Bowen Technique


Bowen Therapy, an Australian bodywork technique, calms the body’s “flight or flight” response. It balances production of hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol, lowers blood pressure, and improves sleep, headaches, muscle tension, digestive issues, TMJ, and other symptoms that are aggravated by stress.

Bowen Therapy shifts the body to “rest, relax and repair” mode, strengthens the immune system and encourages the body to heal. That is, by engaging the parasympathetic nervous system, the body is better able to heal itself.

“I suffer from PTSD. After three Bowen Therapy Sessions with Abbie, my entire muscular system was able to completely relax. What an incredible and emotional relief. I have also noticed that my fibromyalgia is less severe. As someone surviving with PTSD and its many symptoms for the past four years, this is such an accomplishment.”

– L., 53, Tone Magazine, July/August, 2015

Justin, a U.S. Iraq/Afghanistan war veteran, describes in this YouTube Bowen Therapy how Bowen Therapy benefited his PTSD and migraines.

Family Members Study Bowen Therapy

Bowen Therapy, also known as Bowenwork, does not resemble any other type of bodywork. It is not massage, physiotherapy, myofascial release, cranio-sacral, chiropractic, acupressure, trigger point therapy, etc. It is a hands-on brain-body therapy that addresses the neuro-muscular system. No drugs, needles, or equipment are involved. Ideally the treatment room is quiet and scent-free to reduce stimulation.

The 30,000 trained practitioners around the world use their thumbs and forefingers to make precisely-located rolling moves through light clothing over muscles, nerves, tendons, and soft tissue. Between each set of light pressure moves, there is a wait of two minutes or longer to allow the body’s nervous system to process signals to the brain. The effect is to completely and deeply relax the body. In successive sessions, Bowen Therapy gradually supports a return to physical wellness and balancing of the digestive, endocrine (hormones), musculoskeletal and other systems. Clients often obtain relief from chronic pain when other types of treatment have not been effective.

Because Bowen Therapy is new to Canada, it is not yet covered by most insurance plans. However, there is a cost-effective alternative to seeing a practitioner on a regular basis.

Find a Bowen Therapy Practitioner

The Bowen Therapy Academy of Australia maintains a list of certified practitioners which includes contact info and advanced courses completed beyond Module 7. Find a certified practitioner.


About the Author:  Madeline McBride, M.A.Sc., became a certified Bowen Therapy practitioner after retiring from a civil engineering career. She specializes in complex cases involving chronic pain, concussion and brain injuries. Based in Ottawa, she is happy to answer questions and provide information sessions to local groups upon request.


Cell phone/text: 613.809.7283

LinkedIn profile

Find information and Ottawa area practitioners on Facebook Madline McBride or Bowen Therapy Ottawa Region