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Bowen Therapy


Bowen Therapy also known as the Bowen Technique - is an Australian system of healing that was developed in the early 1950's by Mr Tom Bowen. Treatment is gentle & non-invasive & can help with a broad range of conditions and illnesses.
Bowen Therapy

In This Article
History How does it work?
A typical appointment Timings/ Cost/ Sessions
Is it right for you?
 
Bowen Therapy, also know as Bowen Technique, was developed by Australian Thomas Ambrose Bowen in the mid-20th century. Bowen had no formal medical training and his interest in massage and soft-tissue manipulation started from his love of sport. Bowen would observe sports trainers treating athletes and footballers. From his observations, he developed his own techniques to treat colleagues at the cement factory where he worked.

In 1957, Bowen set up his first clinic at the home of Rene Horwood. Horwood was the wife of Bowen\'s co-worker and benefited from Bowen Therapy after suffering a stroke. Rene Horwood later became his business manager and helped develop Bowen Therapy further. By the 1970s, Bowen Therapy was helping nearly 250 people a week and in 1974 Bowen allowed natural therapist Oswald Rentsch to train with him and document his treatment techniques.

Whilst practising and developing Bowen Therapy, Bowen and Rentsch called themselves 'osteopaths' but when regulations changed to stipulate that osteopaths have formal qualifications, they changed their title to 'manual therapist'. Ironically, Australia now has a recognised diploma qualification in Bowen Therapy. After Bowen's death in 1982, in 1986 Rentsch fulfilled his promise to teach the Bowen Technique throughout Australia and New Zealand and introduced Bowen Therapy to America and the UK.


Bowen Therapy works directly on the muscles, ligaments and tendons releasing tension and enabling the body to heal itself. Using gentle techniques, and allowing soft-tissue to rest after each technique is applied, Bowen Therapy treats the body as a whole by correcting structural problems, increasing energy levels and aiding pain relief.

Healing takes place as the nervous system responds to the manipulation of the soft-tissue. The Bowen therapist applies gentle rolling movements that trigger electrical impulses in the nerve endings, sending information to the brain. The body is then rested to allow absorption of the information and time to respond to it. After this brief period of rest, further movements can be applied.

Bowen Therapy looks to return the body to its natural state by releasing blockages. The Bowen Technique is beneficial to musculo-skeletal function and respiratory or circulatory problems. The deep levels of relaxation also benefit the immune and hormonal systems.


Be prepared - It is advisable to choose a Bowen Therapy practitioner who is a member of, or is accredited by, an association or professional body. This ensures your Bowen Therapy session is carried out in a suitable environment and by someone who has received formal training and ongoing development. Members are also bound to a code of ethics and practice. The main Bowen Therapy organisations are listed at the foot of this article. On finding a Bowen Therapy practitioner, ask about their expertise and testimonials from previous clients.

Be aware that Bowen Therapy requires the practitioner to be hands-on and you may need to be fully or partially undressed during the treatment. If you are uncomfortable with this, the techniques can be applied through clothing but make sure to wear something that is loose and thin.

Exercise should be avoided on the day of your Bowen Therapy session and it is advisable not to drink alcohol. You may have been asked to complete a medical questionnaire so remember to take this along to your appointment.


What to expect - Bowen Therapy takes place in a warm and quiet environment with soft lighting to aid relaxation. During your first appointment your Bowen therapist will spend time discussing your medical history and assessing your suitability to the treatment. They will then explain the therapy and the course your treatment will take.

Bowen Therapy usually takes place with you lying down on a massage couch or bed but if this proves difficult it can be carried out with you in a sitting position. Pillows or cushions will be used to support pregnant women and some Bowen practitioners use a special couch that can recline to 45 degree angle.

The therapy begins with your practitioner performing sequences of gentle movements on the skin. These sequences, known as 'procedures', take place in groups on between two and eight points of the body. The pressure is gentle although you may feel a twinge as it is applied. After each procedure, the Bowen therapist will allow the body time to rest and respond before commencing with the next group of movements.

The sensations you will experience during Bowen Therapy may include heat, tingling or a feeling that the therapist's hands are still applying pressure, even though they have stopped. Most would agree that Bowen Therapy is deeply relaxing and releases tension throughout the body.

Bowen therapy releases toxins in the body so it is advisable to drink plenty of water after your session to flush them out. Another important aspect to the effectiveness of your treatment is to rest and avoid heavy exertion afterwards. You may experience emotional changes or muscle aches after receiving Bowen Therapy but however disruptive this may feel, it is a sign of the body responding to the treatment.


Bowen Therapy sessions generally last between 45 and 60 minutes. Your first session may take longer as the Bowen therapist discusses your medical history and explains the therapy to you.

The cost for Bowen Therapy varies so check with your local practitioner before making an appointment. Rates obviously vary depending upon the area of the country but expect to pay £30 - £70 for session. Home visits are sometimes available but be aware that these may incur additional costs.

Bowen Therapy has proven to give results after 3-5 sessions. Chronic problems that have developed over a number of months may take longer to treat. Even after problems have been treated, many people continue to use Bowen Therapy for injury prevention and to benefit overall health.


Bowen Therapy is a non-invasive, gentle therapy and extremely safe when carried by a trained Bowen Therapy practitioner. Many sports men and women choose Bowen Therapy over other remedial therapies. Children in particular have benefited from Bowen Therapy as the methods used mean they don't have to be still for too long.

There are certain Bowen Therapy procedures that should not be carried out on pregnant women and the therapy should be avoided during the first trimester of the pregnancy.

Consult with your GP and Bowen Therapy practitioner about any problems or concerns you have as they are trained to recognise what can and cannot be treated with the therapy.



This therapy or modality may help with:

Abdominal Pain Allergies Arthritis
Asthma Back Pain Blood pressure
Breathing disorders Catarrh Chronic Fatigue
Chronic Pain Constipation Diarrhoea
Digestive Problems Disc Problems Ear Ache
Flat Feet Frozen Shoulder Headaches
Heart Burn Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Joint Pain
Lumbago Multiple Sclerosis MS Muscle Cramps
Neck pain Neck stiffness Osteoporosis
Repetitive strain injury Rheumatism Sciatica
Scoliosis Shoulder pain Sinusitis
Spinal Injury Sports injuries Sprain (Ankle, Knee)
Stomach cramps Whiplash

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Featured Bowen Therapy Practitioners

Sample Of Practitioners By Location
Bowen Therapy London

About Therapist Qualifications

The Bowen Association (BA(uk)) The Bowen Association (BA(uk)) More Info Association of Physical & Natural Therapies (APNT) Association of Physical & Natural Therapies (APNT) More Info

 

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