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Related Bibliography

This section is devoted to Angela Mason, a fellow practitioner and ardent bibliophile, whose generosity has enormously benefited me.

I started training as a Bowen Therapist with but a limited knowledge of medical matters, and found that I required a means of relating the posture and problems of a patient to the causes and effects within the body. I also needed insight into muscular problems associated with medication, operations, emotions and illness.

The following books aided me on my journey, the first three of which I carry around in my briefcase.

‘The muscle book’ by Paul Blakey. ISBN 1 873017 00 6.

I find this book very useful, some of the author’s recommended remedial moves having parallels in Bowen therapy. The graphics are clear, concise and cross-referred. There are four drawings of the total skeletal and muscular systems having the muscles annotated with their relevant pages in the book. Each page follows the same format and gives information about the muscle in question, its operation, a means of easing it, and associated effects. (I have used the ‘reflex’ moves on patients with interesting results.)

Paul Blakey very kindly gave me permission to quote from his book in a work that I am compiling. (A Therapists’ Notebook.)

‘Basic Anatomy and Physiology’ by H.G.Q. Rowett. ISBN 0-7195-8592-9.

With a penchant for the detail as to how a thing works I appreciate the succinct sections on ‘essential chemistry’ of cells, the structure and function of skin, muscles, skeleton, nerves, digestive system and so on.

I often turn to it, particularly when I am analysing the cause and effect of deep muscle action, and referred pain, the search for the latter considerably aided by the charts showing the distribution of the nervous system. This is particularly useful for identifying muscles on the spinal column that may impact on that nerve.

‘Textbook of Anatomy and Physiology’ by William Arnold Taylor. ISBN 0-7487-3634-4

A less detailed discourse than the above book that I found very helpful during my training when I did not need a plethora of information to confuse me.

‘Atlas of the Skeletal Muscles’ by Robert J. Stone and Judith J. Stone. ISBN 0-07-116992-x.

Each major part of the body is separately illustrated and shows the associated muscles, which are then drawn in large scale, one to a page. There is a note with each muscle giving its origin, insertion, action and nerve. There is a useful footnote referring to associated muscles, to which I often refer.

I think that it would have been helpful to have the body drawing at the front of the section rather than on the last page. You also need to know the aspects of the body view to decipher the view of the muscle on the page. For example, ‘forearm-anterior view’, would to me, be more quickly recognised if it had been labelled, ‘left hand, forearm-anterior view’. But then, this illustrates my unfamiliarity with anatomical terminology. The book is invaluable to me, helping me on one occasion to identify the possible sources of thumb joint pain and inflammation.

‘What’s Really Wrong With You.’ By Thomas Grinner with Maxine Nunes. ISBN 0-89529-658-6

This book was a revelation, giving a whole new dimension to my practice, and enabling me to authoritatively spout at length about cause and effect of muscular problems to any captive audience.

I can sympathise with the author, an ex-NASA Engineer applying his technically inspired logic to break out of the confines and restrictions imposed by the field of ‘evidence based’ medicine and practices, and the hauteur of the some of the practitioners thereof.

Prior to reading the book I had intuitively used his principles on one patient with surprisingly effective results, clearing up long term pain and skeletal imbalance, (detailed case note being compiled). The book enabled me to refine and integrate the technique into some of my treatments. The Bowen purists may be aghast, but I saw the principles being demonstrated at a recent Bowen workshop as part of Bowen therapy technique. I often consult the book, though due to the small illustrations I like to cross-refer to one of the anatomical books above.

A word of warning to those of you who wish to apply the technique, you need the lightest of light touches to achieve results, the deep spasm muscle is like finding a pea under a mattress, its release is equally as tricky. You can over-treat the general area by going too deep and too long into the muscle. You may lock the person into discomfort from which the body may take some time to self-heal.

‘What Doctors Don’t Tell You.’ By Lynne McTaggart. ISBN 0-7225-3042-2 (Newsletter also available.)

I first read this very early on in my training. I was firstly taken aback that the medical profession could possibly be questioned, secondly I bordered on anger that the various vested interests should so set the agenda and be economically minded with the truth. I have to take care that my anger is not transmitted to my patients, being diplomatic is part of any therapy treatment. Though I should not overly concern myself, quite a proportion of my patients see alternatives as the first call, and a doctor as the last, which I point out is not necessarily for the best, we each have something to offer. Perhaps the book would be better titled as ‘What the Medical Establishments Don’t Tell You.’ There are many enlightened and dedicated doctors out there.

It is interesting, and alarming to make a comparison with ‘Asthma drugs’ in this book with the same drugs in the next book. (Quotation; Albuterol, [Salbutamol], and Feneterol have been associated with increased risk of death or near death.)

‘New Guide to Medicines and Drugs’ Published by the British Medical Association. ISBN 0-7513-0444-1.

A very good synopsis of various conditions and explicit with the side effects of each of the drugs, though the lack of emphasis of some of the side effects is disconcerting. (Refer to the comments for asthma in the book above.)

A must for anyone in the alternative or complementary fields, as sometimes you are looking at side effects of medication. Some patients will have made themselves familiar with these effects, others may not have done. Do not cast doubt on the efficacy of the medication and do not alarm the patient. Suggest that they may care to discuss the way they feel with their Doctor.

With reference to the comment above from ‘WDDTY’ . The BMA book refers to Salbutomol;’ Possible adverse effects. ‘Anxiety/nervous tension-common. Tremor-common. Restleness-common. ‘Discuss with Doctor only if severe.’ So the question is, what causes panic attacks, asthma or the medication?

I think it is the understatement in this book that causes concern. There is also the question of over-dosing as this can aggravate the state of anxiety, yet someone into a panic attack is most likely to go for the inhaler to bring relief.

Clinical Anatomy for Medical Students. IV Edition. Richard Snell. ISBN 0-316-80135-6.

A definitive book, with case notes, with questions and answers for the student. It is an in-depth book, and appears to be based upon the authors’ extensive clinical work and teaching experience. I feel that he is able to get down to my level, a rare gift for such a highly qualified person.

I found the vast index confusing at times, the thing is to remember that a muscle is listed in alphabetical order in the ‘muscle’ section, as are the nerves, arteries, veins etc.. I once used the illustrations of conditions to diagnose and successfully treat a patient who had restricted arm movement, (winged scapula). Some of the points in the book have been incorporated into the medical questionnaire that I offer to new patients. If I were on a desert island then this would be one of the books that I would take with me.

Guardian Newspaper.

They have a G2 Section that is dedicated on a specific day to certain subjects. I have collected all the medical pages and articles, indexed them and used them as a reference work. The scope is varied and embodies some of the latest views on medical matters. I would have difficulty in obtaining this sort of information without subscribing to an expensive medical journal.

Newspaper articles in ‘Health Sections’.

I’ve been warned that some of these articles have been written by people who are paid to promote a particular ‘cure.’ I leave you to make your own judgements on this.

There are many other books that I have read, (I am fortunate that where I practice the partners have made a large investment in books, and I have free access to all these, and often browse away between patients.) I do not recognise any limitations to the acquisition of knowledge, my aim is to know enough to be able to ask the right questions.

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