Now I'm the first to advocate trying all those handy hints to aid sleep. You know the ones. Having the room at the right temperature, avoiding alcohol and caffeine, exercising at the right times.......There are others that ban sleeping in the day time but sod those when complete knackeredness comes in. I'd got to the stage when I was dead on my feet by lunchtime and was resorting to kipping in the car to avoid dangerous driving. In desperation I turned to my GP who prescribed sleeping tablets to kickstart my sleep routine again. It's worked in the past.
I was so happy with procuring medication that I shared this on Facebook. After all I'm up for sharing my struggles as well as my successes. An old friend got in touch and offered me a session of Bowen therapy. She said that it might be able to promote those Zzzzzzs without chemical assistance.
So, off I popped after work one day to Tracy's home in Plymouth where she has a really wonderful therapy room tucked in her basement. Today's picture is the wonderful painting that she has in her waiting area by a Cornwall-based artist Simon Powell. Tracy is a complementary therapist who combines working for herself with a job as a assistant physiotherapy practitioner in the NHS. I used to work with her and remember how passionately she talked about the Bowen technique and the positive effects it had produced for those that she'd worked with.
Maybe I was expecting something similar to a conventional massage but Bowen wasn't like that. Tracy used short bursts of rolling and pinch-like movements and then withdrew to allow the body time to accept the treatment. She said that she worked on the fascia, internal connective tissue that wraps around muscles and internal organs.
So has it worked? Well after the treatment I felt floppier, but in a good way. I particularly noticed this in my wrists. They felt much more relaxed. As for the sleep I think there has been changes. I stopped taking the pills just to see. I still wake at night but don't lie there for hours in a state of meerkat-like alertness but manage to doze off again. I still like a little siesta after lunch if it's on offer but it's not absolutely essential.
Of course other factors could be at play but I'm convinced enough to have another session soon. Like many other complementary therapies the evidence base for Bowen isn't that huge but there's enough individual testimonials to suggest that it can be very helpful indeed. I've just found out that Bear Grylls is a big fan!
To contact Tracy follow the link here.