Bowen Technique - Information about this Therapy

Information about this Therapy


It is a system of subtle and precise mobilizations called " Bowen moves " over muscles, tendons, nerves and fascia. The moves are performed using the thumbs and fingers applying only gentle, non invasive pressure. A treatment consists of a series of specific sequences of moves called procedures, with frequent pauses to allow time for the body to respond.

The art of Bowen is somewhere between the art of Zen calligraphy and Homeopathic medicine. The practitioner must strive to do the minimum of moves or procedures to trigger in the body the desired self healing response. Doing too many mobilizations could actually be counteractive. The sicker the patient is or the more acute the condition is, the less is done during the session and the less pressure will be used to do the moves, the more profound the effect will be on the body. One motto of the technique is "Less is more" and the therapist must sense when enough has been done.


To get a sense of what a move done over a muscle feels like, place your right thumb over the center of your left biceps as you keep your left arm relaxed in it's natural position along the side of your body:

  1. Moving the thumb horizontally, draw the skin slack gently from the center of the muscle to its medial edge (towards your chest).
  2. The muscle is challenged for several seconds by applying a gentle lateral pressure (away from the chest) against its medial edge. Here the muscle fibers and its fascia are disturbed from their neutral position and slightly stretched.
  3. pressing gently towards the core of the muscle and using the skin slack available, roll your thumb laterally (away from the chest) across the biceps just like a bicycle wheel rolling over a speed bump. As the thumb roll over and across the muscle gently compressing it, it will react by springing back to its neutral position.

This typical Bowen move is the core of the techniqueand can be applied with some adaptation throughout the body in specific locations and in prescribed sequences to affect specific body systems (digestion, lymph circulation, respiratory apparatus...) or body parts (pelvis, TMJ, shoulder, knee...). Sounds simple! Well it is simple, but the practitioner must develop with practice a keen sense of the tension in the tissue. This will tell him exactly where stress has built up in the tissue and how much pressure to use, where and when to do a move to release that stress.


Since the main goal of the technique is to stimulate the body to engage its own self healing mechanismit can be used effectively to reduce rehabilitation time after any illness, surgery or injury regardless of how old or recent it may be.

The Bowen Technique does not seek to treat specific condition or disease but rather to gently stimulate the body to heal itself. The following list of diagnosed conditions comes from claims of patients worldwide that found relief from such conditions. The policy of the Bowen Therapy Academy of Australia is to seek medical opinion whenever necessary .

Bowen Therapeutic Technique

A powerful yet gentle remedial therapeutic technique that is non-invasive and empowers the body to heal itself.

The Bowen technique is not necessarily a long term treatment programme. Most clients find that a small number of treatments are adequate even for long-standing complaints.

A session usually lasts about an hour and consists of a series of gentle, light and precise moves on the skin or through light clothing. Bowen has been referred to as 'homeopathic physiotherapy' however no one can completely explain its holistic effect and often outstanding results.

Bowen is safe to use on anyone from the new-born to the elderly. Some of the wide range of conditions that may respond well are :-

  • Musculo skeletal conditions of the spine and limbs : acute or chronic, post traumatic or post surgery or from a more arthritic origin (lumbar, thoracic, cervical pain and related muscle spasms and loss of mobility).
  • Sports injuries : ankle, shin splints, runner knees, adductor and hamstring strain, rotator cuff injuries, tennis elbows....
  • pelvic imbalances : tilt, leg length, hip pain and imbalance, inguinal and groin pain.
  • Frozen shoulder : capsulitis, rotator cuff, arthritis.
  • Whiplash from car accidents : receiving Bowen treatment immediately following accident will greatly speed recovery.
  • Sacro iliac pain and imbalances : post traumatic or related to pregnancy.
  • Coccyx pain: from trauma or after giving birth.
  • Migraine/headaches from stress and tension, structural and postural imbalance or digestive origin.
  • Hamstrings: tension, stiffness and strain.
  • pregnancy : before(to help the body go through all its changes and help prepare for the labor), during (to assist labor) and after for both mother(quicker recovery) and baby (crankiness, colic, projectile vomiting...)
  • TMJ : pain and tension in the jaw.
  • Knee pain : meniscus, strain.
  • Ankle : strain, sprain.
  • Elbow :related to tennis, golf or computer use .
  • Sterno costal pain from sprung or cracked rib.
  • Sciatica
  • Herniated disks
  • Chronic pain syndrome, Fibromyalgia. ..
  • Menstrual pain , irregular cycle, pMS.
  • Breast pain : related to pMS, mastitis, irregular milk supply.
  • Carpal tunnel and Repetitive stress injury .
  • Digestive problems : constipation, diarrhea, liver/gall bladder congestion and pain
  • Bed wetting .
  • Respiratory conditions : Asthma, hay fever allergies, emphysema, cold & flu ,sinus congestion. A Bowen treatment at the first signs of a cold can very often stop it.
  • Kidney : water retention, stone, assist kidney function.
  • Foot pain : hammer toes, halux valgus (bunion), plantar fasciatis...
  • Incontinence (adult)
  • prostate .
  • Infertility : male or female
  • Scoliosis and kyphosis pain .
  • ADD/Hyperactivity .
  • Neurological conditions : Bell's palsy, cerebral palsy, polyo, stroke, muscular dystrophy, parkinson, torticolis, multiple sclerosis...... these conditions over repeated series of sessions will respond to varying degree depending on severity. Often patients have show gradual improvement of their condition and of their quality of life.
  • Heart conditions : chest pain, angina...
  • Detox from drugs : I have seen patient's detoxifying even after years of not using any drug.

Note : Often patients come to the Bowen Technique after having tried many other modalities to no avail. If a patient has not responded to other forms of therapy, it is always worth giving the Bowen Technique a try as it has shown to trigger in many patients sometimes surprising and unexpected recovery when noting else had worked. A young man in France in his early twenties who was born with the right half of his body paralysed and spastic was able to recover full use of his right arm and write with his right hand after receiving 10 Bowen sessions !!!


Animals respond very well to the Bowen Technique from cats to horses and cattle, so much for the placebo effect!!!

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