Everything you need to know about Bowen therapy


What is Bowen therapy?

The Bowen technique is a complementary therapy first used in the 1950s. It uses a mix of energetic redirecting and pressure point massage to help the body find balance and harmony as a whole. It gently targets the muscles and fascia in the entire body, and is suitable for anyone, including pregnant women.

Although Bowen uses hands-on moves that are very similar to Swedish Massage, it also involves a lot of “hands-off” time during the treatment, where the therapist leaves the room or steps away for up to two minutes. This is because it isn’t the manipulation itself that’s considered to effective, but the individual connection between body and brain. By drawing attention to an area, and then pausing any stimulus in the area, the brain is forced to re-engage and kickstart the healing process.

Who can benefit from the Bowen technique?

Bowen therapy is typically used  to provide complementary treatment for back, neck and shoulder pain. However, it may also have positive effects in the treatment of:

  • Allergies and hayfever
  • Headaches
  • Sciatica
  • Ear infections
  • Carpal tunnel
  • Digestive Issues including IBS
  • Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Foot, knee and ankle problems
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Sports injury recovery
  • Stress

Bowen therapy may be effective when other techniques have failed to deal with the root cause of the problem, particularly in the case of ongoing aches and pain in a specific area, such as a stiff neck. If you are experiencing chronic pain or recovering from an injury, you should always speak with your doctor before beginning any course of complementary treatment.

It’s also frequently used to address emotional problems, including anxiety and tension. If you can’t find a Bowen therapist in your area, you could also consider a Relaxing Massage, which may also help you relax, unwind and get a good night’s sleep.

What happens in a Bowen session?

You can either undress or remain clothed during your session, and you’ll typically be invited to lie face down a massage table. It’s a good idea to make sure you’re thoroughly hydrated before arriving for your treatment, so drink plenty of water during the 24 hours before arriving.

Your trained practitioner will use their fingers and thumbs to make small, rolling movements on precise points of the body. This can focus on muscles, tendons, ligaments, soft tissue as well as fascia. Between each section, they will quietly leave the room to give the body a moment to recover and reconnect. This technique should never be painful, and can be relaxing to the point where you might even find yourself drifting off during the session. However, you may experience aching and soreness in the days following treatment.

If you’re having Bowen therapy in order to facilitate injury recovery, you should expect that your symptoms may be alleviated in around 1-3 sessions. It’s recommended that you always take a gap of 5-10 days between each session so your body can process the change.


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