History of Bowenwork®

Thomas A. Bowen (1916-1982) developed this technique in Geelong, Victoria, Australia. After serving in World War II, he became interested in ways to alleviate human suffering and began to notice that certain moves on the body had particular effects. The Bowen Technique is unique in that it was developed without its originator having any previous training in any modality or discipline.  In fact, he frequently stated that his work was ‘simply a gift from God’. Over a period of several years he developed the system as it is used today. Bowen was extremely busy in his clinic, as was verified by the 1975 Victorian government inquiry into alternative health care professionals. The study documented Bowen seeing some 13,000 patients per year as assessed over a 27-week period. Considering sessions were seven days apart and most people needed only two or three sessions, that was an amazing number of clients per year.

In 1974, while attending a National Health Conference in Adelaide, Australia, Tom Bowen was introduced to Osteopath and Natural Therapist, Oswald Rentsch. Although Rentsch knew nothing of Bowen’s work, he spontaneously asked if he could train with Bowen. Bowen subsequently invited Rentsch to Geelong to study with him. During the next two and a half years, Rentsch and his wife, Elaine, studied Bowen’s technique, ultimately being authorized by Bowen to document his work. Bowen had no notes, charts or manuals that they could copy, but with the help of Bowen’s receptionist, Rene Horwood, they produced a true representation of Bowen’s original technique.  They then began utilizing Bowen’s methods in their clinic in Hamilton, Victoria, Australia. At Bowen’s request, it was not to be until after his death that Ossie and Elaine began teaching his technique.