How to Use Bowen Therapy to Find Underlying Causes of Pain with Phil Steward on The Healers Café with Manon Bolliger

In this episode of The Healers Café, Manon Bolliger (facilitator and retired naturopath with 30+ years of practice) speaks Phil Steward about the body has an amazing ability to heal its self if given the correct stimulus, time and diet. Happiness is not having what you want, but wanting what you have.


Highlights from today’s episode include:

Phil Steward 05:55

Yeah, I don’t believe I heal anyone. I believe I help give the people a nudge so they can fix themselves, because everyone has the ability to sort themselves out, to fix themselves. And sometimes you just need to give them a nudge.

Phil Steward

Because, you know, you can release one area of the body a lot better when you’ve taken all primal restrictions that are attached to it away. Otherwise, you can just waste a load of time trying to release an area that’s being held tight by everywhere else.

– – – – –

Phil Steward

You know, you can use simple analogies like I use the suspension bridge analogy for the Skeleton. Skeleton suspension bridge. Where a chiropractor and osteopath to try and crack the deck of the bridge, which is your skeleton back into place. Where I adjust all the cables, which are the soft tissue and if you adjust the cables, then you’ll straighten the deck of the bridge up or a bike wheel and spokes in the same analogy.


Phil has been treating people professionally for close to 25 years. Within that time, he has developed his own “Healing Massage” technique. Phil works with a holistic approach that successful helped thousands of people including celebrities and even royalty to live a pain free life and gaining him a constant waiting list! Philip studied at The Oxford School of massage, the Northern Institute of Sport Massage as well as studying Ayurvedic Massage in India, Advanced Manipulative Therapy at The Midland School. He has also studied the Bowen Technique, which he now uses to treat the majority of patients, with the world-renowned teachers Graham Pennington, Ron Phelan, Alastair McLoughlin & John Wilks. He was also invited to go to Croatia along with 10 other Bowen therapist, for 6 days intensive learning with Graham Pennington along with one of Mr. Bowen’s original apprentices, Dr. Rommney Smeeton. Phil is now very happy to be teaching the next generation of Bowen Therapist at The Assessment Led Bowen Training School.

Core purpose/passion:  I’m here on this planet to help people, to get them out of pain, to open their eyes to the truth of the world, to help heal. Passionate about assessment led Bowen, treating the central nervous system and the restrictions with in the Dura then watching the body change in dynamic ways.


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About Manon Bolliger

As a recently De-Registered board-certified naturopathic physician & in practice since 1992, I’ve seen an average of 150 patients per week and have helped people ranging from rural farmers in Nova Scotia to stressed out CEOs in Toronto to tri-athletes here in Vancouver.

My resolve to educate, empower and engage people to take charge of their own health is evident in my best-selling books:  ‘What Patients Don’t Say if Doctors Don’t Ask: The Mindful Patient-Doctor Relationship’ and ‘A Healer in Every Household: Simple Solutions for Stress’.  I also teach BowenFirst™ Therapy through Bowen College and hold transformational workshops to achieve these goals.

So, when I share with you that LISTENING to Your body is a game changer in the healing process, I am speaking from expertise and direct experience”.

Mission: A Healer in Every Household!

For more great information to go to her weekly blog:

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Welcome to the Healers Café. Conversations on health and healing with Manon Bolliger. A retired and deregistered naturopathic physician with 30 plus years of experience. Here, you will discover engaging and informative conversations between experienced healers, covering all aspects of healing, the personal journey, the journey of the practitioner, and the amazing possibilities for our own body, and spirit.

Manon Bolliger 00:04

So welcome to the Healers Cafe. And today I have the pleasure of speaking with Phil Steward. And he’s going to tell you a little bit more about his life and his accomplishments. But if I can sum it up somewhat, it looks like he has developed his own healing massage technique. And he’s trained by all kinds of amazing schools and people the Oxford School of Massage the Northend Institute of Sports Massage, as well as studying ayuverdic massage in India advanced manipulative theory at the Midland school. And then he studied Bowen technique with some of our great masters like Graham Pennington, Ron Phelan, Alister McLaughlin and John Wilkes, which we and Romney met, and I can’t forget him. Yeah, some of the amazing healers in that therapy. So, welcome. And I’m super excited because I love Bowen therapy. And as you know, I’ve been doing it for 30 years. And it’s just an incredible thing. But what is… let’s start with what got you interested in any of the field of healing?


Phil Steward 02:08

Okay, that’s actually a really easy question. And really hard. So, I just wanted to be a professional sportsman when I was younger, but I broke my back and had to have spinal surgery when I was 18. So, I had a very clear awakening that suddenly I was no longer invincible, when obviously is a testosterone field. 18-year-old, you are invincible to the world. Blah, blah, wind forward a couple of years, I was working, just doing a mundane day job, which I didn’t really enjoy. And I had loads problems with my back. And then literally, my body just fell apart. And that was it. I was laid on the bed on the floor because I couldn’t get into a bed. And I had to crawl hands and knees to the bathroom and to the kitchen. And I lived like that for about two years. So basically, the doctors at the time, looked at my X rays. After my surgery, they did the usual “Well, I don’t really know what’s going on, here’s a load of painkillers, here’s loads of Valium. Go home, make yourself comfortable, you’re probably going to be in a wheelchair by the time you’re 30”. So that was when …


I was like 20-21 that happened. So, I sulked for a couple of weeks and thought, oh my God, how could this happen to me? And then I thought, no, stop that. And I’ve laid in bed, and I figured out how to fix myself. So that’s how it…how it began. But then looking back even further. When I was a little kid, I could always get rid of my mother’s headaches and back pain. So, I had that. And then yes, I then after I just figured out how to fix myself, I decided I wanted to work as a healer, and I wanted to fix other people. And it was a very, very, very clear. Definitely that that’s what I was put on the planet to do. And I was gonna do it. So, then I had to figure out to be perfectly honest how to monetize it. So how I could work as a healer, and still have enough money to live. Walk that tightrope of of yeah, sort of like being a healer, and wanted to call myself a healer but then being open to almost like a mainstream audience, if that makes sense. So, I started working as a massage. I love when studying massage all the time just like channeling energies and working with energies inside the body. Main theory being that you couldn’t fix…you could not fix them the physical without adjusting the metaphysical. Similarly, that I didn’t believe, just working on the metaphysical, you could fix the physical working on that. And therefore, you had to combine the two together. So that was my ethos. And that’s where the journey began.


Manon Bolliger 05:14

Yeah. And that’s it. The moment I saw you, I did read what you said. I felt like there’s, there’s a kindred spirit in the path, you know. And sometimes people discover it, because they go through…life brings them some major trauma. And they, they have to figure out what they’re going to do. And that accelerates that path, both to healing and also like to recognizing, you know, because on one level, we’re healers. But really, we’re everyone’s self-heals.


Phil Steward 05:55

Yeah, I don’t believe I heal anyone. I believe I help give the people a nudge so they can fix themselves, because everyone has the ability to sort themselves out, to fix themselves. And sometimes you just need to give them a nudge.


Manon Bolliger 06:11

Yeah, it’s like, the vital energy is there. Right. So, it’s like, a facilitator of what’s already present, you know.


Phil Steward 06:17

Understand, it’s like the same way as like Bowen works as you, you activate a neurological response into the body, which basically tells the body how to fix itself. And then it sorts itself out, actually, you know, we’re just there to put markers into the body to allow the body to then recognize, oh, there is an issue here, I better go and sort it out, rather than, you know, everyone goes, Oh, you can fix me? No, I can’t, I can encourage your body to fix itself. If you give it the right diet, you give it the right breathing techniques, you give it the right hydration, you know, you give it some time and space as well. And it will sort itself out if you do those things. If you come and see me and expect me to do a couple of treatments, and then five minutes later, you’re going to be back in the gym doing the same thing. It’s not gonna work, because you’re not giving your body the space. Yeah. To do what it needs to do. Totally. So, you’re in, in the write up, you gave your talk about assessment. And I’m, I’m curious if you could expand a little bit more on what that is. Are you sure you want to go down that rabbit hole?


Manon Bolliger 07:32

Yeah, because I will make it short. I have a few questions.


Phil Steward 07:36

So, I have real issues with the way Bowen is taught and practiced. In all honesty, I mean, Tom Bowen was obviously an amazing practitioner. And he saw a lot of people a say about 60 people a day from what I understand from Romney, you know, so that’s like 30 people in the morning, 30 people in late in the evening, and if you think he’s going to do to stop us, and then bugger off, leave it two minutes, and then come back and do more and continue that way and spend an hour treating each people, there’s no way you’re going to see that number of people. And from my initial jaunt into Bowen, so I got into Bowen because I was messaging people, I was kept messaging people, I kept finding myself working the same areas. And people kept talking about Bowen it kept, you know, as it does, coming into my vision and into my peripheral. So, I got a book, actually one from John Wilkes, and I read that, and I went, Oh, this is where I’m working all these places. That’s interesting. I’m gonna go and learn this technique and amalgamate it into my treatments, because that’s just generally the way I’ve always worked, I had to learn something and then added it in with my little bit of flavor. So, it soon became apparent that actually this was giving like really, really good results a lot quicker, also easier on my body. And the reality was, is that I, you know, I was getting older, I’ve been massaging for like close to sort of 15-20 years. And you can only do so many massages a week, you can only do so many treatments a week. And then I did a few other courses because things just weren’t making sense to me. It wasn’t quite right. It was great. It was a great skeleton, but it wasn’t right. And then I did a course with Alison McLaughlin. Which the most important thing it did was gave me permission to actually say actually, you can look elsewhere. There are other ways of doing this. Because he likes to talk about different way of doing things. Then I did the workshops with Graham Pennington, and well actually no I didn’t. I tried to do a workshop with Grahamn Pennington. But I contacted him like, two weeks after he left the UK, which was not the best. So, then I saw I did, I got his book and I read his book and it was like, that’s a light bulb moment. That makes sense. So straightaway, I started practicing that way without doing the workshops, because it just made sense. Okay, this is easy. And I understood the methods of assessment made sense. And then I did the workshops with Pano and then he very graciously, or maybe in a flyaway, flippant comment said, Hey, if you ever want to come over to Australia, you can come watch me clinic. Which I then sent him an email said, Hey, Patrick, can I come to Australia, and he’s like yeah mate. He very graciously put me up in his house, and I followed him around clinic. And then I spent a day with Romney as well, in his clinic, watching him talking to him. And like, you can watch people do Bowen and it’s like watching someone play the guitar. And then you watch Romney do Bowen. And it’s like, watching someone playing the harp. It’s completely different the way it works, and to talk to him, and to get the insight into how Tom worked, was very different. And then I was very lucky to be invited with Anna and Romney, and a few other like standout therapists, to a hotel in Croatia, where we literally just spent a week talking Bowen, and going through everything that Tom did, and looking at the way Romney works, looking the way Graham works, looking the way we all work, and putting it together. And, you know, it was it was very clear that, you know, it’s elongated, and there’s a lot of fluff, when it doesn’t need to be if you can clearly analyze where the primary restrictions are within the body, and you can go and you can treat them, and you can change the body and you can sort it out, then you get very fast results. And people don’t need to be on the couch more than 15 minutes.


Manon Bolliger 12:07

So, it’s interesting. I’m glad you’re sharing that because my original training in Bowen was with BowTech, right. So, with Ozzy and that, and so that, you know, there’s a methodology that is a bit of a cookbook, and, you know, but then being who I am, and my intuitive nature and my background, understanding Chinese medicine, understanding the world of homeopathy, and you know, how the body is only just a piece of the whole big puzzle. I ended up approaching Bowen therapy myself very differently than how I was taught it, which was very taboo. So I lost my teaching position, which is fine, because, you know, one thing opens up the door for everything else. And then I did follow all the people that you’re mentioning, and Ron, you know, feeling is, you know, very much in touch with me, because he used to travel to North America more easily. So, I mean, that’s the thing is that there’s always pieces and parts, but whatever you know as a background, will home in your skills much faster. Right? You know, that’s how it is. Right? You know, so that’s why I forgot who it was now. He says, it was one of the Bowen therapists I think he was a chiropractor, and but he said, it is an endlessly evolving art. And, it is, like all art, you know, it cannot be standing still. And, you know, maybe the entrance for some people is the simple thing. Because sure, it works, you know, to a point, but if you want to get insane results, you’ve got to expand, you got to bring in everything that you know, that’s out there that you know, so, yeah, I’m thrilled you’re doing this.


Phil Steward 14:14

Right. You want to know exactly where you’re aiming the treatment. And you have to be able to read the body. Read the person in front of you. And there’s yeah, there’s a myriad of skills. And if you think you’re just going to one way then you’re full, I believe. It’s not paint by numbers and procedure, because we’re not all textbook, we’re all different. And therefore, it has to…it has to flow differently. And I truly believe that the more I work, the better I get at reading the body. And also, kind of like following the pathways of restrictions like sometimes you have to release the neck you have to do the jaw to take the tension off another bit of the body to release that, so you’re kind of doing everything backwards, because you need to figure out almost like the flow of restriction within the body. Because, you know, you can release one area of the body a lot better when you’ve taken all primal restrictions that are attached to it away. Otherwise, you can just waste a load of time trying to release an area that’s being held tight by everywhere else. But then, yeah, there’s many other sorts of nuances sort of metaphysical work, I think that go with it. And that the, as you touched on the TCM, like moving the chair around the body as well, and also, like working on the sort of Chi in the primer on the outside of the body is really important. Yeah, and I love it. I love doing that to get completely lost in it. It’s absolutely great.


Manon Bolliger 15:50

Yeah, it’s funny, because I, I’m so glad to find a Bowen therapist with experience, and you treated, you know, at least it was I think it was worth massage. Like pretty famous people, you’ve had lots of experience out there, right? Even I think the, the Royal, the Royals, right? That’s in your write up. So, it’s really great to somebody who’s actually been around the block, you know, talking about something larger than what it appears on one level, and I find that this, there’s another dimension to this work that I feel is often missed. Not so much by the, the main practitioners who do it, but we, I think we forget the mind body connection, people are in Bowen that when you’re reading the body, you’re reading the person. And but when the person speaks about their story and what’s going on for them, you’re picking up other clues. Because we’re, you know, we’re one totality. And so, one of the things I’ve been doing with my college is, is teaching how to listen literally, to your patient, and therefore to your body. Because I think that’s an angle that isn’t emphasized enough, unless you’re born with it, you know, or you, like you realize you were a healer. And I’m putting that under brackets, but you had a capacity to connect with your mom that allowed her to receive a healing that no drugs or other things could reach, you know. So, I think there’s definitely more and I think we’re starting this incredible era now, where I see Bowen expanding massively. on that level, you know, I don’t know what’s maybe I’m just over enthusiastic.


Phil Steward 17:59

Honestly, I mean, I’ve had loads of treatments over my time from my back, and I trained a lot of modalities. And I can do a lot of work. But I haven’t found anything that’s got the capacity to change people so rapidly, nor if applied correctly and properly. The ability to be able to read and understand that asymptomatic body, so you can I find it, it’s a pleasure to treat the maintenance people. Because they come up, I’m fine. I feel great. I feel great. I’m still doing really good. Wonderful. Phil Yeah. My back hasn’t been hurting you at all and getting on the couch again. Okay, see what problem is here. And yeah, so I’m not looking for an area of pain to treat like 95% of therapists in the world. They go, you know, you go oh my neck hurts. They look to treat your neck shoulder for blah, blah, as you know, like whether it’s chiropractic osteopathy, physio, doctor, but with Bowen, and with the assessment lead sort of techniques of Bowen. You can look at it and go actually use it actually got a problem in your jaw here, then that’s throwing all the lines of tension out which is throwing your pelvis out throwing it back out your game, you know, your sciatica might come back if we don’t sort this out, so sorted out and learn the whole nother six weeks so great. To be able to do that is amazing, and it’s probably why I’m sure you did as well when you were in practice. Why you get such amazing feedback from all the people that no one could help. Cause they’ve been to everyone. And that’s the thing. It’s like, I still seem to be last resort for a lot of people, because they have tried everything else person they wait until Uncle Jack tells them about this guy. Have people phone up and go I’ve been told to see Phil. So, do you know what I do? I haven’t got clue. But so and so said You’re amazing. And I’ve got to see, and they don’t know and that’s what I’m really trying to get out. Is this sort of like real high quality of treatment that is out there, hence, I started a school to teach it. Teach it from assessment. So, I teach the assessment.


Manon Bolliger 20:11

Oh, Fantastic


Phil Steward 20:13

As the ground rule, so the ground is teaching assessment is reading the body, you learn all the Bowen moves, then you learn how to cherry pick the Bowen moves to the assessments that you’ve, you’ve picked up, and how and then the tactile recognition of tissues and as you say, the body. So, like completely opposite to the protocol based, sort of paint by numbers thing. And because I’ve got this, this desire to change it, because I was fed up with people coming to see me who said, I’ve had Bowen, it’s useless. It doesn’t do anything, I’ve had it before I didn’t do anything for me, I treat them get home has nothing like what I’ve had before, is the same as that when, you know when and I was watched Romney work and you know, he’s treating people in like, seven, eight minutes. And you’re seeing him you kind of recognize it. And then you watch Peno work and you see the way he works, and he’s like, everyone’s gone in like 10-15 minutes. And you know, it’s Bowen, but it’s not. It’s so clear. It’s so focused, and it is the, you know, if we have a precise target, and we know where we’re aiming, we can hit it and the body changes, rather than sort of the protocols, the home is fine as a bit of a sort of scattergun 12 ball. But if we shoot everywhere, hopefully one of them will hit. It doesn’t shoot somewhere else next time. And hopefully, that will hit. I think some therapists are good, and they can see it, and they can figure out what needs to go. And then there’s other there’s a lot of just like almost, I had one guy who came to follow me around the clinic, because he had heard, he said, he’s treating Bowen he said, thing is I just feel I’m getting lucky now and again, I don’t really know what I’m doing. Which was quite savvy for like, I think he’s like, 27-28 year old guy. So, it’s like, really interesting to have him follow around the clinic and him just go, okay. I like this and this and it’s just like, yeah, every pen notebook.


Manon Bolliger 22:20

Yeah, so I was gonna say it too. Because when I talked to Romney, and I actually had him work on me, this was in Chicago when he came. It is different, like I you know, but it’s same-ish. But, but the basics, what we called the basics, at least in the old school, it is more like just an assessment of the whole body, it’s getting familiar. That’s how I teach it anyway, like, just say that, then you know, what the field is, but not but…and I have seen, you know, patients of mine and clients who have learned that understanding the context and my context is much larger than when it’s taught simply as a physical modality. Because I put the context of the whole person, I have seen lots of changes with that. And you know, and so I, I feel that it’s important to know that at least, any person, a lay person, a person without training can help others with something so simple.


Commercial Break 23:44

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Manon Bolliger 24:28

You know, the more you know, the more if you understand Chinese medicine, if you understand meridian lines, if you understand how fascia works if you if you get in the background of you know, and I was gonna say what are the assessment schools that are…that informs your assessment technique. How are you? You know, because if I use chiropractic one, which we’ve been trained in, you know, it wouldn’t really help that much


Phil Steward 25:00

Okay, so obviously I’ve done loads throughout my time. I use grams method. Assessing the jewel jack. So, assessing the tension within the central nervous system, because central nervous system controls everything. Whether it’s an organ not functioning or a muscle, there’s two tight, you know, people come in and go, I trained too much, and I hurt my leg. And so now my quads is one that as your quads tight, if you break it down to somebody, there’s a muscle telling it to be tight, sorry, a nerve telling it to be tight. And that central nervous system controls everything. So, within that responsibility, dos flexing fee to stress the membranes around the spine to irritate the dura, to when you create that irritation creates an irritation of tissues, which basically heights one side up, makes one leg appear shorter than the other, you can assess through doing that. And then, so the goal is no irritation to the dura mater. So, no irritation to the central nervous system, which then allows the body to sit straight everything to function as it should. And then the body temp generally facilitates its own healing. So, there’s that. And then as you sort of brilliantly sort of mentioned earlier, that the first part of bodywork that I teach when I teach the course, so to cycle the backward, so I literally do, you know, the bottom stoppers, or what you would call BRM, one two, you know, one and two.


Manon Bolliger 26:36

I actually call them a anomic integration moves.


Phil Steward 26:40

Well, I just called them the assessment back, I square it back a body assessment, you know, when you do the moves over, primarily your moves are twofold, first of all is their diagnostic. And then if the tissue feels too tight, you then change your mental emphasis on the move and your intention to then make it a therapeutic move, which will release the tissues. So basically, it’s almost like you skirt through everything. So, you’re feeling the whole body all that fit tight, and will really work on that that’s a bit tight. So, when you create this mental map of where the tight areas are within the body, and then that builds up clues as to what’s going on within everything when you add it with to you know, add it into assessment as well. To put the assessment is the visual assessment of the journal drag and the restrictions within membrane and then the tactile assessment of actually what you feel and your fingers and having that ability to feel what is what is too tight. What is too loose. What’s just right.


Manon Bolliger 27:48

So, what is your feeling or your experience, comparing not comparing…I don’t, because to me, they’re all inputs that are wonderful. But Pennington’s focus on the dura and also the tailbone the coccyx compared to Ron’s primary understanding of the TMJ. Like how do you see…because I know they’ve discussed it many times. What is your experience working with that? And or do you use that?


Phil Steward 28:25

Yeah, yeah, I do. I find, basically to first and foremost, their lover brothers. The lover brother connection, the neurological connection of one on to the other. So, if you have an issue in one, you’re going to have a compensatory issue or a secondary issue in the other. Yeah. So, I don’t really think you can treat one without treating the other.


Manon Bolliger 28:49

Oh, I agree. I met more assessment wise. Like in your assessment, do you? Do you assess all things coccyx?


Phil Steward 28:59

Yeah, I assess all things. But primarily, if, if my assessment shows up, there is an issue within the upper jaw connection. So whether it be the TMJ, or the scalene, or the sternocleidomastoid, or even like the sub Oxford’s, if there’s an issue within that upper jaw that takes priority that has to be cleared first, to allow you to get a clear read of what happens because often you can have a screening process that says hold on, there’s a problem in the bottom and there’s a problem in the top so you got something in the lower jaws, the bottom and the back and something in the top. You have to sort the top out first to allow you to get clear reading and what happens at the bottom. But I believe you have to treat both. You can’t… I don’t and if quite often I will have to work on the lower back because nothing shows up in the neck and the jaw and it doesn’t even feel tight. And then you can release coccyx deviation and suddenly the territories are one sided their rock hard, and everything is really tight because like literally, one pattern is just released and boom, another one’s showing straight away. Yeah. So I believe you have to do it all. I think there’s a holistic thing that you have to do it all. And that’s why I said earlier is getting the order, right. Because you have if you don’t get the order of releasing tissues right, you are sending someone off halfcocked.


Manon Bolliger 30:21

It just doesn’t work. Yeah.


Phil Steward 30:23

Half released. And the other half is is still there.


Manon Bolliger 30:27

Yeah. Anyway, oh, it’s so much fun talking about Bowen. So, tell it tell us something that you have found that you have been surprised that could heal. Like, you know, I mean, I know there’s miracles every day. And I call them miracles, because I’m always amazed. But what does have is something that you did not think could be touched? You know?


Phil Steward 31:00

Too many.


Manon Bolliger 31:01

Too many. Okay, well…


Phil Steward 31:06

Honestly, there’s too many there was a lady actually, probably three, four weeks ago, who I saw, and she said she’s quite elderly. And she smokes like a chimney. So, in my experience, usually when people smoke, it’s really, really bad. And she had full lock on trigger finger. And really bad RSI. And I’ve treated it before and successfully, and it’s not a problem. And it just is really, really slow. And after that one treatment she came back and said Miracle Worker, it’s gone. So, you know, I know it’s just a little trigger finger is a little trigger finger. But usually in my experience, because that tendon was so rigid, it was so thick, and that all the way up the arm, for it to go so quickly, was phenomenal. I mean, I’ve had like literally a…I don’t know how they say these days, but a chronic asthmatic who has like asthma attacks, weekly. Usually once a month ends up in hospital, three treatments, he’s started surfing again and running and is absolutely, you know…who lives totally changed. Early 60s. Mad, autonomic, mad nervous problem and a young girl where she couldn’t walk and she lost the use of her legs. And just yeah, came back to treatments just back to fine back to normal running around the playground again, just so many different. Yeah, it’s daily is people with chronic back problems who don’t have a life. And yet, you know, four or five treatments later, they’re fine. It’s like, my god, what a difference. You know, I’ve thought I was like that for the rest of my life. Yeah, it is. It’s sometimes the most simple things that flabbergast me, but honestly, I’ve had so many that I wouldn’t really know. It’s normal now. Whereas when I was doing massage, it’d be unthinkable now it’s just normal. It’s just every day.


Manon Bolliger 33:07

It’s so hard to get that across, you know, to people, because when, you know, I mean, I understand a day like that. And it’s like, they know it, they feel it. And that’s why so many times you get a referral from people directly, but you know, for them to say what is it you did? Is challenging in words, you know, like, or if they tried to get there, not that I care, but you know, to get their doctor on board or to you know, any of that it’s very challenging for people to explain, Well, you know, he or she barely touched me and then 20 years of pain, and I went to the Mayo Clinic, and it’s gone. And, you know, it’s like, it seems unthinkable, but it’s like, that’s the beauty of our body. If we if we can tap into it, literally. There’s no reason why it can’t heal, you know, I mean, like your broken back.


Phil Steward 34:11

The body can sort itself out if it’s given the right input. And that’s how I described to people I do I always say I swear quite a lot. I believe in Einstein’s saying that. He said, If you can’t explain something simply enough, you don’t understand it well enough. And I truly believe in that. So, I don’t have a problem explain to people what I do. I think I do a pretty good job of that.


Manon Bolliger 34:40

But what do you say to them.


Phil Steward 34:42

Generally, I say to them, Well, you know what I do? I haven’t got a clue what you do. Okay, right. So, first of all, I’m going to assess you to figure out what’s going on in your body. I tell them if they want to know how I’ll explain how I assess them and the reasoning behind it. I said then I’ll do these little moves. So now these moves will well excuse My French, they appear to do f*** all But what they actually do is they fire up nerve endings within your body, that then tells your body how we want it to change because your body will change itself. So, we’ll do all these moves. And then when I feel the body starts to change, because you can, when you’re tuned, assuming you can feel the kick in the body, and it’s like a sign to change, that’s the time you give it, give it a gap, give it some time. So, I could literally, you know, work on someone’s back, turn over, do their neck, do their jaw, and then I’ll further change, or it might be like, just by doing the low blockers and just two moves, and I can feel the change. But I do the moves, I feel it changed. I said right now just give your body a couple minutes, because then it’s got time to change. It’s like giving it new programming, give programming, and now it’s installing. And then I’ll come back and continue. And when we’ve got the body into the place of where your nervous systems not being interfered with and not being restricted, then you’re good to go. And we’ll see you the week after. So, I believe you can explain to people really easily, but then you have people like my wife who really have since a year and Jenny works walk around flip people. My wife says I just walk around flicking people


Manon Bolliger 36:19

I was looking for easier explanation, just like that.


Phil Steward 36:22

I believe if you speak to people in plain English, and you don’t try and baffle them, you can explain it and they’ll understand. And then as you progress with your treatment and you progress with the client, then you kind of like add all the layers. And you can explain how it affects the fascia. Explain how it affects you know, the muscles, the ligaments, the tendons. You know, you can use simple analogies like I use the suspension bridge analogy for the Skeleton. Skeleton suspension bridge. Where a chiropractor and osteopath to try and crack the deck of the bridge, which is your skeleton back into place. Where I adjust all the cables, which are the soft tissue and if you adjust the cables, then you’ll straighten the deck of the bridge up or a bike wheel and spokes in the same analogy. You know, if you can use simple analogies that people understand, then they get it and most people go oh, yes. Just it’s common sense actually, isn’t it? Yeah. Yeah. I can understand why you’ve treated my neck to do my shoulder now. Well, yeah.


Manon Bolliger 37:31

Yeah. That’s a good, I like, the bridge one. Yeah, I use the spine. And I just say, Well, you know, we kind of did the opposite of what chiropractors do. We relaxed the nervous system that relaxes the muscles that allows the bones to go back into the right positioning, you know, and even that is, it’s simple enough. You know, it’s, I mean, there’s more nuance to it, of course, but like you said, in time, you can always get there. Okay, my last question, to you. There’s too much sun in here. There’s not usually a BC problem. At least that’s what we tell tourists, so that not too many people come. First, have you had any experience with the people who have had some of the neurological issues that have come in the last year and a half or so? I have not had any because I’m not in practice. I’m just very curious


Phil Steward 38:43

A lot. Yeah, a lot. There’s been a lot in the last year or so. What I’ve really noticed is a lot of people who’ve had ongoing health problems which are under control have come back up to the surface, no longer under control, and like all at once. So, I’ve definitely seen that. I’ve seen massive rises in in anxiety as well. Yeah. Which is terrifying, especially in little people in kids. What’s happened for kids’ mental health is disgusting. Considering you know, how they didn’t have to be affected by anything. But yeah, I have seen an awful lot but also treat what you find, you know, getting on the couch to what you find. Often you get, you know, really good results and sometimes, you know, maybe these things happen for a reason. And you know, maybe things shook up and made be made worse to allow you to get a handle on them and, and help things out the way but there’s yeah, there’s been actually a real scary increase of of real so horrid, horrid illnesses and what I’ve really, really noticed is a lot of my more senior patients that are really vital and strong. And, you know, just thought they, you know, they’re just, they just withered so rapidly. Now, suddenly they’re, you know, 15-20 years older in appearance in the space of like, you know, 18 months, and you just thought, Oh, my God, how is this happened? And it’s not one, it’s the majority of them is they’re all just like, so many other health problems coming up.


Manon Bolliger 40:43

Well. I mean, the, you know, the ongoing research that is coming definitely is showing, like 1000-fold increase in cancers and autoimmune diseases, like so many other things, but I am


Phil Steward 40:59

The strokes and heart attacks.


Manon Bolliger 41:01

Oh, yeah. But those unfortunately, they may not make it to your office, right? You know, but you would, you would, this is the actually, it’s…I have a lot of hope, generally, in, you know, when people come in with so called incurable conditions, whether it’s MS all that I don’t see it that way, and I’ve seen that people the body can heal. But I get a little confused, I think when I know that part of what has gone into people, the toxins, the whole…now that we have access to what’s actually in here, I see it’s so toxic, can the body still get rid of all this, you know, and I guess that’s the piece I I want to hear that it can because I no longer have the pleasure of helping people and seeing it for myself, you know. And what’s interesting is that the medical establishment and some of the most amazing doctors that have spoken out that have lost their license and all of this, because of their training, they’re not seeing many ways out of this, you know, it is very doom and gloom. And I just can’t help with something like Bowen or, you know, homeopathy or these sorts of therapies that already have unbelievable results. Surely, they can accelerate the, you know, the cleansing pathways, the detox, the, you know, all the things that are necessary, at least this is what I would like to know, as possible.


Phil Steward 42:55

Yeah, I think there has to be an awful lot involved, I think people A have to accept it, B have to want to change it. And then I think, in order to change, it is totally possible. But it requires the want to, the will to, and then, you know, there’s environmental factors that have to change, you know, you can change your practices of, you know, what you consume, the food you eat, the water you eat. And a lot of what we consider as a healthy diet is not healthy for us. And a lot of people think that eating really healthy when in fact, they’re not helping themselves at all. So that’s a whole different question to get into. But then also you can look at, like a lot of, you know, the sort of the breathing techniques and the way to sort of like vitalize your chi and your prana. And it’s…you can do amazing things and change your body completely if you want to, I mean, just like ask any Wim Hof practitioner. So don’t ask me. But, but you know, there’s people out there who just do from whatever practice I truly believe is right for them, and that they really use with intention, whether it’s yoga or chi gong or, you know, cold water, swimming or just just breathing and having, you know, eating healthy stuff, putting good stuff into your body, you know, whether it’s therapies as well as your fuel in your body as well. You can change yourself if you want to, but if you don’t want to, and if more importantly, you don’t believe the reasoning behind it. You don’t see the big picture. I don’t believe you can move forward, but I’ve treated enough people who have you know, they said that they did certain things in the last few months that were a mistake and they’ve been ill ever since and yet, you know, they’ve moved forward, and we’ve got really good results. But it’s not…it’s their body and they have to put more than my input into it. I can be part of a puzzle. Yes, like any healer can be. But as you know, if you want to fix yourself, you got to want to fix yourself. You can’t put…you can’t just like push it all off to someone else and say do it for me. No. Yeah.


Manon Bolliger 45:28

But I’m gonna leave this. I know, I think I’ll leave those last words to you because I think it really is…there’s got to be the well, there’s got to be the taking responsibility.


Phil Steward 45:40

Yeah, it does. You know, there has to be the desire to change your life. And it doesn’t matter if you’re giving up smoking or getting fit. You know, it doesn’t matter what the desire to change is. That what we want to change, you can change and change your life. If you want to sit back and be ambivalence about it. No one’s going to come up with a magic wand and change your life


Manon Bolliger 46:01

Or another pill. So, thank you so much, and I know it’s really late for you, but I really appreciate our time together.


Phil Steward 46:12

No worries. Thanks for the chat.


ENDING: 41:33

Thank you for joining us at the Healers Café with Manon Bolliger. Continue your healing journey by visiting and her website and discover how to listen to your body and reboot optimal health or

  * De-Registered, revoked & retired naturopathic physician, after 30 years of practice in healthcare. Now resourceful & resolved to share with you all the tools to take care of your health & vitality!