Bowen Therapy

Bowen therapy is an innovative hands-on treatment system created by Tom Bowen (1916-1982) and until recently unknown outside of its birthplace of Australia. Practiced by a small but quickly growing number of practitioners world-wide, it is most commonly used to treat musculoskeletal pain and injury, and for helping to improve posture and ease of movement. Many practitioners also value Bowen therapy for its ability to catalyze deeper chages in the organism through its relaxing and balancing effect on the body’s nervous, endocrine (hormonal), and immune systems.

Bowen therapy is a gentle form of body work in which very subtle moves performed over the muscles and connective tissue send messages deep into the body, retrieving cellular memory of a preferred, relaxed, balanced way of well being. Results can be remarkable, even from the first session, and very often only a few sessions are needed to correct the presenting problem.

Unlike many other hands-on therapies, Bowen therapy does not use forceful manipulation. The Bowen practitioner is able to sense tissue tension or the pattern of stress build-up in muscles and other soft tissue, enabling her to perform specific, subtle moves to assist recovery. There are frequent and essential pauses throughout the session that allows the body time to respond to the moves and initiate the healing process. The technique address not only the musculoskeletal framework, but also the fascia, nerves and internal organs, and the practitioner can target a specific problem or address the body as a whole, through effects such as improving circulation and lymphatic drainage (which aids in the assimilation of nutrients and elimination of toxins) and releasing nervous tension held in the body.

Is Bowen treatment appropriate for me?

Because Bowen therapy uses only gentle touch, it is extremely safe and is appropriate for all ages from the newborn to the elderly, and (with some restrictions) for pregnant women. Its minimal touch can also be used in the acute phase of extremely painful conditions such as intervertebral disc rupture, ankle sprain, or muscle sprain or spasm, to greatly reduce acute pain and to speed recovery.

Some of the conditions Bowen therapy should be considered for are:

Can I use other therapies?

Bowen therapy is compatible with virtually all concurrent medical and alternative treaments. The only exception is concurrent manual therapies (such as massage and chiropractics): because a Bowen session initiates a cascade of beneficial changes that continue for several days, other manual therapies undermine the effectiveness of the Bowen treatment and should therefore be avoided for up to a week following a Bowen treatment.

What should I expect during treatment?

During the Bowen session, the patient will lay on a bed, wearing loosely fitting clothing or underclothes if comfortable, covered with a sheet. The patient relaxes and focuses on breathing, while the therapist applies a carefully orchestrated series of gentle movements over various parts of the body, using a motion that resembles the plucking of a guitar string. A session lasts between 20 min. to an hour, and treatments are scheduled at 5 to 10 day intervals. Generally only 2 to 7 treatments are required for addressing most conditions.