After a short interview, the patient will be invited to lie down on a massage table although the session can be done sitting on a chair if the patient for whatever reason cannot lie down in a prone or supine position. There is no need to undress, the moves can be done through thin and loose clothing although skin contact is often preferable.


A typical session starts with the administration of 3 basic sequences of moves to rebalance the lower back & sacrum, upper back and neck region. Tom Bowen claimed that this basic recipe addresses the whole body and most conditions presented (

see how it works).
To this general basic rebalancing, the practitioner can choose to add a few more specific procedures to address a particular problem. All the mobilizations are gentle and non invasive. Often moves will be synchronized with the patient's breath. The initial reaction of patients used to other modalities using deep probing, rubbing, stretching or manipulating may be to wonder if anything has been done or if the session will have any effect on them but very often they will quickly experience a deep sense of general relaxation. The entire process is so soothing that it is not uncommon for patients to fall asleep during the session.
They often report feelings of energy release and relief following a move. There are frequent pauses during the session, these are important to give time for the body to respond to the moves. During these pauses it is common that the practitioner leaves the room to let the patient rest quietly. During the session small talks are not encouraged as everything done by the practitioner and the general ambiance of the treatment room (soft music, comfortable room temperature...) should invite relaxation. A typical session will usually last from 20 to 50 minutes. Some sessions can be very short, 5 minutes or less, when using some advanced procedures or if doing a "quick fix" to address something very specific.
The patient will be helped off the table and invited to walk for a few minutes at the end of the treatment to help alleviate possible residual pain experienced  standing up from the table. Substantial, if not total relief may be experienced by the end of the session or in the following hours or days as the body continues to rebalance itself.
To support this process and help integrate new movement patterns, patients will be asked to follow specific recommendations, drink more water than usual and walk regularly.
The day of the treatment it is important not to sit more than 30 minutes at a time, avoid strenuous exercise and hot baths or hot showers, heating pads or ice packs as these could somewhat antidote the effect of the session.
The Bowen technique is a complementary modality, meaning it will enhance and complement, not interfere with other medical attention. However manipulation, deep tissue massage, acupuncture or the use of electro-therapy immediately following a Bowen session can undermine its effectiveness. This is due to the fact that following a Bowen session, the body most often continues to go through changes for the next 2 to 5 days, from self adjustments to a noticeable release of toxins. This self healing process can be short circuited by applying other modalities too soon. The ideal situation when possible is to give the technique a try for 3 sessions, once per week, without any other modality in between, this is usually enough to know if a patient is going to benefit from it.
I personally tend to use it alone for 3 sessions then reassess. Often that is all that is needed. In dealing with a complex condition, if after 3 sessions good progress have been made, I continue using Bowen as long as the patient continues to improve. If the patient has not responded at all or stop responding then it may be time to try something else.
When deep structural imbalances are present, after a few Bowen sessions I often start alternating on a weekly basis Bowen and Stretching Therapy for example. This alternating schedule can be worked out effectively with many other kind of modalities without interference.


D     I     S     C     L     A     I     M     E     R
The healing modalities portrayed on this website have not been evaluated for their efficacy by the FDA, AMA, or any government/medical agency, and are not intended to diagnose or treat any illness, injury, or ailment.  If you have a history of, or are currently experiencing a medical problem, it is highly recommended that you first consult with your physician and discuss with him/her, all of the treatment options that are available. The information contained on this website is intended as a general reference and/or for educational purposes only. The healing modalities should not be construed as making any medical claims or as a substitute for consulting your physician or getting conventional medical exams or treatments.