Named after its innovator Tom Bowen
, who developed the technique in the ‘50s and ‘60s, and by 1975, was treating some 13,000 patients a year, even though he never advertised. During a typical Bowen session the client will lie on a therapy table or bed, although the work can be effectively carried out with the client in a chair.
What is The Bowen Technique?
Simply stated, the Bowen Technique resets the body to heal itself. It consists of a series of gentle moves, usually with just the thumb and finger, across muscles or tendons in a very gentle rolling motion. The moves are made on specific parts of the body, such as across muscle either side of the spine, that triggers the body’s natural responses to heal itself. It is non-invasive, and so gentle that it is hard to believe anything is happening.It is not massage or manipulation.
Most of the work can be performed through light clothing, although some therapists prefer to work on skin. The ultimate choice should be that of the client’s. Although each session will vary according to the skill and experience of the therapist, as well as the presenting problems of the client, an initial treatment will address the whole body. As a general rule, moves will be made over the lower and mid back and legs, the upper back and shoulders before finishing with neck moves with the client supine (face up).
A feature of the work is that between sets of moves the therapist will leave the room and allow the client to rest. This is a key element of Bowen and is a defining aspect of the technique as well as being one of the most important. The break allows the body the opportunity to create a decision about what action needs to be taken in response to the Bowen moves.
Bowen can have very powerful effects on the body and it is extremely important to ensure the body is not bombarded with signals causing confusion and ultimately more harm than good.
Most patients have positive responses after only one session. Within three sessions even long standing chronic pain can be relieved. Some 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 health.