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History Of Bowen

The therapy was pioneered by Thomas Ambrose Bowen, who lived in Geelong, Australia, where he developed his own technique.
His parents were originally from Wolverhampton but emigrated to Australia in the early 1900’s. Born to a working class family, Tom left school at 14 years old taking various labouring jobs. He eventually moved to the building trade working as a general hand at Geelong Cement works.
It was whilst working here that Tom began treating people, opening a busy clinic in a friend’s house after work. Eventually he rented premises and began working full time.
He had a great interest in massage and bodywork and spent time observing football trainers and others involved with sports. Tom never had any formal training but was self taught, learning from books he had read. His method was certainly unique, treating up to 14 patients in an hour, leaving breaks in treatment and then assessing to ensure that the body had started to react to his work. In 1973, when he was interviewed by an Australian parliamentary committee looking into complimentary medicine he stated under oath, that he treated on average about 280* patients a week, 88% of whom only required two or three treatments Most patients only saw him for one or two sessions.
The Bowen Technique used today is as a result of the work done by Tom. He was able to encourage the body’s own ability to heal but he also discovered huge implications for the world of medicine and complimentary therapy.
Mr. Bowen died in the early 1980's, age 66, but his approach to bodywork is known and followed all over the world
Roy Wilson is finding that applying a two-minute treatment can often give immediate and lasting improvement in the mobility of the affected part of the body.

Tom Ambrose Bowen

In 1974, while attending a national health conference In Adelaide, Australia, Oswald Rentsch met Mr. Bowen for the first time. Although he knew nothing of Mr. Bowen's work, Ossie spontaneously asked if he could learn from him. Mr. Bowen shook Ossie's hand, held it for some time, and said, Good! Come down and I'll teach you. I'll call my secretary and let you know. A couple of hours later Mr. Bowen sought Ossie out and said. You be down at my clinic next Wednesday at 9 am.

For the next two and a half years Ossie studied Mr. Bowen's technique, ultimately being authorized by him to document the work. Mr. Bowen had no notes, charts or manuals, but with the help of Rene Horwood, Ossle produced a true representation of Mr. Bowen's original technique.

In 1976, Ossle and his wife, Elaine, began utilizing Mr. Bowen's methods in their clinic in Hamilton, Victoria.

Honoring Mr. Bowen's request to teach the work after his death, Ossie and Elaine named it The Bowen Technique and held their first seminar In Perth, Australia in 1986. By1990. Ossie and Elaine were teaching full time throughout Australia. Dedicated to preserving the technique and ensuring it was taught in its original form, they founded the Bowen Therapy Academy of Australia in 1987, eventually naming the technique Bowtech-The Bowen Technique. Since then, Ossie and Elaine have introduced Bowtech to many countries, honoring the promise Ossie made to Mr. Bowen on his deathbed, to spread his work throughout the world. They are now supported in this teaching by a large faculty of dedicated instructors who are accredited by, and registered with, the Academy.

What is Bowen Therapy

Bowen Therapy is a subtle but effective bodywork therapy where the therapist uses fingers and thumbs to make precise, gentle rolling movements over your muscle and soft tissue.

There is no manipulation and no prolonged pressure, no use of oils or lotions and treatments can be carried out over light clothing.
These movements aim to stimulate your nervous system, including your Autonomic Nervous System, which controls most of your body’s functions. The Bowen moves stimulates your body’s own healing mechanism and relieves pain, making Bowen effective in helping with many conditions.
During the session you will be left to rest for short periods to allow your body to respond to the movements made. This is an important part of the Bowen therapy session as it allows your body time to make subtle adjustments in order to re-balance itself.
The treatment lasts approximately 45 minutes and can be applied through light clothing. No oils or lotions are used and there is no manipulation or prolonged pressure.
The treatment is suitable for men, women and children of all ages, including the elderly and new born babies. It also can treat pregnant woman.

How does it work?

Your body has a natural ability to heal itself but sometimes it needs a little extra help to initiate this natural process. It is thought that during a Bowen treatment, the rolling moves send “messages” to the brain via the connective tissue, or fascia.

Fascia is an uninterrupted web of three dimensional tissues, which extends from head to toe. It surrounds muscles, bones, nerves, organs and blood vessels and is responsible for maintaining structural integrity and acts as a shock absorber providing protection.
The main component of fascia is thyrotrophic, meaning it can change its state. It is fluid when warm but if it becomes stressed it dehydrates causing it to become hard and crystalline. Once the fascia becomes hard it loses pliability and shrinks, making it tight and affecting the whole of the body.
Once the fascia is tight and under pressure the body becomes more susceptible to injury and strains.
Injuries, accidents and the wear and tear of everyday life, both physical and emotional, can cause the fascia to become stressed and tight, affecting the muscles and organs it surrounds. The Bowen moves help to relieve the tension in the fascia allowing it to continue to protect the organs rather than restricting the natural flow of energy around the body.

Julian Baker,the Director of the European College of Bowen Studies says-

Julian Baker

''The key to Tom Bowen's success was his principle that very little needed to be done in order for the body to start the process of repair. The key element to understand about the Bowen Technique is that it is not the therapist that is doing the repair''



What does Bowen Treat?

Although we say that we do not treat specific conditions, there are of course many cases of certain conditions being helped with The Bowen Technique.

Here are the few examples

Musculo skeletal pain: Frozen shoulder/Shoulder pain/Tennis Elbow, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome/RSI/wrist & hand problems, TMJ Syndrome (jaw misalignment), Postural problems, Neck/whiplash injuries, Knee and hip restrictions/Foot & ankle problems, Back/pelvic & hip problems/knee/ankle/shin splints, Sciatica, Accident/sporting injuries/improved sporting performance, Muscle pain/sensitivity/numbness

Respiratory Problems: Asthma, Bronchitis, Hay Fever, Sinusitis
Digestive Disorders: Constipation, Colic, Indigestion, IBS
Also: Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Migraine/Headaches, Tinnitus/Vertigo balance problems, Bed Wetting in Children Even in very serious or acute conditions, where an injury has just occurred, Bowen can be used to very good effect. As well as bad backs and necks, Bowen also is extremely effective on more complex or organic problems.

How Many Treatments Will I Need?

Most people will have responses within three to four sessions, when even long standing chronic pain can be relieved. Other conditions might need to be treated more often, but in either case it is recommended that clients return for regular treatments every six to eight weeks to maintain optimum