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Bowen Therapy Articles

A migraine is no ordinary headache, as any sufferer will testify; the pain is debilitating and some are driven to the quiet of a bed in a dark room for at least a day. Twenty-four percent of all women at some stage of their life will suffer from Migraines. The causes, according to The City of London Migraine Clinic can be several and range from hormonal to food sensitivities; from missing a meal to a change in sleeping pattern. Migraine sufferers come to rely on medication, which often has side effects such as nausea and diarrhoea. Once an attack has subsided, the migraine sufferer is groggy, tired and drained. So if someone came up to you and said “I might have found an effective, non-invasive and gentle alternative for you” what would you say? Nikke Ariff is a Bowen therapist who, in 2002 carried out a research program with The Migraine Action Association to test the efficacy of the Bowen Technique on Migraine sufferers. The Bowen technique is a holistic therapy that releases the body's energy to heal itself using gentle rolling movements with the thumbs and forefingers. The research was carried out over a six week period, each participant received three Bowen treatments. The participants had all been suffering Migraines for at least 10 years, some for over 30. "The results were very positive" says Nikke. Of the 39 participants in the program 31 volunteers reported an improvement in their migraine condition.


Asthma happens when the bronchi or airways - the tubes that carry oxygen into your lungs - become narrowed and inflamed causing difficulty breathing. Asthma has several triggers, such as dust or animal hair, causing the airway muscles to tighten and narrow. At the same time the lining of the airways swells and mucus is produced. This leads to the characteristic symptoms of wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath. A key element in controlling the condition is becoming familiar with your personal triggers so that you can avoid them as far as possible. Other triggers include: virus infections such as colds and flu, cigarette smoke, certain forms of exercise, cold and dry air, laughing and other emotions. Medical treatment consists of taking a preventer (a medication designed to guard the airways and reduce the chances of having an asthma attack) with a reliever (a medication designed to relieve the symptoms of asthma, during attacks). There can be side effects with steroid and broncho-dilator medication, however, so more and more people are turning to alternative treatments for their Asthma. Nikke Ariff is a Bowen therapist who, between 2002 and 2004 carried out a research program to test the efficacy of the Bowen Technique with Asthma sufferers. The research was carried out over a twelve month period. The majority of participants had been suffering from Asthma over 5 years, most for over 15 years. The Bowen technique is a holistic therapy that releases the body's energy to heal itself using gentle rolling movements over the surface of the skin, with the thumbs and forefingers. "The results were very positive" says Nikke - 83% reported a reduction in the frequency of their asthma attacks and 75% of the participants reported using less medication than before the Bowen Research project.


After a few treatments most athletes find that their ability to focus is greatly increased, their intensity and energy level significantly prolonged, their ability to perform is far superior, and their susceptibility to injury is tremendously reduced.
"I have played football with much more intensity this year, with only very slight injury, and far greater performance. The only single thing that I have done different this year from other years is to receive Bowen Therapy treatments. Thanks, It made my year!" Dustin S.-
What would it be worth to an athletic team, whether amateur, semi- professional, or professional to have athletes with increased performance, greater endurance, less injury and drastically reduced time an athlete would be out of play if they do become injured?
California State University Sacramento CSUS - SAC STATE athletic coaches and training staff have both personally experienced the positive and almost instantaneous effects of Bowen Therapy and seen the phenomenal results on their football, baseball, basketball, track, and cross-country, and crew athletes I have personally treated both on and off the field. An NCAA record holding running back, an All-American punter on the football team, and Olympic athletes training for the 2000 Olympic Trials at Sac State, among others, have also received the great benefits of Bowen Therapy treatments.
Athletes who have had ankle, back, knee, neck, shoulder, groin and hamstring strains or pulls, have received immediate noticeable differences during and after receiving a treatment. i.e. increased range and ease of motion, athletic fluidity, and release of strain tension or muscle cramping. Many who have received strains or pulls during games or events were treated immediately and resumed playing in 2-5 minutes at 80-100%!
Football players who were diagnosed with a concussion were treated using advanced techniques and the signs of the concussion disappeared within 2-5 minutes after treatment. The athletes were able to resume play shortly thereafter after physicians approval.
Other athletes who have had chronic shoulder, knee, elbow, or other joint pain due to old injuries had either an immediate noticeable decrease or total elimination of the pain. Still others who have complained of tightness in the chest and slight breathing difficulties have received immediate relief and a greater ability to breathe deeper. I have treated athletes from a wide variety of sports including football, baseball, basketball, cross-country, track, soccer, softball, crew, and karate, as well as collegiate All-Americans, Olympic and professional athletes, ballet performers, and race car drivers, with great success.


Many patients who have received one or more treatments notice a remarkable difference in the way that their bodies feel. Remarks such as "My body feels centered and balanced for the first time, I feel so relaxed and energized at the same time or I feel so stress free for the first time in a very long time" are a commonplace. Many have found after receiving a series of treatments, that their bodies center and continue to remain balanced, a distinct clarity of mind occurs, and a new sense of spirituality or spiritual awareness happens. Bowen Therapy, treats the body, mind, and spirit and often is the chief factor in the induction of what I term "Intrapersonal Metamorphosis or awakening from within." Using Bowen Therapy I have seen patients lives totally change in this very profound way in as little as 30 days. Personal experience has shown that the body is the weakest link of the body, mind, and spirit chain. When the weakest link begins to be healed, the rest of the chain shows up like never before, and peoples' lives begin to work because of this new found balance. THE BODY WILL HEAL WHAT IT KNOWS IS MOST IMPORTANT FIRST


A 51 year old male has been struggling with cancer for the last 16 years, right Kidney and Bladder removed 1994. Cancer keeps returning. Was re-diagnosed with cancer of the liver, cancer lesions in the bony structure of the ribs as well as the bony structure of the skull. He has been complaining of severe headaches and general body pain/aches for which he was receiving Morphine. The Dr warned his wife that he is a dying man, and his family came from around the world to visit him. We commenced with Bowen Therapy 04-05-25, and due to the severity of his condition, only minimal (hardly any) pressure was used. We decided on weekly follow-up treatments. His pain-levels dropped immediately and that alone assisted in him coping better.
Chemotherapy was commenced after the second Bowen treatment. And the results were absolutely unbelievable. He had 16 years of chemo and believe you me, he did not look forward to this chemo treatment. However, he and his family were absolutely shocked at how well he handled the chemo treatments. He had no signs of nausea or vomiting, he did not feel sick and did not loose his appetite. He felt well throughout the chemo, he had a slight off day a day or two after the chemo treatment, but he did not have to stay in bed and was able to go to work throughout.
After completing his chemotherapy, he was retested, and the doctors are absolutely baffled, and his family is over the moon. The Liver only has one tiny spot left, the ribs are clear and the skull has a small lesion left. What wonderful, positive news. They will administer another 3 doses of chemo, which should clear up all the remaining spots, and all the while we will continue with Bowen.
To sum up: My opinion is that Bowen does wonders for patients receiving chemo, it assists them in feeling stronger, more positive, their bodies just cope so much better, and the anxiety is kept at a lower level.


Many Bowen Therapy patients experience the erasure of trauma and old pain patterns that have been established in their bodies. When the body has experienced an injury, a series of injuries, or pain (which could include pre and post-operative or birth trauma, even pain that is emotional or mental), the brain has a marvelous way of remembering all the circumstances that surround the events or events, which include all the bodies senses too. Just like a computer, so to speak, the pain memory files remain there safely locked in the body and brain. When a similar circumstance occurs (whether it is circumstances, weather patterns, sights, sounds, smells, etc.) past traumas are often quickly recalled and the old aches and pains tend to show up.
Example: Uncle Joe knows when it is going to rain because his body and joints ache. Every time Susie has a test to take she feels a migraine coming on. The moment Jack hears a car backfire, a firecracker exploding, or even a gun shot, his body goes into pain and panic.
Going back in time with these people, studying what has occurred in the past reveals some interesting findings.
Example: Uncle Joe was thrown off a horse at age thirty-five while on a hunting trip. It was a cold and rainy day. The intensity of the pain experienced after being thrown to the rock covered ground was unbearable. Although no bones were broken, the body was bruised and shaking immensely from the sudden and unexpected fall. Therefore, Uncle Joe knows when it is going to rain because his body and joints ache.
Example: Susie went to a friends birthday party and drank way too much hard alcohol the day before her sophomore calculus exam, which she needed to pass to keep up a 3.5 GPA, but subsequently failed the exam partially due to the extreme hangover and lack of concentration she was experiencing during the exam. Therefore, Every time Susie has a test to take she feels a migraine coming on.
Example: Jack, in military combat, was injured by gunshot while his best friend since kindergarten was dying in his arms from multiple wounds. Therefore, The moment Jack hears a car backfire, a firecracker exploding, or even a gun shot, his body goes into immediate traumatic pain and panic.

I have personally experienced the erasure of old physical, mental, emotional trauma and pain patterns in my body after receiving a series of Bowen Therapy treatments, which include not only the Bowen Basic Procedures, but many advanced procedures as well.


On a simple level, pain signals that there is an imbalance in the body. In fact, any symptom that the body produces signals a degree of “dis-ease.” Tom Bowen, the man from whom the “Bowen Technique” takes its name, believed that we are all born with a blue-print of health: a natural plan for homeostasis and balance. With gentle non-invasive stimulation, he believed, the body would know innately how to self regulate and heal itself. Tom Bowen was keenly aware that any structural disequilibrium would eventually lead to functional and physiological disequilibria. His gift was to have created a treatment system and methodology based on sensing minute discrepancies in tissue tension, that was reproducible by any trained Bowen therapist enabling them to trigger that self-healing blue print in the patient.
His discovery was fine tuned over 30 years of practice. During that time, Tom Bowen saw, according to a survey by the Australian Government, over 13,000 patients a year, 80% of them requiring no more than 2 visits to regain their health.
Bowen treatments are recommended for following patients
Injuries if untreated will affect the whole health of a person. Let’s take an ankle injury as an example. At first, there is pain and lack of range of motion, eventually if it doesn’t heal, there is structural consequences because of compensation by the knees and pelvic girdle. Furthermore, if unattended to, there is tightening of the erector spinae which supports the spine that further leads to other structural compensations. The original sprain and consequent pain leads to a cascade of symptoms that reinforce a state of dis-ease. This patient can no longer walk at ease, their general fitness level decreases; they start to perceive themselves as limited, their quality of life diminishes from that point on. This is true of all injuries whether a sprained ankle, a coccyx injury, frozen shoulder or tennis elbow.
All these conditions can easily be rectified with a Bowen treatment.
Referring to conditions with long-term pain: chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, long term “medicated” conditions, etc. The synergistic effect of the Bowen Technique with the appropriate dietary support for detoxification and lymphatic drainage is remarkable.
The Bowen Technique will not only right structural imbalances, but it also will allow the body to regain proper physiological functioning. Symptoms such as bloating, water retention, constipation, indigestion, heartburn and tension headaches are easily remedied by a series of Bowen treatments.
Conditions such as osteoarthritis and any form of tendonitis respond very well to the Bowen Technique because the technique allows the body to get back on track.
The “itis” conditions are the body’s best initial response to the injury. The body creates inflammation, swelling and increases bone formation (osteoblastic activity) in an attempt to mobilize and protect the injured area. The problem with this “natural defense” strategy of the body is that it does not seem to know when to stop and the “defense” becomes eventually the dis-ease. What Bowen does so simply is let the body know that the emergency is over and thus the “overdrive healing” mechanism adjusts itself back to an original blue print seemingly pre-programmed in our bodies. This allows the body to actually heal the remainder of the injury.
People with such conditions should try Bowen first.
Often the primary source of the problem is structural and since the structural, physiological, and emotional components of our beings are so finely connected, the Bowen Technique can unravel these interconnected aspects of our dis-ease.
Many patients rid themselves of years of suffering with only a handful of Bowen treatments.
There is no need to make bi-weekly appointments or even monthly appointments. Once the body has received the message to self-heal, it does just that. Only new injuries or falls will unbalance the body in the future.
There is no treatment quite as effective as the Bowen Technique for these kinds of injuries. Sports professionals all over the world are being treated successfully with Bowen. Studies have shown that competitors having regular Bowen treatments consistently perform better with an accelerated rate of recovery from injury. As remedial sports therapist Craig Mattimoe from California has written in a Bowen magazine: “After five years of treating and preventing athletic injuries I can confidently report that no other broad based modality in all of North America comes close to Bowen. Nothing else compares. I work mostly with athletes, particularly football players who are big business in America, and Bowen literally outshines all of the current accepted sports medicine techniques, both traditional and alternative.” Finally, everyone can benefit from Bowen, from infants to the elderly. People experience a deep sense of relaxation and well-being. People feel energized, find their sleep more restorative, and feel in a better overall mental and emotional state.

Other Articles


The Body is Designed To:
The body is designed to first and foremost protect itself keeping the body living no matter what the cost may be. The body must have the combination of respiration, circulation, digestion, and elimination for minimal survival. Without any one of these the body would cease to exist.
Discomfort, disorder, dysfunction, and dis-ease often reveals that your body is out of balance and is in protect or survival mode. This imbalance is your body's way of telling you to change, slow down, or stop and fix it.... BEFORE IT STOPS YOU!!!
Most people are constantly "on the run" and wonder why they get sick, most are in some level of moderate to extreme discomfort, and then may contract a dis-ease or disorder. Therefore, their bodies remain in protect mode, (for the most part), because their minds keep on running night after night trying to keep up with all the various items that they "have to do" or "need to get done." Most people sleep, but, they do not rest.
Many have chosen to call this state of the body....STRESS!!! Even after an major injury, surgery, or other trauma, most people do not give their bodies proper time to rest. As a consequence their bodies remain stressed, improperly maintained, maladjusted, and out of balance. Stress is not a naturally occurring state in the body.

The Body is Also Designed To:
The body is also designed to heal itself. The body will always heal what it knows is most important and necessary first. That is why many times after a major trauma, such as a very severe accident, a persons' body goes into a coma, thus shutting down any unnecessary functions so the body can focus on healing itself. Many doctors understand this and in some cases induce a coma on those who have suffered severe trauma to allow the body's available energy and resources to focus on repairing necessary bodily functions and to assist in restoring them to a better state of health.
During rest the body can readjust and do the maintenance necessary for proper body function and performance. Sleep is not the true preference of the body though. Rest is. The truth of the matter is that most people sleep, but, they do not rest.
This is where
Bowen Therapy comes in to make the greatest single difference in restoring the body and mind to a proper state of health and balance. It puts the body at rest and stimulates the body's own healing process.

The Bowen Therapeutic Technique Explained (in brief)

Unlike many other traditional or unconventional approaches to health, Bowen Therapy uses a truly holistic way of addressing the whole body down to the cellular level. Specific organs and tissues, systems, discomfort, disorder, dysfunction, dis-ease, pain and injury in and of the body can be directly addressed often with immediate noticeable changes or differences.
Bowen Therapy is a very unique, gentle, and non-invasive system of single, multiple, or opposing subtle and precisely located movements of muscles, tendons, nerves, and fascia performed on the body. These moves can either stimulate or sedate systems and/or organs depending on direction of the move or specific procedure performed which trigger healing responses on both the structural and energetic levels within the body. These movements are known as "Bowen Moves" bestowing honor and recognition to the creator of this technique, the late Mr. Tom Bowen, for this healing, often miraculous, and truly life changing therapy.
Bowen Therapy is a remedial therapy, (a therapy used as a corrective treatment to directly influence, effect, and restore a specific condition or disorder within the body), therefore, a treatment may include as little as one or two moves in exact locations, a singular set of moves, or a series of moves to gain the desired result. Although the body will heal what it knows is most important first, a treatment may be sequentially constructed by a Bowen Practitioner to address a specific condition, whether acute or chronic, or multiple conditions simultaneously. Quite often many patients are treated only 3-4 times before they are restored back to good health. Layers of conditions, symptoms, referred or compensatory pain begin to peel off, like the layers of an onion, until the root or core is uncovered and then addressed. Numerous health care professionals frequently refer their patients to Bowen Therapy when traditional, conventional, and even unconventional methods have fallen short or failed.
It has been the experience of many health care professionals world-wide, researchers of Bowen Therapy, and Bowen Practitioners, that Bowen Therapy is very effective in addressing root causes not just symptoms and often works to open physical, mental, and even emotional blockages within the body and mind allowing the body to truly heal. After just a few "Bowen moves" on the body, evidence of increased heat, tingling sensations, chilling, energy movement within the body, slight involuntary muscular contraction, immediate noticeable differences in increased range of motion, a renewed sense of physical and mental stability and relaxation, immediate lessening or elimination of pain, symptoms or conditions readily proves to the patient the validity of this profound therapy.
The Bowen Practitioner performs a "move" or a set of "moves," known as a "procedure." The Practitioner then steps back for a moment or two allowing the body to begin to do the healing work from the inside out. During the time the Practitioner steps back, also known as "cooking time" in Bowen circles, the message sent by the "moves," is received by the body thereby assisting the body to change from "fight, flight or survival" mode to a state of rest. It is in this state of rest that the healing begins. The fact is that most people sleep but do not rest.
Frequently during and after a treatment patients experience a regained sense of relaxation, peacefulness, and a very distinct calming throughout the mind and body. Many attest that they are sensing a state of well-being in their body they have often heard about. Others share that their bodies feel centered and balanced like never before.

Bowen Therapy Has Been Effective in Addressing, Relieving, Treating or Assist in Eliminating:
ADD, ADHD, acute pain, angina, allergies, asthma, bed wetting, Bell's Palsy, blood pressure, breast lumps or pain, bronchitis, bunions, bursitis, carpal tunnel, chest pain, chronic fatigue, chronic pain, coccyx pain, colic, constipation, deafness, depression, diaphragm pain, digestive disorders, disc problems, distention (abdominal), diverticulitis, dizziness, ear problems, emphysema, eye problems, Fibromyalgia, fluid retention, frozen shoulder, gall bladder pain, glandular fever, gout, hammer toes, hamstring pull or tension, hay fever, headaches, hernia, herniated discs, hiatal hernia, high shoulder, ileo-cecal valve, incontinence (adult), infertility, irregular milk supply, insomnia, jaw problems, joint discomfort, kidney disorders, liver problems, lymphatic drainage, M.S., Menier's disease, migraines, nagging knee problems, neck stiffness and pain, nervous exhaustion, PMS, pelvic tilt, plantar fascitis, pregnancy discomfort, prostate, repetitive stress injury (RSI), sacral pain, sciatic nerve pain (sciatica), scoliosis, shin splints, shoulder problems, sinus disorders, snoring, sports injuries (ankle, back, groin, hamstring, knee, neck, and shoulder strains, pulls and cramps, pitchers shoulder, shin splints, sprains, tennis elbow, wrists, etc.) sternal pain, STRESS!!!, tendonitis, TMJ, vomiting, whiplash, and much, much more!!!

Because Bowen Therapy addresses every system and organ in the body down to the cellular level it has been very effective in treating many dis-eases, disorders, and dysfunctions in the body. Many people who have tried numerous other treatments, including modern medicine, without much success have come to Bowen Therapy, many times as a last resort, (primarily because they have never heard of it before) and received phenomenal results. Bowen Therapy sets up and allows the body to heal itself.

"Bowen is best for the body"
Length of Treatment
Generally, the first Bowen Therapy treatment (a Bowen Basic treatment) takes approximately 60 minutes to complete. For optimum results the treatments should be scheduled 5-10 days apart, 7 days is optimal, for an initial series of 3-4 treatments for most patients in an acute or moderate condition. The series of 3-4 treatments is essential to "lock in the treatment" understanding that new patterns introduced to the body and brain often take a minimum of 21 days to take hold.
For someone in an extreme condition the actual treatment time may take longer and the series may surpass 3-4 treatments which will depend largely on the body's own unique healing response.
With Bowen Therapy, the body is treated as needed after the initial series of visits. Patients do not have to keep coming back over and over again on an ongoing basis as many other therapies suggest or recommend.
The body though, just like an automobile, needs a tune-up once in a while depending on how it is run and how well it is maintained to keep it running smooth and at peak performance.
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