Bowen technique

The Bowen technique is a remedial, hands-on therapy that uses very gentle pressure. The therapist uses thumbs and fingers on precise points of the body to perform a series of rolling-type movements which stimulate the muscles and soft tissue of the body. The experience of a treatment is gentle, subtle and relaxing, with the treatment gently encouraging the body to restore balance and heal itself.

What to expect

As with any complementary therapy, your therapist will first carry out a full consultation to get an overall understanding of your current health and well-being, and to ensure treatment is right for you.

A treatment typically lasts between 45 to 60 minutes. Most of the work can be performed on a comfortable treatment couch, through light clothing, although some therapists prefer to work directly on skin. The ultimate choice will remain with you, as the client. Although each session will be tailored according to your individual needs, the initial treatment will take a ‘holistic approach’, addressing the whole body. As a general rule, moves will be made over the lower and mid back and legs, the upper back and shoulders, before finishing with some neck movements.

One unique feature of the Bowen technique is that the therapist briefly leaves the room between treating different muscle groups. This is to enable the body to relax, and ‘reset’ itself.

Benefits of Bowen

Like any complementary therapy, Bowen does not aim to ‘treat’ specific conditions. However, its holistic approach means that people often notice improvements in their symptoms, flexibility and general health and well-being following treatment.

To read more about the potential benefits the Bowen Technique as a form of complementary therapies

Bowen should not be used in place of conventional medical care. Always consult a GP or other health professional for medical attention and advice.

Choosing a therapist

It is important to choose a qualified Bowen therapist who has undertaken the necessary training to understand the theory and practice of this particular therapy. 

In order for a qualification to be accepted for FHT membership and to the FHT Therapist Register, it must meet the following criteria:


Skills for Health National Occupational Standards:

  • CNH1 Explore and establish the client’s needs for complementary and natural healthcare
  • CNH2 Develop and agree plans for complementary and natural healthcare with clients
  • CNH5 Provide Bowen Therapy to clients

Core Curriculum

All qualifications related to the FHT’s Register modalities must be reviewed by the FHT Education Panel. The qualification is reviewed by an expert in that particular therapy prior to the registrant being accepted to the FHT Therapist Register.

Training Required

Practical led and observed training. This will ensure the course is mapped to the above standards.

By choosing a Bowen therapist who is an FHT member, you can be confident that they are professionally trained, qualified and insured. They will also be listed on our FHT Therapist Register, as Bowen is considered a form of complementary healthcare.

Picture © 2012 European College of Bowen Studies

To check that an FHT member is on the FHT Therapist Register

© 2020 FHT. No part of this document may be reproduced by any other individual or organisation, without the express permission of the FHT. Although the FHT has taken all reasonable steps to ensure that the information in this document is accurate, we cannot guarantee that it is free from inaccuracies, errors or omissions. No information given by the FHT should be taken as legal advice, nor should it take the place of medical care or advice given by primary healthcare providers. The FHT shall not be liable for any loss or damage whatsoever arising from any information contained in this document.