A New Approach to Unraveling the Nervous System – (And Why That Matters!)
If you’ve ever used a rubber band too many times, you’ll know exactly what I’m getting at. Stretch – retract – tighten – loosen. The beauty of this invention is its ability to retain elasticity, allowing it to take its original shape after doing its job – which is sometimes a hefty one! However, the one time it overextends itself it snaps, disintegrates, or just shoots off and disappears altogether saying, “I’m out of here!”
Conceptually, your nervous system functions similarly when caught up in the cycle of dysfunction. Feeling unacquainted with your own nervous system? Let’s make the introduction.
This spectacular system is the spark of your physical life. It animates a sedentary being into a dancer, a runner, a parent, a healer, an engineer, a mountain climber – A DOER. It adds the action needed to make an idea into a reality. It’s the motherboard for making all your hardware work together and when it gets thrown for a loop, so do you.
The ideal setup: your nervous system gets the support it needs and functions much like the ideal rubber band. It does its job, it moves, it fires, it reacts and then it returns to its resting state and balances. It should be able to this as often and as long as it needs to with the proper care and support. This mechanism is the activation of the sympathetic (fight, flight, and freeze) response and the parasympathetic (rest and digest) response. These two partner together in a coordinated dance to allow you the fullest expression of self possible while ensuring your safety and protection.
Unfortunately, this ideal seems to be elusive and discomfort, pain, stress, and chronic overstimulation have become the norm. How does this progression happen?
As babies, we can stick our toes in our mouths, turn our head around like those crazy owls, and do all kinds of things that most of us could never imagine our bodies doing now. Movement follows the path of least resistance – and at that stage, we have very little resistance! As we grow, our body develops patterns and pathways that it feels are efficient and support our wellbeing. However, often obstacles come up and additional demands are put on our body: we get in an accident, we have a hobby or job that has a lot of repetitive movement (or little to no movement like desk jobs), or we have aspects of traumatic events that embed themselves in our physical body. All of these obstacles (and many more) develop into areas of resistance and the body must rearrange its patterns and pathways in order to still accomplish its job. While this is a tremendous coping skill, it also generates the byproduct of the body finding it harder and harder to rest and recharge, leaving the nervous system in a state of alarm continually which often results in burnout, fatigue, and pain. There are many ways to support the nervous system when it gets stuck in this loop – breathwork, yoga, herbal support, dietary support, and other selfcare. However, the biggest challenge is disrupting the loop so it cannot continue to spin itself out.
Sometimes the biggest step you can do for yourself is finding the right therapy for your needs. There are many out there with amazing benefits and potential and it can be overwhelming to sort through and find the one best suited to your challenges. If the above description resonates with you (hey, that sounds like me!), let’s make an introduction to a modality you may have never heard of before.
The Bowen Technique, commonly called Bowenwork or Bowen Therapy, is a profound soft-tissue modality that accesses the nervous system and facilitates a deep reset to eliminate pain, dysfunction, distorted postural patterns, hormonal imbalances, functional limitations, and begins to unravel the individual mind-body connection that involves the way that trauma embeds itself in the physical body.
Bowen therapy is an amazing nervous system hack. It’s a fairly minimalist approach to bodywork therapy in the sense that it’s a series of adjustments spread out over the span of an hour, and in between those adjustments are small periods of time for your body to rest and integrate. Bowen addresses key points (often tsubo points/pressure points on meridians) in a series that helps entire portions of that wound up nervous system unravel and begin again in a better way, without all the obstacles.
Bowen is a blend of several other approaches to manual therapy but unique in its application and it is the most effective physical modality I’ve personally ever worked with, either as a client or practitioner.
If you’ve been sorely wound up with pain and discomfort and have had minimal success with sustained relief from other therapies, look into this technique.
Located near Ojai, CA? Come to Soul Body Ojai and I’d love to work with you.
Not in the area? There are practitioners all over the world. Explore the resources below to learn more and find a practitioner near you.
Wishing you wellness,
Linnaea (Catherine) Rianda, CMT #75335