What is Bowen?
The BowenFirst™ Technique is a body manipulation therapy that uses very gentle pressure to stimulate the brain to reboot the body. The practitioner uses thumbs and fingers on precise points to perform BowenFirst™'s unique set of rolling-type moves that activate nerve bundles below the muscle and soft tissue of the body. The Bowen experience is subtle, healing and relaxing. By stimulating meridian points in a specific order and with careful pauses in between, BowenFirst™ Technique prompts the body to reset, repair and balance itself. It is one of the strongest, fastest and most effective modalities for treating pain, chronic illness and improving overall health.
The first treatment is actually a “Reboot” treatment, which enables the body’s different programs to “re-start” and align. As BowenFirst™ is not purely a “physical” therapy, it integrates mind-body connections. It is different than other body-work techniques:
- Gentle in its nature, this technique can be done on areas without concern of harm. After conduction of Bowen Therapy, patients feel relaxed and renewed. As the therapy is conducive and conductive to healing from inside out, patients often reports symptoms of physical detoxification and emotional clarity after a treatment.
- Bowen stimulates the cellular communication (and nervous system) as opposed to pushing tissue into different positions. As a result, the therapy reaches deeper tissues and organs. The technique effectively treats virtually all types of imbalances. The body responds in the way it needs to and is empowered to heal.
- Unlike many other body-work techniques, Bowen therapy works quickly and permanently. Most patients report 50 – 80% improvement after 3 treatments and complete success before 10 treatments. This means less time and cost to the patient.
- A typical treatment takes approximately an hour. During the treatment the practitioner performs a series of “autonomic integrating moves (AIMs)” on various points on the surface of the patient’s body and then leaves the room so that the nervous system can communicate the information throughout the body.
- Treatments are normally performed once per week until recovery is achieved and then less often until 100%. Treatments should not be done less than 5 days apart in order to give the nervous system time to integrate and for the corresponding healing to take place.
How Does It Work?
Based on our understanding of physiology, we believe BowenFirst™ works on the nervous system through a variety of mechanisms:
- Stimulates the superficial fascia underlying the skin and subcutaneous fat tissue. The fascia is the protein matrix that holds our body together. It is a semi-conductor involved in cellular communication. The body responds to BowenFirst™ stimulation by enhancing local healing and encouraging remodelling of fascia to promote mobility.
- Stimulates the local sensory nervous system, causing a reflex impulse through the spinal cord to the brain and returning to the location of the stimulated point. This process is believed to be the mechanism by which BowenFirst™ breaks the cycle of dysfunctional repetitive pain loops that are often continuously firing, even after any evidence of tissue damage is gone.
- Stimulates blood circulation. This process allows nutrients and healing factors to arrive at injured tissue or sluggish organs, increasing healing.
- Stimulates lymphatic drainage. This process allows broken down cellular debris to be removed from the body and reduces swelling.
- Switches the body from stress (sympathetic) mode to healing (parasympathetic) mode so that the body can heal. With our current lifestyle, we are almost always in sympathetic mode which substantially reduces our body’s capacity to heal. Regular treatments retrain the body’s autonomic nervous system allowing better balance and more time spent in healing mode.
What Bowen Treats:
- Stress, anxiety and depression
- Chronic Fatigue, Sports Injuries, Ear infections, TMJ issues, Allergies, Back and Sciatic pain, Bedwetting, Multiple Sclerosis, Kidney and Urinary tract issues, Migraine headaches and much more
- Increases wellbeing
- Increases proper metabolism
"BOWEN IS A TECHNIQUE THAT TALKS TO THE MUSCLES AND LEAVES PATIENTS RELAXED AND PAIN FREE"...THOMAS BOWEN
Thomas Ambrose Bowen (1916-1982), of Geelong, Australia, was a quiet, reserved and enigmatic man with an uncanny gift for healing. By the mid 1970's, Tom's reputation had spread and his clinical skills in his 'Bowen Therapy' were in great demand. In 1975, Tom was treating an astounding 13,000 people per year. Tom was not only a healer, but a gifted teacher, truly generous with his gift.
He chose not to claim or copyright any of his work, but taught a number of students with the hope that his technique would grow and spread around the world. Tom never saw his work as a finite modality, but rather as a work in progress. His vision remains intact through the continued refinements and adaptations of his work by Bowen practitioners around the world.
Dr. Manon Bolliger is grateful for the influence of Ozzie Rentch’s and Romney Smeeton’s interpretation of Tom Bowen’s work, clinical practices pearls from Gene Dobkin, Ron Phelan's work on TMJ, Graham Pennington and insights shared from colleague bowen practitioner. Dr. Bolliger’s interpretation of bowen is aligned to the healing principles of medicine from Dr. Samuel Hahnemann and further interpreted by Dr. Andre Saine.
Her approach encompasses a collaborative effort with Wanda Parks' insight into fascia and craniosacral work; Dr. Hamid Tajbakhsh training in Kinesiology and his unique advanced understanding of Chinese medicine.
For more resources and information about Bowen Therapy, check out our list of journals, books and websites.