Canine Bowen Technique
A hands-on, gentle, non-invasive and effective technique for your dog. Promoting healing, pain relief and body/energy rebalancing.
Following a long career in Corporate Finance, I have been a full time human Bowen Therapist since March 2011 with clinics around Yorkshire. Over the years my fascination and passion for this incredible therapy has continued to grow. In March 2016 I realised my ambition of becoming a qualified Canine Bowen Therapist – my initial reason for training and qualifying in human Bowen!
I have a life long love of animals and was brought up with dogs (a cairn terrier and beagle/Labrador cross) and other animals. I have been a Dogs Trust volunteer for many years now and have a special interest in rescue dogs.
What is Canine Bowen Technique?
Canine Bowen Technique is a hands-on remedial therapy. It offers dogs a gentle, non-invasive and effective way to support and boost the natural healing capabilities of the body. Like the successful human modality, Bowen Therapy, no manipulation, pressure or adjustment of hard tissue is used or needed.
Bowen Therapy came to the UK in the 1990’s, and was founded in Australia in the 1950’s by Thomas Ambrose Bowen. Sally and Ron Askew started to adapt it for use on dogs in 2001, starting with their own dogs. Then with the co-operation and support of their local vets, integrated it into their canine behavioural and rehabilitation work with great success.
What is the treatment like?
After taking a full consultation, observing and assessing your dog, I will use my thumbs and fingers to make gentle, rolling movements at precise points on your dog’s body. The move is done slowly and gently over skin and fascia (soft connective tissue) to disturb the underlying tissues, creating a focus for the brain to work on.
During the hands-on session there are a number of breaks, determined by your dog or myself, which allow the information to be absorbed and fine adjustments to take place. Often a dog will wander off after a few moves and lie down briefly or stare into space.
Treatment is offered to the dog, never forced on it, as this could be counter-productive. I will be continually observing your dog’s signals to ensure he/she is engaged and happy to continue.
Why use Canine Bowen Technique?
Canine Bowen Technique, like its human equivalent, is not a cure for medical conditions but as it is a whole body approach it may be beneficial in improving quality of life by helping to keep the dog’s body in optimal balance.
It may be useful for dogs with problems in many areas including:
- Acute injury eg strains and sprains
- Allergies and skin conditions
- Behavioural problems
- Improve quality of life in elderly dogs or those living with chronic conditions
- Relaxation and easing of tension in rescue and rehomed dogs caused by previous stress and trauma
- Fears and phobias
- Mobility issues
- Maintenance and injury prevention
Canine Bowen Technique is not a substitute for orthodox veterinary care and is only available on veterinary referral. Please contact me for the appropriate referral form as I will not be able to work with your dog without it.
Under no circumstances do Canine Bowen Therapists diagnose, prescribe medication or alter any prescribed medication.
………Along Came Lola
Lola came into mine and my daughter’s life in February 2015, hand-picked from a litter of 7 other pups, all lucky enough to be Christmas Day babies.
Lola is a blond Labrador Retriever making her naturally loving with a mischievous edge to her. When she was about 4 months old, impatient to get home, she jumped out of the back of our dog walkers Berlingo van and landed awkward on her front right leg. She developed a limp which went from bad to worse to having to rest her up and take her for short walks rather than the long-grass romps and ball chasing she lived for. Some days were better than others but her limp was clearly hovering in the back ground and caused her discomfort, more often than not. Labradors are renown for elbow and hip dysplasia, and at this point I did start to wonder if Lola had drawn the short straw in that department.
So, when I took her along to a recently opened vets to have her spayed, I asked them to take a look at her front leg as she still had a slight drop to the side when walking, not as noticeable but enough to worry me. Whilst she was under anaesthetic she had a number of X-rays on all of her legs and in particular the troublesome right leg. The result of those X-rays were very scary, and we were told Lola more than likely had elbow dysplasia which would need an operation along with injections for the rest of her life. Naturally we were both absolutely gutted that our beautiful puppy would have to undergo such a traumatic operation and to have to live with extremely uncomfortable injections for the next however many years.
I decided to take a second opinion at the vets I normally take all my pets to and once they had hold of the X-rays I was reassured that an X-ray alone could not detect dysplasia and it was ridiculous of the first vets to reach that conclusion without further investigation. I was told to take Lola home, rest her up, and try her with glucosamine tablets – yes, the ones for humans and readily available on the supermarket shelves – and see if that helped with her condition, with a view to starting with injections in a few weeks time.
………Then Along Came Kim
Kim has been my Bowen practitioner for about 6 years now, having solved a long-term issue with my right elbow (I feel a theme is forming!!!) and has ‘fixed’ me for all sorts of niggles and pains. I’d actually forgotten that the reason Kim was practicing Bowen was to ultimately aid our furry friends of the world in need of some help. And when I told Kim of my dilemma she immediately offered to practice on Lola as she was going through her training and needed as much live practice as possible. I immediately jumped at the chance, having experienced the wonders of Bowen first hand and I also offered to make another dog called Lucy available who is a rescue dog and hadn’t had much experience of other dogs in her life previously. Lucy spent the first 3 months of her life in her new home cowering behind the soft. I need to mention at this point that my daughter and I went through a traumatic time during 2015 and Lola picked up on this emotion. She was difficult to house train and was still toileting in the house from time to time.
After the first session of Canine Bowen the transformation of both girls was immediately noticed. Lola and Lucy were so excited when they met Kim, they must have known she was a blessing in disguise. If there was a competition for the wiggliest tail then Lola would have won that day. At first Lucy was a little bit hesitant about being touched as she had been badly mistreated in the past, but Kim was so patient with her. Both dogs were zonked out most of that Saturday and to say that Lola’s limp disappeared literally overnight is a fact. Indeed, by the third session Lucy was offering herself to Kim as soon as Lola moved out of the way long enough to let Lucy in on the act and Lucy even started to run around like a young pup and played tug of war with Lola which has never been seen before. Each session brought about a peace to them both and Lola stopped her toileting in the house, and was far more balanced and well-behaved.
They both had 4 sessions over a number of weeks. Lola hasn’t had a limp since the very first session and now 12 months on she is by far one of the fastest runners when chasing the ball and is a very well-balanced dog. She has grown into a very intelligent companion and Lucy? Well Lucy is an old girl but has stopped cowering behind the sofa and now thinks the sofa is her bed!
I had to have sign off from my vet before Kim was allowed to practice on either dog. He was happy to do so, and he is very impressed with the leaps and bounds – literally – Lola has made since having Canine Bowen.
I honestly can’t praise or thank Kim enough for the wonders she has worked on both dogs, and myself, and can only say you have nothing to lose by giving it a go.
Long may she continue!
Joanne & Naynah Greenwood