Bowen therapy is named after Thomas ("Tom") Ambrose Bowen (1916-1982).
Tom Bowen lived and worked in Geelong, Australia. He developed his technique in the 1950's. By 1975 his work was in such great demand and highly regarded for its effectiveness that his clinic is recorded as undertaking 13,000 treatments a year.Tom Bowen had a natural, intuitive gift for sizing up the human body and sensing the underlying blockages causing acute or chronic pain. Tom Bowen's gifts were informed by knowledge of other modalities and research: he could be regarded as an early pioneer of integrated approaches to health and healing. Historical evidence reveals he was influenced by massage techniques early on, that he was very interested in acupuncture points and therefore energy meridians, and that he sought recognition as an osteopath (on invitation he became a member of the Australian College of Osteopaths in 1972).
His natural gifts and knowledge gave him a quick eye for the postural imbalances and compensations that caused pain and discomfort.
At a small park of Pakington Street, a bronze sculpture is on display. Commissioned after Tom Bowen's death, it commemorates his legendary contribution to community wellbeing.
It was Ossie Rentsch who was instrumental in taking Tom Bowen's technique to the world as "Bowtech". Over a 9 year period, Dr Kevin Ryan lectured students of Osteopathy and incorporated Bowen therapy as a uniquely Australian contribution to the modality. Romney Smeeton continued to work as a chiropractor in Geelong and incorporated Bowen's approach into his practice.
Over time, other streams of Bowen have come into being as practitioners have created their own individual approaches to the foundations of the technique, or blended it with other modalities.