Sanctuary Spotlight: Georgie Thomas, Bowen Technique Therapist

Georgie is a new addition to the Santosa therapist team, offering Bowen Technique to both Humans and our four-legged canine companions.

Welcome to Santosa’s therapy team!

Thank you, Janis. It is so cool to be part of such a richly  diverse team all providing relief and sanctuary to people seeking freedom from pain and other trouble in their life.

Is Bowen Therapy a similar experience to having a traditional holistic massage?

No. As the forefather of Bowen said:  Bowen is a “message” not a massage. Bowen therapy is a holistic therapy, just as massage is, but it is  characterised by short gentle rolling moves over specific tendons or nerves or muscles punctuated by short breaks to let your body processes the information that is being suggested to it. So it feels as if you have had a massage from the inside of the body rather outside. It relies a lot on the fascia (a silvery network covering each organ and muscle in the body) to convey this suggestion to the Central Nervous system and works with muscle memory.

Bowen believes that the body knows how to heal itself, but the body is sometimes overwhelmed with a kaleidoscope of original pain, additional pain from compensation patterns, or physical pain mixed with emotional upset. Sometimes, the body needs prompting on which parts to focus its self-healing powers.

So, is that where Bowen Therapy can be a powerful healing intervention?

Yes, Bowen Therapy involves assessing movement and posture as well as listening to you in trying to understand where your pain is coming from. It may be appropriate to treat a condition in a particular part of your body via a completely different part of your body, for example treating the knee can help issues with the lower back, the shoulders, kidneys, or the liver system.

If you are curious about Bowen, why not come to Santosa on Friday 14th April for a £10-taster session for 10 minutes.  Feel the soothing healing power of Bowen in the instant and tempt your muscle memory into letting go.


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So, in summary, this therapy is for people with acute pain…?

Not at all. Bowen is much more profound than that: it can help people who are experiencing a wide range of physical, psychological and emotional health issues. These include incontinence, hormonal imbalance, or difficulties conceiving or breastfeeding or asthma or even autism, etc. For exampleI first became hooked on Bowen because I was going through profound grief and  it helped me to work through this over the years

 As a side benefit, it helped me with long-term backpain to the point where, through muscle memory, my body learnt how to fix itself when the pain returned for a short-term visit. I continued seeking out a few Bowen therapy sessions in each year not least for its beneficial powers of boosting the immune system in latter years. Hence, Bowen can be used for prevention as well as remediation, and is very popular in countries with private health care and no NHS.

Because it is so gentle in nature, Bowen Therapy can be applied to new born babies, and the aged. As a bonus, Bowen Therapy offers deep relaxation and deeper quality of sleep after treatments. I love that I have the tools just at my fingertips to provide an escape from a long-standing pain that someone has spent many years thinking was their “cross to bear”.

Bowen Technique Therapy

How do you approach your treatments with clients?

Clients can wear light clothing and it is best to avoid less pliable fabrics – no denim jeans with loads of pockets, no stretch jeans and no lycra leggings.

I have blankets for privacy and warmth during treatments.

I love that Bowen is available for our four-legged canine companions. Tell me more!

Yes, I am qualified in Canine Bowen. It is a more complicated because dogs can’t speak so quite a lot of detective work is at play when deciding which move is the most appropriate to help each dog but, once you have the dog’s trust and they have figured that this strange form of touching them (as opposed to the normal pat on the back), the dog will quite often show you what it needs by turning that part of the body to you. Dog’s are much more in touch with their bodies than adult humans so that helps. They don’t need regular 2-minute processing breaks. They will tell you when they need a processing break by simply walking off. When they are ready for more they return. I need Veterinary consent for each dog, so it is not an alternative therapy but picks up where the vet has hit a dead end in trying to treat a dog or accepts that your dog is benefitting from ongoing palliative care.

Bonzo Santosa Wellness Centre TherapetBonzo, our resident Thera-Pet, currently weighs in at 47 kgs, and as a super-active five-year-old boy, I’m concerned that his joints need protection to avoid future problems. Might the Bowen Technique help?

Yes for sure. Bowen is not a cure for arthritis but it can certainly help in soothing sore joints and any pain the dog is getting from secondary postures, e.g. three limbs are doing more of the work of load bearing and gait to ease the most arthritic leg. That is why I studied Canine Bowen – because I wish I had known about it when my previous dog was suffering in her senior years.

Bowen can help with other issues besides pain, such as helping rehomed dogs to settle. Dogs get 100% chance to refuse Bowen and some do. By the same token, some dogs become addicted to Bowen and, for those dogs, the mantra of Bowen, “less is more” becomes important. If you give too much Bowen to humans and dogs, they can get what is called “Bowen flu” and all the messages you gave to the body ended up overwhelming each other so that the body takes on none of the benefits felt from each move but resists healing and for a day or two can feel unwell. Sometimes, the correcting of an issue can cause temporary pain. I call this “good pain” – its healing pain. Bowen Flu is not this.

So, I note that you have a foreign accent…how did you end up in Edinburgh/Scotland?

I am Zimbabwean. Zimbabwe was rocked by bad politics for many years and still is hence Zimbabweans joined the great diaspora of the world. I  chose Edinburgh based on the stories of a Scottish boyfriend I used to have in Zim. Why I came and why I have stayed for almost 30 years are two different things. The latter has a lot to do with my long love affair with the highlands…