THE BOWEN TECHNIQUE is quite unique. There are several features that set it apart from other modalities:

Gentle: It is so gentle that you hardly notice you’re being touched. People usually become very relaxed right away, and often fall asleep during a session. 

Fast: Rapid pain relief is common. Most pain and injury will respond within two or three sessions.

Long-Lasting Relief: People often experience a deep and long-lasting relief. Two to three sessions spaced one week apart are usually enough to achieve lasting relief, even from long-standing pain or injury. 

Safe: There is no one who cannot be treated safely with Bowen. It is so gentle, it can be used on babies, pregnant women, the elderly and the disabled. It is not dangerous to those suffering from chronic illness and it is ideal for treating children because it is non-invasive and non-threatening. 

Two Minute Pauses: It is a unique feature of the Bowen Technique that there are two minute breaks in which the practitioner actually leaves the room. These pauses are crucial as they allow the body time to absorb the “messages” presented by the moves. 

Painless: There is no cracking, no force and no needles. There is little discomfort or pain involved because there is no heavy pressure or hard probing into sensitive muscles or joints. 

Less Is More: The practitioner does the minimum needed to bring about a healing response in the body. The more acute the pain, the less they do. The less they do, the more profound the effect on the body. 

Great First Aid Tool: When you apply the Bowen Technique right after a fall, injury or accident, the release of tension acts in a preventive way to help correct any imbalance before it can adversely affect the body. 

Easy To Learn: The technique is easy to learn. There is only one basic move.

How Does Bowen Work?

The gentle yet powerful Bowen moves send neurological impulses to the brain resulting in immediate responses of muscle relaxation and pain reduction. The moves create energy surges which are concentrated in specific areas of the body.

The Bowen Technique helps the body remember how to heal itself. Electrical impulses sent to the nervous system remind the body to regain normal movement in joints, muscles and tendons. This helps relieve muscle spasms and increase blood and lymph flow.

A Bowen Session

A Bowen treatment lasts about 30-45 minutes. No oils are used. Treatment can be done through clothing or directly on the skin. The practitioner “rolls” over the muscles with the 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 and make its own adjustments.

The moves send out signals which:

·- 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.

Some people feel shifts in their bodies during and after a Bowen session. While many experience immediate pain relief, improvement is just as likely to unfold over the next few days to a week. Two or three treatments are usually enough to achieve long-lasting relief. Even long-term conditions may respond very quickly.

The ideal situation is to give the Bowen Technique a try for 3 sessions, once per week, without having any other kind of bodywork in between.

Surprising and Unexpected Recoveries

People with chronic disabilities such as chronic fatigue syndrome, MS, fibromyalgia, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy and arthritis have been known to show a gradual improvement in the condition and quality of life. If someone has not responded to other forms of treatment, it is always worth trying the Bowen Technique because in many cases it has been known to trigger sometimes surprising and unexpected recoveries when nothing else has worked.


Bowen allows the body to reset and heal itself. A Bowen session consists of a series of gently moves on skin (or through light clothing), with the client usually lying on a bed or treatment couch. A session usually lasts from half an hour to an hour and frequently results in a deep sense of overall relaxation, allowing the body to recharge and balance itself.

The Bowen Technique encourages a gentle response which empowers the body’s own resources to heal itself. Bowen moves are, in themselves, a study in delicacy, being light, gentle and very precise. The Bowen Technique is not necessarily a ‘long-term’ program. Most clients find that a small number of sessions are adequate even for long-standing complaints.  

How does Bowen Work?

Simply stated, the Bowen Technique allows the body to reset and heal itself.  The work consists of a series of gently rolling, connective tissue moves.  There are frequent important pauses between these moves which give the body time to benefit from each set.  By combining moves, both in placement and in combination, the practitioner is able to address the body as a whole, or target a specific problem.  A unique tool of the Bowen practitioner is ‘tissue tension sense,’ meaning that the practitioner is able to discern stress build-up in muscle groups and then utilize Bowen moves to release that stress.


Bowen aims to balance and stimulate energy flows, frequently resulting in a deep sense of overall relaxation.  The restorative process begins once the body is relaxed and continues as the body allows.  Healing seems to occur by affecting the body’s autonomic nervous system which creates homeostasis at the cellular level. Bowen is referred to as a ‘complementary’ modality.  This means it will enhance and complement, not interfere, with other medical attention.  However, other manipulative therapies done immediately after a Bowen session can undermine the effectiveness of the continuing Bowen work. 

Bowen is Holistic  

Bowen may very well be one of the single most important tools we have to facilitate healing of the whole body.  The moves bring about incredible results by penetrating to a deep cellular level, incorporating the body’s unique ability to heal itself. With the release of toxins and old patterning, the moves begin to accomplish holistic balance almost immediately.  Since Bowen addresses the body as a whole unit rather than just the presenting symptoms, it embraces the physical, chemical, emotional and mental aspects of each person receiving Bowen.


The Bowen practitioner is merely a catalyst, setting the stimulus in motion for the body to heal itself.  Because the human body is so amazing, self healing can be achieved with minimal outside influence. A Bowen session, whether to address a specific problem or maintain a healthy body, is the essence of simplicity. 

Can The Bowen Technique help me?

Bowen Technique practitioners around the world report:

– safe to use on anyone from new-born babies to the elderly
– no vigorous manipulation used
– substantial relief is frequently achieved after only one session
– rapid and lasting relief of conditions
– reduced physical, emotional and mental stress
– improvement in conditions from sports injuries to chronic and organic complaints
– improved joint mobility
– improved circulation of lymphatic and venous fluids
– improved elimination of toxins
– improved assimilation of nutrients
– empowering of the body’s own natural resources to heal itself  

What should I expect during a Bowen Technique Session?

Questions about your health history and reason for visit are necessary for the practitioner to find out
if there are any aspects of the work that are contraindicated, what will be the best procedures to apply,
how much of the work your body is able to assimilate positively.

Hands on work usually last between 30 and 45 minutes
Bowen can be applied through loose clothing or directly on skin.
It is recommended you wear loose clothing to Bowen sessions
Application of the technique involves stimulation of precise points on the body – but only gentle pressure is applied
Points are stimulated in groups of 2 – 8 at a time and there is a 2 minute pause between application of points.
This pause allows the body time to assimilate the work. Points generally progress from the torso of the body outward. In most first sessions points will be used on the
additional points are added in areas where symptoms are located.

Further sessions involves stimulation of points throughout the body.
During a Bowen session most people experience a profound sense of relaxation and loosening of muscle tension.

Following the session it will be recommended that you:

– return for another session in approximately 7 days
– avoid other hands on therapy during the course of Bowen Technique
– walk for a short time after the Bowen session
– drink at least 6 – 8 glasses of water each day during the course of Bowen sessions
– don’t sit in one position for long periods of time on the day of treatment.

What Results should I expect from a Bowen Session?

Most people report relief of symptoms following their first session.
Results will vary based on your condition.
Changes made through Bowen Technique are generally long lasting.
Most people report relief of symptoms in addition to the conditions for which they sought relief.
Occasionally Detoxification sensation are felt in the days following treatment.

How many Sessions will I need?

Most conditions are effectively changed in fewer than 3 – 5 sessions.
Muscular skeletal symptoms generally change very quickly.
Some chronic or organic conditions may require ongoing maintenance sessions.
Many people choose to have monthly maintenance sessions once initial complaints are addressed.


There are no situations where Bowen Technique cannot be applied safely.
Certain procedures are avoided in some situations.

Detoxification reactions:

Bowen Technique encourages proper functioning of all body systems including those responsible for elimination of toxins.
Occasionally people feel detoxification reactions. These can include sensations of:
– Aching muscles
– Mild nausea
– Mild headaches
– Changes in temperature sensations
– Minor changes in elimination
– Increased elimination of toxins without negative sensations is encouraged by increased water intake

Detoxification will only occur when your body has stored unnecessary materials.
Your body functions more effectively when these toxins have been released.


Sometimes it’s easier to explain this technique by stating what it is not!

Bowen is not Massage Rubbing or even prolonged palpation around a Bowen move can weaken the effect.  The moves go no deeper than fascia on superficially accessible muscles, and only with gentle pressure.

Bowen is not Acupressure Some of the areas of focus will coincide with acupuncture points, but there are so many accupoints that some overlap does occur.  With Bowen ‘points’ however, one simple move across the structure is all it takes.

Bowen is not Chiropractic No manipulation of the skeletal system is made.  Most practitioners and many clients observe vertebral movement, but this is evidence of the body realigning itself and a Bowen session working.

Bowen is not Directional ‘Energy Work’ Given its parameters, even energy work can be intrusive.  Practitioners can focus too much on accomplishing their own desired results which may or may not coincide with the client’s needs.  Instead, practitioners are taught to focus only on doing a precise movement accurately, and then physically leaving the room.

Bowen is not Physiotherapy or Neuromuscular ‘Re-Education’ Stretch reflex, Golgi reflex and reciprocal enervation may be involved in the muscular releases, but these occur on a cellular level and expand out physically.  In fact, people may fall asleep during a session and may not feel the effects for several days.  These factors distinguish Bowen from remedial exercises or movement training that some people need for long-term injury recovery.

Bowen is not Trigger-Point Therapy Some points are unavoidably similar even though the referral zones are different.  Most trigger points are found in the core of muscles, while Bowen muscle moves are usually made where two muscles or muscle groups overlap.  This and other factors seem to make Bowen most similar to fascia work but…

Bowen is not Fascia Release With each Bowen move, the fascia is rocked and minutely ‘disturbed’, but not forcefully separated.  After a series of Bowen sessions, adhesions tend to loosen, scar tissue frequently softening and shrinking on its own, because impediments to the natural healing process are removed.

Bowen is not Lymphatic Massage Bowen does stimulate lymphatic releases, in that sinuses will often drain during sessions; breast lumps may shrink or be gone within a few weeks, and excess fluids are usually eliminated within the week.  Bowen does not, however, use the percussion or vigorous stroking of lymphatic massage, although there is a bit of gentle teasing  done around the sternocleidomastoid muscle (SCM).

Bowen is not an Emotional Release Modality The intent of a Bowen session is not to effect emotional release.  However, some people report dramatic lightening of spirit and a subtle but pervasive refocusing of troublesome emotional patterns.  Many bodyworkers consciously focus on the interface between physical and emotional, trying to touch on that which is hidden behind a protective wall of hyper tense musculature.  Excessive pressure is not needed.  Bowen confirms that the best access is gained by the least threatening approach.