How long have you worked in complementary health care?
Before I began working in natural healing, I was an Executive Assistant in the aviation industry. After ten years with the same company, however, I no longer felt challenged and was considering a career change when my brother, Mike, was diagnosed with lung cancer. He suffered through chemotherapy and its debilitating side effects. I was intrigued to discover that he was able to regain strength and organ function with Homœopathic medicine. Regrettably, as soon as he felt better, more chemo was administered and, sadly, I lost my brother to the disease. But I was inspired with the healing powers of Homœopathic medicine and was determined to learn more. That was 1995 and the beginning of my journey into natural healing.
After studying with the Edison Institute of Nutrition and then with the Canadian College of Homeopathic Medicine, I opened a general practice in London, Ontario, treating patients with a wide range of health concerns. Then, in 2009, I had an incredible opportunity to live for a year in Australia. While there, I furthered my studies in Homœopathy and nutrition. On returning to Canada, I studied Bowenwork®, a muscle and connective tissue therapy that originated in Australia and have since added Reconnective Healing® and The Reconnection® to my practise.
What is the main focus of your practice?
My main focus is pain relief through Bowenwork and Reconnective Healing/The Reconnection. There are many types of pain and I don’t limit my practice to any one type of specialty: I enjoy a diversity of clients. Both these modalities have a wide range of applications and are compatible with all types of pain relief. I do, however, have a keen interest in digestive and TMJ problems due to my own personal health journey. I no longerpractise Homœopathy or holistic nutrition, but refer out for these services.
What happens if you haven’t treated my particular health concern?
If I have not treated your particular health concern, I have likely treated another condition with the same or similar underlying cause. As a holistic health care professional, I always look for the underlying cause. For instance, a pain in your back might result from an imbalanced pelvis or it could be from emotional issues. The underlying cause of migraine headaches might be a hormonal imbalance or a neck restriction. If I haven’t treated your particular health concern, undoubtedly I have treated the same underlying cause at some time.
Also, the moves used in Bowenwork® have several indications for use. A move over the rhomboids and trapezius muscles, for example, could be indicated for use in respiratory symptoms, gastro-intestinal symptoms, or stress, shock, anxiety and grief. If I have not treated your particular health concern, I have experience using the Bowenwork® moves that will be used for your particular health concern.
If I become your patient, what modality would you use to treat me?
Often when a client comes to me, s/he already has a a clear idea what modality s/he wants, whether it is Bowenwork® or Reconnective Healing /The Reconnection. If I don’t think the chosen modality is the correct one for the situation, I will say so. If you do not have a preference for a particular modality, after reviewing the intake form with you, I will advise where I think you need to start. If your progress stalls or slows, we can switch the modality which often helps further the progress.
What type of people do you work best with?
I work best with patients who are committed to recovering their health and who are willing to take an active role in their health care. Learning to listen to what your body is telling you is important. The more you can tune into what is happening in your body and can tell me what is going on, the better I am able to help you.
I also work best with clients who are willing to “do their homework”. For instance, after a Bowenwork® session, there are simple after-care procedures that must be followed in order for the work to become integrated in the body. This after care is simple, but it is not optional. It completes the treatment that you receive. Sometimes simple daily exercises are also assigned. I work best with patients who are willing to complete their exercises when assigned and follow after-care instructions. Again, this is about a willingness to take an active role in your health care.
Do you work with babies?
Yes! I love working with babies! The work is so gratifying because they respond amazingly quickly. For infants 3 years old or younger, I do not charge for Bowenwork®.
Is there anyone you can’t or won’t work with?
As I said, I work best with clients who are willing to make a commitment to recovering their health. If you are not willing to do your part by communicating with me and “doing your homework” such as simple exercises and after-care protocols, then we probably won’t work well together.
I also do not work well with clients who constantly jump from therapy to therapy without taking time to determine what is or isn’t working. (And please note that if you are on prescription meds, I will never tell you to stop your medication. As you begin to feel better, you will need to discuss how to reduce your medication with your medical doctor.) Therefore, if you are currently currently undergoing other forms of manipulative therapy, your Bowen appointments must be scheduled five days after any other type of therapy. And no other type of therapy should be scheduled for five days after Bowenwork®. This includes massage, chiropractic, acupuncture, physio, reflexology, energy work, etc. Because Bowen “does not play well with others”, you are welcome to work with me when you when you are ready to space your Bowenwork® sessions between other therapies provided you respect the “5 days before and 5 days after” rule.
If I became your patient, what exactly would we do together?
For chronic conditions, intake forms will be emailed to you prior to your appointment, and we will review these at the start of the consultation, followed by an assessment. During the Bowen assessment, I look for imbalances in the body from one side to the other, for restrictions in movement, or for swelling or tenderness, for example. After the assessment(s), a Bowenwork® session is done while you lie on a massage table. If that is not comfortable for you, it can also be done with you sitting or standing. The treatment itself will differ from patient to patient depending on the individual condition and whether the condition is chronic or acute. For a full five days following a Bowenwork® session, your body will continue to shift as it incorporates the treatment. Therefore, we do no further Bowenwork® during that time.
A second appointment is usually scheduled 1-2 weeks after the first session. These first two appointments set in the critical foundations of the Bowenwork®. At the third appointment (1-2 weeks later), you and I will evaluate together the work, how you are progressing and where we go from there. I will make recommendations on what areas I feel need to be addressed for continued improvement. From this point, treatments may begin to be spread out to two, three or four weeks apart. If your condition is chronic and long standing, weekly or bi-weekly appointments may still be needed; however, Bowenwork® clients quickly learn when the body needs another treatment and when to schedule the next session. Even after relief from the original concern, many clients choose to continue on a maintenance program to ensure their bodies remain flexible, mobile, and properly calibrated. Remember, Bowenwork® also feels good and is relaxing!
How quickly can I expect results?
While there is often lessening of pain after the first session, very complex or chronic conditions may take 1-2 years for more complete recovery. Every condition is unique. What I can say is that recent onset injuries heal faster than long term, chronic conditions. In fact, if you come in for Bowenwork® immediately after an injury or even the same day, we can see a complete turnaround. If the injury was a few months ago, often there are already compensation patterns, so a few sessions are necessary to unwind that pattern. For long term, chronic conditions of years duration, especially if surgery has been part of the history, then we follow the lead of the body as we unwind the layers of the problems. The body tells us how to prioritize and individualize the body’s needs. Whole foods, supplements and/or natural remedies can help speed the return to a balanced state of health.
How long does a Bowenwork® session last?
In Bowenwork®, allow 30-45 minutes for an acute problem. For chronic conditions, the initial consult is 90 minutes and followup appointments are 60-75 minutes. We must, however, always listen to what the body is telling us – sometimes the body needs the full allotment of time while, at other sessions, the body accepts only minimal intervention before telling us “no more for today”. We follow the lead of the body and recognize that the body will continue to respond for days after a session. The body tells us how to prioritize. If you are on a strict timeline, be sure to mention this at the beginning of your appointment so I do not go over the allotted time.
What do I wear for a Bowenwork® session?
Bowenwork® is unique in that the client wears loose, comfortable clothing and the treatment is performed through the clothing or directly on the skin. Please avoid wearing slippery fabrics such as rayon, silk, satin, parachute cloth, etc. Simply wear loose fitting, comfortable clothing like a T-shirt and a pair of shorts or yoga pants. Some clients wear pyjamas. (You can change into them when you get here.)
If you prefer direct skin contact rather than treatment over the clothing, it is important that whatever clothing you wear is loose enough so I can work under and around the fabric on the bare skin, whenever possible. For instance, your pant leg needs to be loose enough that I can raise it up if I need to work on the hamstrings at the back of your upper thigh, for instance. And remember that Bowenwork® is a wholistic therapy that addresses the whole body. You may come in for headaches, but be surprised that I need to address the pelvic imbalance which is causing the headaches! So, there is always a possibility that I may be working on an area you might not know is connected to your pain. Therefore, all clothing should be loose, not just in the area of your concern.
Remember, at your first appointment, simply let me know whether you prefer to have the treatment done over your clothing or directly on the skin.
Is a Bowenwork® session like getting a massage?
Massage is a beautiful technique, but massage and Bowenwork® are very different. Massage is done with the patient minimally clothed, whereas Bowenwork® is done with the client wearing loose, comfortable clothing. Massage uses oils or lotions: Bowenwork® does not. Patients often tell me that these two differences – lotions and clothing – are important reasons that they chose Bowenwork®. But there are other differences between Bowen and massage.
Massage stimulates the vast network of external nerves on the skin. In contrast, Bowenwork® stimulates the skin minimally and uses very specific points of stimulation to send focused sensory information inward where the message travels through the internal nervous system to the brain. Bowen seeks to emulate the natural process of proprioception (the brain’s ability to know where our muscles are and what they are doing, without our having to consciously look at them).
Bowenwork® moves involve simple, gentle rolling on muscle, fascia and connective tissue, and are followed by significant pauses between moves. These pauses are unique to Bowen and allow your body time to respond to the stimulation of the moves. Generally, a pause is two minutes long and during the pause, I leave the treatment room. Your “job” at that time is to simply let the body respond and be aware of what sensations you are feeling in the body. You may notice tingling, heat or cold, perhaps at the site of the moves, perhaps in a different area. Sometimes people comment that they can feel the muscle give way in total relaxation, as if it has been holding on for a long time. Sometimes people fall asleep. Sometimes people don’t notice anything at all, either because they are not tuned into their bodies or because the response is so subtle, they can’t notice or because the response will occur in the next five days.
And the last difference is that there is no music played during Bowenwork® sessions, and this assists you in focusing inward on changes occurring in the body. It is also one of the few times we are given the opportunity to relax in silence and this can be profound in its own way.
Donna, based on everything I’ve read and heard, I know you’re the one I want to work with. What are my options for getting started with you?
First of all, congratulations on making a commitment to yourself and to your health! Making that choice is the first step on your road to wellness. To get started, simply contact the office to schedule your complimentary 15 minute Get Acquainted session. During the call, I can answer any lingering questions you may have. As well, we can both make sure we will be comfortable working with each other. Once I have determined whether I can help you and whether we have a good fit, we will review plan options available for you. Then we will set the date and time for your first consultation. I look forward to speaking with you!
I’m not certain I’m ready to get started yet. What can I do to ensure it’s the right solution for me?
Take your time in making that decision and make sure it is right for you. It’s important that you feel comfortable about me and the work I do before we start working together. You can get to know me better by signing up for my newsletter . It will help you to learn more about me, my style and my approach, and it’s filled with valuable information about health and wellness. You can also read through the Articles already posted on this website. And, if you haven’t already done so, get my free download my “Top Five Foods for Pain Relief”. Remember that the Get Acquainted phone session is a great way to have your specific questions answered and get to know me better as well. Just contact the office to book your Get Acquainted call.