About Bowenwork™

Bowenwork is a unique approach to stimulating the body's natural healing ability, so it is sometimes challenging to describe to those who have not experienced it. There is no therapy like it in the world. While the work is gentle and non-invasive, the effective practice of it is very specific and precise.

Bowenwork involves gentle, yet powerful, movements on muscle and connective tissue. These movements prompt soft tissue release, sending neurological impulses to the brain. Because the impulses travel through the internal nervous system pathways, they stimulate whole brain responses, which address every system in the body -- internal organ systems as well as musculo-skeletal structure.

Pauses are inserted between sets of these movements, which allow the brain time to process and send messages to realign the body. It is thought that because the whole brain is stimulated, the original, genetic pattern is re-awakened, and the more recent injury and compensation patterns are released. Respecting these pauses is an essential component of Bowenwork, for it allows the body sufficient time to remember and restore its own healthy, natural balance.

History of Bowenwork

Tom Bowen, born 1916 in Brunswick, Australia, pioneered the work that now bears his name in the early 1950's. By the 1970's, Bowen was treating 13,000 people a year, with a documented success rate of over 85%. At the time of his death in 1982, he considered only six men to have been trained in his technique -- "his boys", as he called them. One of the men, Ossie Rentsch, spent 8 years documenting Bowen's work. Though Tom did not formally teach his technique himself, he authorized Ossie to "take the work to the world after I die". Ossie and his wife Elaine taught their first seminar in 1986 in Perth, Australia. Bowenwork is now being taught in 25 countries around the world.

For further information, please go to the international website of the Bowen Therapy Academy of Australia at

Receiving a Session

The client lies on a soft treatment table, wearing loosely fitting clothing. The therapist applies a specifically orchestrated and located series of gentle movements composed of subtle rollings of connective tissue.

During the session, the movements are applied in a series of patterns. The therapist leaves the room between each series so as to allow the brain time to receive and process the messages. These breaks also afford the client a "personal space" so as to achieve energetic realignment without interference, and enter a profound relaxation.

This deeply relaxed state seems to act upon the body's autonomic nervous system, which creates homeostasis at the cellular level. Because it addresses the body as a whole, Bowenwork treats beyond the presented symptom and makes physical, chemical, emotional and mental adjustments within each system. Through this precise resetting of the autonomic nervous system, the individual's body is freed to find its own natural balance.

Sessions usually last an hour. Treatments are often given to more than one client at a time, due to the required pauses between sets of moves. A second visit is scheduled one week later, in order to complete laying the foundation of the work in the body. Subsequent visits are determined by the client's needs. Tom Bowen used to say, "I want to see you whenever you want to see me".

Bowenwork can enhance the benefits of homeopathy, essential oils, nutrition, hydration, and normal exercise. However, bodywork manipulations such as massage or chiropractic will affect deep tissue, and counteract Bowenwork's ability to stimulate healing from within the internal nervous system and the brain. It is advisable to allow a week between sessions of any other physical modalities and Bowenwork.


Conditions Helped by Bowenwork™


  • Frozen Shoulder and shoulder pain
  • Tennis Elbow
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Arthritis pain
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Scoliosis
  • Migraine
  • TMJ syndrome
  • Postural and gait problems
  • Sports injuries
  • Shin Splints
  • Plantar fasciitis, other foot and ankle problems
  • Hernia
  • Knee and hip restrictions
  • Pelvic problems
  • Sciatica


  • Infertility
  • Menstrual pain
  • PMS
  • Mastitis
  • Fibroids, breast and uterine
  • Prostate problems


  • Asthma
  • Bronchitis
  • Hay Fever
  • Sinusitis
  • Allergies



  • Colic
  • Crohn's Disease
  • Indigestion
  • Constipation
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Bed Wetting, children


  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Balance problems
  • Tinnitus
  • Ear ache and ear infections

Bowen & Massage Integration

Clients seeking pain relief are more willing to try Bowenwork™ than are clients seeking relaxation massage. It is not uncommon to develop separate clienteles for Bowen and massage.

Thank you to Alexia Monroe for authoring the page content

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