by John Wilks

Although the Bowen Technique is relatively new to the UK, a recent study on the evaluation of the Bowen Technique in the treatment of Frozen Shoulder (1) undertaken by Dr Bernie Carter, principal lecturer in Children’s Nursing at the University of Central Lancashire found:

  • ‘A high level of satisfaction with the therapy, a commitment to using Bowen in the future should they require it for another episode of frozen shoulder or other condition, and the intention to recommend the therapy and therapist to friends and family’
  • ‘A significant improvement in shoulder mobility and associated function for all participants, with 70% of participants regaining full mobility (equal to the non-affected side) by the end of the treatment.’
  • ‘Markedly reduced pain intensity scores and pain quality descriptors for all participants, although some participants recorded scores of 1-3 that they described as a slight ache to a mild pain. Participants at the end of the study no longer used the intense and invasive pain descriptors.’

The Bowen Technique cannot, from this study, claim to be 100% successful but it demonstrated a significant improvement for participants, even those with a very longstanding history of frozen shoulder. For the majority of participants it provided a good outcome particularly in relation to improved mobility.

All participants experienced improvement in their daily activities. None of the participants reported that their pain was having a severe impact on their daily activities, and there was a decrease in the reports of mild and moderate impact by the end of the treatment.

For the majority of participants (even those with a longstanding problem) it provided a good outcome particularly in relation to improved mobility. In terms of the outcome measures used in other studies – success rate, mobility, pain and functional status – Bowen can be seen to be a positive intervention and certainly one which participants in the study evaluated as being highly satisfactory.

For details of training courses and practitioners world-wide, please contact The Bowen Association of the UK.

Notes (1) Reviewed in ‘Complementary Therapies in Medicine’ Issue 01/032, ‘Health Which’ (July 2002) and Complementary Therapies in Nursing and Midwifery.