Bowenwork is neither derived from nor similar to any other hands-on modality. The mechanisms or action work primarily through the nervous system on both structural and energetic levels. Healing occurs through the response of the body's autonomic nervous system to the Bowenwork moves.
Simply stated, Bowenwork allows the body to reset and heal itself. The work consists of several series of gently rolling, connective tissue moves. There are frequent important pauses between sets of moves, which give the body time to benefit from each set. By selecting appropriate combinations and sequences of moves, the practitioner is able to address the body as a whole, and/or target one or more specific problems. The practitioner discerns stress build-up in muscle groups and utilizes Bowenwork moves to release that stress.
Bowenwork addresses the body as a whole unit rather than just the presenting symptoms. The physical, chemical, emotional and mental aspects of each person receiving Bowenwork can all respond as needed.
The basic Bowen "move" distorts a muscle or tendon that is not under load and then rolls over it without sliding on the skin down-regulating the muscle's resting tension level. The surrounding fascia becomes less solid and more fluid, allowing greater movement of blood and lymph through the tissue and enhancing nutrition to and waste removal from the site of injury. The lack of distracting skin stimulation and the limited number of precise moves focus the nervous system's attention on the essential points. Pausing at certain crucial times in a sequence of such moves allows time for the nervous system and fascia to respond and begin the healing process. The body continues to respond for several days afterwards unless interrupted by injury or strong external stimulation (including new trauma, heat, and additional bodywork, even additional Bowenwork).