Finding effective hands on therapy for chronic discomfort and maladaptive musculoskeletal patterns is rare. As an Osteopathic physician who has used osteopathic manipulative therapy and has also been a “patient,” I am convinced based on my own personal experience that Functional Bowen™ therapy works. For me, this has manifested in pain relief, improved mobility and function, and the ability to advance my own strength, stability, and flexibility training. My sense is that effective therapy requires an in-depth understanding of anatomy and biomechanics which are fundamental aspects of Functional Bowen™. My hope is that this technique can be made available to more individuals who would benefit.
Karen C. Ramstrom, DO, MSPH
Bowen therapy has been proven to me to be an effective, gentle way of relieving musculoskeletal tension and in turn, decreasing tension on the nervous system and surrounding structures. As a chiropractor, I have seen my patients who are under the care of Judy Terwilliger, get better faster. Bowen therapy increases blood flow, decreases muscle spasm and pain, and relieves the restrictions on the nervous system that inhibit optimal function. I have been a client under Judy’s care and seen vast improvements in not only my physical function, but also in my ability to handle stress. She has released tight muscles that constrict blood flow and nerve flow, allowing me to have full recoveries after minor injuries. I highly recommend that my patients have complimentary Bowen therapy to optimize their function and recovery.
Dr. Esther Hall, DC / Life Chiropractic College West Graduate
I have experience with Judy Terwilliger and Bowen Therapy from different perspectives. As a patient she was able to restore blood supply and essential nutrients to a slow healing Tib/Fib fracture. My severely hypertonic muscles after a traumatic injury were limiting blood supply to the fracture and delaying healing. Judy with her Bowen Therapy skills was able to accomplish what Physical Therapy failed to see as a problem. Bowen Therapy aided bone healing and allowed me to avoid additional surgery.
Seeking to understand the principles of Bowen Therapy I have spent time observing Judy performing Bowen therapy and completed her class. Using a holistic approach to the human body Judy works with other health professionals to address all parts of the health need. As a dentist I recommend patient’s with Myofacial pain be evaluated and treated by Bowen therapy. During acute muscle inflammation pain relief is aided by Bowen Therapy, which addresses all contributing muscles of the body, thus allowing the body to return to normal function more efficiently. Thank you Judy for your passion to provide a valuable service.
Allison Trout, DDS
My name is Dr. Andrea Joy Smith a practicing dentist in the Sacramento area. I met Judy of Flexibly Fit, over six (6) years ago. Prior to meeting Judy, I was receiving a massage once a week and receiving Chiropractic Care two to three times weekly. That amount of treatment did little to relieve my symptoms of chronic sore neck, shoulders and lower back. My muscles were tight and my attempt at stretching was not effective.
My first experience with Bowen therapy, performed by Judy, was at my desk in my office. She came over to introduce herself and she saw that I was holding my neck in an odd position and she offered to see if she could relieve my discomfort. Skeptical, I agreed, because I thought “what could she do at my desk that many Chiropractic visits and regular message could not?”
After that 5 minute treatment, I felt no pain in my neck and shoulders and she explained that the muscles were not getting enough blood flow. I immediately set up an appointment to come in for a full treatment session. That was the beginning of once weekly sessions with her. I had no need to receive the frequent Chiropractic treatment I had been receiving. My problem was largely muscular. I have not had regular Chiropractic visits for quite some time now.
Today my neck, shoulder and back problems are minor and I can not only practice dentistry without much discomfort, I have been able to continue to play racquetball regularly. Bowen therapy has definitely improved my neck, back and shoulder health, thanks to Judy.
Dr. Andrea Joy Smith, DDS
I am a nurse practitioner and work in pain management. I have had personal experience with Judy Terwilliger after a car accident in 2010. I had severe neck trauma and Judy’s treatments helped calm down the pain that I was experiencing and improved my range of motion. I have referred several patients to Judy and she has provided excellent care allowing them to function with less pain and improving their mobility. I will continue to refer patients to this excellent practitioner.
Patricia McCarthy, RN, NP
My name is Veronica Ramirez. I’m a mom of 4 kids, Aldo (10), Alan (8), Anel (3) and Andre (1). When Aldo had his very first check up as a baby, I noticed that something was wrong with his legs, his right leg was coming way inwards and did not go outwards like it supposed to, so I mentioned that to the pediatrician and he told me that “he was fine”, I also notice that Alan had some leg problems too.
Due to changes of my health insurance and also moving out of the state, we were able to see other pediatricians and I always mention my big concern with my sons’ legs, and every time, the doctors told me the same thing “oh they’re fine” one of them even told me that they would grow out of it. So I thought “Well, they are doctors, the must know what they are talking about”, but that didn’t bring me any peace of mind. I still felt that something was wrong and no doctor wanted to care.
I noticed that the problem didn’t go away, and my kids were running funny, even the way they walked was strange. At the end of the last school year, Aldo decided to participate in the Mini Olympics against other schools, and when he was running, he was tripping with his right foot, and I could see with great sadness his frustration, because of his legs. “That was it”; I needed to find someone that could listen and help my kids.
A friend of mine who is a runner, told me about Judy and the Bowen Method, so I decided to give it a try. It was amazing how Judy was explaining to me what was wrong with my children, and the way she worked with their muscles made a huge difference right away.
After she was done, I saw with great amazement and even tears in my eyes that they were walking and running way better, for the first time I felt that someone cared enough to listen, she didn’t make me feel that I was crazy, and she could understand my frustration, especially the help that I was looking for my kids.
Now I see them running faster without tripping with their own feet, they are taking tennis lessons and before Judy some drills made them fall all the time, because of the tight muscles of their legs, after Judy, they don’t fall at all.
I cannot thank Judy enough for her amazing talent and the lasting effect on my kids’ lives. Thanks Judy! =D
Several years ago, my engagement in long distance walking came to an abrupt halt when I contracted Plantar Fasciitis. I tried the usual home remedies: reduce the walking, ibuprofen, shoes with higher arches, and stretching. I even bought one of those uncomfortable foot supports to wear at night.
I eventually made the inevitable trip to the doctor and bought his recommended New Balance shoes with special arch supports, got a referral to physical therapy, a cortisone shot and an eventual discussion of surgery. That was not an option.
I happened to be discussing my plight with a friend who had suffered with the same affliction for years and was pain free due to the benefits of Bowen Therapy. She referred me to Judy Terwilliger and the rest is history.
I was pain free after four sessions with this gifted practitioner. She not only applies the Bowen techniques effectively, but expands the benefits with functional stretches and exercises that can be continued at home. I highly recommend this Cross Fiber Neuromuscular Treatment to anyone who is recovering from surgery or an injury or who suffers from chronic pain of any kind. It should be a medically recognized and reimbursed treatment as is physical therapy, some acupuncture, and chiropractics.
I was sent to Judy Terwilliger by my chiropractic doctor who was confident Judy would help with re-establishing body alignment and relieving long-term chronic muscular pain. I have now seen Judy for several years.
My work requires that I sit 90-95% of the time, work under extreme ongoing stress and am impacted physically in many ways. I see Judy regularly and have called on her for emergency visits at least twice recently where I literally could not work from pain. In both cases, I went right back to work directly from Judy’s office.
Judy’s is a whole body approach. Her education and knowledge of how the body works, how it is all connected, what it does when stressed or hurt and how it can be assisted and healed through deep tissue manipulation is appreciable. The tiniest bones and muscles in my little finger to the major muscles in my hips have received Judy’s experienced attention and adept focus. Judy knows right where to start, where to go and how to assess the outcome. As is her office care, her instructions on self after care are specific and effective. Judy is a permanent member of my health care team.
Cynthia S., Executive Administrative Assistant
About 8 weeks ago, I was enjoying a family vacation in Alabama. A sunny day on the lake turned into a helicopter ride to the hospital when I slipped from a rope swing into shallow water and shattered my knee on a rock. What resulted was emergency surgery to repair my patella and re-attach my tendons. I was in the hospital for four days and was finally able to travel home to California after a week.
Because of the nature of my injury, I was put in a large brace to keep my knee stable and given a prescription for pain medication. As someone who is active, enjoys exercise, and is a special education teacher and constantly on my feet, I was devastated. I found that I couldn’t sleep, had developed extreme back pain from being immobile and had significant swelling throughout my entire leg.
My mother recommended that I make an appointment with Judy Terwilliger and I could not have made a better decision. After my first session I was sold. She was able to relieve my back pain through her method of Bowen Therapy and when I was able to free myself of the brace (with the go-ahead of my Orthopedic Doctor) she significantly decreased the swelling in my knee and activated my atrophied muscles
Her application of traditional Bowen techniques and functional stretches has increased my range of motion and I show improvement with each session. I have also stopped taking my prescribed pain medication, have shown improvement in walking and am sleeping and feeling better.
I firmly believe that this method should be medically recognized and would recommend it to anyone suffering from pain of any kind.”
My name is Rachel and I am 31 years old. I live in northern Virginia and have been chronically ill with medically unexplained myopathy for the past 6 1/2 years. With this myopathy I have myalgia, weakness, fatigue, stiffness, atrophy, spasticity, dysmotility, and hypertonia. My symptoms have been so disabling that I have spent a year and a half needing a full-time caretaker and the rest of the time requiring part time care each day.
Since 2007, I have been seen by over two dozen medical doctors from Johns Hopkins to local practitioners, and from Georgetown to NIH. No one has been able to explain my myopathy, and except for a trial of oral hydrocortisone which helped for eighteen months, none have been able to help me gain back my muscular function.
I have additionally had other mysterious symptoms which no one has been able to explain – these include tachycardia topping 200 beats per minute at rest, and almost 25% body weight loss. I’ve been to the major medical centers in our area and in 2012 was told by my neurologist that he wishes to refer me to Columbia Cornell and Dr. Balint of Capital Spine & Pain said that he would like to refer me to the Mayo Clinic. Because my ailment makes it difficult to leave the home I didn’t travel to either.
In April 2012 my health took a sudden turn for the worst, as it had originally done in May 2007. My weakened muscle groups remained at 3/5 and 4/5 (on a 0 to 5 muscle strength scale), but the pain and fatigue increased so greatly that I was no longer able to sit or even lie down in any position without intense pain. In the course of a few weeks I went from being able to stand for up to five minutes (my average the last four years) to not being able to stand even sixty seconds. The only relief I could get was the few hours I slept, and the steroids and extra strength Tylenol which had been managing my pain at a reasonable level (5-6) no longer helped at all.
My decrease in health was so dramatic that my husband and in-laws, all of whom have been my main caretakers, began to believe without telling me that they thought I would soon die. Any day they expected me to never wake up again.
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For years I had carefully avoided narcotics to avoid the risk of addiction, but the unceasing pain now at a level of 8 became so unbearable that in July 2012 I finally asked my neurologist for prescription pain medication. He ordered Tramadol, and while it helped a little (sometimes bringing the pain to a 7), it often did nothing at all. I was incredibly disheartened. I had no prior history of mental illness but after 5 ½ years of round the clock pain and apparently no cure for my ailment and no doctor able to help, I began to consider killing myself to make it stop.
In August 2012 while hospitalized for being suicidal, I had my pain medication changed from Tramadol to Oxycodone by some unknown doctor. Whoever that unnamed person was, I am very grateful! My pain was again brought down to a manageable level (5-6) so long as I continued on oxycodone and rested under full-time care.
After I returned home, I was contacted by Heather Gray, Judy Terwilliger’s daughter, who lives nearby me in Virginia. She told me her mom, an RN and Advanced Bowen Therapist/Instructor, would be flying to the area for Labor Day weekend. Heather told me that her mother was willing to evaluate and try a therapy session on me. I’d been hearing about this strange concept of “Bowen Therapy” from Heather for a couple of years, so I agreed it was worth a try, though I didn’t expect much from it.
I’d been hearing endless reports since 2006 of both conventional and alternative treatments which had “worked wonders” for others but never worked for me. When I tried them, they either did nothing at all or made me much worse, so I was skeptical Judy could help. Quite honestly, I went into our first meeting simply hoping her treatment would do me no harm, or that if it did, that I could recover quickly.
Judy began our first Bowen Therapy session, out of two that weekend, with a brief but very thorough tutorial on muscular anatomy. Without first questioning me about my background or prompting me for questions, Judy began to describe what I had been feeling in my body for years but had never been able to describe to doctors. I was amazed! What the doctors had never seen with their eyes or found on blood tests, Judy explained in great detail!
Everything from my tachycardia to my shortness of breath, and from my weight loss to the lump in my throat together with the difficulty swallowing suddenly made sense. I was now more hopeful that Bowen Therapy could help.
Judy asked my current pain scale, 5-7 in varying muscle groups, before beginning my first session, and by the end, all my pain had been brought down to 3-4. In some muscles the pain had decreased to 2! Never had I seen anything work as quickly and effectively as narcotics, and that evening I was immediately more flexible. My range of motion increased so greatly that the next day I realized I was able to breathe more deeply than I’d done in years, perhaps since 2007! My abdominal muscles benefited both so much from Bowen Therapy that the next day I also realized my stomach and whole digestive tract were beginning to feel more normal than they had in months.
Since that first meeting, I’ve followed Judy’s instructions for exercises, Epsom salt baths, etc, and continue to see growing benefits from Bowen Therapy. Most encouraging of all is that many days I’ve been able to decrease my narcotic intake by 25-33%. For the first time in 5½ years I’ve been able to begin exercising regularly, and will begin physical therapy this week. I now walk on flat surfaces longer and farther than I’ve done for years, am able to better handle stairs and sloped surfaces, and am able to regularly stand much longer. My posture is straighter when I stand, and I no longer have to lock my knees or lean on furniture for balance.
I love the feeling of renewed ease of motion that Bowen Therapy has given me. I was recently reaching for the cord of my window blinds and overshot when I put my arm above my head. It made me laugh to realize I no longer required so much force to fight my own muscles in order to just get them to work for me! My hope is that as I continue Bowen Therapy, my muscles will continue to regain health and that they will no longer require such a high caloric intake. Ultimately I would like to regain the weight I’ve lost and discontinue narcotics altogether.
I don’t know whether I will ever be able to function without caretaking since it remains unknown at this time whether my disease is degenerative or relapsing-remitting. Either way I am immensely grateful for Judy Terwilliger’s help. Her careful therapy was the first besides steroids and narcotics to help me, and after so many years of suffering, waiting, and searching, I know it is no “coincidence” that I have found her Functional Bowen™ Therapy. It is an unmerited gift from God, and I would highly recommend Bowen Therapy to friends and family with chronic pain.
In conclusion, I am especially happy to report that my facial muscles are responding well to Bowen Therapy. Since I was 25 it has been both painful and fatiguing for me to smile for more than just 1-2 seconds. Now I literally feel free to smile longer and bigger than I have for years! It is as if the prison doors which have held my muscles tightly since 2006 are being freed, and as if I’m being unbound. To be able to smile again without it being so very, very costly is a priceless gift to me. Thank you, Judy.
Rachel S. /Round Hill, VA