The Differences Between Bowen Therapy & Massage

As a Bowen Therapy Practitioner, few people know about or understand what Bowen Therapy is. Although, it is starting to become more known, there needs to be  a lot more education and awareness (both to other health practitioners and the public) before it becomes well known like remedial massage, acupuncture, and other health care modalities.

When I’m asked what I do for work, if I answer with ”I am a remedial massage therapist” the conversation keeps flowing. However, if I say “I’m a Bowen Therapist,” I will 90% of the time get a response, “what is that?”

Whilst Bowen Therapy and Massage have similarities such as promoting relaxation, reducing stress, muscular tension/ stiffness / pain, reducing headaches, improving mobility and circulation they also have some key differences.


Bowen Therapy

  • Bowen Therapy (Bowtech Bowen) sessions comprise of a series of gentle movements over soft tissue – muscles, tendons, ligaments and fascia. Between each set of move, the practitioner pauses for a couple of minutes for the client’s body to respond (this is when a client may feel sensations e.g. warmth, coolness, tingling however, it is very individual). Once the body has responded, the next moves are done.
  • Bowen Therapy addresses the entire body, rather than focusing on a single complaint.
  • It is very gentle, subtle and calming, making it a great treatment for all ages including babies and elderly. It requires minimal pressure and minimal intervention with no vigorous manipulation.
  • Bowen Therapy assists with emotional issues such as anxiety, hormonal issues such as menopause and digestive issues such as constipation, plus more.
  • No oil is used in a Bowen Therapy session, and light clothing may be worn.
  • Treatment lasts between 45-60 mins
  • There are very few contraindications with Bowen Therapy



  • Massage is a very hands on treatment.
  • There are different styles of massage
  • Depending on a clients presentation, the massage will focus on a single complaint or address the entire body with a full body massage.
  • The pressure is suited to the client
  • Oils are used in treatment.
  • A client can choose the length of treatment.


Both Bowen Therapy and Massage are fantastic treatments and can play a vital role in your physical and mental wellbeing.

Natural medicine for your health and wellbeing – explained!

Natural Medicine Week Collage

The Australian Traditional-Medicine Society (ATMS) – leader of the natural medicine industry recognises three primary types of complementary medicine: Ingestive, Bodywork & Massage and Chinese Medicine.

But first, WHY choose Natural Medicine?

Natural medicine offers a holistic and integrated approach to your health and wellbeing – it promotes the prevention of disease, rather than trying to treat it after it strikes. Natural medicine offers natural supplements and therapy’s that can assist the body in maintaining a state of health and wellness to promote wellbeing. Understanding modalities, such as Ingestive, Bodywork & Massage and Chinese Medicine, can help people work with their body’s to create an effective approach to their health.

WHAT is Natural Medicine?

Natural medicine refers to healthcare practices and therapies whereby trained natural medicine practitioners treat their patients for illnesses via natural methods and materials.

Clinical practice can be classified by three primary models: Ingestive therapies (including naturopathy and nutrition), Bodywork & Massage and Chinese Medicine, which includes associated techniques like acupuncture.

Ingestive covers any form of medicine consumed by the human body and includes the use of herbs and other plants – including oils and common spices. Many of the therapies have been around for hundreds of years and are often used to balance mind, body and spirit. Depending on the therapy, ingestive medicines may take various forms, including teas, tablets, essential oils, ointments, extracts, sprays and drops.

Ingestive therapies include:

  • Ayurveda
  • Herbal Medicine
  • Homeopathy
  • Naturopathy
  • Nutrition
  • Tibetan Medicine

Bodywork & Massage encompasses therapeutic techniques involving the body and aims to assess and improve areas of the human physics such as posture, skeletal and connective tissue (fascial) and muscle pain. All massage techniques are considered forms of bodywork and, covering a range of techniques.

Bodywork can take many forms including:

  • Aromatherapy
  • Bowen Therapy
  • Chiropractic
  • Clinical Hypnotherapy and Hypnosis
  • Counselling
  • Kinesiology
  • Lymphatic Drainage
  • Myofascial Release
  • Polarity Therapy
  • Osteopathy
  • Reflexology
  • Remedial Massage
  • Shiatsu
  • Traditional Thai Massage

Chinese Medicine is used to identify, treat, and prevent illness, with the underlying viewing of the human body and the mind as an interconnected energetic system. Chinese Medicine has the longest history of any medical system in the world, originating in ancient China and evolving over thousands of years to become a complete medical system.

Chinese Medicine include:

  • Acupuncture
  • Chinese Herbal Medicine
  • Chinese Massage Therapy

Want to learn more?

Join ATMS for Natural Medicine Week – a week-long celebration including hundreds of events and special offers, hosted by passionate natural medicine practitioners nation-wide. Find out more about the many different types of natural medicine which could improve your health and wellbeing at