I've been seeing a client for the last 9 months. She is 54 and was diagnosed with Parkinson's 10 years ago. She is now at about Stage 2. Her tremor is noticeable but not violent. She stoops due to tension in her back and her ankles are rigid. She often lacks energy.
She rang me last summer as she had read about the extremely positive effects of Bowen Technique on Parkinson’s symptoms. In his book "Stop Parkin', Start Livin' ", John Coleman writes about his experiences with Parkinson's. At one stage he was suffering Stage IV, quite severe, yet did not take any drugs. Instead, he was a big devotee and student of natural therapies, most notably Aqua Essences and Bowen Technique, and within a few years was symptom free. It’s an inspiring book and highly recommended.
So after reading this my client contacted me as I was local to her at the time and she explained how she was looking for a long term therapist, not weeks or months but possibly years. I started seeing her fortnightly and the very first reaction I noticed immediately was that her tremors stopped completely. They returned when she turned over but on a lesser scale and at times subsided again. The next change we experienced, after a couple of months, was an improvement in her urinary function. From getting up four to five times a night, she was now only getting up perhaps twice a night and occasionally slept right through. She also found she could go through the evening without needing to empty her bladder several times, a bonus to her social life.
I spent a whole hour with her and, as suggested by John Coleman, I put in quite a few moves, but generally each session was a different mix. Another good result was a very positive comment from a friend who hadn’t seen her from nearly a year and remarked at how her tremors seemed less pronounced.
She isn't taking any drugs at all and is determined to use natural therapies but is aware it will be a long haul to control her symptoms. Due to her tremors, some amendments had to be made to how I made a move but I used my intuition and still seemed to get good results. This is a great example of treating the person and not the condition as I have no previous experience of Parkinson's and only a brief understanding, yet working on my client holisitcally has brought positive results.
Sarah Pluves 2010
Julie is 48 years old and has had Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) for 5 years and was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease 10 years ago.
She has all the symptoms of Parkinson’s namely tremor, stiffness and slowness. These symptoms are mainly down her left side but are also on her right side. Her RA is very mild, mostly in her elbows, knees and with stiffness in her fingers first thing. She has pins and needles on the side she lies on in bed. The tremor is everywhere but not all the time. She feels best in the morning when she has taken her medication. With regard to the slowness, she does not freeze and some days can be better than others. With her left hand she struggles to move her fingers and this is worse if using two hands together. She drives an automatic car. She says she probably underestimates how bad she is.
She only does little walks – perhaps 40 minutes – but used to do 2-3 hours. In those 40 minutes she may struggle. She would not go out for a walk on her own. She goes to the gym every Friday and does 20 minutes constant on the treadmill. She used to stick when going through doorways but is OK now. She stopped some medication and this freezing stopped – she was overdosed. Since she cut down on her medication she feels anxious a lot about silly things.
She does not sleep well. Because she does not move in the night she wakes several times with pins and needles which soon go. She gets a lot of backache if she sleeps on her back. She wakes every 1½ - 2 hours.
Julie has just been for her 7th Bowen treatment and to date these are some of the changes she has noticed.
After the first Bowen session she went 5 days without pins and needles and no pain. She felt she had more mobility in her left hand just on the day of the treatment.
After the 2nd session she reported the pins and needles still coming back but the effect lasts longer and they are milder. These used to be quite painful in the night and although they still wake her up, just having this has been a big relief. This was the biggest problem for her. She reported no difference in her RA.
Her tremor is better for the day of the treatment. The fingers of her left hand were no different. Her backache is now better when she sleeps on her back – is only dull ache now whereas before it was painful/very uncomfortable. She says she has not been feeling as anxious about silly things.
At her 4th Bowen session she says her backache is considerably better – now only a mild ache – she only feels it when she wakes in the night. Her pins and needles generally go for a week after treatment but then return but not as severe.
At her 5th session she reports having more energy even when she has done a lot of walking. She very occasionally gets headaches.
At her 6th Bowen session she says the pins and needles are now only in her hands and not her arms and are just an irritation, not painful. She said she has not thought about her back ache so that must be better. She reported having neck ache so I treated this and at the 7th session this was a lot better. She had not had any headaches. She has just had a week in Lanzarote and had no pins and needles whilst away. Also her RA was a lot better whilst away.
Therapist – Marie Hurst, Nov. 2010
The Bowen Technique is not intended as a substitute for medical advice or treatment.
We recommend you consult your own doctor about any health concerns you may have.