What is Bowen Technique?

The Bowen Technique is a versatile and gentle treatment. I usually offer a “Combined Treatment” adding EMMETT Technique where I feel it will benefit the outcome for the individual client. I am also happy to offer Bowen Treatment as a stand-alone therapy if requested.

Given the current discussions and challenges by the Advertising Standards Agency towards any advertising by therapists the following definition is the how one Health Council advises its members to use when describing the Bowen technique:

“Bowen therapy is a soft tissue remedial therapy that involves the therapist using fingers or thumbs to move over muscle, ligament, tendon and fascia in various parts of the body. This therapy can be effective to help relieve everyday stresses and revitalise the body.

Each Bowen therapy session varies according to the particular problems of the client. By focusing on the lower and mid back and legs, the upper back and shoulders before finishing with neck moves, a sense of wellbeing can be achieved, helping relaxation, aiding sleep – helping to remove every day stress and anxiety that can make us feel under-par or prevent us functioning at our optimum.

Choosing a practitioner

It is important to choose a qualified Bowen therapist who has undertaken all the necessary training to understand the theory and practice of Bowen therapy.”

Bowen Practitioners use a light touch – mostly using just fingers and thumbs – to support changes in the physical structures in the body, including muscles, tendons, ligaments and fascia.

The ‘Move’

We generally use a ‘rolling’ movement over the muscle belly or tendon that we call a ‘move’. A treatment consists of a series of gentle moves either through light clothing or directly on the skin. The moves are made on very specific points on the body bringing about gentle muscle release.

The ‘Break’

During a session there will be times when the practitioner steps away from the client for a few minutes – the ‘break’ – in order to allow the body to settle before more ‘moves’ are made. Some practitioners will leave the treatment room during this time – so do not be surprised if there are times when you are left alone to relax and allow the process to proceed at its own pace – the practitioner will be back!

The Session

The first session will include an assessment of individual need.

Treatment is usually started with the client lying face down on a therapy couch and then further work is carried out with the client lying on their back. Treatment can also be carried out seated. In fact, treatment can be carried out with the client supported in whatever position is most comfortable for them.

I do not usually use music during the session, preferring a calm, quiet atmosphere to allow the client to focus on what is happening within the body, giving feedback where appropriate.

Practitioners are taught to be sensitive to the needs of each individual and to be aware of when a client has had enough treatment for that session. This can vary considerably for each individual.

A session usually lasts up to an hour and frequently results in a deep sense of relaxation, allowing the body to recharge and re-balance itself.

I initially learnt Bowen Technique from Bow-Tech. I have recently studied with EMMETT Therapies who also teach existing Bowen practitioners how the technique was originally developed by Tom Bowen. This course is called Tom Bowen’s Therapy and this has added to my Bowen skills. for more information on this please go to www.emmett-uk.com 

A description and demonstration of the Bowen Technique by John Wilks, a senior UK BowTech tutor is available on: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CaoCZECEkFg&NR=1

Learning the Bowen Technique

Bowen Technique is taught in different ways, depending on the training organisation, but each practitioner will attend several days of a taught course completing a varying number of case studies and practical treatments and then sit exams as to their practical and theoretical knowledge. I trained with BowTech – see links page for more details. Other Bowen associations are available in the UK including the European College of Bowen Studies [E.C.B.S.]