The Bowen technique is a general term used to describe a variety of therapies based on the work of the Australian body worker, Mr. Tom Bowen (1916–1982). The term Bowen Technique is often used interchangeably with the term Bowen Therapy. Mr. Bowen was very holistic in his work, often treating the whole body and not just the immediate area of a problem. Tom Bowens work consisted, for a large part, of rolling or flicking moves over muscles, tendons and ligaments The Bowen Technique is a gentle, rolling massage, only with very light contact. The 'rolls' are supposed to either tighten or loosen off muscles depending on the way the move is done. The practitioner or therapist will stimulate sets of points, occasionally with approximately two minute pauses, to allow the body to respond to the stimulation. It is thought that the body integrates it into the “body’s system”, although such a system has not been properly defined as of yet. The Bowen Technique is a form of massage, and is thought to release areas of built-up stress in the muscles. Clients describe experiences of deep relaxation after a session and have claimed to often falling asleep after the first few moves. Despite this however, no data has been systematically gathered on this aspect of Bowen Therapy. A view held by some Bowen Therapists is that the Bowen Technique addresses the muscles, as well as joint nerve endings, in such a specific way that it heightens the sensory awareness of the body in the area worked on. This can lead to strange sensations such as heat release, tingling and a generalised increased awareness of the areas being worked. These sensations are sometimes mistakenly associated with some form of "energy healing". Through increasing sensory awareness the moves used tap into the body’s ability to self-regulate which practitioners and therapists claim stimulate the body to heal itself.
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