Recently I attended a 4 day Bowen Therapy and Tensegrity Medicine™ course with Kelly Clancy, a Bowen Practitioner and Occupational Therapist from Seattle. Kelly is the owner of the Seattle Centre for Structural Medicine and Northwest School of Structural Therapy. I found this course to be simply AMAZING! With my love of fascia, I am so happy I attended the course.
A new way to look at the body….
The first day really challenged my way of thinking as I am so used to looking at the human body in a very bio-mechanical way. However, Kelly put forth a different way of looking at the body – it made complete sense, and there was a lot of AHA moments. We looked at (in length) different fascial assessments, how to objectively test and document restrictions of connective tissue, and then choose the most appropriate Bowen procedure/s.
I often discuss with my clients how everything in the human body is connected through fascia. Fascia can be defined as a web of connective tissue. If and when we injure a body part, another part of the body compensates for the injury; this is not just local compensation. For example, if we injure our shoulder, it may actually affect our hips in turn affecting the way we walk. More often than not, we get used to this, and a new pattern is formed. By doing some simple testing we can treat the primary restriction.
The AHA moments….
As mentioned above, this concept really challenged me. My first big AHA moment was when we broke up into small groups, did some testing, and applied some specific Bowen moves. Personally I am known to have restriction in my middle back. When my group tested my hamstrings and gastrocnemius (calves), they noticed my left gastrocnemius, and right hamstring were the most restricted. Moves were applied to each of those muscles, and the effect was profound. I could feel a release up in my neck, I felt tension release in my mid back, and felt quite exhausted. After the sensations subsided I had to walk backwards a few times, and then forwards before I was retested. There was an improvement in range of movement in both muscles and all the other muscles improved.
Watching it all unfold….
On the 2nd & 4th day, we had some volunteers come in to have their bodies assessed and have this treatment applied to them. Firstly, Kelly went through a complete consult with them – we listened to them, watched them walk, looked at their posture and then Kelly did the assessments. One of the models had restriction through his entire hip, Kelly couldn’t do some of the testing because his hips didn’t allow for any movement. We found the most restricted muscles – in this case the sartorius (a hip flexor, abductor, external rotator, and internal knee rotator) and the biceps femoris (a hamstring muscle which flexes the knee joint, laterally rotates the knee and extends the hip joint) and Kelly applied some Bowen moves. After a couple minutes, Kelly got him up from the table and he had to walk backwards, and then forwards. His gait changed completely – his shoulders and hips were actually moving, and he felt more free. He came in saying his knees were sore, that was no longer the case; he had tension through his latissimus dorsi, which completely resolved. Another WOW moment for me.
How I implemented this work into clinic
I use Tensegrity Medicine™ whenever I feel someone could benefit from it. The changes I have witnessed have been pretty amazing. To see a muscle that is extremely tight release after a couple moves; or treating the most restricted muscle, and freeing up other muscles is mind blowing. This all has to do with the fascial relationship. Using Tensegrity Medicine™ we want to create a 3D balance in the body, and in order to do that the first step is to align trunk to pelvis first. It’s amazing what can be resolved when we begin here. I’m looking forward to learning more about Tensegrity Medicine™ and bringing this new knowledge into clinic.