KIDS’ KORNER FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
While this list is not exhaustive, some examples are:
Q: Will it hurt my child? Or cause discomfort? A: Oftentimes, muscles that are tight can be tender to movement. Every effort is made to minimize discomfort and maximize efficiency with every move. Sometimes discomfort is unavoidable. When there is discomfort, it is momentary and resolves quickly.
Q: How many visits will my child need?
A: It is recommended, post-evaluation, that a minimum of three visits is made. Evaluation of the musculature is ongoing with each visit.
Q: Why do I need to come for an evaluation before treatments? A: The most important part of any treatment is the assessment. As such, the initial evaluation includes a thorough assessment in addition to an initial hands-on evaluation of the musculature.
Q: What kinds of things does this form of therapy improve?
A: All aspects of breast-feeding / nursing, eating and swallowing, gross and fine motor movements, jaw / grinding, balance / gait (walking), posture, congestion / asthma, bed- wetting / urgency, possible cognitive (reading / comprehensive) skills.
Q: What’s the difference between traditional Bowen and Pediatric Bowen?
A: While traditional Bowen is helpful for all ages and stages, there are many dysfunctions and muscular difficulties specific to newborn infants and toddlers that a more technical / medical approach using the same basic technique benefits tremendously.
Q: Have there been studies documenting the effectiveness?
A: Yes. As this is a unique and recently developed approach using Tom Bowen’s technique, what studies that have been done are limited and not intended for more than research.
Q: Is there something I can do to help my child?
A: Yes. Parents are essential components of the team that is established to care for each child seen. You will be given activities and exercises to augment therapy.
Q: How do I know my child needs evaluated?
A: If your child demonstrates any of the above discomforts or dysfunctions, an evaluation is recommended. Referrals are also made by lactation consultants, midwifes, labor & delivery room nurses, pediatricians and dentists.
Q: It’s understandable that older people may have structural problems / issues, but why would a baby need to be seen?
A: In-utero development can be impacted by many forces, external to the developing infant. The birth process also can be difficult or traumatic for a variety of reasons. The need in babies is seen usually as it relates to one or the other of the above circumstances.
Q: Is this covered by health insurance?
A: Most generally “NO” as insurance companies do not recognize the benefits of highly specialized therapy that is not “physical therapy” in the true sense.
Q: Can parent take a course in this form of therapy to help their children?
A: Yes. Parents of children with ongoing neuromuscular problems and disease processes that affect the musculature are encouraged to take the Basic Bowen 1 & 2 course, which enables them to understand how to better help their own child.
Q: Do I have to have any special medical background or training to take the above? A: No. A cursory overview of the musculature as it related to the technique and method are covered in this class.
Q: What kind of environment shall I expect?
A: We encourage a cheerful yet subdued atmosphere that promotes less stimulation and emphasizes a nurturing approach. We promote an activity time for toddlers and older children that encompasses play in a child-centered environment.
Q: What shall I expect after a therapy session?
A: Physically – Usually a person may feel tired, sleepy, and desirous of a nap. However, the opposite is possible. Therapy may cause nervous system stimulation resulting in increased activity levels. Activity, not over-exertion is always encouraged whenever possible.
Activity-wise – Levels range from tired and slow to energized and playful.
Diet-wise – Thirsty and possibly hungry. Provide a balanced diet, where applicable (toddlers and older), avoiding processed sugars or caffeine-laced drinks which have been shown to increase inflammation and decreases effective muscle use.
Due to the stimulated release of the lymphatics (increased lymphatic drainage – or by- products of cellular metabolism), the child may have to “go potty”.
Regarding Sleep or when to rest – Movement recommended for the first hour after therapy are suggested, then activity or rest as tolerated by the child. Do not deprive of sleep.
Q: Will I be in the room with my child during their evaluation and treatment? A: Yes. Parents / caregivers are urged, and often required to be present.
Q: How long to the sessions take?
A: Initial evaluation is one hour; all subsequent visits are thirty minutes.
Q: Should I bring them in their “jammies”?
A: Non-Restricted, comfortable, loose clothing is recommended.
Q: Can you administer therapy if they’re ticklish?
A: Yes, although it can present challenges, it is possible.
Q: Is a child’s play going to “un-do” what you do?
A: No. Activity, rather than over-exertion, is recommended and even helpful.
Q: Does it matter if / should they eat before a session?
A: It is best not to overfeed or have just completed a large meal beforehand as anxiety levels can produce squeamish tummies.
Q: How can I prepare my child for Bowen therapy?
A: You can let them know you are bringing them to a friend who will move their arms and legs and rub their muscles to help them feel better.
Q: Is it scary for them?
A: Sometimes, honestly, it can be frightening to meet someone new who is not mom or dad and have them put their hands on their muscles. A lot of effort and time is given to play gross and fine motor activities and with positive reinforcement along the way.
Q: Are you like a doctor’s office where there may be other kids crying?
A: Yes, It’s possible, but we try to minimize emotional stress related to the crying / fussing of others. Pain / discomfort are not always the problem. Oftentimes it’s simply the new interaction of baby, therapist, and parent.
Q: What is my part as a parent during therapy?
A: The parent’s role is to be the support person and a safe haven for fear, discomfort, and respite.
Q: How important is follow-up care? What happens if we skip planned appointments and resume later?
A: Follow-up care is important for the sake of continuity as each subsequent Bowen treatment builds on the previous progress made.
Skipping appointments for other than illness or family hardship during a series of planned treatments often produces a loss of ground work established in musculature as it affects the resolve of whatever dysfunction is presented.