I’ve been involved in physical therapy since the mid 1990’s, over the years I’ve explored many styles and approaches. They all have something to offer, Sports Massage does pretty much what you’d expect for the audience that you’d expect. An-Mo / Tui-Na (Chinese Bodywork is a sophisticated modality following the world view of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
However of all the modalities that I have studied and used over the years, I find Bowen Technique to be the most widely useful by the largest group of people. I think this is increasingly the case because of Bowen’s ability to address some of the fundamental challenges that modern life presents us with.
On the Bowen page I mentioned that Tom Bowen, the founder of Bowen Therapy, modelled himself on the founding philosophy of Osteopathy and over the years trimmed away the superficial and less useful to get straight to the core. In the 1940-50’s Tom didn’t have access to current knowledge of physiology and anatomy but what he intuited was the importance of the Autonomic Nervous System, he gave evidence to that effect during a State investigation into his work.
I’ve been fortunate to be able to meet and study with two great Australian Bowen Therapists; Graham Pennington and Dr Romney Smeeton. Dr Smeeton was one of only six people to train directly with Tom Bowen. Graham is a pioneer in using Bowen in a targeted manner. Unfortunately over many hears due to the subtlety of Bowen Technique, many practitioners and teachers failed to grasp the fundamentals of Bowen and resorted using ‘by the numbers’ protocols, in the hope that something would work. Graham has helped to bring Bowen back to a targeted therapy.
Closer to home in the UK I’ve trained with Alastair McLoughlin, Alastair brings a level of refinement and freedom to Bowen Therapy, again removing the protocols enabling a trained therapist to respond freely to what they find through examination. It was Alastair that helped me realise that there is at least as much Art in Bowen as there is Science.
Moving from tradesman to craftsmen to artist is not an easy path and the boundaries are not clearly defined, but what we can be sure of is that you have to strive for artistry to achieve it.