Reduce Stress with Bowen Therapy

Author: pivotalphysio

Bowen Therapy (also known as Bowenwork or Bowen Technique) was developed by the late Tom Bowen in Geelong Australia. It utilizes small but measured inputs, stimulating the body to heal itself, often profoundly. The gentle resetting of the body usually results in the relief of many specific injuries and other health problems, both acute and chronic.

How does Bowen Therapy help?

Bowen Therapy helps to reduce physical, emotional, and mental stress; improves joint mobility, increases circulation of lymphatic and venous fluid, enhances the assimilation of nutrients, and eliminates toxins. While there are very few specific situations in which a particular ‘procedure’ is contraindicated, the Bowen technique is appropriate to use on individuals of all ages and in all degrees of health, as no rigorous manipulations are made. 


As Bowen shifts the patient from the Sympathetic state (Fight or Flight, Freeze mode) to the parasympathetic state (rest, relax, repair mode) that is when ultimate healing can take place.

  •  A Bowen Therapy session involves one or more ‘Procedures’, each of which consists of several sets of moves.
  • Between each set of moves, the practitioner pauses for as many minutes as are needed for the body to integrate and respond to the messages being sent.
  • The nervous system then begins to adjust the tension level in the muscles, and the client is ready for the next set of moves.
  • The Practitioner delivers signals to the nervous system at specific locations (on Muscles, Tendons, Ligaments, and nerves), and the body does the rest, responding in its own time, as it is able.
  • The moves send subtle vibrational messages along nerve pathways to the brain, these powerful stimulations will reset and balance the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS).
  • The ANS controls 80% of bodily functions and is very susceptible to many external stressors.
  • Most people today live in a constant state of high stress and sympathetic ANS over-stimulation (fight or flight, freeze mode) The Resetting and Balancing of the ANS immediately results in improvements of all the body systems and organs.
  • As Bowen shifts the Client from the Sympathetic state (Fight or Flight, Freeze mode) to the parasympathetic state (rest, relax, repair mode) that is when ultimate healing can take place.
  • When there is reduced stress-orientated dominance of the Sympathetic part of the  Nervous system, muscle tension decreases, nerve hypersensitivity is reduced and the feedback loops that control acute pain in the body are interrupted.

Think of it this way…

  • Imagine that your body is a bowl of water (after all, we are made up of 80% water).
  • Now imagine a small rock falling into the middle of that bowl. The ripples start out fast and tight together, with every rebound the ripples get wider and slower, until they eventually come to a complete stop, and the water is still and calm.
  • That is how Bowen is perceived to work through the body, as it continues to offer relief, release, and repair of tissues for 4-7 days after treatment. Some bodies will often process Bowen work for several weeks after receiving treatment. 

Conditions treated with Bowen Therapy

Many scientific studies have shown the effectiveness of Bowen Therapy in the treatment of many different ailments.

It has been shown to be immensely effective in the prevention, repair, and recovery of sports injuries, and can offer relief minutes after a sporting injury has occurred. It is able to immediately reduce harmful inflammation and allow the injury to heal at an accelerated rate, often with minimal follow-up treatments needed. It’s not surprising more high-end athletes are turning to Bowen as it doesn’t just heal the body, it can put it into an optimal state for greater performance.

Musculoskeletal Conditions:

  • Arthritis Pain – Balance/Posture/Gait Problems/Disorders
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Eyesight problems
  • Foot/Ankle Problems
  • Frozen Shoulder/Shoulder Pain/Limited Range of Motion
  • Headaches/Migraines
  • Knee/Hip Pain/Restriction
  • Leg Length Discrepancy
  • Pelvic Pain/Restriction
  • Plantar’s Fasciitis
  • Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI)
  • Scoliosis/Kyphosis
  • Shin Splints
  • Sprung Rib/Chest Pain/Discomfort of unknown origin
  • Teeth Grinding/Crowding
  • Tendonitis/Tendonosis
  • Tennis/Golfers Elbow
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ)
  • Vertigo/Dizziness
  • Whiplash

Respiratory Conditions:

  • Allergies
  • Asthma
  • Bronchitis/Emphysema
  • Cold/Cough
  • Diaphragm Restriction/Problems
  • Earache/Infection
  • Hay Fever
  • Sinusitis
  • Tinnitus 


  • Anxiety
  • Dyslexia
  • Enuresis (Bed Wetting)
  • Grief
  • Mild Depression
  • Shock
  • Stress


  • Bloating
  • Bowel Problems
  • Crohn’s Disease/Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Constipation
  • Heartburn/Indigestion
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Hernia
  • Kidney/Bladder Problems
  • Liver/Pancreas/Gallbladder Problems
  • Nausea

Nervous System:

  • Angina
  • Facial Paralysis/Bell’s Palsy
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Sciatica
  • Tingling/Numbness in Extremities


  • Colic (Infants) – often cured after only one treatment
  • Fibrocystic Breasts (Breast lumps)
  • Infertility/Conception
  • Lactation Problems
  • Mastitis
  • Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
  • Prostatic Problems
  • Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) 


  • Adrenal Exhaustion
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome 


  • Glandular Fever/Swollen Glands
  • Lymphatic Congestion 

If you are experiencing symptoms of any of these conditions, consider booking an appointment with Catherine to try Bowen’s Therapy. Give us a call and we’ll be happy to help!

Catherine Dowhaniuk
Registered Massage Therapist at Pivotal Physiotherapy

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