Mary Drew - International Healer, Bowen & EFT Therapist Mary Drew - International Healer, Bowen & EFT Therapist

What is the Bowen Technique and how does it work?

| Origins | How it Works | Photographs |

Bowen facilitates muscle and soft tissue release as well as stimulating a more unimpeded flow of subtle energy through the body/mind system.

Muscle-connective tissue release

Physically, Bowen particularly focuses on tension in the muscle and muscle membrane or fascia. Since the fascia surrounds the entire body in one continuous sheath down to a cellular level it addresses a tension that is effectively body-wide. Dr Mercola's website suggests that the Bowen move: 'stimulates the body reflexes and the neuromuscular system to reset all the related tension levels promoting natural healing'. Bowen's gentle approach to bodywork appears to achieve this by stimulating muscle spindles and Golgi tendons that inform the body of micro tensions. It can then re-balance itself making minute adjustments releasing tension and whole body patterns of distortion that have become fixed in the connective tissue.


The fascia and its adhesions soften, attract more water and rehydrate making it more elastic and responsive thereby facilitating improved blood flow and the supply of vital nutrients.

Balancing the Autonomic Nervous System

Dr Whitaker's Heart Variability study indicates that the Bowen Technique has a significant effect in balancing the autonomic nervous system (ANS).


The ANS plays a crucial role in regulating core functions of the body - the digestive, endocrine and respiratory systems the heart and circulatory functions and the muscles. Characteristically, during a Bowen session people enter the deeply relaxed, recuperative parasym pathetic part of the ANS cycle.

Moving Blocked Energy

Bowen also stimulates the body's self-repair system on a more subtle level. Tom Bowen described his work as moving blocked energy and many Bowen moves correlate with acupuncture points. Acupuncturists have found that the precise and minimalist Bowen moves clear energy blockages and give the meridians a greater volume of energy. Indeed, some acupuncturists use Bowen as a substitute for moxibustion.


At this more subtle level, the light pressure, gentle stretch and rolling movement from the Bowen move appears to stimulate piezoelectric and magnetic currents to flow-particularly along the fascia. This effect is enhanced by the re-hydration of the connective tissue, which increases its conductivity creating a bodywide context for improved electromagnetic 'communication'. Dr. James Oschman
has argued elsewhere that electromagnetic currents and the fields they
create provide 'signals that inform the cells of the movement, loads or
other activities occurring elsewhere in the body'. The cells, in turn,
are thought to use this information to adjust their activities in
maintaining and nourishing the surrounding tissues.


This information flow, which Bowen appears to facilitate,
is a crucial substrate for both healing and wellness.