Studies on Effectiveness

Studies measure the effectiveness of Bowen Therapy

“What we call results are beginnings.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Bowen Therapy on treating pain:

Amy Norman presented a study in 1998 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Department of Physical Education, Exercise and Sport Science in which practitioners rated effectiveness of treatment:

  • Back pain                          85% effectiveness with 4.3 sessions
  • Neck pain                         88% effectiveness with 4.5 sessions
  • Stress and tension          83% effectiveness with 4 sessions
  • Other conditions            83% effectiveness with 5.8 sessions

Clients in the study reported the following results:

  • Back pain                          85% effectiveness
  • Stress and tension          80% effectiveness
  • Fibromyalgia                   80% effectiveness
  • TMJ pain                          95% effectiveness
  • Hip pain                           80% effectiveness
  • Other conditions           75.6% effectiveness

Bowen Therapy Successful for Disc pain:

From Australia, this is a study of five adults with chronic pain of at least three months duration who had an MRI report stating that definite disc bulge/protrusions were evident at a relevant spinal level. (None had a recent acute injury or a history of spinal surgery.) Clients underwent four Bowen sessions spaced one week apart.   Bowen Therapy was associated with improvement in the 0-10 pain ratings of all five people. Results showed that in each case pain subjectively improved with average scores improving from 8.2/10 to 2.1/10, a 6.1 point improvement in before and after ratings. All subjects appeared satisfied with the treatment provided, rating that the change from “bothersomeness” moved an average of 7.2 points.
Click Here for “Bowen Therapy in the Treatment of Chronic Back Pain in patients with identified Disc Injury” research report.


Ashley Pritchard, at Swinburn University department of Psychophysiology, Melbourne, Australia, showed that the Bowen Technique consistently reduced subjects’ levels of anxiety, and enhanced individuals’ positive feelings by reducing tension, anger, depression, fatigue, and confusion. Objective measures of decrease in Heart Rate Variability and muscle tension correlated with subjective feelings of relaxation.

Autonomic Nervous System and Heart:

By measuring changes in value and pattern in Heart Rate Variability before and after a Bowen session, Dr. JoAnne Whitaker, MD, showed that the Bowen Technique directly affects the autonomic nervous system. (the quieting of the autonomic nervous system allows the parasympathetic system to attend more clearly to healing.)


Nikke Ariff did research to test the efficacy of Bowen in treating asthma. Carried out during a twelve-month period in 2003 and 2004, the study included a majority of participants who had had asthma for over 5 years, and most over 15 years. The results were positive.

Eighty-three percent of participants reported a reduction in the frequency of asthma attacks while 75% said their reliance on medication had dropped. Of 24 volunteers who completed the program, 22 reported that secondary health concerns had also improved, including back, neck and shoulder pain; knee and joint problems; headaches and migraines; hay fever; irritable bowel syndrome and digestion; circulation; insomnia; anxiety, stress, depression and energy levels.

Click here to read more on the Ariff Study.


Dr. John Bauman, DDS completed a research project on the application of Bowen on TMJ abnormality in Durango, CO. Assessment of masseter tension by Bio Feedback, measurement of bite and subjective symptoms were compared before and after treatment.

Immediately after the first treatment, one third of patients felt dramatic relief. Twenty out of the 22 patients showed significant improvement on their post Bio Feedback assessment.

Blood Chemistry:

Using darkfield phase and fluorescent microscopic live cell analysis, Dr. JoAnne Whitaker demonstrated that blood chemistry changes following Bowen. These changes corroborate reports by some patients of flu-like symptoms due to detoxification, which can occur following a session.

Frozen Shoulder:

Published in England by Dr. Bernie Carter, at the Metropolitan University of Manchester (UK), this study showed effective results with frozen shoulders after three to six treatments, even with those who had long-standing conditions. The study involved 20 participants diagnosed with frozen shoulder and treated with Bowen Technique.

70% of participants regained full mobility, equal to the unaffected side, by end of treatment. The remaining participants showed significant improvement in mobility and associated function. Some still reported mild ache but none reported any invasive or intense pain, which they had experienced before receiving Bowen.

At the conclusion of this study, participants reported a high level of satisfaction with the therapy, a commitment to use Bowen in any future case of relapse or for another condition, and the intention to recommend the therapy to friends and family.


London-based Bowen practitioner Nikke Ariff completed the Bowen Technique Migraine Research Program which studied the efficacy of treating migraine headaches. The 39 migraine volunteers consisted of 37 women and 2 men. Thirteen of them had been suffering from migraines for 1-15 years; seventeen for 16-30 years; and nine for over 30 years.

In all, 31 participants–79.5% of total group–experienced a positive result. At the end of the program, 36 of the 39 said they would recommend Bowen as a treatment to a friend or colleague.

Cerebral Palsy:

Ongoing research by Howard Plummer in Wales has produced encouraging results. Initial outcomes include increased vocalization, calmer behavior, improved concentration and comprehension, improved head control and improved balance.

Studies still in progress: post mastectomy lymphoedema in Arizona, and maternity and childbirth in the United Kingdom.

Click here for a comprehensive list of studies compiled by the American Bowen Academy.


Contact Me

About me

(928) 443-0043
My Office is located at
The Oaks in downtown Prescott
143 N McCormick St, #101
Prescott, AZ 86301

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What clients say…

"I didn’t expect it to be so profound. 80% of that spot on my back feels released. It really is like a computer that’s been defragged.” ~J.L.

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My continuing education is ongoing with an emphasis on Bowen, Anatomy, and Movement coursework.

• Bowenwork Practitioner (2003) and Associate Instructor (2014).
Click here for my Bowenwork education/training.

• Graduate of a Guild Certified Feldenkrais Method Training Program in Bronxville, NY (1998)

• Graduate of NAMTI Massage School in Prescott, AZ(2005)
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