A Brief History of The Bowen Technique

The technique was first developed in Australia by Tom Bowen (1916 to 1982). Following his interest and studies in the structures of the human muscular system, he intuitively began working with this gentle technique discovering that certain moves on the body seemed to impact upon people’s recovery from many conditions. The work he did in his popular clinic in Geelong, (he would have clients lined up out of the building and down the street at times) was verified by the 1975 Victorian Government Inquiry into alternative health care professions. It is recorded that he saw some 13,000 patients every year – an incredible work-rate.  I grew up not far from where Tom Bowen practiced and have spoken to many people in the area who were fortunate enough to experience Tom Bowen’s generosity with his healing gift.  My Grandfather knew Tom and had watched him work, marvelling at how after merely observing someone walk into a room, Tom would know exactly where they were holding tension and would “straighten them up’ with a couple of Bowen moves.   It was in 1986 that the technique began to be brought to other countries. Oswald Rentsch – a man whom Tom had invited to work and study with him – was authorized by Bowen to document and teach his methods.  With the help of Bowen’s Clerk, Rene Horwood, and his wife Elaine, they together produced a record of the Bowen Technique.

After the death of Thomas Bowen, Oswald and Elaine began teaching the technique under the name ‘Bowtech’ to others and today it is taught and practiced all over the world.


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