The technique was first developed in Australia by Thomas Bowen (1916 to 1982). He became interested in ways to alleviate Human suffering and began to notice that certain moves on the body, had particular effects. He developed and refined his technique throughout his lifetime. Tom Bowen ended up extremely busy in his clinic, performing around 13,000 treatments per year, this was verfied by the 1975 Victorian Gov't inquiry into alternate health care professionals. Tom Bowen also held free clinics for children, the disabled and communiy service workers.
He did teach a close friend of his the technique but asked for him not to teach anyone else until after his death. Honouring this request, his friend Ossie Rentsch and his wife Elaine named it The Bowen Technique and held their first seminar in Perth, Australia in 1986, by 1990 they were teaching the technique full time throughout Australia. Since then Ossie & Elaine have honoured the promise they made to Tom Bowen, which was to spread his work Worldwide. They are now supported in this teaching by a large faculty of dedicated instructors and practicioners, because the Bowen Technique is so effective it has been widely embraced by a broad spectrum of people.
Health professionals are impressed by the effectiveness of the Bowen Technique and the diversity of problems that it can address.
A Bowen treatment addresses fascia tissue as well as the muscles and skeleton. Fascia is the sheet of connective tissue that covers the structures of the body – allowing flexibility and movement between various parts of the body.
It is fascia that is, in part, responsible for your posture – so in Bowen we pay it a lot of attention. For example, it affects the way we hold our spine. By influencing the way the muscles and fascia work together, we work to influence the way the structure works - encouraging your spine to adopt a better, less painful, position. We find that his approach often results in a much longer-lasting effect on body alignment than some manipulative therapies.
As the muscle is held, prior to the move being made, it is gently stretched, sending sensory information to the brain. There are thousands of these stretch receptors and thousands of times a second they repeatedly send this information to the brain about the status of the muscle that is being treated. The brain sends corrective information back to the individual muscles.
Bowen moves are specific and are carried out in short sequences at key structural points using gentle but measured pressure, with a gap of a couple of minutes between each sequence. The client is left to relax in a comfortable, warm atmosphere. It is a quiet time, with little talking, except for the client to feedback to the therapist about any sensations they may be experiencing.