How Bowen Works: did Tom Bowen never explain?

Photo by Jamie Templeton on Unsplash


The simplicity of the Bowen move belies its power but, unfortunately, Tom Bowen didn’t say how Bowen works!

We now think that Bowen ‘moves’ gently reset the autonomic nervous system, enabling it to re-organise and re-tune itself and the muscles, underlying tissues and organs that it controls.


Back Massage, how Bowen works
Image by Mariolh from Pixabay

These include the

  • cardiac,
  • respiratory,
  • reproductive,
  • gastrointestinal,
  • endocrine, and
  • peripheral circulation functions, all of which are very susceptible to tension.


The Bowen treatment helps the body replace this tension – and pain and dysfunction – with the relaxed and healing benefits of the parasympathetic mode.

Bowen frees up the connection between the different layers that makes up your body.

These connective tissues are called fascia, and they unite and tie everything together in your body including internal organs, muscles, bones, and central nervous system.

However, no manipulation or adjustments are made and no force is used to shift bones into place.

However Bowen works, it is not a form of massage!

Instead, there is a gentle rolling over muscle tissue, done usually in a particular order, each move setting up for the next one so how Bowen works is very relaxing!

How Bowen Works is something like Acupuncture

Incidentally, and for those interested in acupuncture: there are many links between where Bowen moves are made, ie how Bowen works, and the underlying acupuncture channels and channel points.

How Bowen works, it seems, is by rebalancing, strengthening and toning the acupuncture channel (or ‘meridian’) system.

A growing body of opinion thinks that acupuncture also works by influencing the fascia. 


There are similarities between acupuncture and how Bowen works.
Inserting an acupuncture needle into the forehead. Photo by Antonika Chanel

Of course, acupuncture has a comprehensive and sophisticated view of health, which goes back nearly 3000 years whereas Bowen lived in the early 20th Century so ‘Bowen’ therapy is much more recent.


Other pages on Bowen on this site

Bowen? –



Other things Jonathan does

Jonathan Clogstoun-Willmott practises a number of therapies.

Over the years he’s gradually learned which ones help in different situations, so don’t be surprised if he recommends another form of treatment for your problem. In some cases he may recommend someone else to do the treatment.

Here are some of the therapies Jonathan uses:

Jonathan Brand colours

Stay in Touch!

No spam, only notifications about new articles and updates.

The latest books
Book a Consultation
Book Consultation
Acupuncture consultation

Book a Video consultation if you want to know more about your symptoms

Related Articles

photo of person showing silver-colored ring
Causes of disease

Knee Pain

Knee pain has five main causes. It’s certainly worth trying acupuncture before you resort to surgery!

Read More »

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *