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Bowen therapy flare up - advice please


I decided to try Bowen Therapy, as it was recommended here, and I hoped it might speed up recovery. Ive had PMR for 2 years and gradually reduced to 8.5mg, definitely feeling I was improving. The Bowen therapist advised me that I might feel worse initially - she was not wrong! The second treatment she said I was very sensitive and gave me a lighter session. However I am even worse (though not a lot), a real flare up now, even back to the stiff neck and walking with great difficulty.

I could up my steroids, but am reluctant to do so as I have worked so hard to get down to this level, and also we wont be able to assess whether the Bowen Therapy has helped or not.

And/or I could cut my losses and abandon the Bowen, but it could help in the longer run and in spite of the above I do have a good feeling about it.

Any advice, especially from anyone who has tried Bowen, would be welcome.

Thanks, Amanda

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They say if Bowen does not work in the first three sessions give up. The therapist will normally tell you that. I found that Bowen did not work for me which I found rather frustrating. The therapist was very keen I should carry on though. She did two or three people at the same time so it was quite lucrative. She then broke her wrist which meant I could get away!



First time I had Bowen I felt hit by a bus I thought I was dying next day but knew it was toxins leaving my body .

Did you follow advice and drink plenty of water ?

following treatment I was a little tender but after that ok with 2 more treatments and feel it did me a lot of good .

It does sound if you are having a flare so I know advice is too up the Preds longer its left the more inflammation their will be to clear .

Im sure the experts will be along soon .



Hallo. 🙄 I'm coming down what the Bowen.


If you need a bit more pred - you need a bit more pred.

Bowen kept me upright for the 5 years I had PMR without being on pred so I am a fan. Yes, you can feel worse after a session but with some gentle exercise - walking in the fresh air in particular - and drinking plenty of water it should settle within a day or two.

Other than the feeling you have a flare - do you have any positives? As piglette says, it doesn't work for everyone and it doesn't improve the PMR itself, it just works for the "add-ons".


It's disappointing if Bowen doesn't work for you, but this does happen. My therapist told me to give up if I didn't find it helpful, but it was. I go back for booster sessions about every six weeks though had to cancel one recently, having fractured my shoulder - but that's another story.


Oh so sorry you didnt have a good experience with bowen...

Not everything works with you know.

Hope you recover soon, kind regards, Jerri


My brother is a very good Bowen Therapist and his wife had Fibramyalgia. She would get laid out after a treatment but kept it up feeling that it would eventually help, and it did she has been free of it for a number of years now - she had it for a number of years too. I have started regular Bowen now, not from my brother as he lives 7 hours drive away, and I feel it has stirred things up for my GCA symptoms. The rheumy just yesterday put me up to 100mg preds for 5 days due to some double vision I'm having, then back to 60mg. But getting back to Bowen - I have a lot of faith in it, some treatments can be instant, others take time.

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Either it doesn't suit everyone or I didn't give it enough chance but I became progressively worse after four sessions so I gave up. The same thing happened with acupuncture. I don't have anything now...just try to keep active with a little walking, housework and gardening and stick to a reasonable diet (most of the time) and after six years I think I'm gradually getting there. Reducing from 5mg to 4. Im sure I'll get better one day ...don't give up hope!


I find that most people don't drink the litre of water a day..............they think that the tea, coffee and other drinks count................but you really need that litre of water.

Yes, it does not work for everyone, but I had GCA and ended up in a wheelchair, Bowen got me out of that chair, zimmer frame put away and now I just carry a folding walking stick in case I come across uneven ground or pavements (mainly pavements).

The best thing was, I had met a lady who had PMR but she also had an autistic grandson, they tried it for him and her family cannot get over the difference. It was a struggle for them to afford it, as in the North it was reasonable and when they went back to London the price was nearly doubled.

The Pain Management Clinic in the Durham NHS area, contracted it for 1 year to see if it helped...............they have renewed the contract.

The Bowen therapist did tell me that if there was no improvement with 3 sessions it was probably not for me. I liked that honesty.


I have tried Bowen three times- twice since having PMR and it has done nothing for me any of those times, more's the pity! The last time , I definitely got a bad flare from it and had to increase the Pred. by quite a lot to get past it. I found I had a lot more pain after every session, even though it seems so gentle, and by the time I stopped after 4 sessions the pain was not going at all between sessions. And yes, I did all the things I was meant to do after each session. It just goes to show that it is a powerful treatment either way!


Thank you all for your helpful replies, no clear answer but lots to think about! I will try my third treatment tomorrow and if there is no improvement will probably stop. I cant afford to get any worse as my only loo is upstairs!


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