Gerri Shapiro, MS Ed.
Copyright 2002, All rights reserved
is dedicated to Thomas Bowen, the gifted healer who
developed the original Bowen Technique which has helped thousands of
people all over the world relieve stress and pain.
What is pain?
The Chinese consider good health to be a state of energy balance
within the body. They believe that pain and illness are caused by an imbalance which blocks
the flow of energy. What often happens is that problems accumulate and our self-healing
process becomes overloaded.
What is healing?
Healing is not something that just “happens.” It is a
continuous movement toward harmony and balance. The body has a great ability to heal itself, but
sometimes it needs assistance to remove the blocks getting in the way of the healing process.
Pain Goes When Energy Flows
When energy flows freely, all our body functions improve by the
release of tension.
The Amazing Tom Bowen
Tom Bowen was a gifted natural healer from Australia. Late in
life he discovered he had an unusual gift that allowed him to intuitively know what was ailing
people and how to help them relieve their pain. His healing technique is unique in that it
was developed without him having had any previous medical or healthcare training.
He claimed he could feel tiny vibrations in people’s muscles that
helped him find the exact location to work on. He spoke of his skill with great humility
and frequently stated that his
work was “simply a gift from God.”
Tom had the capacity to quickly assess what was wrong with someone
and where they were out of balance. He could look into a room full of people, glance
at them for about 20 seconds, and know what their problems were. Although he never advertised,
it was estimated that he treated over 13,000 people in the course of one year, and he claimed a
success rate of about 88%!
“He was an incredibly generous man,” says Kevin Ryan, an
osteopath who trained in the technique under Tom Bowen. “He had an amazing energy and
passion for his work. He ran
a free clinic one Saturday morning per month devoted entirely to
children with disabilities, and every Saturday night he opened his clinic to injured football
players,” he said.
Like Palmer (Chiropractic), Rolf, (Rolfing), Feldenkrais (Feldenkrais
Technique) and Usui (Reiki), Tom Bowen had a unique talent. He dedicated his life to
turning his gift into a practical application that has proven to be of great benefit to thousands of people all
over the world.
A Unique Technique
The Bowen Technique is quite
unique. There are several features that set it apart from
It is so gentle that you hardly notice you’re being touched.
People usually become very relaxed right away, and even fall asleep
during a session.
Rapid pain relief is common. Most pain and injury will respond
within two or three sessions.
People often experience a deep and long-lasting relief. Two to
three sessions spaced one week apart are usually enough to achieve lasting relief, even from
long-standing pain or injury.
There is no one who cannot be treated safely with Bowen. It is
so gentle, it can be used on babies, pregnant women, the elderly and
the disabled. It is not dangerous to those suffering from
chronic illness and it is ideal for treating children because it is
non-invasive and non-threatening.
Two Minute Pauses
It is a unique feature of the Bowen Technique that there are two
minute breaks in which the practitioner actually leaves the room. These pauses are
crucial as they allow the body time to absorb the “messages” presented by the moves.
No diagnostic procedures or exams are used to choose a specific
treatment for each ailment.
No special attention is given to “fix” the area that is in pain:
the technique addresses the entire body.
There is no cracking, no force and no needles. There is little
discomfort or pain involved because there is no heavy pressure or hard probing into sensitive
muscles or joints.
Less Is More
The practitioner does the minimum needed to bring about a healing
response in the body. The more acute the pain, the less they do. The less they do, the more profound the
on the body.
Great First Aid Tool
When you apply the Bowen Technique right after a fall, injury or
accident, the release of tension acts in a preventive way to help correct any imbalance before it
can adversely affect the body.
Easy To Learn
The technique is easy to learn. There is only one basic
A Bowen Session
A session lasts about 45 minutes. Treatment can be done
through clothing or directly on the skin. The practitioner "rolls" over the muscles with her fingers, which
causes the muscles to relax. The moves are done in groups. Between
sets, the practitioner
leaves the room for at least two minutes to allow the body to relax.
During a session the contracted muscles relax so that the
surrounding areas are freed from constriction. People may feel relaxed or energized. The
moves send out signals which help:
* stimulate energy flow;
* facilitate lymphatic drainage of toxins and
* promote good circulation;
* release tension;
* increase mobility;
* encourage the body to relax, realign and heal
The healing process begins once your body is relaxed. You may
feel shifts in your body during and after a session. The technique promotes the removal of waste
products. Once the “garbage” has been cleared out, your body can start to function
Move The Pain Out of Your Body
Until recently, heavy lifting was thought to be the
main cause of back pain, but studies now indicate that SITTING causes the most problems. Sitting
puts a lot of strain on our lower back. The longer we sit, the more it hurts. That's
because 40 percent more weight is placed on the lower spine when we are sitting. Our body, particularly
our spine, was not designed to sit in chairs for hours on end.
Movement is actually “medicine”, according to Carol and Mitchell
Krucoff, M.D., authors of
Healing Moves: How to Cure, Relieve and Prevent Common
Walking is the best natural health remedy for many kinds of
conditions, disorders and symptoms. (1) It can help speed your recovery process and has many other
benefits as well: (2)
* helps ease back pain;
* goes easy on your joints;
* can be done in short spurts;
* strengthens your bones;
* costs you nothing.
The 3 W's
Right after your Bowen session, you should take a 15 or 20 minute
walk to start
the pain out of your body. Do not sit for more than 30 minutes at
a time the first day.
For the rest of the week take a 15-20 minute walk each day... or a
few short 5-10 minute walks. This will help “turn on your body pumps” and move
the toxins out of your body.
According to F. Batmanghelidj, MD., most pain is due to chronic
dehydration. He says that we hurt because our bodies are thirsty. (3)
Drink at least 8 glasses of water each day. This helps:
* relieve pain all over your body;
* relieve congestion;
* flush out toxins;
* lubricate your joints;
* keep your body in balance.
After a Bowen session, you must
wait at least one week
before having any other kind of bodywork, massage or chiropractic so you don’t interrupt the
The Bowen moves send electrical signals to your muscles, nervous
system and brain, which help realign and balance your body. The effects of the
treatment will actually continue to work during the rest of the week, and possibly longer.
Foods That Help Relieve Pain
According to Neal Barnard, M.D., author of several books on the
healing properties of foods, certain foods, particularly most vegetables and fruits, are
excellent painkillers. They work against pain in four ways:
1. they can reduce
damage at the site of an injury;
2. they cool your
body’s inflammatory response;
3. they provide
analgesia on pain nerves themselves; and
4. they work within the brain to
reduce pain sensitivity. (4)
You Can Help Your Friends and Family
There is nothing to compare with the feeling of knowing that you
yourself can help relieve the suffering of someone you love - using only the power of touch.
The Bowen Technique is easy to learn, yet powerfully effective.
The Miracle Pain
based on the Bowen Technique, is designed to teach you step-by-step how to use the
basic Bowen moves to help your family and friends relieve their pain quickly and
We make no medical claims as to the
benefits of Miracle Pain Relief or the Bowen Technique to improve
conditions. This handbook is for informational purposes only so that you may make
better informed decisions.
1. Krucoff, Carol and Mitchell Krucoff, M.D.,
Moves: How To Cure, Relieve and Prevent
Common Ailments with Exercise,
Harmony Books, 2000.
2. Bowman, Sherry and Randy Rodman,
Eliminate Back, Shoulder, Knee,
Other Structural Pain Forever
Without Surgery or Drugs, Hyperian, 1999.
3. Batmanghelidj. F., MD.,
Many Cries For Water, Global Health Solutions, 1997.
4. Barnard, Neal, MD.,
Foods That Fight Pain,
Harmony Books, 1998.