FAQs about Bowen Therapy

What is Bowen Therapy?

Bowen Therapy, also known as Bowenwork or Bowtech, is a gentle and effective manual therapy which creates a state of deep relaxation by balancing tension patterns in the body.

Bowen Therapy affects not only the musculoskeletal framework but also the fascia, nerves, and internal organs. The body’s integrated response to Bowen Therapy improves circulation and lymphatic drainage; it also enhances the assimilation of nutrients and the elimination of toxins from the body.

The late Australian, Thomas Bowen (1916-1982), developed the technique named for him in the 1950s. His approach was to reset the tension in certain muscle groups by using a unique type of stretch-and-roll-through move followed by a pause to allow the body time to begin its response.

A 1974 Victorian Government survey of alternative health practitioners found he had an over 85% success rate for the over 13,000 treatments he was performing per year. After his death, Oswald Rentsch, one of the six practitioners he recognized as understanding his work, passed on Bowen’s work to the world. It is now taught in over thirty countries under the auspices of the Bowen Therapy Academy of Australia. Bowenwork and Bowtech are international trademarks of the BTAA.

Is Bowen Therapy gentle?

Bowen Therapy is gentle on the body, effective and appropriate for anyone to receive. People of all ages and conditions respond to Bowen Therapy according to what their bodies need, including infants to the elderly and elite athletes to people with chronic conditions

What happens in a Bowen Therapy session?

Fingers or thumbs are placed on the skin over precise points on muscles, tendons or other soft structures. Gentle rolling pressure is then applied to effect a change in the underlying tissue. These changes stimulate a rebalancing of the body’s autonomic nervous system. Once this occurs, the body can initiate a healing response on structural and energetic levels.

How many sessions are needed?

Three to five sessions, one week apart, are usually all that are required for most sport injuries, work-related injuries, and problems brought about by long-term overuse.

Clients with more complex conditions usually improve with additional sessions. Neurological and some other chronic conditions may require ongoing maintenance sessions.

What is Bowen Therapy good for?

Bowen Therapy can assist in recovery from many conditions including; Traumatic Injuries, Overuse Injuries, High/Low Blood Pressure, Stress Reactions, Arthritic Pain, Fatigue, Fluid Retention, Ear/Throat Problems, TMJ Problems, Insomnia, Depression, Stroke Recovery, ADD/ADHD, and Developmental Delays

Bowen Therapy also often helps with Migraines, Headaches, Hay Fever, Tinnitus, Neck Pain, Asthma, Frozen Shoulder, Back Pain, Tennis Elbow, Digestive Problems, Fertility Problems, Groin Pain, Incontinence, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, and Tight Hamstrings

Can Bowen help my sport performance?

I believe Bowen can help your performance and recovery. Bowen Therapy helps the body move into balance and symmetry. Balancing the body through gentle moves, with some focus on specific muscle areas of problem, helps bring the body back to the state it should be. And if the body has symmetry, then all muscles can work smoothly and evenly – much like a formula 1 car.

One client I had was a keen golfer. They mentioned that after a bowen session, they felt their body come back into balance and noticed their swing felt smoother and better and even hitting the ball longer, making their game better than ever!

Increasing numbers of runners and triathletes are using Bowen Therapy in their training and preparation for races. GB triathlete Victoria Gill says that Bowen Therapy helped “the quality of my training is better, with the same number of hours and level of training”. With the body taking a few days to fully integrate the bowen moves, treatment 2-3 days before competition is the ideal timing to give an athlete best results. While treatment a few days prior to competition is ideal, treatment at any time is better than none.

Recovery from sport doesn’t need to involve the “no pain no gain” of freezing ice baths or painful massage. Bowen Therapy in the days after a big competition can help the body relax again, taking it down from the fight/flight adrenaline rush of competition.  At the same time, dealing with any niggles that arise, prompting the body to begin to rebalance. You may have heard Bear Grylls who is one of the more extreme sport enthusiasts. He sees Bowen Therapy as an essential part of both 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.”

Whether a professional athlete, looking for an edge over other competitors… an amateur, trying to improve their last weekday run time or perform better in their favourite sport… or just someone wanting to minimise risk of injury while enjoying sport… Bowen Therapy may indeed help you enhance your sports performance !


What should I wear for my Bowen Therapy session?

You should wear light-weight, loose fitting clothing. Or you may choose to wear your underclothes and be draped for modesty and comfort. No oil or lotion is used.

What should I expect in a Bowen Therapy session?

A health history will be taken and you’ll be asked about the reason for your visit. The actual hands-on work may take only a few of the twenty to sixty minutes of the session. After each series of moves your body will be given time to begin responding.

What should I expect after my session?

Some changes may be noticeable right away, including; reduced pain, greater range of motion, and a sense of relaxation and well-being.

You will most likely notice changes in the next several days as your body continues the process that began during your session. Sounder sleep and increased energy are commonly reported.

The benefits will be enhanced by following simple guidelines:

  • Don’t overdo exercise or exertion for the rest of the day of your session
  • Do transfer your weight equally onto both feet when you get of of bed or a chair or car.
  • Do increase your intake of pure water to encourage your body’s ability to eliminate toxins released by the muscles and connective tissue during and after the Bowen Therapy session.
  • Don’t remain seated for longer than half an hour at a time when lower back pain and lower back imbalance have been an issue.
  • Don’t overwork the jaw after a jaw imbalance has been addressed.
  • Do not undertake in any other form of bodywork (e.g. acupuncture, massage, physiotherapy, osteopathy, etc)
  • Do not have any extremely hot or cold baths.

If you’re assigned homework exercises, you should do them daily beginning on the day after your session. This is an essential part of your care and will improve your results.