A BOWEN  TECHNIQUE TREATMENT Session lasts about 45 minutes.  Treatment can be done through clothing or directly on the skin. The practitioner “rolls” over the muscles with her fingers, which causes the muscles to relax.  The moves are done in groups.  Between sets, the practitioner leaves the room for at least two minutes to allow the body to relax.

During a session the contracted muscles relax so that the surrounding areas are freed from constriction.  People may feel relaxed or energized.  The moves send out signals which help:

*    stimulate energy flow;
*    facilitate lymphatic drainage of toxins and waste;
*    promote good circulation;
*    release tension;
*    increase mobility;
*    encourage the body to relax, realign and heal itself.

The healing process begins once your body is relaxed.  You may feel shifts in your body during and after a session.  The technique promotes the removal of waste products.  Once the “garbage” has been cleared out, your body can start to function properly again.

Move The Pain Out of Your Body

Until recently, heavy lifting was thought to be the main cause of back pain, but studies now indicate that SITTING causes the most problems. Sitting puts a lot of strain on our lower back. The longer we sit, the more it hurts.  That’s because 40 percent more weight is placed on the lower spine when we are sitting.  Our body, particularly our spine, was not designed to sit in chairs for hours on end.

Movement is actually “medicine”. Walking is the best natural health remedy for many kinds of conditions, disorders and symptoms.

It can help speed your recovery process and has many other benefits:

*    helps ease back pain;
*    goes easy on your joints;
*    can be done in short spurts;
*    strengthens your bones;
*    costs you nothing.

The 3 W’s

  1. WalkRight after your Bowen session, you should take a 15 or 20 minute walk to start moving the pain out of your body.  Do not sit for more than 30 minutes at a time the first day.

    For the rest of the week take a 15-20 minute walk each day… or a few short 5-10 minute walks.  This will help “turn on your body pumps” and move the toxins out of your body.

    2.    Water

    According to F. Batmanghelidj, MD., most pain is due to chronic dehydration.  He says that we hurt because our bodies are thirsty.

    Drink at least 8 glasses of water each day.  This helps:

    *    relieve pain all over your body;
    *    relieve congestion;
    *    flush out toxins;
    *    lubricate your joints;
    *    keep your body in balance.

    3.    Wait

    After a Bowen session, you must wait at least one week before having any other kind of bodywork, massage or chiropractic so you don’t interrupt the healing process.

    The Bowen moves send electrical signals to your muscles, nervous system and brain, which help realign and balance your body.  The effects of the treatment will actually continue to work during the rest of the week, and possibly longer.


In clinical practice on average it is common to receive reports from clients that they can feel the body going through the unraveling process for approximately 2 – 4 days. There is often a very similar pattern experienced with body aches which move from one location to another (e.g. shoulder to knee), some sweating, emotional releases with some clients – but above all a very deep sense of relaxation and change taking place. In addition many clients report noticing their symptoms leaving their bodies in the reverse order to which they arrived.

The actual application of the technique is interesting in itself as it is distinctly different from any other technique attempting to achieve the same goal.

In the first instance, a three part integrated body balance is applied which is partly performed with the client in a prone position and then finished with the client in the supine position. The work generally commences in a prone position, around the lumbar area and then quickly moves to the thoracic area before returning to the legs and sacrum. There are a few resting periods between the various sequences of ‘moves’, which are carried out before moving the client into a supine position.

The prone work, including resting periods, usually takes about 15 minutes to perform. Once the client is in the supine position, additional releases are applied to the diaphragm, neck and knees – this also takes another 10 – 15 minutes to complete. Other optional procedures may be blended into this integrated body balance to add specificity or release when necessary. There are optional procedures for the shoulders, elbows and wrists, pelvis, ankles, coccyx and temporo-mandibular joint complex.

The integrated balance which is applied to the body via the specialized moves is directed to areas where proprioreceptors (spindle cells and Golgi tendon organs) abound. However it is not just single stimulation of these points which elicits such a comprehensive and powerful response in each individual – rather it is the configuration in which the moves are carried out.

Consequently the integrated balance once applied synthesizes an orchestrated response involving alpha and gamma motor neurons, various spinal reflex arcs, the motor cortex of the cerebrum, the basal ganglia and the cerebellum.

It is reasonable to state that the Bowen once applied creates a powerful context for change to take place in the musculo-skeletal and visceral systems via what can only be described as a specific decoding of the nervous system and a comprehensive resetting of the body.

Once the session is over the client is given aftercare recommendations which basically reminds them that their body will go through a process of re-organisation for a few days and to take it easy during this time by doing nothing too physically strenuous. The client is also advised to keep up daily walking and sufficient intake of water to help flush the lymphatic system and assist the musculature to return quickly to stable balance.

Although to the client the session seems simple, non invasive and gentle – the results are nevertheless very surprising and often miraculous. While this is the case for the client, the practitioner comes to expect these wonderful results, as dependability is one of the key characteristics of the Bowen technique.

Typically clients will require only 2 – 3 sessions for their health problems to be resolved. Additional sessions may be required for those with chronic health problems or who require ongoing psychological and/or nutritional support.

I am often asked “will Bowen cure this condition or that condition”?

My response is always the same – Bowen will cure nothing! It is simply a process that enables the body to regulate itself and throughout this process many symptoms will disappear. That is to say that the symptoms in the first place were simply a product of the complex blockage existing in the body.

While this may appear to be just semantics I stress that the distinction is very important to keep in mind. Bowen is synonymous with contextual healing – a lost art which is now having a resurgence and gaining both popularity with practitioners and clients alike. Another well-known example of a contextual healing approach is homoeopathy. Interestingly many individuals have dubbed Bowen as tactile homeopathy!

The following list of symptoms frequently disappear in response to a Bowen session: acute and chronic pain including back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, leg pain, facial pain, headaches including migraines, sinusitis, digestive problems, colitis, constipation, urinary disorders, menstrual problems, infertility, prostate problems, visual problems, learning disorders and emotional depression.

While the above conditions are the most classical there are many other disorders which generally respond favorably to treatment as well. Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Glandular Fever and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome to name a few.