The Bowen Technique was developed by Tom Bowen (1916-1982), of Geelong, Australia. It is a series of gentle moves on the muscle and connective tissue along the whole body, using the thumb and fingers. It is often easier to describe what the technique is not rather than what it is because it is so unlike any other modality. The technique does not involve osteopathy type manipulations, is not a form of massage, is not related to the Alexander Technique and is not derived from or similar to any other bodywork technique.
It is a non-invasive non-diagnostic holistic modality in which the moves are performed in a predetermined pattern, irrespective of the clients complaint, though there are moves designed to address particular regions or areas of concern within the body. It can be performed with the patient stripped to underwear (preferably) or through light clothing, and each session lasts approximately 40-60 minutes. In many cases long-standing pain can be relieved in 2-3 sessions (and sometimes even after one session), although further treatments may be required in some situations. People who receive the therapy are continually amazed that a treatment which feels so gentle can be so effective. Nevertheless the technique works. The technique is safe for people of all ages and because it is so gentle, adults as well as children can be treated.
The Bowen Technique is a method that enables the body to heal itself. It allows the body to do the work required without imposing the will of the therapist onto the patient. The patient has the opportunity to relax while the practitioner makes subtle and fine adjustments which help to re-
It has never been established how the technique works, though a number of theories have been proposed. The most common explanations are that it works by a combination of correcting imbalances of ki or chi energy as described in the Eastern tradition of healing, and as a result of muscular and soft tissue releases, to balance, relieve tension and reduce pain. One unusual feature of the technique is the short gaps during the treatment when the practitioner leaves the room. Though often considered strange to people having the therapy for the first time, this is an important part of the technique, allowing the body to rest and absorb the effects.