Touch Produces Miracles
Bowen Pain Relief Technique
Relief At Your Fingertips
Most Effective Pain Therapy Ever!
Technique For Pain Relief - Dramatic Healings
The Bowen Technique:
In short, it worked!
Bowen Technique: One of those too good to be true stories
The Making of the Bowen Video
Wonder From Down
Under: The Bowen Technique
Bowen Therapy From Australia
Power of the Gentle Touch.
Hands-On Approach To Relief
Bowen Technique and Frozen
What is Bowen Therapy, and How
Does It Work?
Technique and Childhood Asthma
The Healing Power of Foods
Movement Is Medicine
Water Cure Miracles
E-Mail this article to a Friend
short, it worked."
by Jane Alexander
(Reprinted with permission.)
The Bowen Technique is
quite simply the most down-to-earth therapy in the book. There
is no need to wind your head around any complex philosophy; no call
for mystic mumblings or deep emotional encounters; and no one
expects you to devote an inordinate time to a long, drawn-out course
Quick, cheap and
effective, it manipulates the muscle and connective tissue, leaving
you walking tall and feeling relaxed, free and remarkably supple.
A Bowen treatments takes just 20
minutes, usually costs less than $50 and you don't even have to take
off your clothes.
characteristics, it's no surprise to find that Bowen hails, not from
the loony fringes of California, but from the clean-living,
no-nonsense reaches of Australia. Antipodean doctors have
appreciated the effects of the technique for many years, and use it
widely for sports injuries, low back injuries, chronic tension
headaches and even for more complex problems such as asthma and
Its popularity is
growing fast in Canada and the U.S., and now Bowen is nudging its
way in the U.K. It's really going to take off in this country,
predicts Julian Baker, one of (as yet) three qualified practitioners
in the country.
Smartly dressed in a
neat suit and tie, Baker doesn't look like a typical
therapist. But then, he promises, Bowen isn't a typical
therapy. There isn't any great chanting or any tradition going
back 5,000 years. He says it is "very straightforward,
very simple and most importantly, it's painless.
It honestly doesn't
hurt. There is no counseling, no "emoting", no small
talk, and no chit chat," as Baker puts it. "You just
do the moves and then leave the patient's body to deal with
them." Even better, promises Baker, 80-90% of the people
need only one or two sessions to sort out their woes.
As luck would have it, a
weekend's hard gardening and an uncompromising tree stump had
contrived to leave me feeling decidedly woeful - with a considerable
pain in my lower back. Julian Baker tried to look sympathetic
but there was no disguising the glee on his face.
That's something Bowen can really help", he promised
confidently. I edged gingerly onto the massage table and lay
face down. Baker explained that he was going to work on the
fascia (the connective tissue that covers the muscle), taking the
slack across the muscle and moving over it.
The touch is firm but
not painful - no more than the pressure you could take on your
eyeballs. As he moved across my neck and back, I could feel
first a subtle resistance and then a giving way as he "rolled
over" each muscle.
describe the movement as similar to "rolling a ball up a hill
and then popping it over the top." When he reached my
tortured lower back, there was a wonderful sense of "hitting
the spot." But it's nothing like the continued pressure
of massage, nothing like the deep probing of Rolfing and Hellerwork,
and nowhere near the short, sharp shocks of acupressure or shiatsu.
More to the point, there
is none of the impending sense of terror you get with an osteopath,
wondering just when you're going to have you back or neck
"cracker." In fact, Bowen seems so gentle, so
negligible in its outward manifestation, that you wonder whether it
is really doing any good.
that," agrees Baker. A lot of people get up and say
"Is that it? How can that work?" When it comes
to explaining precisely how it does work, things become a little
less straightforward. To be truthful, we just don't know, says
Baker with a bemused shrug. Tom Bowen was so insular, so
non-communicative about what he did, we can only ever guess.
In 1974 he came under
investigation by the Australian federal government, which discovered
to its amazement that he was treating far and away the greatest
number of patients on the continent - some 13,000 a year, with
patients responding to one or two treatments in 80-90% of cases.
Bowen never advertised
and never talked about his work. He certainly had no
pretensions about calling what he did the Bowen Technique. But
he did allow one person, Oswald Rentsch, who after Bowen's death in
1982 began to train therapists in the procedure.
Bowen did not explain
how this approach works, although Rentsch says he did suggest it
worked by temporarily tapping energy in one area. This energy
appears to reduce muscle spasm while increasing blood supply and
lymphatic drainage, resulting in the clearing of debris and the
release of tension. Then Bowen found the body could get on
with healing itself.
Julian Baker put it like
this: Bowen is a language and we're talking to the body asking
the body to start communicating with the brain to get the channels
Numerous clinical trials
are being carried out to try to pin down the secret of Bowen; the
results and answers are some years away. In the meantime,
suffice to say it seems to work. Baker has seen impressive results
with frozen shoulder, tennis elbow and other sports injuries.
Not only does movement return, but keen golfers have even told him
the technique has improved their swing.
It seems to give greater
flexibility, he says, adding that his dearest wish would be to teach
the technique to football physiotherapists who could use it to
lessen the likelihood of injuries. But Bowen isn't just
confined to sorting out sore knees and aching backs. Aside
from the precise moves of the technique, Bowen therapists arrive
with armloads of advice that, while smacking of old wives' tales,
are in some instances now being proven by science.
There are cures for
bunions, and suggestions for curing children of bedwetting; there is
advice and treatment for hay fever sufferers. But along with
most people, I found it hard to see how the tiny moves of Bowen
could affect anything - especially something as clear-cut and
obvious as my badly-pulled back. And I must say that if you
are into the more sensually satisfying side of therapy, stick to
Yet, although Baker
explained that it's not uncommon to feel initially worse after the
first treatment, I have to say I felt better the moment I stepped
off the couch. My back was simply easier, more fluid. I
could bend down without wincing. The next day only the
faintest memory of the stiffness remained, and my whole body felt
lighter and more flexible. In short, it worked.
Baker promises that by
the summer, there will be many more qualified practitioners in this
curiously homespun technique. With the sporting and gardening
season well under way, the sooner the better.
Jane Alexander is a
writer specializing in natural health and holistic living. She
has written 16 books on the subject including Mind Body Spirit
(Carlton), Live Well (Element), The Five Minute Healer
(Gaia) and The Energy Secret (Element). Jane is
well-known for her features in national British newspapers which
cover all aspects of alternative and complementary healthcare,
self-help and psychology. The Daily Mail called her
"Britain's top writer on alternative therapies." She
often appears on television and radio to discuss complementary
health and related issues. You can see more of her work on her
website at www.smudging.com