After six years of medication, a serious attack, and then Bowen
Written by Alastair Rattray. Published on 29 November 2004.
Susannah, aged nearly 6, has been allergic to a wide range of foods and colourings since birth. When she was two years old, she was further diagnosed as asthmatic. She responded to many different triggers ranging from animals, colds or virus attacks as well as foods, all of which would induce an asthma attack. Additionally, she could have an incident if she visited the woods for any length of time, as well as any change of location, such as a visit to her grandparents or sudden changes of temperature. Her mother was a trained nurse who was meticulous in administering the prescribed drugs and in preparing all her foods. Susannah was on Beclomethasone (a steroid) twice a day, and Ventolin as needed. Asthma attacks were frequent with a number of admissions to Hospital being needed. As the situation was becoming more worrying, the family asked for her to have Bowen therapy to see whether that might help stop the decline in her health.
Before the first treatment could be given, Susannah suffered a major asthma attack having caught a virus from her brother who was also an asthmatic. Her mother summarised the development of the attack as follows:
" Susannah had had 3 days of oral Prednisolone ( a powerful steroid) prior to admission for wheezing. On the early morning of the 4th day, she was admitted into Hospital via ambulance for a severe asthma attack. She worsened on admission and did not respond to oral steroids and nebulizers (Atrovent and Salbutamol). Intravenous steroids were then given without effect. An infusion of Aminophylline(a bronchodilator) was commenced along with intravenous fluids and potassium; nebulizers continued. After 48 hours she began to improve. She had a temperature on admission which worsened and persisted. Antibiotics were administered for one week."
When I saw Susannah for the first time on 10 March 2004, some 12 days after the attack, she looked a very sick child with dark rings under her eyes. She was still wheezing with a little "grunt" at the end of each breath. Her mother was, naturally, very anxious and worried as to whether there could be any sort of reaction to the treatment. I assured her that I did very little and that there had never been a reaction with a case like this. Susannah was still in such a delicate state that anything could have induced a further attack. Treatment was very simple. When she got off the couch, the wheezing and "grunt" had stopped. Her mother was shown how to administer the Bowen Emergency Move just below the breast bone (very gently) should she become wheezy or have another asthma attack.
In week 4 of the Bowen treatments, Susannah's mother reported the following:
" I have noticed some significant changes relating to Susannah's long standing asthma this week. On Friday (2 April 2004) she awoke with a cold. Prior to this she had had no wheezing or temperature, both of which she normally exhibits prior to any episode of ill health. During Friday night, she coughed continuously for just under 2 hours. It is unprecedented for her not to have developed asthma under these circumstances. During the next 24 hours, she continued to cough in varying degrees. It is now 4.00pm on Sunday 4 April 2004 and she has not, so far, had an asthma attack associated with this cold." (Note: Nor did one develop. This is a very common "fingerprint" of Bowen even after only one treatment in many cases).
Just over two months after the attack, her mother wrote the following summary on 5 May 2004:
" I have noticed some considerable change in Susannah over the last 2/3 weeks. She has not had a day off sick from school for some time. On 24 April (end of week 8) we went to a wedding. It was a long day and the reception was on a farm; the meal was in a marquee. These are all normally things that would result in wheezing at least, an asthma attack at worst. Susannah was fine until about 7.30pm - much longer than she would normally have coped with in such a situation. I could hear a small squeaking in her breathing at 7.30pm and took her home. She had a settled night. This is also significant - normally she would have been coughing and unsettled.
After this tiring weekend with a lot of travelling and change of place to stay, she then did a full week at school with no problems (she had a Bowen treatment on the Wednesday of that week). The following weekend (end of week 9), she went to ballet on Saturday morning and a party on Saturday afternoon where everyone was smoking. On Sunday, she had a very long day spent outside in damp conditions with a high pollen count. She was running around, playing on the trampoline and very excited. The following day (week 10) we were out for the whole day in a high pollen count in damp weather. Yesterday, she attended a full day at school with no problem.
The above illustrates an unprecedented lifestyle for Susannah. Any one of the days mentioned would have resulted in an exacerbation of her asthma and time off school. To have had several days of the type mentioned in close proximity has not been possible for her in her life so far. The fact that, as yet, she has had no adverse reaction to her activities over the last 3 weeks leads me to the conclusion that Bowen has benefited her enormously. It is particularly significant that she has coped as well as she has following the worst asthmatic episode of her life so far."
Susannah has continued to receive Bowen treatments when required. In August her mother called to say that she was wheezing quite badly but that she could not identify any trigger. However, by the following day it became obvious there was a trigger which turned out to be dust from building work which had just started next door. As it was very hot it was impossible not to open windows. She immediately had a Bowen treatment which reduced the wheezing. This had to be repeated as she was still receiving plenty of building dust from next door. Once she had been removed during the day from that environment, her situation improved.
Susannah is an interesting case because of the way she has responded to Bowen since her very serious attack at the end of February 2004. She has responded to Bowen in the same way as many other children have done. When she caught another virus a few weeks later, it did not produce an asthma attack, just as the cold did not. She continues to have Bowen treatments as and when required now.
She had an attack where she became very wheezy to the point where she would not have been able to avoid going to hospital by the end of the night. She immediately had a Bowen treatment to which she responded well. She then began a course of Seretide, a combination drug with a lower dose of steroid but including bronchodilator medication. She has now been on this medication once a day and has remained well for some months.
When reviewing the case, her mother commented that all the things that Susannah has been able to do since she started Bowen remain valid today.
Update 20 Feb 2005
Susannah remains well and only has Bowen occasionally when needed. There have been no further episodes of asthma todate.
Update 10 June 2005
Susannah continues to be well and very active. While giving an interview on Susannah's case and the effect of Bowen both on her and the whole family, her mother commented "Bowen is non-invasive, it takes just a few minutes, doesn't disrupt our lifestyle, doesn't upset the children, and the effect it produces is nothing short of miraculous."
Update June 2006
Susannah continues to do well with no further attacks. She still has Bowen "just to make sure!"
Update February 2008
Still doing well with allergies appearing to have less of an impact. She has Bowen when needed.
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