Kevin Minney and Gregory Kennedy
Arthritis (“arth” meaning joint, “itis” meaning inflammation) has many forms and Bowenwork™ can be effective with the three most common of them. These are Osteo-Arthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Spondylosis.
Osteo-Arthritis is the most common diagnosis for joint and muscle pain from primary care practitioners. Also known as DJD (Degenerative Joint Disease), it affects nearly 22 million Americans and is responsible for 25% of all visits to primary care physicians each year. With this type of arthritis there is joint inflammation brought about by wear and tear, trauma or infection resulting in cumulative damage to the joint-protecting cartilage. The tissue cushion between the hard bony surfaces of a joint is compromised. This leads to inflammation and stiffening of the joint. There can also be bony adaptation on the condyles onends of the bone. These can be spots of thickening or spurs where extra calcium has been brought in by the body at the points of greatest stress. If there is pain associated with the inflammatory process or spurring then the muscles serving the joint can become reactive and tighten up. This can lead to further pressure on the joint and further tightness. This may also lead to atrophy (weakening) of a joint that is not being used due to pain, stiffness and inflammation. The usual prescription is anti-inflammatories, rest, and "getting used to it” because it is a consequence of “getting older".
With Bowen Therapy it is often found that the gloomy forecast that one receives to "get used to it" isn't necessary. In many cases there has been great relief from pain and inflammation along with the recovery of lost ranges-of-motion. One reason that this is possible is that often there is more muscle reaction and inflammation than cartilage or bone damage. Bowen Therapy has an immediate relaxing effect on those contracted muscles and tendons, as well as great enhancement of drainage of joint edema (swelling) by the lymph system of the body. Even with cartilage damage and bony spurring Bowen Therapy has been effective in relieving pain and restoring capacity. There is even evidence that under the right circumstances the spurring is reversed, the calcium being reabsorbed in the same process in which all bones are completely replaced every seven years. This is similar to the effect that the work has on bunion relief.
Rheumatoid Arthritis is considered an autoimmune disorder where the body attacks the tissue of the joints. It affects 2.1 million Americans. The tissue of the synovial capsule of the joint becomes inflamed from an attack by the body's own immune system, causing swelling and fluid accumulation. The inflamed tissues release enzymes that cause an erosion of cartilage, which can continue down to the bone. Fibrous scar tissue can develop to connect the raw ends of the bone.
Bowen Therapy can help clients suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis specifically in pain and inflammation reduction because of its enhancement of lymph flow and its balancing of the body's autonomic nervous system. Bowen Therapy takes the body out of Sympathetic - "pain /spasm/pain" dominance and brings it back to the Parasympathetic - "recovery reaction" environment.
Spondylosis is a term used to describe Osteo-Arthritis of the spine. The same idea of joint "wear-and-tear" comes into play here, but with added consequences. The spine is the central support structure where posture and movement begin and end as well as the highway where nerve impulses are transmitted. When there is damage, perceived or true, there can be more serious reactions ranging from pain, loss of range-of-motion, neurological symptoms, even organ system reactions. What is interesting is that the arthritic changes seen on x-ray do not have an exact correlation with pain or loss of function. High amounts of bony change may show no external symptoms, and vice versa. X-rays of 25-50% of people over 50 will show signs of Spondylosis. X-rays of 75% of people over 75 will be positive for Spondylosis and most people will never experience arthritic pain. A diagnosis of spondylosis is not a final judgment of a life-long, crippling and painful condition.
Bowen Therapy has shown that in addressing cases of spinal Osteo-Arthritis that the body can and does release unnecessary muscle contraction/spasm, reduce or completely relieve pain and help the body restore more normal organ function, along with diminishing localized inflammation. Bowen Therapy is a safe effective and conservative modality that can successfully address the problems of pain inflammation and immobility that accompany a diagnosis of arthritis. Until you’ve tried Bowen Therapy, you haven’t tried everything that you can to make your life better.
University Pain Clinic
& Wellness Centre
Kitchener Waterloo Ontario
Bowen Therapy Specialists
Kitchener Waterloo Cambridge Ontario