Bowen therapy for chronic conditions. A short case study of a client with Polymyalgia Rheumatica

Updated: May 12

Polymyalgia is an inflammatory disease of muscle. The cause is uncertain but it is believed to be an autoimmune disease in which the body's own immune system attacks the connective tissues. The primary symptoms are severe stiffness and pain in the muscles of the neck, shoulder and hip areas.


When JT came to see me she had severe stiffness and tension in her body and a restriction on her right shoulder, which she could only lift up to 90 degree, due to an injury a few months before. After 4 sessions her general body stiffness had reduced by 30%, with a release in the tissues of the paraspinals, rhomboids, lats and hamstrings. She experienced an increase in the mobility of the injured shoulder and an increased range of movement in the back of the legs. Her general sense of well-being was improved.


Chronic conditions which are caused by autoimmune diseases, such as in the case of Polymyalgia, are severe cases that require regular ongoing treatments over a long period of time. After an initial 4 to 8 weekly sessions, it is possible to introduce a treatment plan of fortnightly or monthly regular treatments with the main aim at managing the pain and fatigue caused by the condition itself and increase the capacity of the body to self-regulate and heal.


It would be unrealistic to expect such chronic conditions to clear in 4 treatments but by looking at the quick results of this case study (reduction of stiffness and increased mobility in only 4 sessions) we can see how effective the Bowen Technique is at calming the Autonomic Nervous System and setting the scene for the body to begin to heal.


'In contrast to many other hands-on therapies, Bowen does not attempt to force the body to change; rather it asks the body to recognise and make the changes necessary to bring it back to homoeostasis (physiological equilibrium)' (BTPA).


'I visited Stella for several sessions after being diagnosed with Polymyalgia Rheumatica. I still have this, as expected. However, the sessions with Stella did help to increase the movement in the back of my legs and my right shoulder, which was very stiff. Thank you.' JT

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