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Please note that this definition of Bowen Technique has been taken from information provided by third parties and healers.co.uk does not endorse any statements that may be given, nor recommend any services offered. Additionally the definition or opinions provided below may differ from those which may be given by some practitioners. This information should therefore be considered as general guidance only, and you should always consult professional advice if you are in any way concerned about your health.

Bowen Technique

What is Bowen Technique ?

Bowen technique is a gentle remedial therapy which stimulates the body to rebalance itself and promote healing, pain relief and recovery of energy.

How did it get its name ?

Tom Bowen was born in 1916 in Brunswick, Australia. He treated the aches and pains of the people with whom he worked in the factories of Geelong. He had a particular interest in back problems, and in the 1960s he opened his own clinic. During the 1970s, the Webb Report (Australian Government Report into Complementary Therapies) found that Tom Bowen was treating 13,000 people a year. He died in 1982. The Bowen technique is now being taught to final year university students of Osteopathy in Australia.

Bowen Treatment

Bowen therapists treat people holistically for a wide range of aches and pains, injuries and health problems. There are no contra-indications to treatment. However, Bowen therapists will always advise people to consult their doctors if there is any doubt over whether or not to treat (Bowen Technique is not intended as a substitute for medical advice or treatment).

Conditions Commonly Treated

Back pain, neck pain, headaches, migraine, frozen shoulder, tennis elbow, RSI, respiratory problems, hay fever, kidney problems, high blood pressure, arthritis, and knee pain. Bowen can also be used for stress management, fatigue and sleep problems.

What is the treatment like ?

The treatment is gentle and therefore appropriate for everyone, from new-born babies to the elderly and infirm. The therapist makes gentle rolling movements over muscles, tendons and ligaments on the body, mostly using their fingers and thumbs. No hard-tissue manipulation or force is used.

Bowen treatment is not usually mixed with other physical therapies, such as physiotherapy, osteopathy, massage, chiropractic etc. A gap of 5 to 10 days is usually allowed between Bowen and any other physical therapy so that the subtle information supplied to the body during a Bowen session can be processed. Treatment usually takes from 30 to 45 minutes and can be performed through light clothing. After treatment, the patient will be advised to drink lots of water to help their recovery.

Bowen for horses and animals

Tom Bowen treated race horses and other animals. Specialist training - Canine or Equine Bowen Therapy - is undertaken by Bowen therapists who work with animals. There is a separate section on Healers.co.uk for animal therapies.


The Bowen Therapists' European Register (BTER) regulates the practice in Europe and is an autonomous and impartial professional body formed in October 1998 to represent trained Bowen therapists. If you would like more information about Bowen therapy please contact them. There are several training organisations recognised by the Bowen Therapists' European Register (BTER). Members are trained and accredited at BTER-approved establishments, have certificates in Anatomy and Physiology and First Aid, have professional insurance and undertake continuing professional development. BTER has a referral list available to people seeking a qualified practitioner.


Information for this definition has been derived mainly from BTER publications.

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