Bowen for Bear Grylls

Bear Grylls - Men vs Wild with Will Ferrell
Bear Grylls – Men vs Wild with Will Ferrell

Intrepid adventurer Bear Grylls, currently starring in Mission Survive, has a rather surprising ally in his efforts to stay at peak physical performance – the gentle complementary therapy called the Bowen Technique.

Bowen Therapy is an alternative form of massage therapy that uses gentle touches to encourage the body to actively engage its own healing ability. The third International Bowen Therapy Week this month coincides with the 100th birthday of  the late Tom Bowen, the Australian who  founded the therapy. Other celebrities who favour Bowen are Kylie Minogue, Elle Macpherson and James Ellison.

Bear is Channel 4’s ‘Born Survivor’ who is dropped into hostile locations and has to make his own way back to civilisation. His everyday life consists of jumping out of planes, diving into icy water, walking for days through the desert and climbing mountains.

Whenever he returns from his exploits in hostile environments around the world, Bear has regular treatments with Sussex based Bowen therapist Sarah Yearsley, and now regards these as an essential part of his preparation.

Bowen Therapy involves the use of thumbs and fingers, with gentle rolling movements over muscles and tendons at precise points. The process releases energy, sending impulses to the brain to trigger the body’s own healing systems. It is particularly effective in correcting muscular and skeletal imbalances.

What can appear quite strange is that the practitioner leaves the room after each series of movements, but this is to allow the body to initiate its healing process.  Rather than ‘making’ the body change, Bowen ‘asks’ the body to recognise and make the changes it requires.  The Bowen Technique is a natural, non-invasive therapy with a very broad spectrum of application including chronic back pain, frozen shoulder, sports injuries, whiplash, migraine and asthma. It is suitable for all age groups.

Bear Grylls says, ‘Bowen has helped keep my body together despite the continual bashing it takes.  ‘It’s a vital support in putting right a whole range of new aches and pains, making sure that old injuries don’t cause me problems, and helping me fight stress and fatigue.’

The specific symptoms Sarah has helped Bear to overcome include a rotated pelvis, tight and shallow breathing, a strained calf muscle, extreme exhaustion and stress, and a toe injury. ‘Bear provides a perfect illustration of the amazing versatility of Bowen,’ she comments, ‘It helps him across a full range of symptoms – not only alleviating pain but boosting his immune system and helping minimise fatigue. Of course, he isn’t a typical patient, but most of his problems are no different from those I treat in people with normal lifestyles.’

A Bowen treatment normally takes between 45 minutes to an hour, and includes periods when the therapist stops to allow the treatment to take full effect. Therapists in the UK are regulated by the Bowen Therapy Professional Association which helps ensure high standards of practice and a code of conduct.

Bowen TPA,

Sarah Yearsley 07710 329449

Bowen banishes headaches and more

BOWEN Judith Kilgallon - Shoulder (2)
Judith Kilgallon practising Bowen

Eileen’s first thought when she went for a Bowen appointment was, ‘What absolute rubbish. The therapist twiddles me a bit, goes out and leaves me. Imagine my surprise then the next morning when my husband brought a mug of tea and two Co-Codamol as he usually does. I said, “I don’t need the co-codamol. My headache seems to have disappeared.” It just got better and better.’

Eileen is in her 60’s and has COPD but she was having such bad headaches that she couldn’t think clearly. ‘ My GP said that it was “my age” and that there was nothing that could be done and prescribed Co-Codamol. My brain wouldn’t function and I was in constant pain with my headaches. I found myself worrying that I was going through the early stages of Alzheimer’s.’

On the recommendation of a friend who had Parkinson’s Disease and had had great results, she decided to try Bowen Therapy. She went to The Therapy Company in St Anne’s on Sea and saw Judith Kilgallon, a Bowen therapist. ‘At the time Eileen was taking six Co-Codamol a day, had low energy levels, and couldn’t get up in the mornings. I used a diaphragm procedure on her to help with the COPD and expand the chest. This involves a movement on each side of the back and three on the front on the muscles under the ribs.’

When Eileen went for her second treatment she hadn’t had to use her inhaler for three days and her energy levels were amazing – she hadn’t had this much energy since she was in her 30’s. Eileen says, ‘My thumb which was a problem got better, my constipation got better and my breathing improved. When I went to have some tests the nurse said my breathing “had actually improved”.

Eileen decided to continue with treatments as she felt super charged and was up with the lark. She felt that Bowen had affected the way her brain works as the answers to quiz questions pop into her head and her husband is complaining that she has beaten him at dominoes for the first time in years.

She says she would recommend Bowen to others, ‘Particularly people of my age who are beginning to think that the things they’ve got wrong with them cannot be cured or improved and that they’re just stuck with them. People of my age group will be amazed. It’s not just physical – it’s mental as well!’

Read more about Bowen in : Bowen for Bear Grylls

Judith Kilgallon practises Bowen at The Therapy Company, St Annes on Sea, and The Mill, Preston, To find out more about Bowen go to: Bowen TPA,