The Art of Health

The Body in Balance

It was - and still is - hailed as "A dynamic system of muscle and connective tissue therapy that is revolutionising health care worldwide".
Eight years ago when I first encountered Bowtech, the original Bowen Technique, it had already achieved some 40 years of successfully treating thousands of people suffering from a wide variety of problems. Even then, it was relatively unknown and a new concept of health care that few had experienced.
Today the Bowen Technique continues to grow, and the work continues to astound many people all around the world as pain is eliminated and health restored.
From humble beginnings out of Geelong, Victoria, Australia to other parts of Australia and then the world, Bowtech is now represented in sixteen countries, with 87 registered Instructors and over 14,000 trained since 1986.
Articles on the Bowen Technique have appeared in women's magazines, talkback radio and a TV documentary as well as in medical and nursing journals. Several studies have been done which prove the effectiveness of the work as well as some more scientific appraisals and research into how it works. Bowen is enjoying success in many areas. Recent studies have shown the dramatic effects of using Bowen in post concussion syndrome, where 31 of 33 treated cases (93%) experienced immediate symptom reduction and improvement within one hour. Complete resolution of all symptoms was achieved for all cases in 12 days. This sort of result is unheard of in the treatment of post concussion syndrome. Another study, published in the Australian Journal of Holistic Nursing, produced a 97% response to the effectiveness of the Bowen Technique for work related injuries.

During April and May 2005, a United States Instructor was invited to deliver a lecture on Bowtech at the prestigious Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. This, and other medical institutions are increasingly showing an interest in the place of Bowen in modern health care.

Developed over many years by the late Tom Bowen in Geelong, Australia, the Bowen technique consists of a specific, rolling type of move or gentle manipulation of the soft tissue, usually over a muscle or tendon. Tom Bowen eventually ran a successful clinic reportedly treating 13,000 people each year in the 1970's. He developed procedures for dealing with numerous health issues from back pain to migraines or even kidney disease. Tom Bowen taught several men his technique over a number of years. He passed the baton onto Ossie Rentch who continues to teach the original Bowen technique that is now achieving new heights of recognition and success. Bowen work is holistic, meaning it addresses a whole raft of problems in the body. At each treatment session the intent is to balance and relax the whole body, and encourage the inbuilt healing mechanisms to work more effectively. Bowtech allows the body to reset and heal itself with minimal intervention in contrast to other hands on modalities where the therapist imposes the healing mechanism on the patient through the technique performed.

Here's another definition of Bowen from Instructor Kevin Minney (USA)
"Bowen technique is a non-invasive manual modality that provides elegantly minimal sequences of stimuli to the body and thence to the brain. These stimuli reawaken the innate healing and perfect pattern memory that is dormant in order to engage the recovery capacity of the body. When there has been an injury or infection resulting in nerve damage, the body can be trapped in a "pain spiral" that paralyses the body's healing response, leading to chronic and acute pain and a downward slide in condition. [The] Bowen technique can help the body come out of the downward "pain spiral" and recover lost function and balance in its structure."

Application of the technique involves stimulation of precise points on the body, in groups of 2 - 8 points at a time. The most common reaction to Bowtech is a deep sense of overall relaxation and lessening of muscular tension and pain. These result from the body's balancing and improved flow of internal energy. The restorative process begins once the body is relaxed. It is common for people to fall asleep during a session.

Many conditions are effectively - and lastingly - changed in between 1 to 5 sessions.

Musculo-skeletal symptoms generally change the fastest, neurological symptoms the slowest.
Some chronic or organic conditions may require ongoing maintenance sessions.
Many people choose to have monthly or quarterly maintenance sessions ("tune-ups") once their initial complaints are addressed.

Bowtech is neither derived from nor similar to any other hands-on modality. It is not massage, accupressure, chiropractic, nueromuscular re-education, trigger-point therapy, lymphatic massage, or fascia release, although it has effects similar to all of these. For example Bowtech does stimulate lymphatic release and it regularly assists sinus or breast congestion, but Bowtech does not employ vigorous stroking or lymphatic massage.

The mechanisms of action are not completely understood, but it is generally agreed that it works primarily through the nervous system on both structural and energetic levels. Healing most likely occurs through the response of the body's autonomic nervous system to the Bowtech moves. There are more technical explanations for how Bowen works, these may be viewed on the official Bowtech website. This site also includes a list of registered practitioners and how to learn the Bowen technique for yourself.

You're probably wondering, "Will Bowtech help MY condition?" Two factors make it difficult to say for sure:

The fact is everybody will benefit from a Bowen treatment no matter the condition, some people will even enjoy a session simply for the deep relaxation and emotional effects gained.

To summarise, Bowtech: allows the body to reset itself and brings balance and harmony to the body's regulatory systems, enhances innate healing potential from cellular level to the whole, induces whole-body/mind relaxation, breaks down structures in the body that cause pain and restrict healing, increases circulation, lymph flow, decreases pain, improves drainage, impacts connective soft tissue, muscles, ligaments, tendons, neural pathways, dissipates scar tissue, calcification, knotted muscles, oedema, emotional disturbances.

This technique stands alone as a whole treatment, or alternatively can be used with other therapies like nutrition and herbal medicine for specific problems. Bowtech is safe and there are few contraindications.
If you want to experience the benefits of Bowtech then go to our links page and visit to find a Bowen therapist near you.