Frequently Asked Questions

Bowen Therapy is a remedial body technique that works on the connective tissues (the fascia) via the muscular and nervous systems to facilitate rest, relaxation and natural self-recovery. It is one of the complementary therapies in Australia recommended by the Cancer Council of New South Wales. It is known by its gentle and safe application, speed of effectiveness, and minimal intervention, and can be used for symptoms management, rehabilitation and general health support. 

‘What is Bowen Therapy’ by Dr Manon Bolliger of Bowen College

Bowen Therapy has a calming effect to the body and mind. It can support a wide variety of health conditions in both structural and organic levels. Some of the most common conditions that Bowen helps include:

  • Musculoskeletal Pain
  • Neurological Disorders
  • Digestive Disorders
  • Respiratory Problems
  • Urinary Problems
  • Reproductive Problems
  • Endocrine/ Hormonal Issues
The History and Rationale for Bowen Therapy by Kelly Clancy

While Bowen Therapy is helpful for a number of health conditions, most of our clients come to us for treatment for stress, fatigue, migraines, indigestion, anxiety, depression, menstrual problems, hormonal imbalance, arthritis, fibromyalgia, Parkinson’s disease, scoliosis, sciatica, uneven pelvis, body aches, sprain or strain, frozen shoulder, tennis elbow, RSI, and knee and ankle problems.

Bowen Therapy can be used on people of all ages for a variety of symptoms and health conditions. Both individuals and corporate organisations can experience its benefits. 

For Individuals

Both men and women, including those who are in their perinatal period, can be supported by the Bowen treatment. Our clients range from neonates to the elderly and from the infirm to professional athletes.

For Organisations

For corporates and organisations, Bowen can be used as a means of addressing workplace injuries or improving workers’ welfare. It helps maintain the health and wellbeing of employees, relieve stress and tension, promote recovery from fatigue, reduce pain and increase work efficiency.

Organisations that can benefit from Bowen may include:

  • Hospitals
  • Healthcare Facilities
  • Age Care Facilities
  • Gyms/ Fitness Centres
  • Disaster Relief Organisations
  • Manufacturing Companies
  • Corporate Businesses
  • Sports Clubs

At Bowen Health Practice, our services can be delivered to an organisation on-site or off-site. A competitive fee structure and specific agreements can be developed to meet organisational needs and schedules. Please visit our Corporate Bowen page or contact us if your organisation is interested in our services.

Bowen Therapy is gentle, non-invasive and non-manipulative, safe to use on people of all ages and stages of health including newborn babies, children, the elderly, pregnant women, and people who are traumatically injured. It is one of the touch therapies recommended by the Cancer Council of New South Wales. 

Bowen and Cancer
Bowen and Children
Bowen and Traumatic Brain Injury

Bowen Therapy is effective in many cases, although the healing journey depends on a number of factors including the nature and complexity of the condition, its length of existence, the client’s commitment to care, and the capacity of the client’s body in response to the treatment. A healthier lifestyle often contributes to a quicker recovery. 

The Bowen treatment engages both the body and mind via the fascia and the autonomic nervous system. Many people report their experience of deep relaxation, pain relief, more optimal body function and movement, recovery of energy, reduced stress level, circulation improvement, and lymphatic drainage after being treated with Bowen Therapy. 

The Power of Bowen Therapy

Bowen Therapy is not a massage and is non-equivalent to any other types of bodywork.

Introductory Demo by Bowen Therapy Professional Association

Bowen Therapy differs from other bodywork modalities by its gentleness, speed of effectiveness, and minimal intervention. Some of the key things that make Bowen Therapy distinctive include:

Holistic Approach

Bowen Therapy works on the entire structure rather than focusing on a single complaint. It addresses the body and the mind via the autonomic nervous system to release both physiological and emotional tension. No matter what symptom you bring in to get treated, Bowen Therapy always looks for the root cause and supports your health holistically. 

Hands On, Hands Off

Bowen Therapy is different to other treatment types in the way the work is done. Bowen often applies gentle and subtle rolling moves over the soft tissues on specific areas of the body, using mainly fingers and not necessarily at the point of pain or tension. It is usually performed as a stand-alone procedure without combining other bodywork techniques. 

Unlike other modalities where the therapist constantly manipulates the client’s body for the duration of the session, Bowen Therapy allows hands-off waiting period in between each set of moves to let the body relax, respond, and release tension at its own pace. The Bowen practitioner often leaves the room or steps away from the client during this waiting period.

Gentle and Minimal

Bowen Therapy is usually very gentle. It makes a safe treatment for everyone including babies, pregnant women and the elderly. Less-is-more, or minimal intervention, is the philosophy of Bowen Therapy by which optimal result is achieved. The practitioner applies just enough hand-moves and pressure to help the client rest and recover without being overloaded. No ointment is needed in a Bowen session and the treatment can be done on skin or through light and loose clothing. 

Lasting Effect

Unlike many treatment types that involve intentional manipulation over the body, Bowen Therapy is all about working with the body rather than forcing it to change. It respects the innate wisdom of the body and uses its own ability to heal. Since the Bowen treatment gives enough time and space for the body and mind to deeply relax and fully engage in the healing process, the remedial effect usually lasts longer. The body may continue to process and respond to treatment for up to 10 days following a Bowen session. 

Introductory Demo by Jessica Hertlein

Bowen works via the autonomic nervous system along with other organ systems in the body. When working directly with the nervous system, it is best to keep the input low and specific. In a Bowen session, the following mechanisms would be engaged:

  • Stretch reflex

  • Joint proprioception

  • Fascia

  • Acupoints

  • Lymphatics

  • Detoxification

  • Harmonic vibration

Experts Explain How Bowen Therapy Achieves Great Health Result

A typical Bowen Therapy treatment involves a series of gentle and subtle hand movements over the fascia, muscles, nerves, tendons, ligaments, and joints in order to promote relief from musculoskeletal and related neurological complaints.

Before Treatment

At the Bowen session, the practitioner will begin with verbal communication to learn about your condition and medical history, followed by observation and assessment. He or she will then invite you to lie on a bodywork table or be seated, whichever is appropriate. 

During Treatment

When you rest on the table, the practitioner may cover your body with towels for warming or calming purpose. He or she will then palpate and apply gentle pressure on specific points of your body, using mainly thumbs and fingers in a small rolling motion. 

There will be waiting times between every set of hand-moves, each for a minimum of two minutes, to let your body relax and respond to the work done. During this waiting period, the practitioner will stand back or leave the room for minimising disturbance.

After Treatment

At the end of session, the practitioner will assist you in rising from the lying or sitting position. He or she will ask about how you feel or if you observe any changes to your symptoms, followed by giving post-treatment advices and handling payment and booking.

Introductory Demo by Andy Eckley
During Treatment

During the treatment, you may drop into deep relaxation or fall asleep. Some people may not feel anything, while some may experience sensations such as tingling, buzzing, heat, cold, heaviness or lightness. These sensations are a normal response when your body is unwinding from long-held tension and trying to rebalance itself.

After Treatment

The work of Bowen Therapy can continue to impact your body for up to 10 days after treatment. During this period, you may feel your pain move around the body, your old symptom(s) returns, or your symptom magnifies before it is relieved. This experience is normal and common as your body starts to realign itself and rectify old compensation patterns. Symptoms will resolve when adjustment is completed.

‘What to Expect from Bowen?’ by Lorna Mair of My Bowen Therapy
First Session

The first consultation takes about 90 minutes to include a full assessment and the initial Bowen Therapy treatment. 

Subsequent Session

The follow-up treatments last up to 75 minutes per session depending on the conditions presented and the procedures to use. 

Baby Session

The Baby Bowen session for 0-3 years old takes up to 20 minutes. There is no waiting time in between the Bowen moves and the pressure on babies is much lighter.

At Our Clinic

Initial consultation $150
Subsequent treatment $120

Home Visits (per session)

0-10km from clinic $250
10-20km from clinic $300
20-30km from clinic $400

NDIS Participant

Refer to our NDIS page

*Discounts available for Seniors Card holders.

Bowen is not necessarily an ongoing therapy. Clients may experience relief after just the first session and significant resolution or recovery within three sessions. The number of treatment required depends on your health condition and most are essentially resolved with 4 to 6 treatments; however, chronic conditions may require more extensive programs. Many Bowen clients have routine maintenance treatments at different intervals to keep their body balance, avoid costly regression and as an investment in their health. 

Some incurable conditions may require ongoing management of symptoms. We often recommend our clients to start with 3 treatments (with a gap of a week in between each) to see if Bowen can bring any positive changes to their conditions. If there is no improvement at all after three sessions, we will advise them to check with the doctor or seek help from other health professionals.

You may book your appointment here via our online booking system, or contact us via email, voicemail or text message (we may not be able to respond immediately but we will contact you to confirm your booking as soon as we can).

If you are unable to keep an appointment, please kindly contact us with at least 24 hours notice so that we can offer this appointment to another patient. 50% of your session fee may be charged if you change or cancel your appointment without sufficient notice.

Yes, but not too much. We recommend you to have some snacks and plain water 30 to 60 minutes prior to your appointment. A stomach that is too empty or too full may make you feel sick after treatment as the healing process stimulated by the Bowen moves consumes your body’s energy. If your appointment is after a meal, make sure you reserve enough time for digestion.

You will need to fill out a client information form on your first visit, so please prepare your personal details plus information about your presenting symptom(s) and/or medical condition(s), including any relevant report, scan and/or medication details. If you are eligible for Seniors Discount, please bring your NSW Seniors Card or Senior Savers Card and present it to your practitioner. If you use our service under NDIS, please provide your NDIS number and the signed Service Agreement with your Plan Manager if your NDIS is plan-managed. Please also prepare your method of payment.

Bowen Therapy can be done directly on skin or through light clothing. 

If you choose to be treated on skin, please wear modest underwear. You will be covered with towels during the treatment.

If treated through light clothing, please ensure your clothing is comfortably loose and/or stretchy. Please avoid wearing jeans or other thick/ tight/ slippery materials as these may affect the effectiveness of treatment.

We accept cards (Visa and MasterCard only) and cash payments. We do not bring changes to our practice so please prepare the exact amount if you choose to pay in cash.

Yes, for Plan Management and Self Management NDIS participants only.

Although we are not registered NDIS provider, we have worked with plan-managed and self-managed NDIS funded clients as their maintenance therapists. Our clients have found Bowen Therapy helpful for reducing their symptoms and improving their level of functioning. They use our service as their disability-related health support, and their management plans allow them to have the freedom and flexibility to choose and organise their own maintenance care providers.

If your NDIS is plan-managed, discuss with your plan manager and tell them how Bowen Therapy has supported you. Your plan manager will pay all invoices and are responsible for entering your details into the NDIS portal. To avoid any payment delay, we need to know you have signed a service agreement and started working with your Plan Manager before we provide our service.

For self-managed NDIS participants, once you have received and paid for your Bowen Therapy service, we will give you a payment receipt or send you a tax invoice, and you can make a Payment Request through the myplace portal or the my NDIS app to have the money from your NDIS plan budget paid into your nominated bank account. You will be reimbursed within 24 to 48 hours normally.

*These images are from the NDIS Facebook Page released on 20/4/2018

Along with other Natural Therapies including Naturopathy, Homeopathy, and Kinesiology, Bowen Therapy could no longer be claimed on private health insurance since 1 April 2019. You may, however, claim NDIS if your funding is plan-managed or self-managed.

Seniors who participate in the NSW Seniors Card program and present with a NSW Seniors Card or Senior Savers Card will receive 10% discounts from our standard appointment rates at our clinic. Seniors discount does not apply to special package and home visits.

We offer a Scoliosis Package Special to encourage people who have scoliosis to commit to a 7-consecutive-week treatment program for the most optimal outcome. Bowen Therapy has a specific plan for scoliosis that takes 7 weeks for each cycle.

The package is paid upfront with a bundle of 7 sessions for $700. If a refund for the incomplete session(s) is required, the completed session(s) would be charged at standard rates and deducted from the upfront amount prior to refund.

Clients are recommended to follow the advices below within a week after a Bowen session:

  • Stand up and move every half hour sitting
  • Avoid contact sports or strenuous exercise
  • Avoid the extreme of heat or cold, e.g. sauna, spa, hot or cold pack
  • Drink enough water to keep the muscle and connective tissues hydrated
  • Start the exercise given by the practitioner (if any) the day after treatment
  • Schedule other bodywork treatment (if any) at least 5 days apart from your Bowen session to avoid mutual interference
  • You may feel fatigue or symptoms may increase the first few days after treatment. This is common and indicates that the body is engaged in the healing process. If any concern, please contact your practitioner.

There are no general contra-indications for Bowen Therapy except for a few very specific cases: 

  • Women who are pregnant (or likely to be) should not have the Coccyx procedure.
  • Those who have had breast or pectoral implants should not have the Chest procedure. 
  • People with extensive dental restoration should take this into account before the TMJ (jaw) procedure. 

You should provide your Bowen practitioner with a current health profile. Your practitioner would suggest you to seek medical support when appropriate.

Bowen Therapy may initiate a structural correction during the healing process. Occasionally, some people may experience sensations such as fatigue, headaches, heat or brief shivers, stiffness, occasional sharp pain, or emotional feelings. Such reactions are usually brief and are positive signs that the body is undergoing necessary adjustment. There is no cause for alarm if you have any of these experience. If you are uncertain, please contact your practitioner.

Got More Questions?

If you have any further enquiry, you may download our Bowen Therapy Factsheet for more information or send us a message below:

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