Light-Touch, Non-Invasive Bodywork Resets the Autonomic Nervous System

Crystal Maceira, CBP, LMT, MH
Jan – Feb 2024 • Vol 4, No 8

Bowenwork is a light-touch, non-invasive form of bodywork that initiates the body’s innate ability to reset the autonomic nervous system from “fight-and-flight” to “rest-digest-and-heal” by performing subtle moves along muscles and tendons. It truly needs to be experienced to know just how profound this bodywork can be.

I have been a Bowenwork practitioner for almost seven years. It has given me great pleasure to see the healing process in those I have worked on.

I have become so passionate about it, that I became an Associate instructor so that I can teach a 4-hour class on the basics of Bowenwork. And, I am on my way to becoming an Instructor so I can teach others to become Practitioners.

As an Instructor-in-Training now, I can teach the Modules, but my instructor is responsible for what and how I teach. My journey through that process will hopefully be completed by the end of April of next year. In this article, I would like to let you know of experiences I have had treating children with Bowenwork.

The whole family that lives next door comes to get Bowenwork. The mom was the first to start getting worked on in 2018, when “models” were needed for students to work on. I also need to practice on people to get my log hours for the advanced procedures training. The family really started coming over as the kids got older to be models and whenever they had sniffles or chest congestion. When the youngest was 3 (she is now almost 7), she fell off a ladder go-ing to the loft in their cousins’ newly built log home that is right next door to them, onto the hard wood floor. She wasn’t seriously hurt, but did hit her head hard enough to have a little bleeding from the ear. The doctor had her wear a helmet for awhile. I asked mom if it would be ok to use Bowenwork on her. She said yes. At this point, she really didn’t understand what it could do. I went to their home and while the kids were watching TV, I did a few moves with the little one in my lap. I came back once a week for three weeks and did some more moves on her. I did baby Bowen, Upper Resp/TMJ, and Head during those sessions.

The doctor was very impressed with her healing, as was her mother. From then on, she started coming over more often and also sends her kids over when they have the sniffles or other minor congestion issues. They also love being “models” and the students love working on them. During this last hunting season, both kids went with papa hunting. (They are now 9 and 6.) They walked over 7 miles! The next day, they told mama, “We are so sore and achy, can we go see Crystal for a massage?” They came over at the same time.

I gave them a Bowenwork session, since that CAN be done at the same time! They loved it. Whenever the mom or the kids have runny noses or congestion, they are on my table getting a Bowenwork session.

Recently, I made a special trip to help my grandson. He was born sepsis due to my daughter having preeclampsia. At 22 months, he had not eaten any solid food. He would try, but would spit it out, or throw it back up within a minute or two. It took her months to get him tested to find out what the problem was. The doctors diagnosed him with Eosinophilic esophagitis. It is Type II inflammation. The only thing they could do for him was to give him drugs. My daughter did not want to do go that route.

A few days later, my husband and I were at our Bible Study group. The homeowner where we attend said the Lord told him that the baby needed “this Bowenwork” and proceeded to tell the group the exact moves I would do for Baby Bowen! He had never received a Bowen-work treatment. He also said it wasn’t the esophagus that was causing the issue.

It was a nerve problem. I didn’t quite catch that at first, but then it was like a lightbulb going off in my head. The nerve issue he was talking about was the vagus nerve! (The vagus nerve is the longest and most important part of the parasympathetic nervous system, which controls your heart rate, digestion, mood, and more.)

I reached Oregon late afternoon, so I looked for an opportunity the next day to work on my grandson. The first time I tried to work on him, he was running around. I thought he would sit on the couch long enough for me to perform the Baby Bowen moves, but he eluded me.

A little later, he was sitting in his chair attached to the table watching TV. Mom had put some food in front of him and some water to drink. He wasn’t touching the food. I started performing the Baby Bowen moves on him. At first, he moved his body away from me, but I continued and was able to finish with the Respiratory supine move. Within a minute after I was done, he picked up a chicken nugget and started eating it as he was watching TV. He ended up eating 2 and a half nuggets! Mom and I were watching closely to see if he would throw it back up, but nope, he didn’t! During my stay there, I held an Intro class, so I could teach the basics to my daughter and the “little bit extra” needed to continue to help my little grandson. She has had to do it several times, but now he eats most of the time.

The third child that I was able to help was also recent. I held another Intro class after I returned from Oregon. A student there asked if there was a procedure that could possibly help her 3-year-old son. He was diagnosed with Hydronephrosis, which is a condition where one or both kidneys become stretched and swollen as the result of a build-up of urine inside them. They were preparing him to have surgery on at least one kidney within a few weeks. I said I could certainly try! So, she brought him over within the week. I did the prone Baby Bowen moves, UB 9-16 and the kidney procedure. I barely had any waits, but did let him rest on the table for at least a minute, if not two. They weren’t there very long. I was biting at th