Bowen Technique

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The Bowen Technique based on the work of Australian osteopath Thomas Ambrose Bowen (Tom Bowen) (1916–1982). It is a holistic system of healing.
The Bowen therapy is an alternative healing method. It is used for headache, joint pain, back pain, muscle tension, sports injuries, carpal tunnel syndrome, asthma, bedwetting, heel spur or toe pain.


Bowen developed the method as an autodidact in the 1950s in Australia. He assumed that the most tolerable therapy was the one that supported the self-preservation and self-organization tendencies inherent in every organism. A treatment in this sense aims at improving the conditions for "self-healing" as much as possible. He described himself as an osteopath. The terms "Bowen therapy", "Bowen technique" and similar more were coined only after his death.

The Bowen Technique was limited to Australia until 1986, when it was named, and introduced to other countries by Oswald Rentsch, who observed Bowen at work one morning a week for two years. It has since been developed and furthered by many others and is now one of several bodywork therapies moving towards voluntary self regulation in the United Kingdom.
After his death, the first school was established in Australia in the mid-1980s (Bowtech Ptr. Ltd., Hamilton, owned by the married couple Oswald and Elaine Rentsch). In the course of time, further teaching institutions have formed worldwide due to different interpretational approaches. In the German language area several are active, whose graduates offer the method. Bowtech and Bowen are protected service marks.


The Bowen Technique involves a gentle, rolling motion, with very light touches. The rolls are supposed to either tighten or loosen off muscles depending on the way the move is done. The practitioner will stimulate sets of points, often with two minute pauses, supposedly to allow the body to use the move and integrate it into the body's system. The Bowen Technique is not a form of massage, though it does claim to release areas of built-up stress in the muscles, and clients describe experiences of profound relaxation after a session, sometimes falling asleep after the first few moves.

The method is based on sequences of grips performed in a certain way - usually light rolling movements performed with the fingers. Target structures on which the so-called "Bowen Moves" are applied are usually found on muscles, tendons, ligaments and fasciae. The stimulated points have nothing to do with traditional Chinese medicine (acupuncture) or other manual forms of treatment.


  • Pennington, Katrina (2012). "Bowen Therapy: a review of the profession". Journal of the Australian Traditional-Medicine Society. 18 (4): 217.
  • Hansen, Christine; Taylor-Piliae, Ruth E. (2011). "What is Bowenwork®? A Systematic Review". The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 17 (11): 1002.
  • Knaster, M (1996). "Bowen Technique". Discovering the Body's Wisdom. Random House. pp. 338–41. ISBN 0553373277.
  • Bowen Unravelled, A journey into the Fascial Understanding of The Bowen Technique, Lotus Publishing, 2013 ISBN 978-1-58394-765-4
  • Andrea, Kargel-Schwanhaeusser (2012). "General features and quality of Bowen therapy". European Journal of Integrative Medicine. 4: 189.