Compared to other therapies the Bowen technique is still in its infancy. Research is very time consuming and the biggest problem being funding, very difficult to get off the ground by an organisation still trying to find it's feet. Early research has shown great promise to prove what all Bowen therapists and clients already know - that the technique works, and it works well.
My personal experience? Those who are relentless in their quest for "proof" fail to understand the concept of bodywork and frankly will never be satisfied with any substantial proof in any way, shape or form.
The first ethically approved Bowen research study on back pain is currently underway with the combined efforts of Warwick University and Warwick Medical School.
Bowen and Hamstring flexibility
Abstract taken from "Science Direct" http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1360859210001075
Published in: Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies
Volume 15, Issue 3, July 2011, Pages 281-290
The effects of the Bowen technique on hamstring flexibility over time: A randomised controlled trial
Michelle Marr MSc, PgCertEda, , , MCSP Chartered Physiotherapist and Lecturer, Julian Bakerb, , Director and Principal Instructor of The European College of Bowen Studies, Nicky Lambon MA, DipTP, CertEdFEa, MCSP Principal Lecturer, Physiotherapy Programme Manager and Director of Faculty Placement Unit at Coventry University and Jo Perry MSc, MCSP, MMACPa, Grad Assoc Phys Senior Lecturer, Coventry University
a School of Physiotherapy and Dietetics, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Coventry University, Priory Street, Coventry CV1 5FB, UK
b European College of Bowen Studies, The Corsley Centre, Old School, Deep Lane, Corsley, Wiltshire, BA12 7QF, UK
Received 11 January 2009; revised 23 June 2010; accepted 24 July 2010. Available online 15 September 2010.
SummaryThe hamstring muscles are regularly implicated in recurrent injuries, movement dysfunction and low back pain. Links between limited flexibility and development of neuromusculoskeletal symptoms are frequently reported. The Bowen Technique is used to treat many conditions including lack of flexibility. The study set out to investigate the effect of the Bowen Technique on hamstring flexibility over time.
An assessor-blind, prospective, randomised controlled trial was performed on 120 asymptomatic volunteers. Participants were randomly allocated into a control group or Bowen group. Three flexibility measurements occurred over one week, using an active knee extension test. The intervention group received a single Bowen treatment. A repeated measures univariate analysis of variance, across both groups for the three time periods, revealed significant within-subject and between-subject differences for the Bowen group. Continuing increases in flexibility levels were observed over one week. No significant change over time was noted for the control group.
Bowen Research & Training Institute, Inc
Connell Square, 38541 US Hwy 19 North
Palm Harbor, FL 34864 USA
Tel: 727 937 9077
FIBROMYALGIA AND OTHER CONNECTIVE TISSUE TYPE DISEASES
THE BOWEN TECHNIQUE, A HEALING MODALITY, ALLEVIATES MYOFACIA PAIN OF FIBROMYALGIA (FM) AND BALANCES THE DYSFUNCTIONAL CHANGES OF THE AUTONOMIC NERVOUS SYSTEM (ANS) AS MEASURED BY CLINICAL ASSESSMENT AND HEART RATE VARIABILITY., WHITAKER, J.A., MARLOWE, S., BOWEN RESEARCH AND TRAINING, INC. AND THE ARTHRITIS PAIN TREATMENT CENTER, CLEARWATER, FLORIDA, USA.
OBJECTIVES: To demonstrate that Bowen Technique ameliorates the myofascial pain and other symptoms
of FM and that HRV is a valuable tool to help design protocols and treatments for these patients.
METHODS: 20 patients meeting 1990 ACR criteria for FM were studied to evaluate clinical improvement
following the Bowen Technique and changes in ANS dysfunction using HRV. The results were compared to
age and gender matched FM controls. In addition 11 subjects without clinical symptoms of FM were studied
similarly. Twenty-three minute epochs were used in the HRV protocol and measurements were taken
immediately before and after a Bowen treatment. A single lead ECG was used to evaluate beat-to-beat
variation measured by the time interval between R waves in milliseconds. The intervals were analyzed using
software by Arrhythmia Research Technology, Austin, Texas to generate both time and frequency domain
parameters. The Bowen Technique comprises moves in specific spots (using fingers and thumbs) by
drawing the skin away from the muscle and rolling in the opposite direction over the area, thus, perhaps,
creating a harmonic vibrational energy flow.
RESULTS: Most FM subjects reported some immediate relief following Bowen treatment lasting from a few
days to months. In some patients, repeated Bowen therapy has maintained complete clinical remission.
Frequency Domain Analysis (prior to Bowen) demonstrated a low total power spectrum which doubled or
tripled following therapy. These results were statistically significant and correlated with improvement of
clinical well being.
CONCLUSION: All FM patients with myofascial pain and other clinical symptoms of ANS dysfunction
experienced mild to marked relief following treatment with the Bowen Technique. Significantly, ANS
dysfunctional before therapy was, partially balanced following treatment. The HRV has been a valuable
adjunct to the clinical assessment of FM patients, and will be useful in determining the protocols and timing
of Bowen treatment for these patients.
Jo Anne Whitaker, M.D., is an internationally recognized research and teaching physician, author of over
sixty scholarly publications and has accumulated numerous awards throughout her career.
Dr. Whitaker has had extensive residence and fellowship programs in paediatrics, haematology, oncology,
nutrition and psychiatry. She taught in seven different medical schools and retired as a full professor of
paediatrics. She spent nine years in Southeast Asia, starting a new medical school and nutritional laboratory
in Thailand and a post-graduate training program in Vietnam during the war. After returning from Vietnam,
she was director of the Florida Mental Health Centre in Tampa. She helped start and develop the first
hospice in Florida and initiated the Little Kids Program for Abused Children at the Chi Chi Rodriguez
Because of her personal healing experience and subsequent commitment to the Bowen Technique, she has
become an accredited Bowen Practitioner and is the President of the Bowen Research and Training