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Bowen technique

The Bowen Technique is a non-invasive, soft tissue remedial therapy - a gentle form of bodywork which involves the therapist using fingers or thumbs in various parts of the body to move over muscle, tendon, ligament and fascia.

Bowen treats the whole person not just the part or parts of the body in which symptoms occur and its practitioners will not make medical diagnoses. They use a process of visual assessment and physical or energetic palpation of tissue tension and energetic blocks to guide treatment.

Bowen is a system of bodywork which should be painless and although there are many possible reactions to it, the actual moves as applied by the therapist must not create pain.

What happens at a session?

A session normally takes between 45 to 60 minutes although this may vary according to the way that individual therapists work. Treatments are usually scheduled around one week apart and three treatments are recommended in order to establish whether the client is likely to respond.

During a treatment, which consists of a series of gentle moves directly onto skin or through light clothing, the client will usually lie on a therapy table, although the work can be carried out with the client sitting on a chair.

A feature of the Bowen technique is that the therapist will leave the room between sets of moves to allow the client to rest, allowing the body the opportunity to respond to the moves given. It is common for areas not being directly treated to respond to the treatment.

As a general rule, moves will be made over the lower and mid back and legs, the upper back and shoulders before ending the session, with the client lying face up, and finish off with neck moves.

Most people will have a response within 3 – 4 sessions; other conditions might need to be treated more often.

What precautions should I take?

Reactions to treatment are not uncommon and can include tiredness, increase in original symptoms, stiffness, headaches, flu like symptoms, increased dream activity.

Advice given after a session will emphasise the importance of gentle movement and drinking plenty of water.

Where can I get more information?

Log on to the European College of Bowen Studies website at