Where did the Bowen Technique come from?
How does Bowen work?
What is involved in a Bowen treatment?
How will I feel after a Bowen treatment?
How many treatments are required?
Will the condition return once I stop having Bowen?
Is Bowen suitable for children?
How can so few gentle moves have any great effect?
Can I Help?

Where did The Bowen Technique come from?

Bowen originated from Tom Bowen who was an amazing bodyworker living in Geelong, Victoria, Australia from1916-1982. He was reputed to have been a remarkable man who could spot the root of people’s problems on sight.

He worked with a small team of assistants and was reported to have treated 30-35 people each hour, many having travelled from all over Australia to see him. In 1974, Tom Bowen’s clinic submitted evidence to the Complementary Therapy Council of Australia to confirm that he was at that time treating 13,000 people per year!

The name ‘Bowen Technique’ was given to his work after his death in 1982. The Bowen Technique is a system of bodywork that is based on the basic principles that Tom taught to his team of assistants.

The Bowen Technique was introduced to UK in the 1990’s and is now practiced by thousands of Bowen practitioners all over the World.

How does Bowen work?

A Bowen treatment affects the body on many levels. It has been demonstrated that from the very first Bowen moves made on the lower back, the brainwaves dip, allowing the body and mind to relax almost into sleep. Such relaxation allows the body to respond to the brain’s command to search for imbalances in the system and to make the necessary adjustments to correct any disorders. The Bowen moves release energy, reducing muscle spasm, increasing blood supply and lymphatic drainage and toxins are cleared from the body. Once the body’s natural pathways are cleared, the body is more readily able to make the necessary corrections. For the more technical minded, think of Bowen as ‘defragging’ the body, as you would your computer.

Bowen’s unique moves trigger the brain to switch off the ‘fight or flight’ stress response; implicated in many health issues, and encourages the body to revert to its natural ‘alpha’ healing state. This in itself has a hugely positive and widespread effect, allowing blood pressure, breathing rate and other vital processes such as digestion, the immune system and repair mechanisms to normalise and regenerate. The deep state of relaxation promotes the release of tightness and tensions in muscles, tendons and ligaments throughout.

What is involved in a Bowen treatment?

I will ask you some general questions about your health background and invite you to tell me about the symptoms that you are experiencing. I will explain exactly what I shall be doing and what you may expect. I usually treat you lying on a treatment couch, although Bowen can be adapted to treat seated when required. I often work directly on skin, but can work through light clothing if preferred.

Bowen moves are made in short series between which I will leave the room for a couple of minutes to allow time for you to relax and the Bowen messages to pass through your system without distractions. Initially the majority of moves will be made on the bands of muscles either side of the spine and on points where the most tension and stress are held. You may experience warmth, tingling or a feeling of heaviness, some people doze off – it is certainly very relaxing. After the treatment I will help you up, give you a glass of water, allowing you time to ‘come to’. I will give you a few guidelines and we will make a further appointment. Each appointment takes up to an hour.

How will I feel after a Bowen treatment?

You will feel relaxed and may have more energy; many people report feeling ‘lighter’, a deep sense of well-being and greater concentration and focus. Some may experience instant changes at the time of the treatment.

For most it is in the days that follow after a Bowen that their body in its own good time will start to make adjustments and changes. It is advisable, where possible, not to plan to play any serious sport immediately after a Bowen, or to go to the theatre, cinema, concert or opera or attend a lengthy meeting where you will be sitting for long periods of time.

How many treatments are required?

This varies from person to person. We are all individuals and everyone responds at a different pace dependent on the root cause, how long you have had the symptoms or conditions and how well resourced your body is to adapt and recover. In some cases, huge changes happen after just one treatment. For others a more steady progress is experienced over a period of weeks or months. I usually suggest 3 treatments in the first instance, spaced about a week apart. By the third treatment you will know whether you are feeling better and whether you wish to continue with any more treatments. I will, of course, advise you on spacing and frequency of treatments as we go along, bearing in mind both your health needs and the financial implications.

Will the condition return once I stop having Bowen?

We usually space treatments out gradually, so that your system is able to maintain the positive changes that are taking place naturally. Once things are feeling really good, many people like to return on a regular basis every 4 – 6 weeks for a ‘top-up’ session in order to keep stress levels down and release any tensions to avoid strains and injury, helping you to maintain balance and good health.

Is Bowen suitable for children?

Absolutely! Many children require few treatments, even for deep-rooted and chronic conditions such as eczema or asthma. Infantile colic is relieved very simply and in the case of asthma, the parent can be shown a single Bowen move as a first aid treatment to arrest an on-coming attack, although in this case medical help should always be sought immediately.

Babies and very young children are often treated in their parents’ arms or on their lap, and I treat the occasion as a fun time. The breaks between groups of moves are not necessary for young children, there is nothing alarming, no pain, discomfort or separation from the parent.

It should be noted that in the UK it is a statutory requirement that a parent or guardian seek conventional medical advice for any child’s ailment.

How can so few gentle moves have any great effect?

A common comment when someone has their first Bowen treatment is ‘You can get in there a lot harder. I don’t mind a bit of pain,’ or ‘Do as much as you can, I can handle it. I want to get this sorted’.

I completely understand that since Bowen moves are so gentle and relatively few are made during the course of a treatment that it can seem quite unfeasible that it could have any effect on the body at all. Here is my response…

Light pressure

The whole idea of ‘no pain, no gain’ or ‘the deeper you go (and the more pain you inflict) the better’ is fundamentally flawed. When pain is experienced, the body’s natural response is to close down and defend against it, which in itself is detrimental to progress. The best results come from working with the body rather than against it.

Heavy or deep pressure is nowhere near as effective in engaging with the nervous system. In fact, the nervous system receives most of its information at a very superficial level via billions and billions of nerve endings located immediately beneath the surface of the skin. Incidentally this is also home for a vast network of microscopic blood capillaries and lymph vessels.

With any soft tissue treatment, we also tap into the wonderful world of connective tissue (or fascia), which is the translucent, extremely tough continuous network that seamlessly surrounds and connects everything to everything else, from the crown of our heads to the tip of our toes. When fully hydrated and in a relaxed state, fascia enables easy ‘glide’ between structures with the aid of viscous fluid called ‘ground substance’.

It is the fascia that will allow (or not allow) us to have a certain range of movement. All our muscles are at the total mercy of the fascia. According to research, fascia needs a lot more than normal human strength to adapt or change. It does however respond amazingly well to subtle, input and it has been found that cross-wise stretching creates a ‘piezoelectric’ current that has strong healing properties; the body’s own natural form of ultrasound!

Until relatively recently, it was thought that fascia was an inert ‘bag’ holding the muscle.

Evidence from ongoing research since 2007 suggests that it is the fascia that tends to hold patterns if it becomes damaged or stressed, thereby dictating how the muscle ultimately holds itself. There are even early indications that fascia may have its own independent nervous system that appears to operate significantly faster than the central nervous system which offers new understanding of the often astonishing effectiveness of therapies working with the fascial tissue such as Bowen.

A little goes a long way

A Bowen move creates a wave through the body called a ‘soliton’; the most well known example being a tsunami. Solitons have interesting properties:-
They carry large amounts of energy through the medium of water over long distances without loss.
They do not need a lot of pressure to set them off. In fact, the tsunami that devastated so many areas around the Indian Ocean on Boxing Day 2005 was actually set off by 2 tectonic plates colliding at the speed that our fingernails grow!

With Bowen there is a definite case of ‘less is more’. Because of the effect of the soliton, few moves can have a big impact throughout the body and in most cases a relatively small number of well-placed moves will bring the most effective results.

Can I help?

There are of course no guarantees that my therapies will work for you. As with all therapies, drugs and medical procedures the Bowen Technique will not work for everyone and for every condition. However, it would not be an exaggeration to claim that more than 80% of my patients experience marked improvements within 1-3 treatments, and for many complete resolution is achieved.

Many people who have tried many other conventional approaches and natural therapies; even those who have had unsuccessful surgery or been told that nothing more can be done, find great relief and/or progress with The Bowen Technique. For some complete resolution is possible. For others Bowen can make a significant difference to the quality of life through effective pain, inflammation and stress management.

Bowen Therapy has a different approach to many therapies as it is addressing the whole person and seeking to not only help to bring relief for the symptoms, but to address the root cause, which is often in a different area of the body.

I believe that the human body has amazing resilience and given the right circumstances, it has the ability to adapt, regenerate and repair. And because of the effect that Bowen Therapy has on strengthening and balancing the body’s energy systems and in boosting natural repair processes, it proves particularly effective in helping the body to get into the best possible situation to create the right circumstances to recover.

I do encourage you in the first instance to try 3 treatments spaced approximately 1 week apart are recommended initially. Although not a magic number, many experience considerable change/improvement in this time and it is certainly sufficient to determine whether it is working for you and to plan a forward approach when required.

If you would like to discuss your situation to determine my experience and/or my view on how best to approach your individual situation please do drop me an email or call. I will always do my very best to give you frank and honest advice.

I currently offer appointments from several clinics in Wokingham, Berkshire, Fleet Hampshire and Surrey. Please contact me for further information.


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7 Good Reasons for Bowen Therapy

1. Stress Relief – Unique moves switch off the fight or flight stress response
2. Balance restored – structurally, chemically & emotionally
3. Pain Relief – postural & tension-based problems
4. Calming – inflammatory & allergy-based conditions
5. Breathe Easier – hayfever, respiratory & sinus symptoms
6. Aids Digestion – calms, heals, reduces inflammation, improves passage of food & waste
7. Protects You – boosts your body’s natural defences, promotes healing & recovery of energy


Human Body

Lindsay Evans therapies can help bring relief for people suffering from a wide range of symptoms and conditions.