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Bowen Technique By Karen

Helping the Body to Rebalance and Repair

Bowen Technique by Karen

01954 260982

07714 995229

[email protected]

Bowen Technique Cambridge

My Blog



Posted on 13 January, 2013 at 7:56 Comments comments (108)

The Bowen Technique, a healing modality, alleviates myofascia 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.    

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.   

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.   

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.   

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.     

Studies are currently being conducted to show that the Bowen Technique balances the autonomic nervous system.  This is being done through analysis of heart rate variability (HRV).  

HRV is a statistical measurement of the differences between the time intervals of heartbeats, which is an assessment of the autonomic nervous system.  

Studies have been completed on fifteen normal subjects and 23 subjects with fibromyalgia, with the goal of thirty subjects in each group. 

Most of the Fibromyalgia subjects are showing a remarkable clinical improvement with the Bowen therapy. 

Results of these studies will be presented at future conferences. Two papers on these studies have already been presented to and accepted by the International Association of New Science and The American Academy of Environmental Medicine. 

In another study the possibility is being explored that an unusual bacterial agent may underlie or be associated with arthritis and related rheumatic diseases.  This same study is expected to help explain the flu-like effect sometimes experienced after the Bowen Technique.  This is being done with microscopic live cell analysis and special blood cultures. 

A preliminary study to show the effect of the Bowen Technique on alleviating the signs and symptoms of TMJ in 32 study subjects has been completed.  

In addition to completing the above studies it is the intention of the organization to initiate a similar research on the effect of the Bowen Technique on many types of illnesses such as asthma, frozen shoulder and tic douloureux.     

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 Children's Program.   

 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 Institute, Incorporated    

Contents provided by the European School of Bowen Studies (ECBS)   

For further details about the Bowen Technique please contact Karen on 01954 260 982 / 07714 995 299 or email [email protected]    

The Bowen Technique National Migraine Research Program

Posted on 13 January, 2013 at 7:48 Comments comments (287)
The Bowen Technique National Migraine Research Program    

October 2001 to April 2002   

Organised and co-ordinated by Nikke Ariff (Tel: 07941 417441)   

The National Research program was launched by Nikke Ariff in response to results obtained in an earlier Pilot Scheme carried out in February – April 2001.  

Its aim was to determine the efficacy of The Bowen Technique in the treatment of the Migraine condition.  

The Research program was not aiming to achieve a total recovery of the Migraine Volunteer’s condition, but to record any changes in their pattern according to frequency and severity.    

Selection of candidates: 
The Volunteer Group 
No parameters were set before the research program to attract a certain ‘profile’ of Migraine sufferer.  This was deliberate to ensure that the Volunteer Group was random but united by the fact that they were willing to try something new in the treatment of their Migraine condition.  

Selection of candidates: 
The Research Group was based on a considered selection of participants on the basis: 
-          They were diagnosed as a migraine sufferer by a GP or hospital specialist 
-          The women were well represented at different stages of their menstrual life ie. Regular periods, pre- & peri-menopausal, menopausal with / without hormone therapy, post-menopausal, hysterectomy
-          Did not have known food triggers which brought on a Migraine   

The Volunteer Group: 
Profile Of the 39 Volunteers:   
37 women, 2 men 
Length of time been a Migraine sufferer: 
          1 to 15yrs:  13 volunteers
          16 to 30 yrs: 17 volunteers
          over 30 yrs: 9 volunteers     

The Therapists 
All were fully qualified in the Bowen technique and fulfilled the requirements for membership of the governing body  - The Bowen Therapists European Register. 

There were 35 participating therapists in all.   

The Research Program: 
The Program was carried out over a 6-week period. This comprised of a two-week treatment period during which the Volunteer received three Bowen treatments. Followed by a four-week observational period. 

The Migraine Volunteer kept a migraine diary throughout the 6-week period, which was completed after every Migraine attack experienced during the Research Period and submitted to the therapist.   

The Results of the Bowen Technique National Migraine Research Program 
Of the 39 participants: 
Only 7 registered No Change in their Migraine condition 
10 experienced a decrease in frequency of attacks 
9 experienced a decrease in severity of their Migraine 
11 experienced a decrease in severity and frequency of attacks 
1 participant experienced an increase in frequency   

In all, 31 case studies experienced a positive result, yielding a response rate of 79.5% and matching the Pilot Scheme response rate of 80%.       

Attitude towards The Bowen Technique at the end of the program: 
36 of the 39 Volunteers said they would recommend Bowen as a treatment. 

Below are quotes from some of the Migraine Volunteers:   

“I have had more energy and Migraine-free time”. 

“It’s the only treatment apart from Triptans that has helped my migraines” 

“I have been so used to frequent Migraines, I can’t quite mentally adjust to not having pain.” 

“The most relaxing and enjoyable of any treatments I have previously tried.” 

“After the 2 treatment, I had 9 days without Migraines which was wonderful.” 

“I feel I am more calm since having the treatment.”

“I do not feel Migraine is now inevitable.” 

“I generally feel improvement & that I might be able to find relief or a cure for my Migraines other than taking medication.” 

“During treatment, my attacks were less severe and shorter and I was able to get back to work a lot quicker.” 

“I feel more able to participate in activities without fear of an attack.” 

“I feel more relaxed and don’t feel my migraines rule my life anymore.” 

“I am extremely happy with the outcome and will probably continue a maintenance treatment as it was so pleasant and relaxed me, which I feel I need.” 

“Pain lasts a shorter time. I feel better quicker, so not so ‘fragile’ for so long.”   

The Bowen technique: 
Bowen is a gentle, non-invasive, ‘hands-on’ therapy. It treats the body as a single integrated system and is therefore suitable for all ages from newborn babies to the very elderly, from the fit and active to the critically ill. 

The practitioner uses thumbs and fingers on precise points around the body to make rolling type movements. The pressure used is light, never more than what your eyeball could comfortably bear. 

It is a distinctive feature of Bowen that after a sequence of moves, the practitioner leaves the room for a minimum of two minutes to allow your body to respond to and process the moves.   

Is Bowen recognised by the medical profession? 
An increasing number of doctors and GP practices are showing interest in Bowen and even introducing Bowen therapists into their practices precisely because it is so effective. 

Although the reason why it works may so far not be fully understood, they operate on the basis of “If it works, don’t knock it.”  

The results are very positive.  As a holistic therapy, Bowen treats the individual as an integrated biodynamic system as opposed to just treating an isolated ailment. 

Migraines can be triggered by any one or a combination of factors ranging from hormonal, sleeping patterns, neck and jaw tightness, exercise, travel, lack of food, allergies and stress levels of the individual. 

These factors are so varied, that a holistic therapy like Bowen must be considered as a valid option for the treatment of the Migraine condition. 

Contents provided by the European School of Bowen Studies (ECBS)
For further details about the Bowen Technique please contact Karen on 01954 260 982 / 07714 995 299 or email [email protected]  


Posted on 13 January, 2013 at 7:40 Comments comments (93)

Undertaken by members of the Bowen Therapists' European Register in 2009                  

                                                                                                                    Total % 
Clients                            110 
Fully recovered           21                                                                       19% 
Partial recovery          76      20 – 30%              4                            69%                                                                               
                                                       30 – 40%              2                                                    
                                                       50 – 60%            11                                                    
                                                       60 – 70%              6                                                    
                                                       70 – 80%            12                                                    
                                                       80 – 90%             21                                                    
                                                       90 – 99%             20 
No change                       13                                                                       12% 
Nil returns                       13   

People affected by knee or ankle pain were given the special chance to try out a natural therapy that has shown remarkable success in treating all kinds of joint and muscle problems - the Bowen Technique

During Summer 2009, Bowen practitioners from across the UK took part in a national study project.  It was designed to provide testimonial evidence of how Bowen can help with knee and ankle problems, a common cause of lack of mobility and in some cases, time off work.    

Participants had three treatments and gave a subjective score as to their change after receiving the course of treatment. 
Fully recovered = 19% 
Partial recovery = 69% 
No change = 12%          
Contents provided by the European School of Bowen Studies (ECBS)   

For further details about the Bowen Technique please contact Karen on 01954 260 982 / 07714 995 299 or email [email protected]

Effects of The Bowen Technique on Flexibility Levels: Implications for Fascial Plasticity

Posted on 13 January, 2013 at 7:33 Comments comments (79)
Effects of The Bowen Technique on Flexibility Levels:
Implications for Fascial Plasticity

Michelle Marr, MSc BSc (Hons) PgCertEd MCSP Chartered Physiotherapist and External Lecturer for Coventry University 
Nicky Lambon, MA MCSP SRP DipTP, Principal Lecturer and Programme Manager at Coventry University 
Julian Baker, Director of The European College of Bowen Studies, Corsley Centre, Deep Lane, Corsley, Wilts  BA12 7QF  Phone: 01373 832 340   email: [email protected]   


Hamstring strains are the most common sport-related injury in the lower limb, with high recurrence rates and lengthy recovery periods. Causal links between lack of flexibility and development of muscle strain injury are frequently reported. 

The financial implication of treating such injuries provides a continual drive to deliver more effective, evidence-based treatment.  

Since 1994, a complementary therapy called ‘The Bowen Technique’has been used to treat inflexibility and many other conditions. The technique provides gentle rolling moves over fascial interfaces without heating, stretching or specific joint mobilisation. 

The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of the Bowen technique, on the hamstring flexibility of healthy subjects, over time.   

A single-blinded, longitudinal, RCT was performed on 116 male and female volunteers. Participants were randomly allocated into a control group or Bowen intervention group. 

Three hamstring flexibility measurements were taken from each subject over one week, using an active knee extension test and an electrogoniometer. 

An independent assessor verified the results.   

Data were analysed using independent t-tests. Significant increases in hamstring flexibility were demonstrated in the Bowen group immediately post-test (p<0.0005).  These increases maintained for one week (p<0.0005) without further treatment.   

A single treatment of the Bowen technique significantly increases the flexibility of the hamstring muscles in healthy subjects and maintains this increase for a period of one week in the absence of tissue heating, stretching, or specific joint mobilisation. 

Previous quantitative research has reported sustained flexibility increases for a maximum of twenty-four hours. 

This study has provided new information relating to the subject of flexibility. 

The superficial and gentle nature of the Bowen Technique invalidates explanations of tissue creep yet provides implications for plasticity following proprioceptive stimulation along the thoracolumbar and lumbopelvic myofascial slings. 

Further research is required into such proprioceptive mechanisms in relation to manual therapy techniques.     

This article was published in the July 2011 issue of the Journal of Bodywork & Movement Therapies:  
Article title: The Effects Of The Bowen Technique On Hamstring Flexibility Over Time: A Randomised Controlled Trial
Full bibliographic details: Journal of Bodywork & Movement Therapies 15 (2011), pp. 281-290  DOI information: 10.1016/j.jbmt.2010.07.008 

It can be purchased online at: 

Contents provided by the European School of Bowen Studies (ECBS)   

For further details about the Bowen Technique please contact Karen on 01954 260 982 / 07714 995 299 or email [email protected]  


Posted on 13 January, 2013 at 7:06 Comments comments (99)

Summary Report and Press Release by Helen Kinnear   

We wanted to investigate the effect of the Bowen Technique on patients with long term shoulder pain and stiffness.  We used qualified Bowen therapists and set up a clinical trial to monitor the effect of treatment over a six-week period.  We also wanted to gather evidence that would clearly address the frequently expressed opinion of the medical profession that complementary medicine works purely as “a placebo”.    

As far as we know, this is the first UK Bowen study to be completed.  We started planning the protocol in late 1997.  

Bowen is a complementary soft tissue therapy and although it has been in use for some time, there seemed to be a shortage of data to quantify its effect.  To rectify this, we decided to monitor the treatment process to investigate the effect of Bowen on a specific condition, in this case non-specific chronic shoulder pain with restricted range of motion - the “frozen” shoulder.    

The study was a collaboration between the Research Director Helen Kinnear and Julian Baker of the European College of Bowen Studies.  

Julian has been a Bowen practitioner and tutor for some time and has been instrumental in setting up a professional training structure for Bowen therapy within the UK.  

Helen has been interested in Bowen for the past three years and has been using Bowen within her busy sports injuries practice in South Wales.  

Helen in particularly interested in the use of Bowen for sports injuries and is currently working towards a Ph.D. investigating the effect of Bowen on hamstring injuries in professional football.   

Helen says, “Bowen is a very valuable therapy and I was immediately intrigued by how effective it is.  I seemed to be using it more and more, both in clinic and on the sports field, but I was a little curious about why it was working.  

There didn’t seem to have been many studies or clinical trials on the effect of Bowen on soft tissue injuries and I was always searching for answers.  In the end, Julian suggested we set up a research study to objectively assess its effects and here we are.”   

The Bowen Technique is a remedial and holistic form of ‘hands-on’ bodywork, gentle and effective.  The practitioner uses thumbs and fingers on precise points of the body to perform Bowen’s unique sets of rolling-type moves which stimulate the muscles, soft tissue and energy within the body.  These careful moves prompt the body to reset imbalances and heal from injuries and even long-standing complaints, promoting relief of pain and recovery of energy.  

The experience of a treatment is gentle, subtle and relaxing.  There is no manipulation and no force is used.  A very wide range of complaints can be resolved with The Bowen Technique.  

The body normally responds quickly to The Bowen Technique, making it a very time- and cost-effective treatment option.   

This particular shoulder condition was chosen because it is such a common problem and one that results in frustrating debilitation for its sufferers.  There can be many reasons for the onset of shoulder pain but in many patients the initial complaint leads to a chronic condition with pain, loss of function and resulting stiffness.  

The initial pain could be a result of adhesive capsulitis, bursitis, tendonitis, referred cervical pain, etc. but the restricted range of motion can often be self-perpetuating and progressively debilitating.  

The pain causes an initial reluctance to use the shoulder and this perpetuates the condition, as the shoulder becomes stiffer and stiffer.  

Bowen therapists have found many patients presenting with these symptoms and it seemed a natural progression to study a condition that was so common.  In fact, on requesting volunteers for the study the response was enormous and an incredible 3,000 patients applied for the programme.  

This shoulder condition was also chosen as its restricted range of motion could be objectively assessed both before and after treatment.  This meant there would be no need to rely on the more subjective measure of pain level and any improvements could be measured directly.   

Conventional medical treatment can take many forms and might consist of anti-inflammatory medication, cortisone injections, physiotherapy and possible surgery to manipulate the joint under anaesthetic.  

There are also options within the complementary medicine field, including acupuncture, remedial massage, homoeopathy and aromatherapy.   

Bowen is a gentle, non-invasive treatment and the study was designed to discover the improvement that could be gained without resorting to invasive treatment.    

Julian Baker says:  It is often described as physical homoeopathy.  It allows the client’s body to restore its own physical well-being without relying too much on the diagnosis or the intervention of the therapist.  It is adaptable to any situation or circumstance with no contrs-indications.   

No.  Due to the number of patients involved, we were unable to do the treatment ourselves.     There were 100 patient volunteers in clinical trial.  

We used existing, experienced Bowen therapists around the country, who were all then specially trained in the research therapy itself and the assessment methods that were going to be used in the clinical trial.    

Patients were randomly assigned to either a treatment or placebo group and the actual treatment procedure depended on which group the patient was assigned to - treatment or placebo.   

This group did not receive Bowen treatment but was given non-Bowen work in a way that would suggest a true treatment.  The trial was blind and the patients did not know whether they were receiving treatment or not.  This was absolutely crucial to the study.   

Complementary therapies are often described as having merely a placebo effect, so the research protocol was designed to distinguish between actual recovery resulting from Bowen and the recovery that could be expected due to the placebo effect, just by the patient believing they were being given treatment.  

It was also important to determine the strength of the placebo effect.  the placebo moves had been previously tested and were known to have no effect on the shoulder condition.  

Equally important, the placebo moves were also tested to ensure they did not worsen the existing shoulder condition.  All placebo patients were treated with Bowen therapy after the first three session.   

Both groups of patients received three sessions over a six-week period, the normal Bowen protocol for shoulder pain.  They were also given exactly the same aftercare advice.  

None of the patients had received Bowen therapy before and the therapists were told to give the same description of the technique to both groups.  

There was no deviation to treat any other conditions that may have been present and the therapists followed the strict protocol exactly.    

Yes, it was difficult but all therapists and patients were aware of this before they became involved in the study.  

The research protocol needs to be kept as tight as possible to minimise the factors that could be thought to contribute to recovery.   

Helen says:  “It was particularly frustrating as a large proportion of shoulder pain can be linked to neck problems and we knew that treating the neck as well would lead to even better improvements in shoulder function.  

Again, for the short period of the clinical trials we had to be single-minded and have a certain “tunnel vision”.  Once the research period was over, patients were able to continue treatment for any other condition that may have been present.”    

Patients were initially assessed for overall joint function and specific range of motion for six shoulder movements.  The therapists noted the extent and quality of the movement and the patients conducted a self-assessment of their pain level throughout the movements.  

These assessments were repeated before each session.       

The results are pleasing and provide a good indication of the effect of Bowen on non-specific chronic shoulder pain and its associated restricted range of motion.   The actual results are shown in Table 1.    

Helen says:  “Although you never approach research with too many expectations, we know that Bowen is an effective therapy, we have seen it working, have seen the effects in our clinics every day.  It’s strange, you never really know how the results will turn out but they’ve echoed what we already knew.  We know it works - now we can show it works and that feels good.”   

Okay, basically they show that Bowen significantly improves shoulder function through increasing range of motion and reducing pain.   

Yes.  It shows that patients who had Bowen treatment improved significantly more than patients who received the placebo.   

This is a measure of our confidence limits and how sure we can be that the shoulder improvements are not due to chance.  

We have worked at a significance of p<0.05 or a probability of less than 5 in 100 of it being chance.  

For some shoulder movements this probability was reduced to less than 1 in 100 so we can be even more certain that the increase in joint function is not due to chance.    

Shoulder flexion (lifting your arm straight out in front of you) and shoulder abduction (lifting your arm out sideways).  See the diagrams in the results box.  

These two results are particularly encouraging and provide enormous potential for the introduction of Bowen into nation-wide treatment programmes for this condition,  not only did we see an improvement in actual range of motion and function but a reduction in pain as well.  

We feel these results are particularly important as restriction in these movements is a particular problem with this condition.    

Helen says:  “Patients often complain about the loss of overhead arm movement and even simple tasks like putting a shirt or jumper on can be made very difficult.  

Also, the shoulder joint should be moved freely each day and lack of use can soon cause adhesions to form within the joint capsule.  This perpetuates the pain and stiffness, a vicious circle - but one we know that Bowen can interrupt.  

It is pleasing that a large number of trial patients had achieved full range of motion after only 3 sessions.”   

The protocol was carefully designed to reduce the number of other factors, e.g., it is standard practice for Bowen therapists to advise patients to drink plenty of water for a few days after treatment.  

Due to the difficulty in monitoring the patient’s fluid intake there was no such advice given, to eliminate the possibility of the increased water intake being responsible for the improvement in joint function.   Similarly with rehabilitation.  

Due to the difficulty in quantifying aftercare, all therapists were instructed not to give any aftercare or exercise advice and although we would normally have recommended capsular stretching exercises, these were not prescribed, again eliminating the variables.  

Although we would expect even greater shoulder movement if the exercises had been completed, we were determined to eliminate all other factors.  All patients were told not to change their lifestyle, activity or medication without informing the therapist.  

Every effort was made to reduce the likelihood of any lifestyle changes over the treatment period and any significant changes or the presence of any other therapy rendered the patient unsuitable to continue on the programme.   

The improvement in shoulder function was significantly greater for the treatment group than the placebo group and placebo patients who had not responded showed considerable improvements once Bowen was administered.    

The study has not directly compared Bowen with other forms of therapy - simply against a placebo.  

Although other forms of treatment, e.g. cortisone injections and surgery may be as effective it is important to note the nature of Bowen.  It is a non-invasive, gently “hands-on” treatment with little or no patient discomfort.  It is also cost effective with patients showing significant improvements in only 3 sessions, often showing improvements of over 50% after just one treatment.  

We also need to emphasise that these results occurred with just the basic Bowen shoulder work and did not involve any advanced Bowen moves or exercise therapy.  

It is reasonable to assume that the results would be even better once these other variables are introduced.   

Although patients have been analysed for shoulder function, we need to have some awareness of the patient as an individual.  Bowen is a complementary therapy and offers the patient a holistic treatment.  

Although the results are significant and have been well received there will be ongoing analysis of more subjective measures focusing on other aspects of the patient’s health and well being.  

The physiological effect of Bowen also needs to be addressed.    Further work could investigate the effect of including stretching and mobilising exercises and more advanced Bowen moves, especially for patients who may have not responded to the basic treatment protocol.  

There is also need to determine the long-term effect of treatment and the incidence of any recurrence.  

Future follow-up studies are currently being planned.   

Helen Kinnear, Julian Baker and the European College of Bowen Studies would like to thank all patients and therapists who took part in the study.  Your contribution is greatly appreciated.  

1.  Following Bowen treatment, the treatment group showed a significant increase in overall range of motion and shoulder function compared to the placebo group. 

The average range of motion improvement was 23° for the treatment patients and only 8° for the placebo group.  This was the average improvement over all the shoulder movements and is indicative of some movements improving considerably and others not responding much at all.     

2.  Three shoulder movements showed the greatest improvement.  These were the movements of shoulder abduction, flexion and horizontal abduction.  These movements are shown below.  

Most trial patients had achieved full range of motion in these movements after only three treatment sessions.  

We were particularly interested in the two movements of shoulder flexion and shoulder abduction which are most indicative of shoulder function.  Patients with a chronically stiff and painful shoulder most often complain about loss of function, especially with regard to lifting the arm overhead.    

 The range of motion of shoulder abduction improved in 78% of patients compared to just 22% of the placebo patients. 
The actual improvement is even more exciting, as the treatment group improved by 40º while the placebo group only showed an improvement of 9º.  
These two results are statistically significant (p<0.05).   

The shoulder flexion range of motion improved by 28º in the treatment group and only 7º in the placebo group.  
This was statistically significant at p<0.05 and shows that Bowen is an effective way to non-invasively increase functional range of motion in the stiff and painful shoulder.   
 The improvement in range of motion was statistically significant for the treatment group but for the placebo group the improvement, if present at all, was not statistically significant and was no more than would be expected due to chance alone.  

These two results are particularly encouraging and provide enormous potential for the introduction of Bowen into nation-wide treatment programmes for this condition.  Not only did we see an improvement in actual range of motion and function but a reduction in pain as well and, after all, as therapists these have to be our aims.    

3.  The placebo improvements were higher than expected with 50% of patients showing some improvements.  This was in comparison to 67% of treatment patients showing an improvement.  However, the extent of the improvement was not statistically significant and was no more than would be expected due to chance alone.   

4.  Placebo patients were treated with Bowen at the end of the placebo period.  This produced unexpected results as, although the patients’ range of motion increased significantly, there was not such a great reduction in pain levels.  This was compared to the patients who hadn’t experienced the placebo period first.  

This could be due to the fact that pain level is a subjective assessment and the fact that the patients had seen no initial improvement may have led to them subjectively assessing the pain to be more than those who got an initial improvement and therefore felt good about the treatment.  

Contents provided by the European School of Bowen Studies (ECBS)   

 For further details about the Bowen Technique please contact Karen on 01954 260 982 / 07714 995 299 or email [email protected]  

The Bowen Technique National Asthma Study

Posted on 13 January, 2013 at 6:50 Comments comments (181)
The Bowen Technique National Asthma Study 

December 2002 to March 2004 
Organised by Nikke Ariff (Tel: 079811 54321)   

The National Research program was launched to determine the efficacy of The Bowen Technique in the treatment of the Asthma condition. The research was aiming to record any changes in their pattern Volunteer’s symptoms in terms of: 
-          frequency 
-          severity of attacks 
-          and reliance on medication over a period of 12 months whilst receiving Bowen treatments.    

Selection of candidates: The Volunteer Group 
The parameters set were as follows: 
-          the volunteers had to be over 16 years of age 
-          they must not have been hospitalised for their condition 
-          they must have been diagnosed as an Asthma sufferer by a Gp or hospital specialist 
-          Asthma must be their main health concern The Volunteer Group: 

Profile Of the 24 Volunteers: 
16 women, 8 men Length of time diagnosed as  an Asthma sufferer: 
   1 to 5 yrs:              2 (8%) volunteers 
   5 to 10 yrs :           8 (33%) volunteers 
   10 to 15 yrs:          3 (13%) volunteers 
   15 yrs plus :           11 (46%) volunteers   

The Therapists 
All were fully qualified in the Bowen technique and fulfilled the qualifications set out by the governing body The Bowen Therapists European Register (   email: [email protected]).   

The Research Program: 
The Program was carried out over a 12-month period. No treatment protocol was set for the Bowen therapist to follow. This is because Bowen is a holistic therapy and it was felt that the Bowen therapist should not be compromised in having to treat according to a set protocol as opposed to treating the Volunteer as a unique individual. 

The Asthma Volunteer kept a weekly diary throughout the 12-month period.  Additionally, a diary was completed for every Asthma attack experienced during the Research Period.   

Results of the Bowen Technique National Asthma Research Program 
Of the 24 participants who completed the 12 month program: 
All 24 volunteers reported that Bowen had made a positive difference to their asthma condition.   
7 registered “My asthma has improved dramatically”    
14 reported “ My asthma has improved substantially”    
3 reported “ My asthma has improved slightly”                

20 (83%)          reported a reduction in the frequency of their asthma attacks 18 (75%)          reported a reduction in the severity of their attacks 
18 (75%)          reported they were now using less medication than before starting the Bowen Research project 
14 (58%)          reported they were responding better to their medication 
17 (71%)          reported their sensitivity to triggers had reduced 

Although only 15 of the 24 volunteers used Peak Flow meters at home, all 15 (100%) of them reported their readings had improved.   

Volunteers rated their asthma condition on a scale of 0 to 10: 
Before Bowen treatments were received: 
Mild:                   3 (12.5%) 
Moderate:        12 (50%) 
Severe:               9 (37.5%) 

After 12 months on the Research Program: 
Mild:                   18 (75%) 
Moderate:        6 (25%) 
Severe:              0 (0%)   

Total number of Asthma attacks: 
The total number of Asthma attacks reported showed a dramatic improvement in the second 6 months on the research program: 

First 6 months:               Total of 84 Asthma attacks recorded 
Second 6 months:          Total of 26 Asthma attacks recorded 

 This represents an improvement of69% in the number of asthma attacks over the first 6 months.   

Other Benefits: 
Of the 24 Volunteers who completed the program, 22 reported that secondary health concerns had also improved within the 12-month Research period underlining the holistic nature of the Bowen Technique. 

These issues included: 
Positive responses 
 Back, Neck & Shoulder problems:                15  
Knee problems & Other joint problems:       4 
Headaches & Migraine:                                         3 
Hayfever:                                                                    8 
Irritable Bowel Syndrome & Digestion:         4 
PMT & Circulation:                                                  2 
Insomnia:                                                                    4 
Anxiety, Stress & Depression:                          13 
Energy levels:                                                            8   

Mind Body Positive 
Following the results, Nikke Ariff of Mind Body Positive concluded: 
 “The Asthma Research is my second project and my thanks and appreciation go to the Volunteer Asthma suffers and the dedicated Bowen Therapists who took part over this 12 month programme. 

Asthma is a very individual condition, and a holistic therapy such as Bowen is ideally designed to address the individual according to his or her individual health needs. 

 I am very pleased with the results of the National Research Programme, which has recorded positive results for all 24 of the Asthma Volunteers. 

I trust that more people will be encouraged to approach complementary therapies with an open mind for the regular maintenance of their health and well being."   

Dr Claire Pickin, Warwickshire GP: 
“I am pleased though not surprised to see the patients in this trial benefiting from the Bowen Technique. I use the Bowen Technique frequently in my GP practice, mainly for musculoskeletal problems, but notice that patients' general health improves as well. 

“Asthma is a cause of much morbidity and sadly, still mortality, in this country. Its incidence has increased by 250% in the last 20 years and the latest figures show 1 child in 8 is being treated for asthma. 

The fact that such a simple, gentle, non-invasive technique can reduce the distressing symptoms of asthma deserves attention. 

The results of the trial are impressive. “Asthma can be life threatening, so it is important that medication is not stopped suddenly. 

Bowen Therapists European Register code of practice states that the therapist will never advise patients to alter prescribed medication without first consulting with their doctor. 

A doctor will be happy to reduce medication gradually as symptoms improve in the long term.”   

The results are very positive, evidenced also by the fact that every Volunteer replied they would recommend the Bowen Technique to fellow Asthma sufferers. 

Bowen addresses the individual as an integrated biodynamic system as opposed to his or her isolated ailment. The Asthma condition has a myriad of triggers ranging from emotional trauma, stress levels of the individual, exercise, food and environmental allergens. 

These factors are so varied, that a holistic therapy like Bowen should be considered as a valid option for the health of an Asthma sufferer. Clearly this is the result of only 24 volunteers, but the overwhelming positive results are very encouraging. 

Copyrighted  © 2004 by  Nikke Ariff

Contents provided by the European School of Bowen Studies (ECBS)   

For further details about the Bowen Technique please contact Karen on 01954 260 982 / 07714 995 299 or email [email protected]