I get told this a lot. Particularly by marketing people. "You should pick one kind of customer, your ideal client, and focus exclusively on them in your marketing. What kind of pain does your ideal client have?"
"Er", say I, "pain."
"But what kind of pain? Knee pain? Back pain? Neck pain? Short or long term?"
"Well... pain. Probably. Maybe not."
At about this point the marketing guru rolls their eyes and tells me that I'll never have a successful clinic unless I can define my ideal client down to the kind of shoes they wear and what their favourite flavour of crisps is, and market exclusively to them. "It's no good being a Jack-of-all-trades," they say. "People want to feel you're talking particularly to them, that you specialise in the sort of problem they have."
That may be true. In fact I know it is true, to a certain extent. To get someone's attention you need to speak directly to them. So talking about headaches to someone with a bad knee isn't going to grab them. But if I only talk to people with headaches, what about the people with bad knees, shoulders, backs, digestive systems, etc. etc. etc. Who helps them?
The thing is, this isn't how Bowen works. Bowen works on the whole body, from head to toe and from the outside in. Just because you have back pain doesn't mean the problem is in your back. It might be in your shoulder, your ankle or even in your head. (By which I mean it could be caused by trapped emotion, not that you're imagining it.) In the process of treating your back I could also relieve that niggling ache in your hip, alleviate your asthma and help you sleep better. Bowen doesn't specialise. It treats all of you, everything about you that it can treat. So I don't treat back pain, or hip pain or anything specifically - I provide improved health and wellbeing. It's probably going to be directed at something specific that's really bothering you, but it might not be and even if it is, that's not all it's going to do.
Arguably, the client doesn't care. If you have back pain you just want it to go away, regardless of why it's there in the first place. So perhaps you come to me because I'm a back pain specialist. I treat you from head to toe and your back pain goes away. Happy day.
But are you going to tell your friend, who has shoulder problems, about me? Will you recommend Bowen to someone with asthma? Are you going to come back when you injure your knee? Why would you? I specialise in back pain, and you don't have that any more.
So hundreds of potential clients don't come to me and don't get their pain or health condition relieved because they believe I only do back pain. And that is why I don't specialise, and I don't define my ideal client and I don't market exclusively to people with one kind of pain. Or any pain. Bowen can do you good even if you aren't in pain at all. It can give you more energy, help you relax and sleep, boost your immune system and control your hay fever. In fact I'm surprised every single week by the breadth and variety of what Bowen therapy can do. I saw a client today who said the treatment made them feel as though their hands and feet were glittery. It's hard to see how I could market that, since non-glittery extremities aren't usually cited as a problem.
Actually it's not true to say I don't have an ideal client. I do. It's a rich person who regularly injures themselves so has to keep coming back for more treatments. But there aren't many of those, and I don't think it's worth specialising in them. So even if you aren't rich, and you don't have back pain, please do consider having some Bowen therapy because you'll be glad you did.