Why choose Bowen therapy?

If you could be a fly on the wall at a Bowen practitioner's training course, you would see a flurry of hands being raised when the Bowen tutor asks for volunteers to have the procedures demonstrated on them. This is because Bowen practitioners love Bowen and strongly believe in the therapy they deliver.


Many Bowen practitioners will do ‘treatment swaps’ with colleagues nearby as it is usually their first choice of treatment and helps them to stay fit and well enough to deliver this amazing therapy to their clients. 

Many practitioners belong to a professional body associated with the therapy as they feel that it is important to have a standard of ethics to work to and they continue their professional development by attending Bowen-related courses - often more than the number required by their professional body as this extends their knowledge and helps them to network with other practitioners. 

What is Bowen therapy?

Bowen is a very gentle, light touch, hands-on therapy which can help to address many issues that people would normally seek more traditional therapies like physiotherapy, osteopathy, and deep tissue massage to deal with. All these therapies have the same objective of relieving pain and improving the body’s functionality but go about achieving that objective in different ways. With Bowen, there is no hard tissue manipulation involved, no adjustment or high-velocity movement, no massaging or use of oils, no deep or prolonged pressure and you can keep your clothes on!

The pressure that is applied during treatment should be no more than the pressure that you can comfortably place on your eyeball whilst your eye is closed. This is why the treatment is particularly suitable for fibromyalgia sufferers for whom other treatment options may seem too harsh. Bowen therapy works with the body’s sympathetic nervous system aiming to achieve a parasympathetic state which allows the body to heal itself. 

The sympathetic nervous system has two strands to it and people do not always pay enough attention to the parasympathetic strand as a busy and hectic lifestyle can mean that the body is predominantly in the ‘fight or flight’ mode of the sympathetic nervous system. Being constantly in that state can have a detrimental effect on the body and its long-term health. Taking the time to address stress or anxiety and reduce pain can reap ongoing benefits and Bowen may help with both. 

If you were driving your car and an engine management system warning light came on, it would be foolish to ignore it, but we do that with our health all the time. Why put up with neck and shoulder pain which has been exacerbated by working from home on a laptop poorly positioned on your dining room table, or why give up the sport you love because of back or knee pain, for example? 

Another advantage of Bowen is that with it being an all-over holistic treatment, it can address more than one issue during treatment. These are often additional areas of concern that people would not necessarily seek out treatment for. 

What can you expect in a Bowen treatment session? 

Bowen also works alongside the lymphatic system. You will be encouraged by your Bowen practitioner to move regularly and to increase your water intake in between treatments. This is because the lymphatic system does not have its own pump, unlike the cardiovascular system which has the heart pumping blood around the body. So, in the days following treatment, the lymphatic system needs a ‘nudge’ to get the lymph flowing and expel toxins. Keeping moving resets the work the practitioner has put in and water helps to rehydrate the cells.

Something that is quite unique to Bowen is the breaks. After a few moves, the practitioner will move away from your body and may even go out of the room for a few minutes depending upon where you are being treated. This break is for your body and more specifically your brain to process the moves and decide whether it needs to take any action. You may wonder what the practitioner is doing during those breaks. They are not putting the kettle on or doing the ironing as they have been asked about countless times. They will be making notes on what they have felt or observed when applying the previous moves and deciding what to do next - you will be their total focus.

Most Bowen practitioners will ask you to commit to an initial course of three treatments, ideally a week apart as it can take the body this length of time to adjust to this gentle treatment and for it to start the healing process. Whilst it is possible that you may start to feel some initial changes quite quickly after your first treatment, it is unlikely that your issues will be resolved after just one treatment, but the work put in by the practitioner will continue to take effect as the week goes on. 

You will be asked not to have any other physical therapies for at least a week on either side of a Bowen treatment so that your body can fully focus on processing this unique treatment. It seems that, in some way, Bowen tunes the body into a certain frequency which allows the body to undertake its own restoration. There is no situation where the Bowen technique cannot be used safely and to good effect. People of every age can be treated, from newborn babies to the elderly and everyone in between.

If you are open-minded to complementary therapies, now could be the time to give Bowen a try

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Therapy Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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St Annes on Sea FY8 & Preston PR1
Written by Judith Kilgallon, Bowen Practitioner and Reflexologist
St Annes on Sea FY8 & Preston PR1

Hello and welcome. I’m Judith and I am qualified in the Bowen Technique, Reflexology and Indian Head Massage, working from treatment rooms in St Annes (Fit and Well Therapies) and (Lifestyles Health Store) Wrea Green (Ribby Hall Health Club) and Penwortham (Chakra Yoga Studio) helping my clien...

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