History of Bowen Therapy

Tom Bowen, developer of Bowen TherapyDeveloped in Australia by the late Tom Bowen (1916-1982). Bowen Therapy, named such after Mr. Bowen’s passing, is a system of moves that challenges soft tissue, releases its congestion and stimulates energy flow, it relieves pain and inflammation, and is an overall tonic to the body’s innate ability to heal itself. It’s positive effects on nerve, muscle and connective tissue provides lasting relief from pain and misalignment in the simplest and most effective manner. For more than 40 years it has been used successfully to treat tens of thousands of people suffering from a huge variety of ailments. Many saying it is the most effective, long lasting and relaxing treatment they have ever experienced.

Bowen Therapy is safe for everyone, from newborns to the old-aged, it is safe to use as a treatment for both acute and chronic conditions. Bowen Therapy relieves the body’s reactive patterns to injury, pain and misalignment through a series of relaxing and gentle moves on specific points on the body. The moves are light, usually performed through clothing, making it a simple to receive therapy for those in severe pain and immobility. Perhaps the most unique aspect of Bowen Therapy are ‘pauses’ of time that are given between sets of therapeutic moves during a treatment session. It is this ‘pause’ of time provided between sets of Bowen Therapy moves that enables the body the time to respond. Without this ‘pause’ there would be no difference between Bowen Therapy and other forms of bodywork, it is unique.

Tom Bowen

Was a humble man who, in his lifetime and beyond, made an incredible impact on humanity around the world after he developed this unique therapeutic system now practiced in more than 40 countries. The results achieved seem to be miraculous, children learning to walk again after being crippled and in braces, lifelong health issues resolved and many a client saved from the surgeon’s knife. After serving in World War II, Mr. Bowen became interested in new ways of alleviating human suffering. He noticed that when he made certain moves on a body, it had particular effects. Mr. Bowen developed and refined the effectiveness of his observations without training in any particular healthcare field to guide him he always stated that the therapy was simply a ‘Gift from God’.

Tom and his longtime friend Rene Horwood started out working from her house at 100 Autumn Street, Geelong West, in 1957. Originally, this was in the evenings after they had both finished work. (Tom worked at the cement works and Rene had her own hairdressing salon). They would often work into the early hours of the morning, often treating clients for free. Sometimes they would work right through the night, traveling to make house calls to sick children, then go back to their respective homes and get ready for the next day’s work. They worked like this for many years before they started to accept donations for their services. Eventually they moved into a retired doctor’s clinic at 99 Latrobe Terrace and began to run their clinic full time. Typically Tom would treat up to sixty-five people per day in the clinic and then they would go off to do the home visits. On more than one occasion, when Tom asked Rene not to close their book so they could see how many they could atreat, it was in excess of 100 per day, children were always treated for free. In 1973, when Tom was interviewed for registration, which was later declined, he indicated that he was treating around 250 people per week.

Tom’s own granddaughter suffered from a disability and died at an early age. In her memory, Tom ran a free clinic for children with disabilities, twice a month on Saturday mornings. Under his and Rene’s care and guidance, many children had an improved quality of life. From asthmatics to disabled children, Tom devoted his life to the children, who often called him ‘Uncle Tom’.

Tom also worked with many of the sports clubs in and around Geelong, often driving all over Geelong and the surrounding district on a Saturday afternoon, attending to injured footballers. He would then treat them and others on Saturday evenings back at Autumn Street when further treatment was necessary. These treatments were also given freely. He was known for attending the Geelong jail on many a Sunday morning to treat injured inmates. He assisted the Victoria police, treating them at all hours of the day and night. He was acknowledged for this work by being made an honorary member of the Geelong Crime Car squad,  he was only the second member of the public to be given such an award. The list goes on of all the achievements that Tom and Rene attained together, from TV personalities and opera singers to a Melbourne Cup racehorse, he treated them all with amazing results.

Many people came to observe his clinic and the therapy he’d continue to develop. He acknowledged six men to have a good understanding of his work. The six he affectionately called his ‘boys’ were: Keith Davis, Kevin Neave, Nigel Love (deceased), Oswald Rentsch, Romney Smeeton and Kevin Ryan. Romney and Kevin Ryan carried on Tom’s work with the free children’s clinic for another 12 years after Tom’s death in 1982.

Because this therapy is so effective, it has been widely embraced by a broad spectrum of people. Healing professionals are impressed by the capability of Bowen therapy and the diversity of problems addressed by it. In 2008 Jonathan Damonte formed the Bowen Therapy College in order to provide a higher standard of training for therpaists in Canada. The growth and demand for therapists is growing hugely as more and more people discover the clear and effective benefits of this pain relief system named Bowen Therapy.