Revivelife Clinic I Naturopath in Ottawa

bowen therapy




The Bowen Technique is a very safe, gentle relaxing physical therapy that supports the body’s inherent ability to heal. It involves a gentle rolling motion over muscles, tendons, and ligaments at key points of the body to release energy flow and fast track healing.

The technique, which can be performed on anyone from the newborn to the aged.


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A small- scale study performed by Jo Anne Whitaker, M.D. from the American College of Rheumatology found that most individuals with fibromyalgia reported health benefits with Bowen therapy.1


A study at the University of North Carolina, found the Bowen therapy 85% for back pain, 88% for neck pain, 83% for stress and tension and 80% for fibromyalgia.5 Bowen Technique helps to improve frozen shoulder, even in those with a very longstanding history.2


The Bowen Technique Migraine Research Program found that 79.5% of those with migraine headaches experienced an improvement in both the frequency and intensity of their migraines.3,4


Early long-term research by Midwife and Bowen Therapist Rick Minnery is examining the effectiveness of the Bowen Technique with maternity patients to help reduce pain in labour and to support post-partum concerns.5,6
naturopathic care


Ashley Pritchard at Swinburn University Department of Psychophysiology, Melbourne, Australia, demonstrated that the Bowen Technique consistently reduced subjects’ level of anxiety, tension, anger, depression, fatigue and confusion.7


Enjoy private Bowen therapy with our Naturopathic Doctor during our normal hours or community semi-private Bowen therapy during select times to relax in our spa type setting.

Community Bowen therapy allows greater economical accessibility of therapies.


Typical treatment sessions are between half an hour and an hour long, with patients lying comfortably on a massage table. The therapist applies her fingers or thumbs on the body, drawing the skin lightly away, and a gentle challenge is made in the body such as the muscles, ligaments, tendons and facia. A period of rest follows where the therapist may leave the room for periods of two to five minutes at a time.  This allows the body to integrate the information before the next series of moves are made. It is common for people to feel mild sensations of heat, tingling, numbness, cold and or changed emotions during the treatment or shortly after.

Drink plenty of water prior to your treatment, and arrive 15 minutes before your appointment to allow time for relaxation in the treatment room before the appointment begins. The ways to optimize treatment is to ensure that you are in a comfortable lying down position and conversation is kept to a minimum as that is when the brain is processing the least amount of information and the self-corrective system is most able to re orient without disturbance. It recommended to avoid sitting for longer than a half-an-hour at a time post-treatment for 24 hours. Thus, if you need to sit it is suggested to stand and stretch every half hour.

Bowen moves are made at key structural points in the body, which the brain uses as natural reference points to determine the body’s posture. Bowen produces an integrated body response that improves circulation, lymphatic and venous drainage which help the body assimilate nutrients. As a result, certain Bowen moves have a huge effect on the overall body.

The Bowen therapy works on the soft connective tissue (fascia) that surrounds all muscles and allows flexibility and movement between various parts of the body. As the challenge is placed on a muscle and the muscle is gently stretched, the stretch receptors begin to send sensory information along the nerve pathways to the spinal cord. After the sensory information induced by the Bowen move reaches the spinal cord, it passes through the nerve pathways to different centres of the brain, is integrated and a return message is sent back to the muscles.  Research shows also that the stretch in the fascia initiates a small electrical charge. Studies in the US have identified them as being created by the tiny collagen fibres that make up the bulk of the fascia. It has also been established that these electrical impulses further impact the healing capacity of the body.

Bowen may be covered by your extended health care insurance provider under the designated practitioner that you receive your treatment by i.e. naturopathic doctor. In some cases, injuries sustained while on the job or in a motor vehicle accident may be covered for Bowen therapy care under worker’s compensation or automobile insurance policies.

Each person is individual so your therapist will help determine the optimal frequency for you. Some people may notice relief after just the first session and significant resolution or recovery within three sessions. However, chronic or long-standing conditions or repeat injury may require Generally, Bowen treatments are recommended on a schedule of 3 treatments 5-10 days apart and then every 4-6 weeks in prevention.

When someone has an injury to one area of the body it is very important to remember that parts of the body act as a team versus in isolation. With that relationship if one part of the body is injured other parts of the body will adjust to compensate. This leads to a cascade of physical and emotional effects. For example, a knee injury may be due to a weak toe joint or a pelvic imbalance that is putting increased stress on the knee. Similarly, headaches may be due to an old fall on the tailbone. With Bowen therapy, not only do the tight muscles let go but the relationships between the structural holding patterns change.

Caution needs to be observed for those who are pregnant, have implants i.e. breast implants, post surgically for jaw and TMJ areas.

The Bowen technique is complimentary to many other forms of treatment including acupuncture, chiropractic, massage and physiotherapy. Many find that treatments with the Bowen assist the other therapies hold longer. It is recommended that you have the Bowen therapy first and then follow with other techniques after a minimum time of 48 hours.


Dr. Joel Villeneuve, ND


  1. Case study 4, Retrieved 12, 24,2019,
  2. Carter B, A pilot study to evaluate the effectiveness of Bowen technique in the management of clients with frozen shoulder, Complement Ther Med. 2001 Dec;9(4):208-15
    Ariff, N, The Bowen Technique Migraine Research Program, 2002, Retrieved 12, 4, 2019,
  3. Gustafson SL, Bowenwork for Migraine Relief: a Case Report, Int J of Ther Massage & Bodywork, 2016 Mar;9(1):19-28
    Case study 4, Retrieved 12, 24,2019,
  4. Bowen Therapy Research, Retrieved 12, 4, 2019
  5. Bowen Therapy Research, Retrieved 12, 4, 2019
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