What is Bowen Technique

About Bowen

The Bowen Technique is a light touch holisitic therapy consisting of small rolling moves made on very precise points in the body. There is no forcible manipulation of hard tissue making the Bowen Technique a very gentle therapy that is suitable for all, from newborns to the elderly. Treatment can also be given throughout pregnancy. Due to it not being an evasive therapy, the Bowen Technique can be performed through light clothing rather than skin; it is down to each clients individual preference. In my experience, the Bowen Technique can have a positive effect on both physical and emotional issues and find that the majority of my clients find a session very relaxing. If you are looking for a therapy that is gentle to receive whilst also being very effective, then the Bowen Technique may be just what you are looking for.

tom bowen
Tom Bowen                                                                                                                      

The Bowen Technique was developed by the late Tom Bowen in Australia in the 1950’s and was brought to the UK in the 1990’s. The Bowen Technique is a holistic, hands on therapy that can be performed through light clothing as well as on skin. As a holistic therapy, the Bowen Technique takes into account the body as a whole rather than focusing on a specific condition that a person may present with. Working in this way means that any referred issues you may be experiencing will also be addressed by treatment with the aim to rebalance the whole body.

The Move

The Bowen Move

The Bowen Technique is applied using very gentle rolling moves with fingers and thumbs on precise points of the body. The Bowen move is very distinctive and is applied at very precise points on the body. It involves the movement of soft tissue in a specific way. The move is a rolling-type move of the thumbs and forefingers, and is designed to stimulate the tissue and nerve pathways, creating a focus for the brain. The move does not slide or flick over the surface of the skin, but uses the slack in the overlying skin to move over the underlying tissue, so each move covers a small area, defined by how far an individual’s skin can move over a targeted area.

The Breaks and Processing Time

There is absolutely no manipulation or adjustment of hard tissue making the Bowen Technique a subtle and relaxing therapy to receive. It is believed that the Bowen Technique prompts the body to repair and rebalance itself. To aid the body to do this, breaks of a few minutes are taken regularly throughout a treatment. During these breaks, the therapist may leave the room to give the body time to process any information. This element of allowing the body to rest for a few minutes initiates the process of repair and is important. The length of the breaks will vary from client to client and with different procedures, but on average we will leave clients for around two minutes in between each set of moves. The breaks are probably one of the least understood parts of Bowen and yet it is during the breaks that the work starts to take effect and changes are implemented. The most fundamental principle of Bowen is that it is the client that is doing the work, not the therapist, and for this to happen the body needs time and to be left alone. This processing can continue for some days after a treatment and for this reason it is advisable to leave 5-10 days in between treatments. Initially it is recommended to have three treatments. For some clients these three treatments will be all they need, those with more chronic conditions may find that they benefit from maintenance treatments at intervals to suit them. Clients have reported many positive effects including pain relief, improved sleep and a feeling of having more energy.

Will Bowen Therapy Help Me?

Conditions that may respond well to the Bowen Technique include:

  • Musculoskeletal – back, neck, shoulder, knee, joint pain
  • Chronic Illness – Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, MS, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Emotional – Stress, Anxiety, Depression, Poor Sleep
  • Sporting injuries – Strains and Sprains
  • Acute injuries – sprained ankle, back pain, muscular pain
  • Mother and Baby – pregnancy related aches, pelvic and back pain, baby colic

Bowen can be performed with the client laid or sat for comfort.