A Bowen treatment is very relaxing.
It is mostly performed with the person lying on a treatment couch, although Tom Bowen (the originator of the work) provided beds in his clinic, order to encourage a sense of deeper relaxation.
The Bowen Technique embodies a truly holistic approach to healthcare. It is concerned not just with treating specific conditions and symptoms, but also with encouraging a natural potential for health to express itself in every aspect of the patient's life.

A unique feature of the Bowen Technique is the frequent pauses between each series od moves. These are given to allow the body to respond and integrate what is being done. During these pauses, the therapist will usually leave the room.
This lets the person relax without feeling that they have to keep up a conversation ot that they are being watched.
Bowen therapists sometimes talk about the different effects on posture, particularly 'ascending' and 'descending' influences. The key to effective treatment is to find where the original organising factor in someone's condition is located. For example, a knee injury might be due to a weak toe joint or a pelvic imbalance that is putting undue strain on a knee as that person walks. Similarly, headaches may be the result of an old fall on the tailbone.

A perceived challenge in modern healthcare is to have an open mind to alternative models of treatment and therapies. With traditional training, the majority of healthcare workers in the United States tend to be closed minded in regard to therapeutic use of essential oils.  Research however, is indicating the therapeutic value of essential oils and as a result many medical professionals who are highly trained and educated in modern healthcare practices have become open to the possibility of integrating essential oils into our traditional healthcare system.

Through our own experiences of enlightenment, we now have a unique perspective for both traditional and alternative modalities.  We have witnessed a new era developing among physicians, nurses, and other healthcare practitioners who have a willingness to explore the therapeutic value of essential oils.

medical 100422550 150x100 Essential oils—Opening Closed Minds

We have the privilege and opportunity of working with incredible, well respected professionals at Vanderbilt University Medical Center who are open to new ideas of change for the better.  As nurses working long hours in the emergency department, we experience an environment that is challenging and rewarding, but induces high levels of stress and fatigue.  For this very reason, there are many hospitals today struggling to preserve and maintain one of their most valuable healthcare resources, nurses.  Through our own personal use of essential oils we have learned how to effectively reduce and manage our stress.  We recognized an opportunity to improve a stressful and challenging work environment by diffusing essential oils, which we felt would have a positive impact on our coworkers.  Our idea was well received but posed specific challenges.  Initial concerns expressed were regulatory compliance, questions regarding standards of care, and adverse reactions.  After forming a wellness committee and reviewing relevant research, in time these challenges were easily overcome.

Through the wellness committee, the use of essential oils was approved and defined within a research model to analyze the direct effects of diffusing essential oils in the hospital environment for the perceived outcome of stress reduction and increased energy levels.  Our staff was surveyed for 30 days pre and post implementation.  Before the use of essential oils 41% of the staff felt work related stress very often, after the use of essential oils only 3% felt work related stress very often.  The feelings of being overwhelmed changed from 25% very often before implementation to 2% after implementation.  Feelings of being well equipped to handle stressors at work changed from 13% very often before implementation to 58% after implementation.  Perceptions of staff optimal energy level increased from 33% to 77%.  Following the implementation of the essential oil initiative, 84% of the staff strongly agreed and 10% agreed that diffusing essential oils contributed to a more positive work environment.

This initiative to create a more positive work environment in the hospital setting is an important milestone in our pursuit to bring together the traditional and alternative modalities into a synergistic relationship.  For more than two years, the Adult Emergency Department at Vanderbilt University Medical Center has diffused essential oils with no adverse reactions.  We continue the pursuit to help others understand the therapeutic value of essential oils.  Imagine the possibilities, if essential oils can have this kind of impact on the working environment, even changing the perception of one’s stress and energy levels.  Theoretically even this small step can improve patient outcomes based on the care they are receiving from a nurse who is feeling less stress and more energy.

There are of course many ways essential oils could be incorporated into the hospital setting and perhaps more importantly beyond the hospital setting.  We are just beginning this journey, one experience at a time.  It is our belief that in the near future complementary and alternative modalities will work hand in hand with our traditional healthcare system with the foundational groundwork being laid as we speak. With the efforts of those who are sharing and educating in the home and in their communities about the benefits of essential oils, combined with the efforts of those in the medical and science fields, our mission to share the powerful benefits of essential oils with the world is well on its way.

Essential oils have the power to impact an individual’s personal health and well-being.  Many of us have witnessed some amazing, life changing oil experiences.  Their power is very real. It is especially gratifying when a closed mind becomes open with an essential oil experience.



Tonya McBride, RN has been practicing registered nurse since 2001, earning her degree from Tennessee State University, with earlier experience as an EMT in 1996.

Teresa Sturges, RN has been a registered nurse for over 10 years with the majority of her career in emergency nursing.