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Bowen Technique

What Is It?
How Does It Work?
What Happens During Treatment?
What Is It Used For?
Side Effects/Cautions
Recommended Books


What Is It?
The Bowen Technique (sometimes called “Bowtech”) is a gentle form of bodywork involving a series of delicate moves with the thumbs and fingers across muscle and tendons to relieve pain and discomfort. These moves are thought to stimulate energy throughout the body, allowing it to reset and heal itself. The healing may occur at all levels as needed: physical, chemical, emotional, mental and energetic.

The technique was developed by Australian Tom Bowen from the 1950s until his death in 1982. Bowen’s love of sports led him to become interested in massage and other soft-tissue manipulation. He watched the trainers of football teams treat injured players, and observed that certain “moves” on the body’s soft tissues had particular effects. Over many years he developed the precise series of moves, or “procedures”, that are used today.

How Does It Work?

The Bowen Technique is believed to work primarily through the nervous system on both structural and energetic levels. Bowen moves send electrical impulses to the brain, resulting in muscle relaxation and pain reduction. The moves also stimulate blood flow and lymphatic circulation and drainage.

Several of the moves are located along acupuncture meridians or on specific acupuncture points which are known to stimulate and balance the body’s energy.

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What Happens During Treatment?
A Bowen therapy session involves several series of gentle moves through loose clothing or directly on the skin. The patient lies on a massage table or sits in a chair. There is no rubbing, friction or prolonged pressure in the move, which uses the movement of the skin to effect a rolling type of action over the muscle. The session features lots of rests in between moves to allow the body to absorb the changes.

Sessions last from 15 minutes to an hour. Most people only need around three sessions to alleviate problems, but chronic conditions may require ongoing treatment.

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What Is It Used For?
Bowen therapy addresses the entire body and doesn’t claim to treat specific conditions, however it has been found to be useful for back and neck pain, frozen shoulder, muscular injuries, migraines, sciatica, carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia, PMS, hernia, asthma and stroke rehabilitation. It can also help to calm the autonomic nervous system, slowing the heart rate and promoting deep relaxation, so it may also be useful for anxiety and emotional problems.

Side Effects/Cautions
Bowen therapy is considered safe for everyone, although there are a few procedures that should be avoided for some:
• the “Coccyx Procedure” is not done on pregnant women.
• the “TMJ Procedure” is not done on people whose jaws have been surgically altered.
• the “Breast Tenderness Procedure” is not done on women with breast implants.

References

Find a Bowen Technique Practitioner

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Recommended Books

Prices are in US Dollars

 

Bowen Therapy: Tom Bowen's Gift to the World
Frank Navratil

One of the few books in the world written on this very popular Australian method of muscle pressure release therapy commonly referred to as Bowen Therapy. Over 40 years ago in Australia, this method was conceived by Tom Bowen and now it is taught and practiced in over 25 countries around the world. This miraculous method has been responsible for so many success stories regarding relief of pain and allows the body to self-heal. An exciting account by one of natural medicine's foremost authorities.

 Learn more...

 

 

The Bowen Technique
Julian Baker

This handbook looks at the Bowen Technique, a holistic therapy, and guides the reader through the various techniques involved. To be used by students as a reference.

"a wonderful tool for the training therapist in this very gentle hands on therapy."

 Learn more...

 

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