The following testimonial has written consent from the owner.


Intrepid adventurer Bear Grylls has a rather surprising ally in his efforts to stay at peak physical performance – the gentle complementary therapy called the Bowen Technique.

Bear is Channel 4’s ‘Born Survivor’ who is dropped into hostile locations and has to make his own way back to civilisation. His everyday life consists of jumping out of planes, diving into icy water, walking for days through the desert and climbing mountains. Apart from a penknife, his body is his only help.

Whenever he returns from his exploits in hostile environments around the world, Bear has regular Bowen therapy sessions with Sussex based Bowen therapist Sarah Yearsley, and now regards these as an essential part of his preparation and recovery. “Bowen has helped keep my body together despite the continual bashing it takes,” he explains: “It’s a vital support in putting right a whole range of new aches and pains, making sure that old injuries don’t cause me problems, and helping me fight stress and fatigue.”

Recently, Bowen has helped Bear through his current dramatic series of adventures which finishes on Channel 4 this month. He’s now having further treatments as he gears up for his role as spearhead of the GKN Mission Everest Challenge, an attempt to soar over the summit of the world’s highest mountain using only powered paragliders.

The Bowen Technique is a natural, non-invasive therapy with a very broad spectrum of application including chronic back pain, frozen shoulder, sports injuries, whiplash, migraine and asthma. It is suitable for all age groups. The Bowen therapist, using only thumbs and fingers, makes gentle rolling movements over muscles and tendons at precise points. The process releases energy, sending impulses to the brain to trigger the body’s own healing systems. It is particularly effective in correcting muscular and skeletal imbalances.

Bear has made enormous demands on his body during the filming of every episode of his current Channel 4 series “Born Survivor”. They include freefall parachuting into extreme terrain – including landing in trees, glaciers, and sand dunes – back flips from a helicopter into a lake, abseiling down sheer cliffs and a range of other acrobatic activities.

He has also been under great stress from the many different environments — including jungle, desert, mountains in winter and summer, open sea — and has had to tolerate extreme heat, cold, dehydration and fatigue. He usually has only a few days to recover from each episode, while the pressure is increased still further by a very demanding travel schedule.

Bear not only has to deal with injuries and pains caused during specific episodes. He also carries the legacy of a number of problems caused by old injuries. Ten years ago, Bear broke his back in a parachuting accident and three years ago sustained a bad foot injury in a motorcycle accident.

Bear learned about Bowen therapy from his wife Shara, who herself contacted therapist Sarah Yearsley after hearing about its positive effects in treating chronic back pain. Sarah has since also given occasional treatments to the couple’s children, 5 year old Jesse and baby Marmaduke.

The specific symptoms Sarah has helped Bear to overcome include a rotated pelvis, tight and shallow breathing, a strained calf muscle, extreme exhaustion and stress, and a toe injury. “Bear provides a perfect illustration of the amazing versatility of Bowen,” she comments; “It helps him across a full range of symptoms – not only alleviating pain but boosting his immune system and helping minimise fatigue. Of course, he isn’t a typical patient, but most of his problems are no different from those I treat in people with normal lifestyles.”

A Bowen treatment normally takes between 45 minutes to an hour, and includes periods when the therapist stops to allow the treatment to take full effect. Therapists in the UK are regulated by the Bowen Therapy Professional Association (, which helps ensure high standards of practice and a code of conduct.

Bear’s Bowen therapist is Sarah Yearsley, UK.