What is Canine Bowen Therapy? (CBT)
Canine Bowen Therapy (CBT) is a gentle, hands on, holistic therapy based on the principles of the Bowen Technique which was developed by Thomas Bowen (1916-1982).
The Bowen Technique is one of the fastest growing complementary therapies, for people, in the UK, helping a huge range of people from newborn babies to professional athletes.
Canine Bowen Therapy is rapidly developing in the UK with more people starting to realise the benefits of using complementary treatments for their dogs.
What does a treatment involve?
The treatment itself involves the therapist making gentle, non manipulative, rolling type movements on precise points of the dog's body. It is the soft tissue that is being worked on i.e. muscle, tendon, ligaments and the connective tissue called fascia.
These moves are interspersed with short breaks which allow the brain time to process the information, and decide upon a response and begin to make subtle changes.
Where the breaks are inserted and how long they will be are often defined by the dogs themselves. Animals are much more in tuned with what they want and need, and it is important for us, as therapists, to respect and work with this.
As an holistic therapy it is often vital to the success of the treatment to take into account other aspects of the dog's lifestyle such as diet and nutrition, exercise, home environment, behaviour, pre-exisiting health conditions, medications etc.
Observations will also be made of the dog's posture, how he sits, stands, moves etc, so your therapist will often ask you to walk your dog up and down or simply observe him moving around his own garden and home.
How Many Treatments Will A Dog Need?
This will vary with each dog and it's presenting condition. As with human treatments we would recommend an initial course of 2-3 treatments at weekly intervals. For some dogs this may be enough, for example a dog may have suffered an acute injury which originated from particularly excuberant run which can then result in a muscular spasm. However dogs with chronic or degenerative conditions may benefit from more Bowen work.
Many dogs benefit from a regular treatments throughout the year to maintain optimum health. For many dogs 4 treatments throught the year are enough to keep them balanced and promote wellbeing.
Dog who take part in various disciplines such as agility, canicross, flyball and other sports may benefit from regular CBT treatments to help maintain fitness levels and enhance performance.
Dogs who have regular CBT treatments are less likely to sustain injuries as the body is structurally balanced, and those who have Bowen after injuries and before surgery tend to recover faster.
How Long Is a Treament?
A typical canine Bowen therapy session, including note taking and observation can take around an hour, although the actual hands on treatment time may only be 20 minutes. Treatments involving dogs are never rushed so sessions may be shorter or longer depending on the individual dog. Each Bowen treatment is tailored to the dogs needs and will be dictated by him (or her).