The mechanism of Bowen technique

The basic principle that Bowen Technique follows is that our body has innate abilities to heal itself and when these mechanisms are activated, the body can heal itself.

Numerous processes are activated in the body and consequently the state of balance and harmony or homeostasis is restored.

Bowen technique is unique in its capacity to activate many mechanism simultanously which is not the case with other holistic techniques. Bowtech moves and procedures may reset the body to heal itself by activating through the nervous and endocrine system.

Among others the following mechanisms:


Autonomic nervous system – parasimpaticus autonomous nerve system

There is a remarkable effect of Bowen theray on autonomic nervous system (ANS) which also regulates the mechanism of self healing.

During the procedure the patient falls asleep or enters a deep relaxation. Often we can hear the voices of peristaltics after few movements which means that the body is regulated by parasympathetic system. When this happens the body relaxes on a deep level.


Bowen moves are done on the surface of fascia where the connection between fascia on one side and the nerves, muscles and tendons from the other side. Fascia is a thin but strong connective tissue that has multiple functions. It looks like a spider’s web and extends from the head to toes without interruption. It has an important role in muscles coordination, the position of the body and in the structural and functional integrity of the body. Fascia surrounds and connects all structures in the body.

During the Bowen procedure restructions of fascia, adhesions are released and better circulation, posture and greater mobility are observed.


Acupuncture points and meridians

Many of Bowen movements are performed along the meridians or on the acupuncture points known for calming effect on sympaticus and initiating the parasympaticus which results in relaxation, pain release, better sleep and improving digestion and the imune system.

Energy theory (Chi)

Tom Bowen believed in the universal energy called Chi. This energy circulates within the body along 14 channels, called meridians and it was identified by Chinese medicine.

The meridians contain acupuncture points which influence internal organs and their function. According to Chinese medicine the free circulation of Chi throughout the human body is essential for good health.

Most moves of the Bowen technique are practiced on particluar meridians and some on specific acupuncture points. It is not known wheather Tom Bowen had sufficient knowledge of Chinese medicine on which he based his procedures.  Nonetheless, acupuncturists practising the Bowen technique claim that the Chi is modified during and after each Bowen treatment.


Neuro lymphatic points and lymph circulation

Bowen movement performed through neuro lymphatic points can stimulate lymphatic drainage. Also the activation of parasimpaticus helps to drain the lymph.



The Bowen movement stimulates the proprioceptors, the specialised sensory receptors on the peripheral nerve fibres that send information about muscular system.



These are neuropeptides, neurochemicals that are formed in our bodies to reduce pain and boost pleasure and well being. They are situated in the brain and alongside the spinal cord where Bowen movements are practiced. Clients often report to be full of energy the day after the treatment and about improvemnet of well being for the rest of the week. 


Strech reflex

The Bowen moves are done at the origin, insertion or belly of the muscles where receptors are located, which are stimulated during the moves. This changes the stimulus received by the nervous system and can change a pain/muscle spasm loop.


Harmonic vibration or resonance model

The Bowen moves set up vibrational patterns which bring the body back into balance and harmony.



Detoxification is often initiated during Bowen session, improving body’s ability to function at a cellular level.