Bowen Therapy was named after its inventor, Tom Bowen, a gifted Australian therapist who practised in Geelong, a small town south of Melbourne. Bowen didn't teach his method but did allow several men (he called them "his boys") to observe his work, and this is how his therapy came to be taught to others after his death in 1982. Presently, there are probably about 1,000 people practising Bowen Therapy in the UK.
Bowen is quite unlike any other form of bodywork. Very light pressure is used to apply a gentle rolling type move over muscles, tendons or ligaments in specific locations. These moves appear to powerfully affect connective tissue in the body, known as fascia, resulting in a loosening or letting go of areas of tightness or restriction. Typically, people treated with Bowen notice a profound sense of well being.
The Bowen move
Bowen work is subtle. Time is allowed between moves or sequences of moves so that the body can adjust and incorporate changes in fascial holding. Treatments tend to be brief, 30 to 40 minutes is usual, and clients are asked to carefully follow certain simple guidelines following their session to gain the most benefit. Results can sometimes be immediate but normally occur gradually over several days or even weeks.
The sorts of conditions which have been reported to respond well to Bowen Therapy are listed on the "Can I Help You?" page on this web site. Others which are not listed there include digestive disorders (like irritable bowel syndrome), some hormonal imbalances, migraine, problems with new-born babies like colic and reflux, and lymphatic problems.
Treatment of lymphatic problems with Bowen is an exciting new innovation and I am pleased to be able to offer this form of lymphatic stimulation therapy to people who suffer from swelling and oedema and other lymphatic disorders. This form of treatment may also help those with fibromyalgia, ME and and autoimmune problems.
The Bowen Therapists Professional Association website provides a guide to Bowen practitioners in the UK. The BTPA has also prepared an introductory video clip (see below)