Carole Crowe

The Bowen Technique - Effectiveness for Migraines

Posted by Carole Crowe Bowen Technique Practitioner Over 1 Year Ago

In 2002, the Bowen Therapists’ European Register (the independent professional regulating body for Bowen therapists in the UK) conducted a National Research Programme to determine the efficacy of The Bowen Technique in the treatment of the Migraine condition.  The programme aimed to record any changes in migraine pattern, according to frequency and severity.  The research was carried out using volunteers who had a medical diagnosis by a GP or hospital specialist and had significant history with the condition.

The results of the study were very positive, with 79.5% of participants experiencing a positive change, with a mild to spectacular reduction in the frequency and/ or severity and/ or duration of their migraines. 

Migraine is a debilitating affliction, it is more prevalent than diabetes, epilepsy and asthma combined – approximately eight million people in the UK have migraine. 

Many triggers for Migraines have been identified by medical specialists, ranging from hormones, hypoglycemia caused by skipped meals, particular foods, alcohol, sleep patterns, neck and jaw tightness, stress, excessive exercise and others.  Migraines can be triggered by any one or a combination of factors, but despite the wide variety of possible causes, Bowen seems to be able to bring some positive change, regardless of the trigger. 

I recently treated a man in his late 40’s, for recurrent migraines.  His trigger seemed to be exercise and/or chocolate; as a sports coach, this was becoming particularly debilitating and affecting his ability to work.  He was suffering 2 or more headaches a week, with at least one migraine, which would lead to him having to spend all day in bed in a darkened room.  These occurrences would often start during the night and continue into the following day.

In the week following his first treatment, he experienced a couple of “headaches” during the night, but the duration was much shorter and they did not progress into full-blown migraines. In his second week, he only had one headache, which was easily managed with standard pain killers, he did not have a migraine in the week following his third treatment. I did not see him again for 5 months, in which time he had only had one migraine attack! He now continues to have top-up treatments every 4 months.

I was presented with a particularly distressing case recently, when a Mother brought along her 12 year old daughter.  The girl had suffered migraines since she was 2 years old and was on daily high doses of beta-blockers.  Despite the medication, her migraine attacks were becoming more frequent and for the past 6 months she had missed at least 2 days of school every week.  The migraine pain  would last at least 24 hours and would be followed by a recovery phase of around 12 hours when she would be unable to eat anything but plain pasta or dry bread. She followed a response pattern  to Bowen treatment that I commonly see in most people.  During the week following the first treatment, they continue to have migraine symptoms, but the attacks are different from the usual pattern in at least one respect.

In the week following the girl’s first treatment, she still experienced 2 migraines, but both attacks lasted only 6 hours, the recovery phase disappeared and she was well enough to eat flavoursome food immediately after the pain reduced.  Her pattern continued to change after subsequent treatments, with the attacks reducing in frequency and she has recently had only one migraine in a 5 week period.

In my experience, most people experience a positive change in their migraine conditions, regardless of whether they have had them for a few years, or for decades .  An increasing number of doctors and GP practices are showing interest in Bowen and even introducing Bowen therapists into their practices precisely because it is so effective.  Although the reason why it works may so far not be fully understood, they operate on the basis of “If it works, don’t knock it.” 

The Bowen Technique is a gently, non-invasive, ‘hands-on’ therapy.  It treats the body as an integrated biodynamic system as opposed to just treating an isolated ailment.  The Migraine research study concluded that “Migraine triggers are so varied, that a holistic therapy like Bowen must be considered as a valid option for the treatment of the condition”.

If you are a migraine sufferer and would like more information, please contact me, through my profile below.