Imagine you are lying face down on a treatment table.  You can feel tiny, little movements being applied to your body.  The sensations that you are aware of involve very little pressure, and are delicate and gentle, but your body is becoming warmer.  You can still feel the therapist’s hands although she has now left the room.

This form of massage therapy is unlike any other: “breaks” where the therapist is not in constant contact with your body are a normal and effective part of the treatment.


After an interval of several minutes the therapist returns and carries on working; the parts being worked on seem random, and the contact continues to be minimal but there is definitely a pattern. The moves over the body are best described as stretching sensations that feel like somebody is gently rolling your skin and testing the elasticity, not unlike a rubber band being gradually stretched and then released.

No element of this treatment is painful but it is nonetheless causing a series of reactions. Sometimes you are aware that heat has blossomed in your back and this seems to be accompanied by a light tingling sensation and a feeling of lightness in your body.

This therapy is definitely relaxing, and you are tempted to doze as the therapist works and after a while you are asked to turn over and lie supine. The pattern then resumes.

Welcome to Bowen therapy.

Bowen is the “new kid on the block” of complementary therapies. It is defined by light moves over the entire body and is one of the few therapies that targets the whole body, no matter where the pain seems to originate from .

Bowen has the potential to create change in the body without manipulation, cracking of bones, or application of oils, and light clothing can be worn when receiving treatment. It encourages the body to rebalance and realign without putting it under undue pressure or forcing a reaction. Our bodies are hard-wired to register many kinds of touch and there is no proof whatsoever that our bodies need manipulation or extreme pressure to recover from pain or illness-in fact quite the opposite. Bowen allows the body to reset itself, and rebalance.

Nobody actually knows exactly why Tom Bowen decided to include “the signature breaks” in the technique that carries his name, but they are crucial and integral. Tom Bowen devised his therapy without much theoretical knowledge but by the time he died he had treated many thousands of people in his local area of Geelong in Australia-and today Bowen is one of the best known therapies in modern day Australia, and the rest of the world is waking up to exactly how beneficial it can be.


It is unlike any other therapy that is currently available. It is suitable for people of all ages; safe enough for young babies and equally ideal for older people with degenerative problems. People with chronic illnesses can receive Bowen safely and without side effects.

Many diverse problems are being treated with Bowen from bad backs and frozen shoulders (the most common reason for people to seek Bowen) to chronic problems like IBS. Arthritis and asthma sufferers also benefit from the gentle Bowen moves, resulting in increased energy and the feeling of wellbeing.

Changes can take time depending on the tensions throughout the body. If you are tempted to try Bowen having read this short post- have patience and have at least 3 sessions.

Change takes time, and relieving stress on the body and mind is never a waste of it.

Click here for a list of Canadian practitioners.