Has anyone tried Bowen Therapy? - Fibromyalgia Acti...

Fibromyalgia Action UK
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Has anyone tried Bowen Therapy?


I wondered if anyone here had ever tried 'Bowen Therapy'. I confess to never having heard of it until today, when my son brought home a leaflet. I have visited the Bowen Therapy website and it looks promising, though some of the claims made seem incredible. Like many people here this is really beyond the budget, but if it works it would be worth a try, so just wondered if anyone had any experience of it?

Thanks, Em

32 Replies

I haven't actually heard of it Maladjusted, but to put us all in the picture so we know what we're talking about, please click on the link below for more info -

Here is what the website says -

The Bowen Technique is a drug-free, non-invasive, hands-on remedial therapy which can be administered through light clothing, with the client sitting, standing or lying.

Bowen's Therapy releases stress at a very deep level, via its calming effect on the Autonomic Nervous System, Bowen sets the scene for the body to heal itself. In contrast to many other hands-on therapies, Bowen does not attempt to force the body to change; rather it asks the body to recognise and make the changes necessary to bring it back to homoeostasis (physiological equilibrium)".



In February 2010, the Bowen Technique achieved recognition by the Complementary & Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC). CNHC was set up by the Department of Health, and is the only voluntary regulatory body for complementary healthcare to have official Government backing. As well as providing assurances of high standards to the public, its decision represents a major step forward in the recognition of Bowen, and other selected therapies, as acceptable complements to conventional medical treatment.

Bowen's Therapy is supposed to help if you have these conditions -

Muscular and skeletal problems in neck, shoulder, hip, knees, ankle and back, including sciatica

Frozen shoulder, tennis and golf elbow, R.S.I. and carpal tunnel

Whiplash and sports injuries

Problems with posture and body alignment

Migraine and recurring headaches

Bell's Palsy, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson's Disease and the difficulties suffered by stroke victims

Respiratory, bronchial and related conditions such as hayfever and asthma

Digestive problems such as IBS


Hormonal, pregnancy and fertility problems

Stress management, ME, fatigue and sleep problems.

The website looks impressive and suggests you see your GP before you start any treatment. I don't know how much the therapy costs or whether there is a catch somewhere along the way.

It would be interesting to see if any of our members have tried this therapy, please post a reply if you have so we can all read about it.

A brief look on their website lacks details on the actual methods of the technique and the "Studies" section lists several 'positive studies' but gives no links to any published or peer reviewed papers. The methodology of the studies are also not outlined.

I did a quick search on pubmed, Cochrane and NHS Evidence and returned little to no solid evidence of its efficacy and non with specific application to Fibro.

There are a couple that hint in the abstract that it provides high efficacy in treating muscular flexibility, although only one of those is a randomised controlled trial.

There is a meta-study (a study of studies) which looked at all studies in a 22 year period and only found 15 articles that met the inclusion criteria and only one of those was a randomised trial. The study concluded that this technique "may offer improvements in pain reduction" but that "scientific evidence is not well documented" and "[f]uther research is needed...before widespread recommendations can be given". - ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/220...

Taking off my objective hat for a moment I'd say "anything that sounds too good to be true usually is" and from the looks of it is just a really expensive massage.

in reply to SimonMiddlemiss

Yes I agree - Too good to be true probably is just that. I'm always sceptical about random therapies that none of us have ever heard of. I can understand how massage can help through manipulation, but gentle touches. My pain levels are so high I doubt I would feel a gentle touch.

hi,my sister has curvicture of the spine so her body is off balance ans gets a lot of pain,she has had three sessions of this and the results were instant!b and for pain relief i dont think £40 is expensive,its NOT massage its done with gentle touches..dont know how or why it works but it did for my sister,and now im going to try it,so i keep you posted xx

Just watched the video on the post above - looks interesting, but would rather go with personal recommendation myself .... or free on the NHS of course lol.

If you have, say, £150 (for 3 sessions) lying around doing nothing might be worth a try I guess.

Julie xx

Thanks to the people who have responded to my question. I have seen the web pages and the video, but am still undecided. I too prefer personal recommendation, as online they will tell you it is wonderful - wouldn't get much response otherwise would they?

Very interested in the effects on Pondminstrel's sister, and eagerly await updates.

It IS expensive which is putting me off, especially as today I have received the dreaded brown envelope advising me that I will be telephoned within next two weeks to arrange ESA medical, well we all know how they turn out, so the outcome of that will undoubtedly be the deciding factor.

Having watched the video it looks and sounds like massage irrespective of what they say. I've done more research into it over the past day and there is no clinical evidence this has any efficacy on non-muscular conditions.

I cannot see how the claims regarding asthma can hold up to scrutiny at all. Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the airways, manual therapy cannot fix that.

One thing we did with out local group was to get a massage therapist to come and teach members how to perform basic massage on each other. We had a great response and its a really good way of getting regular massage cheaply.

Obviously you need a willing volunteer to do the massage though!

Hi Lindsey - oh sorry simon, interesting post!

So having spoken to Lindsey, she says that even though fibro is a neurological condition, people with fibro can have muscular conditions (for example myofascial pain syndrome) so this could be of use to them.

Show's how much I know!

hi again,just spoke to my sister,and the lady that does the bowen tech,said her mother has fibro,and she loves doing patients with fibro as the effect is amazing...it would be worth asking doc about having it done,i had acupuncture done free as a visiting doctor did it at my surgery,so you never know,your surgery may have someone..that visits..xxxx

Thanks for the info, I can only ask, but I am lucky to be even given an appointment at my surgery. Otherwise I will have to wait until AToS have put me through the wringer and re asses the budget.

I am afraid to commit to anything now I have received their letter warning of 'impending doom'.

I am waiting for the clinic who assessed & Diagnosed me, to get back with an appointment to discuss my needs, that might be a good time to mention it.

Thanks again for the update


NO problem,i know someone who got sunbed treatments on prescription..he had fibro...so anything is possible..xxxx

hi,iv just put in a complaint about my atos medical..it was pure fabrication! i keep you posted xx

Plese do. I don't know when I am to have mine - awaiting summons by phone. I am dreading it

well did you know you can ask for it to be recorded?..not sure if they fob you off iv heard they do,but worth asking..if i have to start a new claim coz of the cock up they have made i will do things very different!..have you got someone to go in with you?..my friend took me but didnt come in the room..i would look on the internet and see if you can record it yourself..reading posts on here and listening to people they all complain of the same farse! and the majic number for how far we can walk seems to be 200mtrs! mine put that and he never asked how far i could walk!!..any way let me know when you hear and we can chat..goodnight god bless xxxx

I know I can ask for it to be recorded, but I know also that it is 99% certain they will refuse. Friend had her WCA recently and they refused to let her record herself, and said their machines were all broken. She asked for a copy of the report and was told printer was also broken!! Needless to say when the results came she was found fit for work, and everything on the report was pure fabrication to the point it almost seemed to be about an entirely different person.

On a good day I could easily walk 200 metres, on a bad day I'd be lucky to get over the doorstep, and of course like everyone else here I don't 'look' as though I have a thing wrong with me. Will let you know when I hear anything.

Thanks again




forgive me butting in

I am not the expert but how about before you pay out for expencive treatment trying Mindfulness .. its a relaxation therapy you can be taught by cbt therapists ask your GP ?

There are lots of alternative therapys out there so please be careful

my consurn is that you never find people saying it did not work on web sights xx

Gentle dyslexic hugs

Hi all, am new to this site, but your question about Bowen interested me.

My friend is a fibromyalgia sufferer and Bowen got her mobile, and gave her back her life. She was so impressed with the results she has trained to become a Bowen practitioner herself.

The moves themselves are nothing like massage. It's a gentle roll over specific muscles. Part of the treatment is the breaks between moves. This allows the brain time to make physical adjustments before moving on to the next set of moves. It's very relaxing and very powerful.

My husband is an amputee and suffered from stump spasms, he described them as like being tasered for a minute at a time over a period of 24 hours. Painful, exhausting and debilitating. Bowen treatment performed when he gets the first 'feelings, in his stump, stop these spasms in their tracks.

I am not only a regular Bowen client, but a practitioner too. Re the expense. Many therapists will offer discounts to people in dire need. Please dont dismiss this because I practice Bowen. I personally have nothing to gain by answering you queries about Bowen.

It really is worth a try. It might also be possible to find a student looking for case studies in this discipline. They will give you three treatments for free, or for a small donation. Case studies are needed before you can pass the exam. I hope this helps.

[edited by admin to add paragraph breaks]

in reply to Cat53

Thanks for the information, it certainly looks worth giving a try, however I need to wait a while now as I will be facing the WCA in the near future, so cannot commit to anything until I see how this works out.



I was virtually immobile because of fibro, some years ago. I tried Bowen and cannot praise it highly enough. I can get around more easily now. It has not 'cured' me, but it has relieved many of my symptoms.

It is NOT massage. It is myofascial manipulation. Certain sites on the body are located by the practitioner and then a movement is performed across the muscle site. It is very gentle and like Cat 53 says there are breaks between each manipulation. It has helped me a great deal. Unfortunately there is not a Bowen practitioner near enough to me now, for me to easily get this.

Because it is gentle on both the practitioner and the client, I keep meaning to train in this, but I haven't got round to it yet.

It also works very well for animals. My daughter has a horse still living, that was given no hope when he blew one of his tendons. A Bowen practitioner treated the horse alongside a vet taking x-rays. Within four weeks the hole in the tendon was virtually healed. Something we could all see from the portable x-ray machine the vet had. The vet also said that it surprised him every time it happened with Bowen, and that he had seen it several times before. It is used by many horse trainers around the country.

It is because of the experience with the horse that I came into contact with Bowen and thought if it can do that for the horse, I want some!

One warning I would give, is always have someone drive you home after a treatment. Like massage or any of these treatments you can feel a little 'spaced out' after one of them. I was normally ok but once I was very woosy after a treatment and I had to pull over in the car and rest for about an hour until I felt safe to go home.

Love light and serenity

in reply to Sassi

Thank you so much for your information. I am really grateful to all who have responded to my question, however It is really good to hear from someone who has actually tried this therapy. It does sound like something I would like to try as soon as I get this WCA out of the way and know where I will stand regarding income.

Thanks again


Sassi where are you, I could maybe find a practitioner near you. Or go onto the Bowen Facebook page and ask. Not all of us pay to advertise.....it gets a bit expensive.

in reply to Cat53

Cat53 thanks for that I will look on Facebook, I should have realised there was a page for Bowen ! My nearest people are usually in Glasgow which is about 30 miles away from me in Helensburgh. Although there are some people on the other side of the Clyde, which is only 8 miles away, but the search engines forget that I am not such a strong swimmer any more ;)) There was someone here but when I tried to contact them recently their number was unavailable. If I can't find anyone on facebook I will come back and see if you know of anyone nearer.

in reply to Cat53

Cat53 which type do you practise?

in reply to Cat53

Sorry, which page on facebook are you using Cat53?

Hi Sassi. If you go onto Facebook and put in a search for 'the Bowen technique group page' you should be able to find it. I was taught by The European College of Bowen Studies (ECBS). But I shall check out other websites for you too.

i tried this three years ago, 5 years ago ,it didn't help, so 3 years later i spoke to a woman that did it she was a lovely lady to talk to explained my problems and she said it would only help a bit for a brief amount of time in her opinion.for fibro

Hi electricjaws,

As I said earlier I found Bowen to be gr8. But I have tried all sorts of therapies, and many of them help, Bowen has been the best for me. I think everyone with fibro seems to have different problems so that could affect what works and what doesn't. Also the practitioner can be important too. I had acupuncture from a wonderful lady and had good results, but she moved away. When I tried someone else, the therapy just didn't work at all. So there are probably many elements involved in getting relief from fibro. Obviously the placebo effect cannot be ruled out.

My general thoughts are, if there are no drugs involved and it is non-invasive and I think it could work (I have quite a logical/questioning mind), then I think it is worth trying. At least like massage etc. you get some pampering;)

I am a down to earth sceptical person. Against my better judgement I let my neighbour, who is trained, try Bowen Therapy on my elbow, when a steroid injection had failed to help. It worked. Suspend your disbelief. It can do no harm and may do a huge amount to relive your pain.

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