Thomas Ambrose Bowen (1916-1982) began developing his technique in the 1950s in Geelong, Australia. He became interested in ways to alleviate human suffering and began to notice that certain moves on the body had particular effects. Tom Bowen 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’. He continued to develop and refine the technique throughout his lifetime with the help of his friend and secretary, Rene Horwood.
Mr. Bowen was extremely busy in his Geelong clinic, performing about 13,000 treatments a year. This was verified by the 1975 Victorian government inquiry into alternative health care professionals. Considering treatments were seven days apart and most people needed only one to three treatments, an amazing number of clients passed through the clinic and benefited from his gift. Mr. Bowen also held free clinics for children, people with disabilities, and community service workers.
In 1974, while attending a national health conference In Adelaide, Australia, Oswald Rentsch met Mr. Bowen for the first time. Although he knew nothing of Mr. Bowen’s work, Ossie spontaneously asked if he could learn from him. Mr. Bowen shook Ossie’s hand, held it for some time, and said, Good! Come down and I’ll teach you. I’ll call my secretary and let you know. A couple of hours later Mr. Bowen sought Ossie out and said. You be down at my clinic next Wednesday at 9 am.
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, Ossle produced a true representation of Mr. Bowen’s original technique.
In 1976, Ossle 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 the technique Bowtech-The 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 throughout the world. They are now supported in this teaching by a large faculty of dedicated instructors who are accredited by, and registered with, the Academy.
Because this technique is so effective, it has been widely embraced by a broad spectrum of people. Health professionals are impressed by the effectiveness of the Bowen technique and the diversity of problems addressed by it.