History of Bowen

Thomas Ambrose Bowen (1916-1982), of Australia, was a self taught, intuitive and gifted healer, who developed this original technique, independently from any medical or bodywork background. He frequently stated that his work was a “gift from God”.

In 1958 he was working at the Geelong cement factory, where he witnessed a coworker’s accident. Mr. Bowen assisted him, and found that his coworker recovered immediately. From this point on he developed and refined his technique/gift with the help of his friend and secretary Rene Horwood.

His reputation grew rapidly. By 1959 at the age of 43, he began a full time practice in "remedial therapy", practicing what he called "soft tissue manipulation". He ran an extremely busy clinic in Geelong, Victoria. In 1973 he was interviewed by the Osteopathic, Chiropractic and Naturopathic Committee (Victorian Parliament), where he stated under oath that he treated about 280 patients per week with the help of a receptionist and an assistant. Reporting that he never advertised but just relied on word of mouth, he estimated modestly his own success rate to be about 88%, and claimed that he could sense minute vibrations in the soft tissues and that the tension in the muscles helped him find the precise places to mobilize.

By 1975, he was performing 13,000 treatments a year! This was verified by the Victorian government inquiry into alternative health care professionals. Considering that treatments were usually 7 days apart and that most people only needed 2 to 3 visits, that was an amazing number of clients per year for a one man clinic.

  Elaine and Oswald Rentsch

Tom Bowen allowed only a few therapists to come and learn from him. Oswald Rentsch was one of them. He met Mr. Bowen in 1974 while practicing massage and osteopathy. Over the next two and a half years he became Tom Bowen's apprentice and scribe, documenting his treatment protocols, as Mr. Bowen had never recorded his work. He started using Bowen's original technique in Hamilton where he and his wife Elaine ran their own clinic. In his later years, Mr. Bowen lost his legs to diabetes, but kept on treating his patients from his wheelchair and continued to refine his technique. Honoring Mr. Bowen’s request to teach the work after his death, Ossie and Elaine Rentsch held their first seminar of “The Bowen Technique” in Perth, Australia in 1986. By 1990 they were teaching full time. Since then, they have introduced the Bowen Technique throughout Australia, New Zealand, North America and the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Norway, Austria, France, Italy, Israel and South Africa. Practitioners across the world are now using this amazing healing modality.

Because the technique is so effective, it has been embraced by a broad spectrum of healthcare practitioners and patients and its reputation has spread pretty much world wide. In 1987 the Rentschs established The Bowen Therapy Academy of Australia as a governing body, and in 1994 they implemented a teacher's training program in Australia, North America and the UK in order to satisfy the increasing demand for new seminars. Bowtech became the trade name for the Technique. The Bowen Therapy Academy of Australia has held courses in over 24 countries and the list is rapidly growing. Some of the countries which regularly run courses include; Australia, New Zealand, Canada, USA, England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Austria, France, Italy, Israel, Philippines, Bulgaria, Austria, Germany, and Switzerland. By 2005 over 18,000 practitioners had taken training in the Bowen technique.


White Pines Naturopathic Clinic

Waterdown - Ontario - Canada

905-690-6123