Summary

  • Bowen is a holistic technique that works on the soft connective tissue (fascia) of the body.
  • A Bowen treatment consists of sequences of small moves, each at a specific site on the body. It can be done through light clothing.
  • Make sure you use a registered therapist.
Bowen is a holistic remedial body technique that works on the soft connective tissue (fascia) of the body. Bowen therapy can be used to treat musculoskeletal or related neurological problems including acute sports injuries and chronic or organic conditions. It is gentle and relaxing and does not use forceful manipulation.

Bowen therapy is performed on the superficial and deep fascia. The fascia, or soft tissue, is the part of the connective tissue that envelops, separates and influences every organ and tissue in the body.

The Bowen technique is safe to use on anyone, from newborns to the elderly and for any musculoskeletal or related neuromuscular complaint. It is a holistic treatment that treats the whole person and aims to treat the cause of problems, rather than the symptoms.

Choosing a Bowen therapist

It is best to choose a registered therapist. The Bowen Therapist State Associations and Federation only register members who have adequate training at accredited institutions.

Bowen procedure

A Bowen treatment consists of sequences of small moves at varying pressures, each at a specific site on the body. The treatment is pleasant – therapists use light, cross-fibre manoeuvres of muscle, tendon or ligament with no forceful manipulation.

A treatment will typically last between 30 minutes and one hour. It can be provided through a layer of light clothing, although you may be asked to remove heavy or thick garments. During this time, the therapist may leave the room for periods of two to five minutes at a time. This allows time for your body to respond to the treatment and for the necessary changes to occur in your body before commencing the next sequence of moves.

What you can expect

Bowen is not an ongoing therapy. The person may experience relief after just the first session and significant resolution or recovery within three sessions. However, chronic or long-standing conditions or repeat injury may require additional treatments and if symptoms do not resolve, you should see your doctor.

Advice after Bowen therapy

Your therapist may advise you not to have any other physical therapy or other forms of manipulation – such as massage, chiropractic, physiotherapy, acupuncture or kinesiology – for one week after the treatment, while your body adjusts to the treatment.

Where to get help

  • Your doctor
  • Bowen Therapists Federation of Australia Tel. 1300 4 BOWEN (1300 4 26936)

Things to remember

  • Bowen is a holistic technique that works on the soft connective tissue (fascia) of the body.
  • A Bowen treatment consists of sequences of small moves, each at a specific site on the body. It can be done through light clothing.
  • Make sure you use a registered therapist.
References

More information

Complementary and alternative care

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Alternative systems and therapies

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This page has been produced in consultation with and approved by: Department of Health and Human Services - RHP&R - Office of the Chief Health Officer

Last updated: September 2015

Content on this website is provided for education and information purposes only. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your doctor or other registered health professional. Content has been prepared for Victorian residents and wider Australian audiences, and was accurate at the time of publication. Readers should note that, over time, currency and completeness of the information may change. All users are urged to always seek advice from a registered health care professional for diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.