‘Bowtech’ ®, the original Bowen Technique

What is the Bowen technique and what can it treat?

Mr Bowen

Bowen therapy was developed by an Australian, Mr. Thomas Ambrose Bowen (pictured), who lived and practised in Geelong, Victoria in the 50’s. Mr Bowen worked tirelessly in his clinic and continued to develop and refine his treatment throughout his life time. Mr Bowen’s therapy became available to the rest of the world in the late 80’s when Oswald Rentch (who had worked with Mr Bowen)and his wife Elaine honoured a promise to teach the work and named the technique ‘The Bowen Technique’. Comments such as ‘The Bowen technique is possibly the greatest discovery ever in health care” (Oswald Rentch, Director of the Bowen Academy of Australia.) is by no means an exaggeration.

Bowen therapy is an holistic and dynamic remedial body technique applied to the muscles and connective tissue (fascia) of the body, stimulating receptors that enable the body to correct dysfunction and restore balance. Our bodies have an inherent healing ability. This can be seen with cell regeneration following an injury such as a burn or a fractured bone. Sometimes the body gets stuck and Bowen work helps to trigger this natural healing process. The treatment has profound and often permanent healing and pain relief outcomes.

Bowen therapy is gentle and relaxing and does not use manipulation. The therapist applies gentle moves at precise locations over muscles, tendons and ligaments, which results in a relaxation response and reduction in muscular tension. Wait periods occur between sets of moves, allowing the nervous system time to process the sensory information and make adjustments. Bowen work takes the body from ‘fright and flight’ to ‘rest and relaxation’ where it can reset, rest and begin the healing process. Blood flow is increased, cellular activity is improved and lymph flow is stimulated aiding in the detoxification process. Bowen work can aid joint mobility, reduce pain and improve well being.

Bowen work balances the physical and emotional body and can be considered for any health issue or condition including, but not limited to:

The technique is safe and can be used on all age groups, including the frail and elderly, pregnant women and babies.


Other conditions responding exceptionally well include back problems/pain, hip/knee/ankle problems

The list of conditions responding to Bowen work is exhaustive.

Bowen therapy is becoming recognised by the medical profession, with therapists now being employed in some cancer units to assist with pain management. Practitioners can be found world wide, thanks to the teachings of Ozzie and Elaine. The simplicity and efficacy of the technique amazes those who have tried Bowen.

Injuries, sport or accident


Neck and head tension and problems/whiplash

Shoulder conditions, including frozen shoulder

Musculoskeletal pain and imbalance

Bed wetting

Acute and chronic fatigue

Digestive and bowel problems

Menstrual disorders, hormonal disorders and infertility.

Prostate conditions

Asthma and respiratory complaints



The procedure

A treatment consists of a sequence of small cross fibre gentle but purposeful moves over muscle, ligaments and tendons, with a treatment generally lasting 45-60 minutes. The practitioner can target specific areas or address the whole body. No forceful moves are made. Each treatment consists of a ‘series of moves’. Between each ‘series of moves’ the practitioner waits for the body to assimilate the move before proceeding. The wait between moves is generally 2 minutes, but may be longer. Most people find the treatment very relaxing, with some falling asleep. The treatment can be given over very light, loose clothing, although working on skin is preferred and allows the practitioner to clearly see tension and restrictions in the body musculature.

Bowen therapy can be performed with the client sitting or lying, dependant on the client’s condition and physical abilities.

After treatment

Following a treatment, normal activity can be carried out, but it is best to avoid strenuous exercise . Hydration is very important as this will flush toxins from the body and assist the fascia to move smoothly.

Bowtech is a complimentary modality, and will enhance and compliment medical care. Some conditions will respond after one treatment, but generally several treatments are required. Chronic or long standing conditions may require ongoing treatments. As Bowen therapy is holistic and treats the entire body, many clients report resolution of other conditions above and beyond those they have sought treatment for. The importance of hydration and lifestyle changes will be discussed, with specific exercises and referral to other health professionals recommended if indicated.

Many health funds pay a benefit to those with higher cover.