic pain on the basis of a specific disease or injury, and despite increasingly sophisticated radiological assessment, little advance has been made in either achieving a specific structural diagnosis or, more importantly, in reducing the health and economic burden of chronic musculoskeletal pain.

If you are not familiar with the Bowen Technique, you are not likely to refer patients to a practitioner. Because of the effectiveness of this technique in treating a variety of disorders in a relatively short space of time, we recommend you take a look at some of the video clips on our 'videos' page, or seek a presentation by a registered practitioner in your area. By referring patients for treatment with the Bowen Technique you could save a huge amount on your practice budgets. 

Coming second only to the common cold, back pain is the highest reason for patients to seek medical advice accounting for almost 7 million GP visits annually. Estimated costs to the NHS are around 481 million per year, with a further 197 million in non-NHS costs such as private consultations and prescriptions.

At Better With Bowen we cover a comprehensive service: Full consultation, assessments, treatment with the Bowen Technique, education including posture, exercises and guidelines on how to remain pain free. We believe that this whole-person approach helps our clients adopt and maintain a positive solution to the pain, discomfort and lack of mobility they have been suffering.

Neck pain is second only to low back pain as the most common musculoskeletal disorder in population surveys and primary care, and, like low back pain, it poses a significant health and economic burden, being a frequent source of disability. While most individuals with acute neck pain do not seek health care, those that do account for a disproportionate amount of health care costs.

Research has shown that work is, generally speaking, good for one’s health and wellbeing. Furthermore, being out of work is detrimental to one’s health. This implies that work is the latest ‘tool’ in the toolbox that healthcare providers have available to treat their patients. It also means that sick certification may actually hamper good health. This is especially true in musculoskeletal conditions such as back pain, where staying active has proven to be essential in an effective management regime.

A study carried out by the Work Foundation showed that musculoskeletal disorders, including back pain, neck pain and RSI-type conditions, made up 49% of absences from work and 60% of permanent work incapacity in the European Union.

The fact that most of us spend considerable time at work, going to work should be seen as part of the staying active regime. It follows that as a health care provider we need to be able to help people get back to work in the most effective way possible. Naturally, we recommend GPs and others to refer patients for treatment with an accredited and registered Bowen Technique practitioner. (For your local BOWTECH* practitioners please go to or *Bowtech is the official organization that trains and instructs practitioners in the original technique as given by Tom Bowen to Oswald & Rene Rentsch.

What can I do as a healthcare provider?

Employment is a very powerful clinical tool and for this reason it is useful for all healthcare providers to familiarise themselves with the evidence that supports the link between work and health.

Many patients turn to their doctor or other healthcare provider for reliable information about their health status. This gives a unique opportunity for the healthcare provider to discuss employment and the role of employment in health. Although some patients may feel that they need a period of sick leave, it is also important to show the other side of the medal. Most patients with musculoskeletal pain are better off receiving non-interventionist treatment and by remaining at work or returning to work swiftly.

To achieve this it may be necessary to explore the (perceived) barriers to returning to or remaining at work. Discuss what a patient is able to do in his/her condition and how this relates to his/her work. This gives valuable information to the patient who can then discuss this with their employers in order to agree a working regime that assists them with recovery. Set realistic goals and manage expectations, but in terms of healthcare and employment.

Assisting job seekers

There is general consensus that employment is good for someone’s health and being out of work is often detrimental to one’s health and well-being. This suggests that assisting a patient with musculoskeletal pain to seek employment may have a positive impact on their health. Some patients may experience barriers that ‘prevent’ them from seeking employment and it may be helpful to explore these perceived barriers with your patient. This is very similar to a patient experiencing pain who wants to remain at or return to work.

In your conversation with the patient it may be useful to explore activities that the patient is able to do with minimal discomfort. This can be a powerful tool for the patient in realising that actually their musculoskeletal pain does not necessarily put up a barrier to employment. Some may find that starting with voluntary work or a part-time position is a good way of ‘testing the water’.

Organisations such as the jobcentre may be useful in assisting patients to find appropriate employment, but unfortunately not all advisors will have the knowledge or skills necessary to adequately offer the most appropriate advice to those living with persistent pain and discomfort from unknown causes.

Contact Better With Bowen today and start being part of the solution
(+44) 01282 864705
or (+44) 07763 991 556

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