The Bowen Technique is a pain-relief technique developed by Tom Bowen of Australia. Practitioners use gentle rolling movements over muscle and other soft tissue to stimulate your body to heal itself.
Bowen taught his technique to only a few people, and the only person to go on to train other people was Oswald Rentsch, who called the work Bowtech and who still directs The Bowen Therapy Academy of Australia.
Only instructors accredited by Bowtech can offer the training directly passed on by Tom Bowen. This training includes seven modules of basic training and two courses in specialized Bowen procedures.
The technique, also called Bowenwork, has reportedly helped to resolve arthritis pain, back pain, fibromyalgia, headaches, sciatica, sports injuries, and more.
The unique features of Bowenwork that make it different from other forms of bodywork such as Swedish massage include:
Bowen has a basic "move" that "distorts a muscle or tendon that is not under load and then rolls over it at a precise location without sliding on the skin," according to The Bowen Technique by Vicki Mechner from the November/December 2003 issue of Massage Magazine.
A Bowen practitioner can perform the technique through clothing or directly on the skin and never uses oil or lotion. The practitioner does the moves in sets and leaves the room for at least two minutes between sets to let your body relax and make its own adjustments.
The exact means in which the technique affects your body isn't clear. Theories include: