Research Reports

(Once you know how these reports are listed, you can skip this introductory information and go directly to the list of articles by clicking here.)

Most of these articles use familiar measures to report clinical results. Common objective measures include range of motion at a joint, frequency of a problem event, and the circumference of a swollen limb. Common subjective measures include pain level, dizziness, and the intensity of a problem event.

A few of these articles are of interest primarily for their use of novel methodologies for measuring change.

As with the general background articles, each citation is followed by a summary of its contents and the number of pages. At the very end of each synopsis, you will see one of the following codes, indicating the type of study:

A      = Anecdote. An informal story without rigorous analysis, as in, “I had a client who . . .”

CR   = Case Report. Detailed observation and discussion of an outcome of interest for one client

CS   = Case Series. A collection of case reports involving similar presenting conditions

PS   = Pilot Study. An initial test of a hypothesis aimed at attracting interest in (and funding for) a larger-scale study

CT    = Controlled Trial. A clinical trial that compares the results of two or more groups who have received different treatments, of which one might be a control … or nothing

RCT = Randomized Controlled Trial. A controlled trial in which, before receiving different treatments, the participants have been assigned by chance into the two or more groups

SR    = Systematic Review. A literature review that systematically locates, assembles and evaluates the entire body of literature about a particular clinical issue

DM  = Demonstration of Methodology. A study that introduces novel instrumentation in order to measure changes

The research report articles are alphabetized according to the specific condition under investigation or, in a few instances, the novel type of instrumentation used to demonstrate change.

Anxiety, BiofeedbackBowenwork, biofeedback and anxiety. Rick Wurster. Bowen Hands, March 2018, pp 5-8.
** Utilizes partial pressure of carbon dioxide (pCO2) as an indicator of oxygenation of tissues and cells. The female subject's pCO2 increased more during Bowenwork BRM1 and BRM2 procedures than during previous mindfulness diaphragmatic breath training with biofeedback. Her breathing rate also slowed more with Bowen. Discusses implications for further research. 4pp. CR, DM
BedwettingTreating bedwetting, parts 1 and 2. Charlotte Meerman. Bowen Hands, March 2014, pp 16-19, and June, 2014, pp 14-17.
** Theories about factors in bedwetting in children, results of 10 cases involving children ages 6 - 14. 8pp. CS
Childbirth, newbornsMy Baby Bowen log book. Jane Murphy. Bowen Hands, June 2013, pp 5-6.
** Twelve records from a hospital-based midwife's log of using Bowenwork before, during and (especially) after delivery, where it helps establish healthy sucking. 2pp. A
ConcussionBowen as sports medicine: safely resolving post-concussion syndrome (PCS). Craig Mattimoe. Bowen Hands, Sept 2005, pp 3-5.
** Summary of 33 consecutive cases of medically diagnosed, symptomatic sports-induced concussion in high school and college athletes, ages 15-29, who were restricted from practice and play. Thirty (90.9 %) of them experienced symptomatic resolution within 72 hours. Thirty-two (96.9 %) safely returned to play post-treatment with no ill effects. 3pp. CS
ConcussionBowen therapy for concussion resolution in young male athletes: a case-series research proposal. Sandra Gustafson and Jenna Howe. 2014
Includes: 7 pages of background and details about methodology for the proposed research on male athletes ages 14-30; 2 pages of references; 11 pages of forms to be used in study. 20pp. CS proposal
Frozen shoulderA pilot study to evaluate the effectiveness of Bowen technique in the management of clients with frozen shoulder. Bernie Carter. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, Jan 2002, 9(4), pp 208-215.
** Each of 20 individuals’ unaffected arm served as "control" for comparison. 80% showed improvement in pain and range of motion. 8pp. CT
Frozen shoulderClients’ experiences of frozen shoulder and its treatment with Bowen technique. Bernie Carter. Complimentary Therapies in Nursing & Midwifery, 2002, vol 8, issue 4, pp 204-210.
** Detailed reports from 20 patients with frozen shoulder, some long-standing, with positive results. No participants withdrew from the study (unusual in frozen shoulder research). 7pp. CT
Hamstring flexibilityComparative study between the effectiveness of Bowen technique and dynamic soft tissue mobilization in increasing hamstring flexibility. Saroj Kumar Yadav. Dissertation toward master of physiotherapy (MPT) in musculoskeletal disorders and sports physiotherapy at Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences, Bangalore, India, Jan 2013.
** 30 subjects in each group; 37.9% improvement in active knee extension from Bowen, compared to 24.7% improvement from the other therapy. 123 pp. RCT
Infant colicBabies and colic. Marcela Campian and Georgi Ilchev, Bowen Hands, June 2013, pp 8-11.
** Reporting separately: Campian achieved full recovery in 81% among 67 Romanian infants; Ilchev achieved 62% recovery among 44 Bulgarian infants. Discussion of factors influencing results. 4pp. CS
Infrared thermal imagingBowen therapy and infrared thermal imaging. Faye Ferguson. Bowen Hands, Dec 2011, p 15.
** Digital thermal imaging of upper back of two subjects before Bowen, 1 hour afterwards, 2, 4 and (for one subject only) 13 days later indicate physiological changes reflected in fluctuations of temperature. No attempt to interpret the changes, just demonstrating that Bowen initiates changes that persist and evolve over time. 1p. DM
Meniere's diseaseCoccyx/neck procedure saves the day. Joanne Hillary. Bowen Hands, Dec 2013, p 10.
** After seven years of keeping symptoms of Meniere's disease under control with Bowen, this naturopath’s use of the coccyx-neck procedure, which had not worked previously, resolves an acute attack. 1p. CR
MicroscopyCellular change with Bowen technique. Kay Stammers, Bowen Hands, March 2012, pp 16-17.
** Changes in clumping of red blood cells and signs of calcemia before and after Bowen sessions, as evidence of energetic changes. 2 pp. DM
MigraineBowenwork for migraine relief: a case report. Sandra Gustafson. International Journal of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork, V9, N1, March 2016, pp 19-28.
** Documents changes in one woman's life-long migraine pattern (and neck pain from auto accidents) through 14 Bowenwork sessions over a four-month period. The need for analgesics dropped from 10-12 per day to none in spite of two acute health problems. 41 references. Bronze award winner of the 2014 Massage Therapy Foundation’s practitioner case report contest. 10pp. CR
MigraineBreaking the migraine pattern with the Bowen technique.
** UK practitioner describes the response of two clients with frequent migraines: a nine-year-old boy averaging one attack per month and a 46-year old woman who had averaged three attacks per week for the previous 29 years. 2pp. CS
Pain, upper bodyMore than surprised. Marg Spicer. Bowen Hands, Dec 1998, p 16.
** A 32-year-old male presents with constant and severe upper-body pain that has not responded to years of medication, including cortisone shots. A series of 11 Bowen sessions resolves his case. 1p. CR
Pain, PTSDWorking with the Soldiers. Ginny Hahn. Bowen Hands, Dec 2009, pp 12-13.
** A Bowen practitioner's volunteer work in a physical therapy clinic on a U.S. Army base in Texas, with 22 men and women suffering primarily from pain and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). 2pp. CS
SchizophreniaTreating schizophrenia. John Minchin-King. Bowen Hands, June 2015, pp 16-17.
** Six weeks after a client's second session (for elbow pain and leg spasms), she returns for more Bowen because her schizophrenia symptoms, which disappeared by the end of the second session after more than 20 years, have begun to re-emerge. Minchin-King's review of his session notes and his client's reports of changes enable him to determine the optimal Bowen moves and timing to keep her symptom-free. 2pp. CR
SciaticaTreating sciatica. Victoria Bowmann. Bowen Hands, Dec 1997, p 16.
** Two concise cases of sciatica. Article uses the original procedure page numbers (1, 2 and 3) for what are now called Lower Back, Upper Back and Neck or, collectively, the Basic Relaxation Moves. 1p. CS
SciaticaTreating sciatica with the Bowen technique. John Stephens. Bowen Hands, Part A: Dec 2005, pp 3-4, Part B: Mar 2006, pp 16-17.
** Part A provides background information; Part B describes case series with 49 clients presenting with symptoms of sciatica. Eighty percent reported being pain-free after four Bowen sessions. 4 pp. CS
SeizuresSeizure protocol: a four-year case study. Alexia Monroe. Bowen Hands, June 2018, pp 18-19.
** At the start of his Bowen experience in December 2013, four-year-old Elliott was averaging a few seizures per week. They stopped early in the 10-session Bowen seizure protocol, delivered over a period of nine months, and Elliott was still seizure-free three years later. 2pp. CR
SeizuresBowen seizure protocol. Liz Corbett. Bowen Hands, June 2011, p3.
** The individual results experienced by seven participants who received the Bowen seizure protocol (delivered in 9 sessions over a 6-month period). All reported a decrease in the number and intensity of seizures. 1p. CS
StressIntroducing Bowen therapy into the public health service. Anna Dicker. Bowen Hands, Sept 2002, pp 5-7.
** The results of an initial survey of 17 community health workers who had received "on the run" Bowen in the previous 12 months (with 83% reporting significant reduction in stress) led to the establishment of a permanent clinic for staff and patients and the recognition of Bowen therapy by the regional New South Wales Area Health Service. 3pp, PS
Stress, physical ailmentsUsing Bowen technique in a health service work place to improve the physical and mental wellbeing of staff. Anna Dicker. Australian Journal of Holistic Nursing, Oct 2005, pp 35-42.
** A follow-up, more-formal survey of 28 co-workers who received Bowen over a period of six weeks. 8pp. PS
Systematic reviewBowenwork®: an effective therapeutic intervention? A systematic review. Sandra Gustafson. Poster presented at the 34th annual conference of the American Holistic Nurses Association, Portland, Oregon, June 5-8, 2014.
** 22 out of 316 citations met inclusion criteria (4 randomized clinical trials, 3 quasi-experimental, 3 mixed methods, 2 cross-sectional studies, 10 case studies). 62% found effective pain reduction, 43% increased quality of life/function. 1p. SR
Systematic reviewWhat is Bowenwork®? a systematic review. Christine Hansen and Ruth E. Taylor-Piliae. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, Vol. 17, No. 11, 2011, pp 1001-1006.
Fifteen of 309 citations met the inclusion criteria (1 randomized clinical trial, 2 quasi-experimental, 3 mixed methods, 2 cross-sectional, 7 case studies). 53% reported effectiveness for pain reduction; 33% for improved mobility. Five reported the effectiveness on symptom relief in chronic illness, e.g., multiple sclerosis. 7pp. SR
TorticollisCoccyx-neck. Narcisa Marcu. Bowen Hands, June 2015, pp 12-13.
** Although the 68-yr-old male client had improved ~90% from symptoms of severe torticollis (wry neck) over a period of 10 months, it was the 19th Bowen session that yielded dramatic change. Includes before and after MRIs. 2pp. CR
Traumatic brain injury (TBI)Left me amazed. Catalina Acsinte. Bowen Hands, Sept 2013, p 3.
** A year after TC's emergency surgery for severe head trauma, he was still in a near-vegetative state. Five months later, after a few Bowen sessions, by which time he had begun talking and swallowing, this neurosurgeon performed surgery to correct the damaged skull. When TC's wound had not completely healed seven months later, Acsinte discovered well-organized bone regeneration at the surgery site and was amazed enough that she trained in Bowenwork. 2p. CR

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