Bowen Therapy, like massage, acupressure, and chiropractic techniques is based on the belief that the body can heal itself. Bowen therapists use a gentle, rolling massage technique that stimulates specific points along the spine and may help people with pain, musculoskeletal injuries and many chronic conditions find relief.

Tom Bowen, a self-trained Australian healer, developed his unique approach for treating injuries, illnesses and chronic conditions in the 1950s. Bowen Therapy didn't become well-known outside of Austrialia however, until the 1980s. Though never licensed as a physician Bowen's keen, innate diagnostic ability and treatments proved extremely accurate and effective. Clients with conditions ranging from sprains and sports injuries to chronic conditions like migraines and asthma, claimed to experience immediate, long lasting relief with just a few, gentle therapy sessions. 

Today, Bowen Therapy, sometimes call Neurostructural Integration Technique (NST), is a professional bodywork technique performed by trained therapists all over the world.

How Does it Work? 

A Bowen Technique/NST treatment usually takes less than an hour. The client lies on a table, fully clothed, while a therapist locates specific points near the spine where muscles, connective tissue, and nerves interconnect. The therapist then applies varying pressure with his thumb and fingers through a series of specific rolling moves over muscles, tendons, ligaments, and nerves to send neurological impulses to the brain. Each "move" is followed by a rest period (the therapist usually leaves the room) to allow the body to respond, rebalance, realign and heal itself. 

By activating a patient's own healing mechanisms throughout the autonomic nervous system, musculoskeletal and lymphatic systems and acupuncture points, patients experience immediate reduction in symptoms, increased energy and a sense of wellbeing. Most patients report some improvement soon after (or during) their initial treatment. Several treatments are recommended to provide long-lasting relief.

Bowen Therapy can be used in conjunction with traditional medical practice, as a complementary treatment to support the body's healing capability. It should not, however, be used as a replacement for traditional treatment of serious medical conditions. Bowen's gentle technique is considered safe for patients of all ages from newborn to the elderly. Very few scientific studies have been done on Bowen Therapy's effectiveness.  Some early studies however, indicate patient reports of improvement with frozen shoulder, chronic pain, fibromyalgia, asthma, migraines, TMJ, insomnia and more.

How to Find a Bowen Therapist

Ask your massage therapist, acupuncturist or natural health provider for their recommendations.  An Internet search for Bowen Therapists provides names and contact information in your state. 


National Standard - Complimentary and Alternative Therapies

The Gentle Power of Bowen website -