What is Canine Bowen Therapy? (CBT)
Canine Bowen Therapy is a gentle physical therapy for dogs. Rolling moves are made over precise points on the body and are performed in a slow and controlled way to subtly disturb the underlying muscles and soft tissue i.e. muscle, tendon, ligaments and connective tissue called fascia. The moves are interspersed with short breaks which allow the brain time to process information and make a response resulting in subtle changes. Dogs lead active lives and often hide pain and discomfort. Tension is often transferred to other areas of their body as they alter their movement to avoid pain. The Bowen moves help to calm the nervous system and reduce pain levels whilst promoting healing on many levels. Adjustments will continue within the body for up to 5 /7 days after treatment and this is why we wait 7/10 days before the next appointment.
A Vet Referral Form is required before treatment is commenced. Please click here to download a Vet Referral form to give to your vet to sign or I can contact your vet directly if you would prefer.
A brief history
Canine Bowen Therapy is based on the principles of human Bowen Therapy, developed by an Australian, Tom Bowen (1916-1982). Its adaptation for use on dogs was started in 2001 by Bowen therapists Sally & Ron Askew, who integrated it into their dog behavioural and rehabilitation, work; founding the European Guild of Canine Bowen Therapists in 2003.
The holistic approach
Canine Bowen Therapy is a holistic therapy – this means that practitioners do not set out to treat specific conditions or ailments. Instead the body is treated as a whole – the emotional state of the dog and lifestyle issues that may affect its health are taken into account, along with observation of movement and other physical symptoms. A holistic view of illness or disease is not about isolating problems or symptoms. The treatment helps dogs to relax and the moves are thought to release tension and bring about natural re-balancing adjustments over the whole body. The dog is given the opportunity to dictate the pace and duration of treatment, and even which areas are worked over. It is never forced on a dog and they are totally respected and always given the choice to move away if needed. We as therapists are very aware of any signals given of distress or discomfort especially if a dog is shy, introverted nervous or in pain.
How long is a treatment and how many will be needed?
A typical session including note taking and observation of dogs posture, how he sits, stands, moves etc can take up to an hour but the actual hands on treatment time may only take up to 20 mins and are never rushed. Each Bowen treatment is tailored to the dogs needs and will be dictated by him or her. The number of sessions will vary with each dog and its presenting condition. As with human treatments we recommend in initial course of 3 treatments at weekly intervals. For some dog this may be sufficient for example if they have suffered an acute injury.. ie muscle spasm or strain. However dogs with more chronic or degenerative conditions may benefit from more Bowen work.
Many dogs benefit from regular treatments throughout the year to maintain optimum health. For many dogs 4 treatments throughout the year are enough to keep them well balanced and promote wellbeing.
Dogs who take part in various disciplines such as agility, working dogs, racing dogs , may benefit from regular CBT treatments to help maintain fitness levels , enhance performance and energy levels.
Back and Neck injuries
Intermittent lameness and gait problems. Sprains, strains, and ligament (Cruciate) damage
Muscle soreness, tightness
Elbow and hip dysplasia, degenerative joint disease.
Pre and Post-operative to aid healing process.
Improving performance- agility /working /showing dogs
Itchy skin and Allergies
Maintaining and improving the dogs quality of life
Helping older dogs to maintain mobility
Stroke Rehabilitation and other neurological conditions
Reducing stress levels and Anxiety