Back Pain

woman, 40’s              1 treatment
“I am a Consultant Paediatrician and, while my training has been in orthodox medicine, I have long been aware of the limitations of modern Western medicine in addressing basic issues relating to the promotion of health and well being and prevention of disturbed function, of the human organism. Over the last few years I have explored the preventive and therapeutic benefits of a number of practices complementary to medicine and have trained in several therapies.

“I was introduced to The Bowen Technique during a joint consultation with a kinesiologist who had trained in it. I had been experiencing a constant ache in my lower back for some time and therefore became the fortunate recipient of a Bowen treatment.

“To my amazement, I experienced immediate relief and this happy state held over time. I was so impressed that I enrolled in the training course and now also use The Bowen Technique on a number of conditions.

“If only The Bowen Technique could fit the criteria for acceptance in the current climate of Evidence Based Medicine, the benefits to individuals and the savings for the NHS would be enormous.”


woman, 30’s had pain in her lower and middle back with some spasm evident, plus stiffness around her shoulders. She had had a lower back injury as a child. She also suffered from stress.

She had three children between 8 months and 4 years. She was moving house shortly after her second treatment. The pain in her back disappeared after the second treatment when the Bowen pelvic move was added and, despite carrying many heavy boxes during the move, she had no problems with her back.

As the Bowen treatment is helping with her stress, this has continued. She claims she has never gone through the winter without frequently falling ill, but has been fine ever since she started the Bowen sessions.

In her own words:
“I have been diagnosed with degenerative disc disorder and have suffered for 12 years with lower back pain which has worsened since my children were born.

“All of summer 1999 the pain was severe and occurred frequently, often the pain going down into my legs and also up my neck and shoulder. After two sessions of Bowen it was almost completely better. Since then I had slight twinges, which have gone after a few days.

“In addition, the Bowen treatment seems to have had a marked effect on my general health, with practically no illness all winter, and also my mental/ emotional health is much better. I don’t have the down days and depression that I suffered with for years.”


managed 76 ongoing treatments as needed

Diagnosis by GP – Ankylosing spondylitis of the lumbar spine, and confirmed by an MR scan. In constant pain but refusing painkillers. Unable to walk, without a walking stick, to his bank which is only 5 minutes from his house and he frequently has to sit down.

His GP said the only cure for the pain was an operation that could put him in a wheelchair. Neither Mr G nor his GP were keen on this idea. Mr G contacted me after talking to a lady I had treated previously. He is a tall slim man who was in obvious pain. No obvious signs of muscle wastage. He has had previously osteopathy, physiotherapy and acupuncture with little or no result.

18.8.98 – Very much improved. Walking without a stick and has no need to sit down on short walks. Pain less, muscle tension almost normal, range of movement improved.
25.8.98 – Movement excellent, no pain, very little pins and needles in feet. Has had some prostate trouble at times. Left until 4.11.98 when the prostate trouble had improved.

Since then I continued a maintenance treatment 1 or 2 monthly. He can walk around the town with no problems and no stick. He has remained pain free apart from a slight hiccup when he walked his son’s very boisterous dog early 1999, which settled after treatment. Also had right knee problems in October 1999, which settled after 2 treatments 1 week apart. He really is thrilled with Bowen and talks about it to anyone who will listen!


woman, aged 26   3 treatments
F. is a very tall (6’2″) nursery nurse, so works with tiny people all day. She had had this problem for 2 to 3 years. MRI scans had not revealed any cause for the pains and physiotherapy treatment had not helped.

After the second Bowen treatment she said “it is 99% better than it was”. After three treatments, the problems were completely gone and the resolution holding. She now chooses to return for a treatment several times a year as a ‘general tune-up and de-stressing’. One session leaves her feeling restored.


man, aged 36        9 treatments
M had a 3-year-old prolapsed disc injury for which he had received 2 epidurals. He also had a severe tennis elbow of 2 years duration. As a building foreman, the severity of these problems was making him give serious consideration to changing his employment. The prolapsed disc caused him to walk with a pronounced limp and have a tingling/ numbness in his thigh and calf.

Treatments concentrated on his leg at first. After the first treatment his leg and back had been better with only one bad day – a distinct improvement. After the second treatment, the leg numbness was much improved but the elbow pain had increased and he was reluctant to have it touched again.

After the third treatment, his leg problem flared up again and his elbow was much the same with no great improvement. After the fourth treatment, however, he reported a slight to good improvement and he found the exercises he had been given were easier. His leg was now much better – only a background pain.

After the seventh treatment his elbow was getting much better and the exercises were no problem. His leg was still giving a background pain. After the eighth treatment both elbow and leg were ‘much much better . At this point the therapist lengthened time between treatments to 2 weeks instead of one week.

M. said that both his elbow and leg were better at this stage than they had been for 3 years. He was more than happy with the
improvement and felt it would enable him to carry on in his chosen profession.


woman, aged 52   2 treatments
J was on holiday visiting family when she heard about The Bowen Technique and consulted a local practitioner . After the first treatment, she reported a lot less tension and stated that something seemed to be working in her body.

After the second treatment she returned home saying that she would come back for more treatments when she returned to visit her family again. She sent a postcard to say her back was “brilliant”.


man, aged 40        1 treatment
P. was unable to put weight on his right foot and the therapist paid a home visit. He was in severe pain and had been all day, from the buttock right down the leg. He was extremely tense and tight.

The therapist gave him one treatment and was able to observe his body relaxing during the 40 minute session.. He was virtually pain free when he got up and was walking normally. Two years later, the therapist reports that the problem has not returned.


woman, aged 54   3 treatments
Bowen Technique practitioner Annie Sewart, who is also a physiotherapist, treated Mrs C who came with a history of back pain, which included a particularly bad episode two years previously. In addition, she also looks after her disabled mother at home.

Typically, her back pain would also travel down to her left knee. An x-ray revealed that 3 lumbar vertebra had reduced cartilage. Two weeks before she came for Bowen treatment, Mrs C’s back “went” during a skiing holiday when she stood up from a sitting position! When she came for the first treatment, Annie noted that Mrs C also had high blood pressure.

During the first treatment, Mrs C felt very woozy and was hot and flushed after, so remained lying down for a while. She said that her back was then painful for two days following the treatment but that something “snapped” as she was walking and the pain was gone. At her third treatment, she reported feeling a bit stiff, still, but had been playing tennis.

In addition, her blood pressure was normal for the first time in two years. One week later, she was feeling fine and has not needed further treatment.


woman, aged 42   4 treatments
C. is a practising masseuse who stands for long periods and develops a lot of tension in her back. Her upper back and shoulders were very tight. Also both knees and ankles were giving her trouble.

After the first treatment her back loosened. Her knees and ankles were improving after the second treatment. After the first couple of treatments C. told the therapist that she had also been suffering from heavy and painful periods since the birth of her daughter nearly 10 years earlier.

The therapist therefore gave her a procedure to address this and C. reported a tremendous change for the better in the next period with reduction of the pain and heaviness.


woman, aged 62   4 treatments
After her first treatment, M. experienced a surge of energy lasting though the week and far less tension in her right calf, which had been virtually in spasm since an accident 9 years previously.

She described her calf as ‘melting. After the second treatment she said, ‘I cannot believe the difference in my back, almost 100% already’. Knee & hip pain were much lessened, and she was generally feeling much better in herself.

She had cut back her asthma prevention medication. After the third treatment, she reported that the back pain she had had for 9 years (and had expected to always have) was now alleviated.

She said she had no wheezing that week. After the fourth treatment she experienced one sore back day that cleared up by itself.