Toronto Naturopathic Doctor

Bowen Therapy (Bowen Technique)

Relax, Reset, Rebalance

Bowen Therapy is a gentle, hands-on treatment used primarily to decrease pain and increase mobility, and reduce stress and anxiety.

Bowen Therapy may be used as either a primary treatment, or supportive treatment. As a primary treatment, it typically used for conditions affecting the musculoskeletal system (e.g., fibromyalgia, recovery from injury, “frozen shoulder”).

It is used as a supportive treatment in cases where the autonomic (“unconscious”) nervous system appears to be in need of being “reset” (e.g., constipation, heart palpitation) or for stress management (e.g., management of anxiety).

The goal of treatment using Bowen Therapy is usually complete resolution of pain, or complete return to previous function.

Benefits of Bowen Therapy

Bowen Therapy may be of benefit, in some capacity, the treatment almost any health condition.

A study conducted at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill found that Bowen Therapy treatment was:

  • 95% effective in the treatment of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction
  • 88% effective in the treatment of neck pain
  • 85% effective in the treatment of low back pain
  • 83% effective for the treatment of stress and tension
  • 80% effective for the treatment of fibromyalgia
  • 80% effective for the treatment of hip pain
  • 75% effective for the treatment of non-specific pain conditions

Other research has demonstrated that Bowen Therapy:

  • Reduces heart rate variability (“normalized” heart rate) and slows heart rate in 100% of fibromyalgia patients
  • Improves mobility and function in 100% of “frozen shoulder” patients
  • Reduces migraine headache frequency and/or intensity in 80% of patients
  • Significantly improves motor function of patients recovering from stroke
  • Improves sleep and a general sense of well-being

A single Bowen Therapy treatment has been demonstrated to:

  • Decrease feelings of depression by 51%
  • Decrease feelings of anxiety by 21%
  • Decrease fatigue by 41%
  • Decrease sense of tension by 62%
  • Decrease feelings of anger by 47%
  • Decrease confusion by 33%
  • Increase flexibility (in hamstrings) by 26-34%

Learn more about the experience of, and results from Bowen Therapy treatment for a range of health conditions at these sites:

  • 51 case reports, including treatment of back pain, fibromyalgia, “frozen shoulder”, “tennis elbow”, migraine headaches, asthma, multiple sclerosis and anxiety
  • Six case reports, including treatment of disc injury
  • Six case reports, including treatment of sciatica, carpal tunnel syndrome and “tennis elbow”
  • Six case reports, including treatment of hip and knee pain, and recovery from knee and lung surgeries
  • Six case reports, including treatment of various neuralgias
  • Five case reports, including treatment of sciatica
  • Three case reports, including recovery from auto collision
  • 22 case reports, including treatment of children, “frozen shoulder” and sciatica
  • 10 case reports, including treatment of sciatica, fibromyalgia and multiple sclerosis
  •  A case report of treatment of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

What to Expect

Bowen Therapy involves application of gentle pressure to the muscles, tendons and other soft tissues at specific points, and in specific sequence.

Treatments are approximately 30 to 45 minutes long, and performed weekly or bi-weekly for the first four sessions.

Treatment frequency is then individualized to your response to treatment (e.g., if your pain is resolved, but returns after three weeks, treatments will be scheduled at three week intervals).

Improvements in pain levels or function may be experienced after as few as one treatment.

Bowen Therapy at Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine

Bowen Therapy treatments at Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine are performed by Du La, ND and Jonah Lusis, ND, both of who have been certified in Bowen Therapy by the Bowen Therapy Academy of Australia since 2002.

Bowen Therapy treatments provided at Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine are covered by most extended healthcare plans.

Or contact us to arrange an appointment.

References

Whitaker J. The Bowen Technique: a gentle hands-on healing method that affects the autonomic nervous system as measured by heart rate variability and clinical assessment. Paper presented at: The American Academy of Environmental Medicine; 1997 Dec; La Jolla, USA.

Carter. A pilot study to evaluate the effectiveness of Bowen Technique in the management of clients with frozen shoulder. Complementary Therapies in Medicine. 2001 Dec;9(4):208–215.

Ariff N. The Bowen Technique national migraine research program [Internet]. [cited 2014 May 9]. Available at: http://www.bowenmigraineresearch.co.uk/migraine-research.html.

Duncan B, McHugh P, Houghton F, Wilson C. Improved motor function with Bowen Therapy for rehabilitation in chronic stroke: a pilot study. J Prim Health Care. 2011 Mar 1;3(1):53-7.

Dicker A. Using Bowen Technique in a health service workplace to improve the physical and mental wellbeing of staff. Aust J Holist Nurs. 2005 Oct;12(2):35-42.

Prichard A. The psychophysiological effects of the Bowen Technique. [Major research project].  Melbourne, Australia: Swinburne University; 1993 [cited 2014 May 9]. Available at: http://www.bowen-akademie.com/cms/images/file/ThePsychoPhysiologicalEffects.pdf.

Marr M, Baker J, Lambon N, Perry J. The effects of the Bowen Technique on hamstring flexibility over time: a randomised controlled trial. J Bodyw Mov Ther. 2011;15:281-290.

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