What is Bowen

Bowen Technique is a form of physical bodywork which is non-invasive, performed mainly over loose clothes or directly on skin depending on the move required.  It utilises gentle but effective rolling moves over muscles, ligaments, tendons and soft tissue to initiate change and active your body's own innate ability to heal. 
This stimulation may significantly affect the fascia* sending signals to the nervous system to allow change to occur e.g. the relaxation of a muscle in spasm.
Fascia is now being recognised as being of significance importance for its
inter-relationship and communication within the body leading to healing.

*Fascia is a rich network of neural transmissions within our connective tissue which allow us to respond, react or change to our environment & our needs which affects our whole being.  Fascia binds to, attaches & surrounds all structures including all our organs, brain & spinal column.

A unique aspect of Bowen is that I may sometimes leave a space for stillness between moves to allow your body to process the received stimuli and respond according to how it is able. I can then re-assess these changes in the tissue to know what your body needs next & proceed with treatment.
Bowen Technique may result in:
  •  pain relief
  •  reduction in inflammation
  •  release of stress
  •  increased movement, mobility and flexibility
  •  a general feeling of relaxation, harmony and balance
  •  and in some cases rapid recovery

Bowen is a holistic therapy, so often while treating a specific condition a response may be felt in a totally different part of your body and healing of a separate issue, sometimes not even mentioned during consultation, may occur.  Likewise it may stimulate release of blockages or memories from a deep cellular level which promote positive change too.

We are all unique so our responses are unique too.
Results may be instant, almost like magic orsometimes subtle
or it may take a little longer for your body to respond.  
Just trust the process, trust your body and wait to see what changes for you.
Please Note - As a Bowen practitioner I do not diagnose, prescribe or alter medication, but would advise, where necessary, that assessment by your doctor may be required to change or reduce existing regimes.

How does it work

A key part of the success of Bowen Technique is that it works by stimulating your Central Nervous System, particularly the autonomic nervous system (consisting of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems).


Most of us have busy stressful lives, using adrenal energy to keep us going.  This dominant fight/flight mechanism is part of the sympathetic nervous system and prevents the body from relaxing, rejuvenating and repairing. We simply cannot turn off.

Bowen switches us into parasympathetic mode which is essential for healing.


This is when the body is able to relax and release stress from deep levels, resulting in balance, re-alignment, relaxation of muscles and the re-establishment of self-regulation, homeostasis and harmony in systemic function e.g. digestive or hormonal. 

This is why many clients find Bowen sessions to be very relaxing, drifting into a deep place of calmness or even sleep.  


It's often described by my clients as being like 'floating on air'.

This parasympathetic mode allows healing to be activated to accelerate recovery. 


Bowen may also re-activated this response if healing has plateaued, which often occurs after long standing injuries, issues, trauma and even post-operatively.

Bowen ultimately allows the body to recognise and remember

its own ability to bring about positive change, healing and recovery.


Tom Bowen 1916-1982
Ossie & Elaine Rentsch

Bowen Technique is the legacy of Tom Bowen (1916-1982) who lived in Geelong, Australia.


Over many years he developed a unique way to relieve suffering for people by performing certain moves made on the body and observing their responses. Some say it is a combination of osteopathy, acupuncture and shiatsu together with his intuitive knowing of how the body works and responds. He ran an extremely busy clinic seeing an astonishing 13,000 people a year at the height of his practise !   


Tom Bowen was very generous, holding free clinics for children, the disabled and community service workers.

Later in life Tom allowed a small number of therapists, who requested to learn his technique, to observe him.  He did not actually teach them and left no written records of how he worked. 


It was Ossie Rentsch, together with his wife Elaine, who set up The Bowen Therapy Academy of Australia (BTAA) as BowTech - The Bowen Technique.  This has ensured that Bowen is now taught worldwide, and there are several other training facilities that have evolved too.

Considerable research has already been documented on the effectiveness of Bowen with new studies currently being conducted.  In some areas it is recognised within Health Authorities as an additional therapy for patients, particularly in palliative cancer care.


As practitioners we welcome this progress, allowing Bowen to be accepted in more fields of health & wellbeing as an effective treatment for many people with many varying conditions.

We know how well this technique works both on its own and along side orthodox and other fields of healing.  By joining forces we can all help to accelerate the return to health for many people.