Regardless of a person’s age or physical condition, Bowen Therapy can be effective in relieving acute and chronic pain, improving posture and joint mobility, speeding recovery from injuries and accidents, relieving physical and emotional stress, and improving overall health and energy levels.

A study titled Exercise and Sport Science by Amy Norman was presented in 1998 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Department of Physical Education. It compared practitioner and patient responses in a survey evaluating the efficacy of the Bowen Technique in the treatment of pain. Practitioners rated the Bowen Technique effective in 85% of back pain cases with an average of 4.3 sessions, 88% for neck pain with 4.5 sessions, 83% for stress and tension with four sessions, 83% for other conditions with 5.8 sessions and 80% for fibromyalgia requiring longer treatments. Effectiveness rated by patients was 85% for back pain, 80% for stress and tension, 95% for TMJ, 80% for hip pain and 75.6% for other conditions.

A pain-free introduction to Bowen Therapy

Bowen Therapy is perhaps one of the fastest, pain-free pain relief and injury recovery bodywork modalities available today. When integrated into their patient’s treatment plans, doctors, physical and sports therapists all report startling successes with Bowen Therapy. It has even been referred to as the “homeopathy of bodywork” in that minimal outside influence is required to achieve phenomenal, lasting results.

Bowen Therapy has the ability to tap into the body’s blueprint and reset the body to heal itself, often with only a few precise Bowen moves (a Bowen Therapist’s treatment motto is “less is more”). And because Bowen Therapy balances the autonomic nervous system and detoxifies the body, it is effective for a wide range of mind and body conditions. This hands-on, total body-balancing modality embraces the physical, chemical, emotional and mental aspects of the individual receiving the treatment.

Bowen Therapy accelerates healing and recovery by actually stimulating the body’s own natural healing capacity to achieve overall balance and harmony. The work is performed on a physiological level by touching sense receptors under the skin which can alert the brain to any problem areas that exist in the body. It is administered without any forced manipulations, with the body either accepting or declining the signals. The brain sends the appropriate signal to the tissues encouraging the release of any tension, thus allowing for structural alignment. It is gentle, its effects are powerful, and recovery from pain and injuries is quick and safe. Most people experience substantial relief after the first session, and often the results are surprising. Clients report that while they were undergoing Bowen treatment for one condition, they had other, quite different ones, fixed.

Bowen Therapy stems from the ingenious work of Tom Bowen, an Australian Manipulative Therapist (1916-1982). His natural gift and abilities enabled him to develop an entire system of movements and procedures to counteract a wide spectrum of internal conditions, as well as musculoskeletal complaints. He claimed that his work was a “gift from God that could address on all levels any and every condition that inflicts a person.”

A 1975 Australian Government inquiry into alternative health practices determined that Bowen was successfully treating an astonishing 13,000 patients a year using Bowen Therapy, yielding reported results of an amazing 80 to 85% success rate, often after only one or two sessions.

After his death, many of Bowen’s students continued the legacy of his work. To date, Bowen Therapy is practiced in 36 countries and taught in over 25, with more than 20,000 trained practitioners worldwide.


It has been suggested that in relation to a Bowen treatment, the body is much like a stringed instrument. When a Bowen move is performed, it creates a resonance effect wherein specific harmonic frequencies are thought to affect particular parts of the body. By creating a vibrational pattern that correlates with a specific frequency to correct tissue tension in the body, Bowen assists with fine tuning the body to improve overall function and mobility.

For the most part, a person’s unique needs and structure dictate the format of the treatments. A Bowen treatment consists of sequential series of small light-touch moves that cross fibres, muscles, tendons and ligaments at specific sites on the body. The practitioner generates energy in the area as he moves over the tissues, and the tissue’s energy reverberates between the blocks until the tissue tension in the area is reduced and therefore relaxed. For the bulk of the treatment, the client lies comfortably with no physical interaction with the practitioner. Periodic breaks for two to five minutes at a time are required during the treatment to allow the body time to realign and rectify itself before beginning the next sequence of moves.

One treatment takes about an hour. Treatments are spaced a few days apart for optimal results. Three to five treatments are generally recommended for most conditions, each building on the last.