History of Bowenwork

The Original Bowen Technique, Bowenwork also known as Bowtech was developed in the 1950s in Geelong, Australia by Thomas Bowen. He continued to practice and refine his technique throughout his lifetime with the help of his friend and secretary, Rene Horwood, until his passing in 1982. He was interested in ways to help people relieve their pain and began to notice that performing certain moves on the body had particular effects. Tom Bowen was very intuitive and developed his technique without having previous formal training in any modality or discipline. In fact, he frequently stated that his work was ‘a gift from God’.

According to a 1974 survey of alternative health practitioners performed by the Victorian Government, Bowen was performing over 13,000 Bowenwork sessions per year. In over 85% of his cases, the problems for which his patients sought relief were resolved. An astonishing number of people benefited from Bowen’s gift. Bowen also held free clinics for children, people with disabilities, and community service workers throughout his career.

In 1974 Bowen allowed several practitioners to observe him. He recognized only six of them as understanding his work. One of the six, Oswald (Ossie) Rentsch, developed notes to preserve and accurately represent Mr. Bowen’s work, and promised to make his work known around the world. Bowenwork is Rentsch’s interpretation of Mr. Bowen’s work.

For the next two and a half years Ossie studied Mr. Bowen’s technique, ultimately being authorized by him to document the work. Mr. Bowen had no notes, charts or manuals, but with the help of Rene Horwood, Ossie produced a true representation of Mr. Bowen’s original technique.

In 1976, Ossie and his wife, Elaine, began utilizing Mr. Bowen’s methods in their clinic in Hamilton, Victoria.

Honoring Mr. Bowen’s request to teach the work after his death, Ossie and Elaine named it The Bowen Technique and held their first seminar in Perth, Australia in 1986. By 1990, Ossie and Elaine were teaching full time throughout Australia. Dedicated to preserving the technique and ensuring it was taught in its original form, they founded the Bowen Therapy Academy of Australia in 1987, eventually naming it Bowtech – the Original Bowen Technique. Since then, Ossie and Elaine have introduced Bowtech to many countries, honoring the promise Ossie made to Mr. Bowen on his deathbed, to spread his work worldwide. They are now supported in this teaching by a large faculty of dedicated instructors who are accredited by, and registered with, the Academy. The Original Bowen Technique is now being taught in over 30 countries.

Tom Ambrose Bowen