What Is Bowen Therapy?

Click Here to watch Bowen Moves.

Bowen therapy is a unique bodywork modality. It uses measured inputs to the body, which stimulate the body to heal itself.

Moves done on muscles, tendons, ligaments or nerves send signals to the nervous system and the body does the rest, responding in its own time, as it is able.

Bowen therapy does not focus on a single complaint. It addresses the entire body, by restoring balance to the autonomic nervous system (ANS). The ANS controls most bodily functions and is very sensitive to external stressers. Most people today live in a continual state of high stress. Healing can occur only after the ANS is taken out of the high-stress sympathetic mode (“fight or flight”) and shifted to the parasympathetic mode (“rest and relaxation”). Bowen therapy seems to promote that shift.

Bowen therapy sessions generally last from 45 minutes to an hour. The moves are gentle, but specific, and can be done through light, loose clothing if the client prefers. Clients usually rest on a massage table or bed during the treatment, and some procedures may be done as the client stands or sits.
Between sets of moves, the practitioner takes a pause by leaving the treatment room and allowing the client’s body to respond to the work. After the nervous system begins to adjust the tension level in the muscles, the client is ready for the next set of moves.

In massage and other forms of bodywork, the practitioner imposes corrections on the client through the technique performed. In contrast, Bowen therapy allows the body to heal itself with minimal intervention. The body continues to respond to a session for four or five days. Because of this continuing response, other forms of bodywork performed up to four days before, or five days after, a Bowen therapy session may interfere with its effectiveness.

History Of Bowen Therapy

Tom Bowen, (1916 – 1982), began developing his technique in the 1950s in Geelong, Australia. He developed his technique without having any formal training in the sciences or bodywork and frequently stated his work was “a gift from God”. In the 1970s, he handpicked 6 men to follow him and study his technique. One of these men, Oswald Rentsch, at Tom’s request, began to teach the technique to others following Tom’s death. Ossie and his wife, Elaine, founded the Bowen Therapy Academy of Australia in 1987, and have practitioners in over 50 countries around the world.

For further information, please go to the international website of the Bowen Therapy Academy of Australia at www.bowtech.com or the US website at www.bowenwork.com.

What can Bowen therapy be used for?

Bowen therapy can be performed on most people, including pregnant women, babies and the elderly. It is beneficial for a wide range of conditions, from acute to chronic, depending on the individual’s capacity to heal. Many clients report that a session is very relaxing and some even fall asleep during treatment.

Just some of the conditions that often respond well to Bowen therapy include:

Back pain and sciatica Menstrual and hormonal problems
Digestive and bowel problems Neck and shoulder problems
Earache and TMJ problems Persistent heel and foot pain
Migraines and other forms of headaches Respiratory problems including asthma
Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Carpal tunnel and tennis elbow
Hip, knee, ankle and foot problems Stress