Bowen Therapy


Bowen therapy is a technique (developed by Mr. Tom Bowen) of fascial and muscular release, composed of precise and soft movements in muscles, tendons and ligaments, with the aim of improve the flow of blood, lymph and body energy.


Those movements applied in precise sequences, creates an AutoCorrection that promote structural overall balance of the body in various conditions such as those described below:



  • Lumbar, thoracic or Cervical pain


  • Neck pain or stiff neck


  • Pain or problems on the shoulders and arms


  • Sciatica


  • Joint Problems


  • Lymph Problems


  • Fibromyalgia and many othes


Australian alternative therapy is approved for Hong Kong’s public hospital system

At a time when Australia’s alternative therapy industry is under siege, with insurance rebates on the verge of being discarded for many therapies and conservative medical groups decrying the teaching of alternatives at university level, to have an Australian derived manual therapy officially accepted by a public hospital system is a fillip for Alternatives.

Bowen Therapy, based on the work of Geelong manual therapist Tom Bowen (1916- 82), has been used unofficially by Occupational Therapists (OT’s) in Hong Kong for some years but is now officially listed for direct referrals by Doctors and Specialists to OT’s within the Hong Kong public hospital system.


The Central Organising Committee (COC) of the Hong Kong Hospital Authority, charged with deciding on what therapies are available for HK’s 7.08 million inhabitants, decided that Occupational Therapists, who had successfully trained with the International School of Bowen Therapy (ISBT), could treat patients within the hospital system

Director of the Melbourne registered International School of Bowen Therapy, Lisa Black, said the COC had approved ISBT’s work based on the weight of the success the therapy had been achieving with a broad range of physical issues. 


“The impact that the Occupational Therapists in the hospital system in Hong Kong have been having using ISBT-Bowen Therapy on an unofficial basis hasn’t gone unnoticed by the COC. So far we have trained over 120 OT’s with another 32 currently undergoing training."  Ms Black said.


“Initially a couple of OT’s did our course some six years ago. Their experiences with the work inspired a growing list of their colleagues to attend and from there the HKOTA became involved. These are very passionate people whose simple aim is to help people as efficiently and conveniently as possible. They work within very strict time frames and often in conditions that we would not necessarily regard as being ideal, but they are getting the results that they, and most of all, the patients want.”

Ms Black also said that what she believed was the largest official study ever conducted into a manual therapy was currently underway in Hong Kong hospitals.


“The study into the results of our work on adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder), approved by the Hospital Authority’s Ethics Committee, is being conducted over an 18 months’ time-frame with a target of a minimum of 60 patients. Four hospitals are expected to be involved.”


She said that this was an exciting time for the Australian Therapy. “When we first started teaching in Hong Kong we thought the large ex-pat community would be our main group due to the traditional acceptance of Chinese therapies by the locals; after all, Chinese Medicine, including manual techniques and acupuncture, have been around for thousands of years. But the enthusiasm for our work by the Chinese has been wonderful. The OT’s saw a gentle manual technique that fitted well with their rehabilitation work and have embraced it with a passion.”


Part of the reason for, initially, the ‘unofficial’ use, then the acceptance of Bowen Therapy in the hospital system has been, Lisa Black said, because the therapists targeted colleagues whom they knew had problems, including nurses and doctors. “Many had little niggles, like back, neck or knee problems and some had deeper physical issues. Resolving these problems with people on the front line of the health system was the first step in acceptance of the work."


ISBT also teaches in Europe and South America pioneering the use of the work in many areas. Ms Black and her Co-Director and Bowen historian Col Murray use Portugal as their base.

© 2014 por Spiralis.