What Bowen is not

Sometimes it's easier to explain this technique by stating clearly what it is not!

Bowen is not Acupressure.
Some of the areas of focus will coincide with acupuncture points, but there are so many acupoints some overlap does occur. With Bowen "points," however, one simple move across the structure is all it takes.

Bowen is not Chiropractic.
No manipulation of the skeletal system is made. Most practitioners and many clients observe vertebral movement, but this is evidence of the body realigning itself and a Bowen treament working.

Bowen is not Directional "Energy Work."
Given its parameters, even energy work can be intrusive. Practitioners can focus too much on accomplishing their own desired results, which may or may not coincide with the client's needs. Instead, practitioners are taught to focus only on doing a precise movement accurately, and then physically leaving the room.

Bowen is not Physiotherapy or Neuromuscular "Re-Education."
Stretch reflex, Golgi reflex and reciprocal enervation may be involved in the muscular releases, but these occur on a cellular level and expand out physically. In fact, people may fall asleep during a session, and many will not feel the effects for several days. These factors distinguish the Bowen Technique from remedial exercises or movement training that some people need for long-term injury recovery.

Bowen in not Trigger-Point Therapy.
Some points are unavoidably similar even though the referral zones are different. Most trigger points are found in the core of muscles, while Bowen muscle moves are usually made where two muscles or muscle groups overlap. This and other factors seem to make Bowen most similar to fascia work but...

Bowen is not Fascia Release.
With each Bowen move, the fascia is rocked and minutely "disturbed"; it is not forcefully separated. After a series of Bowen sessions, adhesions tend to loosen and scar tissue frequently softens and shrinks on its own because impediments to the natural healing process are removed.

Bowen is not an Emotional Release Modality.
The intent of a Bowen session is not to effect emotional releases. However, some people report the dramatic lightening of spirit and a subtle but pervasive refocusing of troublesome emotional patterns. Many body workers consciously focus on the interface between physical and emotional, trying to touch on that which is hidden behind a protective wall of hypertense musculature. Excessive pressure is not needed; Bowen Therapy confirms that the best access is gained by the least threatening approach.

Copyright © 1998 The Bowen Association UK