Bowenwork® by Bowtech® - The Original Bowen Technique
How does Bowen work?

Credits for parts of these comments are due to accredited instructors Rick Minnery and Joanne Figov, UK and Patrik Rousellot, CA, USA.

Submitted by Oswald Rentsch, Director, Bowen Therapy Academy of Australia

A Bowen move activates the following mechanisms to reset the body to heal itself.

1. Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) Rebalancing - The Bowen Technique may have it's most profound and important effect here where the body's self healing mechanisms are governed. The ANS controls over 80 of the bodily functions and is very susceptible to external stressors. Most people today live in a constant state of high stress and sympathetic ANS over-stimulation (fight, flight or freeze mode). Healing occurs after the ANS shifts from sympathetic to para sympathetic dominance (rest, relax and repair mode). The technique seems to catalyze that shift. During sessions, clients often drop into deep relaxation or fall asleep. This indicates a shift towards parasympathetic dominance with release from stress at a deep level. This could explain why a few Bowen sessions frequently reactivate the recovery process, where healing from trauma, sickness or surgery has stalled or reached a plateau.

2. Stretch Reflex - Most moves are done either at the origin, insertion or belly of the muscles where the receptors are located, informing the nervous system on the state of tension, length or stretch in the musculotendinous tissue. These receptors are stimulated during the "challenge" and the "rolling" part of the Bowen move which changes the stimulus received by the nervous system. This can break the vicious circle of a pain/muscle spasm loop.

3. Joint Proprioreceptors - All moves done around a joint directly affect the joint capsule and ligaments that are richly innervated with proprioreceptors. Here again, stimulus will be received by the nervous system, inviting normalization of the joint function without the need for forceful manipulation.

4. Fascia - Each Bowen move is done at the level of the superficial fascia and affects the relationship between the fascia and the nerve, muscle or tendon being mobilized. Fascia plays an major roll in muscle co-ordination, postural alignment and overall structural and functional integrity. All of these are negatively affected because following injuries the fascia will stiffen, contract, torque and dehydrate. Following a Bowen session it is not uncommon to see adhesions loosen up, scar tissue soften and posture and mobility improve without harsh mobilization or stretching.

5. Segmental Viscerosomatic Spinal Reflexes - Several Bowen moves engage these reflexes. They produce referred reactions to the internal organs through stimulation of skin, muscles and nerves.

6. Harmonic Vibration or Resonance Model - Bowenwork moves set up vibrational patterns which bring the body back into balance and harmony.

7. Acupuncture Points and Meridians - Most move overlap acupuncture points and some actually cross two or three acupuncture meridians at once. Acupuncturists have correlated the indications and effects of Bowen moves with the corresponding acupuncture points. They also commented on the immediate changes of the acupuncture pulse in response to moves or procedures. The overlap of these two systems could explain the very strong vibrational component of the technique and its effect on the internal organs.

8. Detoxification - This is often initiated during a Bowen session, thereby improving the body's ability to function at a cellular level.

9. Lymphatic Circulation - Bowen procedures activate draining of the lymphatic system, stimulating the immune system.