The Bowen Technique is named after Australian osteopath Tom Bowen (1916-1982). It is one amongst a number of technical interpretations known as Bowen Therapies, holistic systems of healing. Until 1986, the Bowen Technique was limited to Australia. Yet in subsequent years, Oswald Rentsch, an observer of Bowen, introduced the therapy to other countries. Since then it has progressed and developed in the hands of others, and is currently one amongst nine therapies seeking voluntary self regulation in the United Kingdom.
Born in Brunswick Australia, Bowen had no formal medical training when he commenced his practise. He began practising what would become one of the most innovative systems of healing in local clubs where he used to give massages. His popularity grew and from then on he devoted his time to developing this healing technique in Geelong, Australia.
An Australian Government survey on natural therapies revealed that Bowen was treating approximately 13,000 patients a year. And it is through these years of practise that Bowen’s technique evolved.
Furthermore, Bowen’s healing system was also effectively used to treat animals, and nowadays Bowen therapists who choose to work with animals undergo specialist training in what is called Canine or Equine Bowen Therapy.
Bowen Therapy involves a simple procedure through which energy is corrected in order to stimulate a change in the body’s balance. This rouses the body’s healing abilities back into action, and may result in relief from pain and discomfort that is both rapid and long lasting.
The treatment involves a series of gentle moves, each at a particular point on the body. These light moves serve to manoeuvre the muscle, tendon or ligament, and the procedure is pleasant to the patient.
The Bowen Treatment is painless and safe to use on anyone (with medical supervision where appropriate). It generally produces results after the first session, and patients are only required to attend two or three further sessions in order to complete the therapy. Moreover, the treatment produces an integrated body response and therefore it is effective in curing a broad range of conditions, and in improving many different aspects of the body such as circulation, lymphatic and venous draining, joint mobility, posture, and tissue integrity.
Where anatomically possible, the Bowen Therapy on animals follows the same procedure as on humans. It can be used on any animal, ranging from birds to reptiles.
When animals are injured, they tend to change the way they move in order to stop feeling the pain. The counter effect is that they redistribute pressure onto other parts of the body, and over time these other parts also begin to suffer from overuse or strain. The Bowen Technique works by re-balancing the body, and in effect undoing the damage caused by the strain.
Through a series of gentle moves on the muscles of the animals, the healing system encourages the animals to enter a deep state of relaxation. This relaxed state in turn acts upon the body’s autonomic nervous system encouraging releasing on many levels. Muscles let go, toxins are released and the restored balance causes the animals to feel more comfortable.
Since the technique is a highly relaxing and minimally invasive therapy, it can be used to treat a number of conditions in animals, and can also be practised on animals that have been through traumatic experiences.
Animals that have been treated with Bowen therapy show an overall improvement in well being. Relief from lameness, malaise, and digestive problems are common, and Bowen Therapy on Animals may also help to improve negative emotional states and behaviour.