Bowen Therapy for Scoliosis
Updated: Dec 18, 2020
Scoliosis, is a term used to describe an excessive curvature of the spine. Although everyone is more dominant on one side more than the other and nobody's spine is completely straight, scoliosis is usually a curvature of more than 10 degrees.
Sometimes the curvature of the spine can be congenital and the condition presents itself at birth. Most often the exact cause is not known and the excessive curvature presents itself anywhere from infancy to adolescence to adulthood.
It may have its genesis in a tight psoas muscle, which means the cause can be a neuromuscular issue. The psoas muscle connects the legs to the lower spine and the classic indicators of a tight psoas are often similar to the way that the curvature of the spine is diagnosed—one shoulder higher or lower than the other; one hip higher or lower than the other; and leg length discrepancy.
A tight psoas can seriously mess with the spine and pelvis. If the portion of the psoas that attaches to the leg is tight it can increase the curve of the lumbar spine. If the upper end of the psoas is tight it can decrease the curve.
The body always compensates in some way for muscular imbalances. If one side of the body is tight and not working all that effectively, the other side with often work harder to make up. This can effectively pull the spine in two directions.
The curvature of the spine can take on many patterns. The tight psoas can pull the lumbar vertebrae forward on one side which can begin the curving process. Anytime the spine is pulled in one direction there will be compensating forces moving in another direction. Invariable the rib cage with get involved and depending upon the circumstances the entire spine up through the neck can get twisted in the scoliotic journey.
I have recently been working for several weeks with A. a 14 years old girl, which was diagnosed with lumbar scoliosis after an X-ray. Her presentation, on the first session, was a right leg 1.5 cm shorter than the left, a higher right hip and slightly twisted forward, tight hamstrings, also very tight upper body and neck tissues.
After the second session, her mum said that she could already see an improvement! On the first two sessions, I have worked with the basic Bowen procedures to prepare the body to receive Bowen therapy and to establish a sense of safety and trust with the client, activating the parasympathetic nervous system and beginning to release the first layer of constriction in the body tissues.
On the third week, A. started to feel some ache on her left ankle and the inner side of the left knee during the week. A good sign that things were beginning to shift! The forth and fifth sessions were crucial to A.'s healing. I have addressed the sustained muscle spasm on her right hamstring and right adductors, and then the left SCM (one of the neck muscles), after which she had a big release and flushed; symmetry was restored at the end of the treatment.
I have continued the treatment plan addressing and releasing the right Psoas for several weeks, restoring balance in the overstretched lumbar tissues on the left side, further releasing tissues in the upper body and neck. The curvature in the lower spine was beginning to affect the upper spine too.
I believe a tight right Psoas is involved in A.'s scoliosis, by pulling the vertebrae forward. The Psoas muscle is a very important muscle in the body, is deep in the core and is responsible or involved in a great deal of back, hip and joint pain. The psoas muscle holds us up, walks us through life and warehouses our unprocessed energy leading to chronic tension and pain. It's a very dynamic and fluid muscle and needs us to maintain a continous dialogue with it, through lifestyle, exercise, posture, hydration and emotional wellbeing, in order to keep health and balance.
A. has been absolutely amazing during the whole treatment process and is very committed to exercise during the week, in between treatments, to facilitate healing. Without another X-ray, it's difficult to say to what degree the curvature of her spine has improved, however the effects of Bowen therapy on her alignment can be seen directly.
This is what her mum says:
I have recently discovered that my daughter suffers from scoliosis. I took her to the doctors, she has done some physiotherapy. While doing research about scoliosis I've came across Bowen Technique, like that I had a chance to meet Stella. Thanks Stella for all the help that you've given to my daughter. My daughter and I felt supported throughout the initial consultation (remotely to be COVID19 save) and Stella offered explanation at every stage. She put a smile on my daughter face since the first session after many months of suffering. I truly recommend Stella, she's very professional and welcoming and the environment is very calm.