**Excerpts of Tom Bowen's history are from Graham Pennington's book A Textbook of Bowen Technique with permission
The Bowen technique is one of the newest and most exciting forms of therapeutic body work. Making its public appearance in Australia in the mid 1980’s and then branching off to the US and other country's in the late 80's, the popularity and spread of Bowen technique has been truly remarkable. Today the technique is practiced in over thirty countries around the world and taught in more than twenty. The technique derives its name from Thomas Ambrose Bowen (1916-1982), a humble, “self trained” remedial therapist who called himself an osteopath
In the 1950's, Tom Bowen(born 1916 in Brunswick, Australia) pioneered the work that now bears his name. By the 1970's, Bowen was treating 13,000 people a year, with a documented success rate of over 85%. Bowen made an individual assessment of each patient and the treatments he applied were then specifically tailored to individual needs. He spent but a few minutes with each patient (after all, he had to treat sixty five patients per day!) yet this gave him enough time to assess the patient, locate significant dysfunction and to apply a corrective intervention. He did not treat symptoms, rather looked for the dysfunction at the source through assessment and then targeted that area to bring about change. This is why he was so successful.
At the time of his death in 1982, Bowen left behind a complex legacy and a wealth of information in the form of at least 6 men who can lay some claim to being the "disciples " of his work-- "his boys", as he called them. Dr. Kevin Neave DC, Dr. Nigel Love DC, Dr. Keith Davis DC, Romney Smeeton DC, Ossie Rentsch MT , and Dr. Kevin Ryan DO, and no doubt there were others. Tom Bowen lacked the ability to teach his work, instead allowing this chosen group of people to observe him at work for a sustained period of time. Each was able to observe Bowen at a different time in his working life and each developed a personal interpretation of the approach and methods Bowen used. Bowen himself did not produce any of the educational material that is today named after him. Specific individuals with differing educational backgrounds who observed Bowen at work in his clinic during different periods of his working life have each developed different interpretations of his methods.