Bowen Therapy is a dynamic bodywork technique that can be applied remedially or holistically. It is relatively gentle, can be very relaxing and empowers the body's own healing resources achieving balance and harmony, resulting in fast and lasting relief from pain and discomfort. Bowen is an all embracing vibrational energy therapy which is safe to use on any person or animal, from newborns to the elderly, with positive responses to musculoskeletal pain and imbalance, sports injuries, acute or chronic complaints. Bowen Therapy is a modality used in Australia and worldwide to treat a range of conditions today.
A Bowen move is a gentle transverse, cross fibre soft tissue manoeuvre applied as a single move to a given location before moving onto another location, it does not use forceful manipulation. These specialized moves are applied at specific point locations over muscles, tendons, ligaments and fascia to promote relief from musculoskeletal and related neurological complaints. The fascia, or soft tissue, is the part of the connective tissue that envelops, separates and influences every organ and tissue in the body. These precise but gentle movements stimulate the body, via the nervous, endocrine and fascial systems, to activate the body’s own healing mechanisms to promote homeostasis of the body tissues and systems; and allowing toxins to be released. Bowen moves are specifically designed to work on the meridians and trigger points at the same time to restore balance to all facets of the animals persona being mental, emotional and physical.
As Bowen therapy works on the fascia it often successfully treats persistent problems that have not responded to medication or other bodywork therapies. It is believed Bowen moves stimulate the proprioceptors in muscles and other tissue, which initiates a brain response and in turn sends nervous system messages back to the fascia to normalize the resting rate of tissues and increase lymph movement in the area, which enhances tissue repair.
During a Bowen treatment on an animal, the therapist may apply a wait of 30 seconds to 2 minutes between moves, this allows time for the body to respond to the treatment and for the integration of the messages and the nervous system response for the necessary changes to occur in the body before commencing the next sequence of moves.
History of Bowen Therapy
Thomas Ambrose Bowen, of Geelong, in Victoria, Australia (18/04/1916 - 27/10/1982) was the originator of what is now known as 'Bowen Therapy'. In his 20's, Tom successfully ran a Boys Club for the Salvation Army at Geelong West where he trained boys in various sport and helped with their injuries. It is thought this was pivotal in his development of manual techniques. While employed at the Geelong Cement Works Tom started helping out workers with bad backs and other ailments. There is no clear evidence of where Tom learnt his moves from but during the 1940's and 1950's Tom became friendly with a man named Ernie Saunders who was a 'manipulator' and highly regarded by Tom. They assisted each other by sharing ideas and learning osteopathic work.
Tom started to develop his bodywork skills and developed his own methods of treating people with muscular skeletal problems. He began treating people with sore backs, necks football injuries and other muscular skeletal problems. In the early 1960's Tom felt it was time to make his therapy a full time occupation. Tom moved his practice many times over the years within Geelong and built up a very busy practice using his own style of Osteopathy work which we now call 'Bowen Therapy'. His practice was so successful that in the Webb Report of 1975 (a government report into natural health practices) it was found that Tom was treating 13,000 patients per year.
Tom applied his bodywork moves to people, cats, dogs, cows, pigs and horses. In 1972, the Australia College of Osteopaths and the South Pacific Osteopaths invited Tom to become a member of their associations, to which he apparently accepted.