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Bowen Technique for Back Pain and Other Conditions

by Liz James(more info)

listed in bowen technique, originally published in issue 143 - January 2008

The Bowen Technique enables the body to re-balance and restore. This gentle, non-invasive therapy produces an integrated body response and consequently improves circulation, lymphatic and venous drainage, the assimilation of nutrients and elimination of toxins, joint mobility, posture, clearance of dysfunctional debris and normalization of cellular physiology and tissue integrity. There is no condition that cannot be addressed (with medical supervision where appropriate).

Case A

A 63 year-old man shuffled and limped into my treatment room presenting with severe lumbar, left hip and sacro-iliac pain. He showed a pelvic malalignment with painful, restricted movement abducting and adducting both lower and upper limbs.  Having retired 12 months earlier, he had looked forward to enjoying more of his hobbies.  Eight months of pain had prevented him enjoying anything much at all.  After hearing other success stories with Bowen, he felt he had nothing to lose.

Immediately following his initial treatment (lasting all of  30 minutes), he showed improved posture and range of movement. Pain had begun to disperse with eased joint mobility. He walked out of my room with considerable comfort.  I had worked around his pelvis and hips to ease the pressure on the sciatic nerve as well as the upper back and neck.

On his return, seven days later, my client was thrilled with his progress of needing just another session to consolidate the rebalancing.  Following this second session where I concentrated the work around his neck and Temporo-Mandibular Joints (TMJ), he wrote me a letter: “I am delighted to report that my two recent Bowen treatments have enabled me to resume my daily walk of two miles. This in itself would have achieved my original quest when contacting you Liz, however, after the initial treatment some long-term problems have incredibly disappeared:
  • Allergies of approx 40 years – I have lived with incessant bouts of sneezing instigated by consumption of dairy products and inhalation of perfume, varnish, paint and dust;
  • Loss of sense of taste for approx ten years;
  • Constant wheezy chest for 18 months;
  • Restricted mobility of right shoulder – something I have adapted my life around for 15 years.
I have been totally amazed by the Bowen Technique which has improved the quality of my life in such an incredibly short space of time. I am pain-free and now able to taste and enjoy my food.  I cannot believe the allergies disappeared overnight!”

Case B

Another client writes: “I first realized I was suffering from depression a year ago when my employer remarked I looked unwell and advised me to ‘Google’ depression on the internet! I had the classic symptoms – no concentration, anxiety, tearful, insomnia (I remember spending most nights in tears). My GP prescribed anti-depressants. Although I didn’t want to take any medication, they did enable me to function. Concerned friends recommended I seek help from Liz. I had never heard of the Bowen Technique and I was sceptical, but had reached the point of trying anything!”

This 37 year-old client presented with a troublesome lumbar and limited range of movement for three years, initiated by a fall. She suffered frequent headaches, depression, anxiety and low self-esteem. She was due to marry in four months, a day she was dreading. She needed to lose weight for her wedding gown to fit, and due to pain and discomfort, exercise was virtually impossible. Recent comfort-eating and weight gain had resulted in even deeper depression.

The first treatment involved basic relaxation work to initiate the re-balancing of the body; also moves over hamstrings and diaphragm to clear the lung and large intestine meridians. The next day she reported feeling quite different. The intense pain had dissipated and she actually felt motivated to swim. She continued exercising daily (walking, cycling or swimming). She returned seven days later for a subsequent treatment, glowing and grinning from ear to ear!  She had renewed zest and abundant energy. Now on track, reducing her intake of caffeine, alcohol and chocolate, she was eating a healthy balanced diet. After one session she felt fantastic, the best in years!

The second treatment consisted of moves to re-balance her pelvic girdle and to address residual anxiety. The following week she reduced her anti-depressants by half. She felt upright, walking tall, proud of who she was and how she looked. She could now exercise for longer periods and felt she could once again enjoy life.

One more treatment was needed before the big day to settle ‘butterfly’ nerves. She had lost three inches from her waist and hips, enabling her dress to fit. She was ecstatic.

From these three sessions, Bowen had transformed this desperate young woman into a positive and confident individual. She was able to enjoy a wonderful pain-free wedding, and writes: “Here I am a year on – very happy, healthy, no anti-depressants and feeling fantastic!”

As a practitioner, Bowen will never cease to amaze me. Over the past six years, many of my clients who have presented with long-standing complaints find great relief after just a small number of treatments. This therapy produces maximum results with minimum intervention.

Further Information

For more information on The Bowen Technique, or to find a practitioner, please contact: The Bowen Association UK, PO Box 4358, Dorchester, Dorset, DT1 3BA. Tel: 0700 269 8324 (or 0700 269 3685 for training details). Please visit the websites: ; ;


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About Liz James

Liz James ITEC BTAA is a member of The Bowen Association UK (BAUK), having trained with The Bowen Therapy Academy of Australia (BTAA). Last year she also trained in The Emmett Technique and is currently in the final stages studying an Advanced Diploma in Nutritional Therapy. Her private practice is in Paulton, near Bath, Somerset. She may be contacted via Tel: 01761 417694;

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