Heart of Health CLinic

The Bowen Technique

The Bowen Technique was developed in Geelong, Victoria by Mr. Tom Bowen. He had become interested in ways to alleviate human suffering after serving in World War II. He had not received any formal training in any health care field, but observed that when he made specific moves on the body, it had certain effects. His claim was that this was a gift from God. He developed this technique over time and was seeing over 13,000 people a year by 1975. Mr. Oswald Rentsch and his wife were invited by Mr. Bowen to study with him for the next two and a half years. Since Mr. Bowen had no notes or manuals regarding this technique, they documented his work through observation. Mr. Bowen then verified the accuracy of their documentation as a true representation.

This technique was not taught until after Mr. Bowen's death by agreement. It is now taught through the Bowen Therapy Academy of Australia founded by the Rentschs and was renamed BOWTECH - The Bowen Technique.

The Bowen Technique is a dynamic system of muscle and connective tissue therapy which has changed health care worldwide. It has been used successfully for over 40 years to treat a wide variety of illnesses. The gentle moves on soft tissue stimulate energy flow which empowers the body's own resources to heal itself. It can be used safely on anyone from newborns to the elderly, and, it can produce permanent relief from pain and discomfort.

The Bowen Technique work is a series of precise moves on specific points on the body which balances the body and allows it to heal itself. These moves may be done through clothing, although direct skin contact may provide better contact and stimulus of these points. During the session there are frequent and very important pauses between each series of moves. This allows the body time to process the signals and benefit from each. A combination of positive moves that initiate positive energy flow and negative moves that isolate this energy to a specific area are used. A keen sense of tissue tension is needed by the therapist to assess the existence of these imbalances subtle imbalances. The move itself is a study in delicacy and consists of a number of parts. First, the structure (e.g. a muscle, tendon or nerve] is identified with the thumb or fingers. Next, the skin slack is gently tractioned, the muscle is challenged with gentle pressure and the skin is finally allowed to move across the structure being stimulated.

The individual moves alone may produce a positive effect, however, the full benefit is gained through a complementary series of moves. During each session only a limited number of moves are needed allowing the body to heal itself with minimal intervention.

Other forms of manipulative therapy performed four days before or up to five days after a session may interfere with its effectiveness. The Bowen Technique, however, does not interfere with other therapies.


One possible theory of the underlying mechanism is the resonance model demonstrated by stringed instruments. A string held at a certain point and played will establish a resonance that creates a specific tone. Changing the point where the string is held creates a vibrational pattern that correlates with a specific instrument.

The body may be compared to an intricate musical instrument that requires adequate tuning for correct function. By carrying out precise moves a vibrational frequency is generated and specific structures of the body may be activated. The body will then attempt to match these specific vibrational patterns, and, in doing so, will bring harmony to itself.