Stephen Forde;: The Bowen Artist


Welcome to Bowen Artist Blog, a quick introduction; my name is Stephen Forde I’ve been a physical therapist since the mid 1990’s. If you visit this web page you’ll see some images of my training certificates. You can see that my early training was in the area of standard massage, sports massage,  Chinese Bodywork (AnMo / TuiNa) and Shiatsu.

When I started to use Bowen Technique, many of my existing clients asked why I was doing something like Bowen which, at the time, had something of a ‘new age’ image and to some extent unfortunately still does.

My original interest in Bowen was spiked because I had learnt a little about the founder of Bowen Technique; Tom Bowen. Tom was a down to earth Australian who practiced bodywork based on the original interpretation of Osteopathy and (I discovered later) was also influenced by Japanese Shiatsu, a technique I had trained in and used. Tom was in no way a ‘new age’ therapist. He treated thousand of people and achieved remarkable results. 

His way of working was unique, in that he used the absolute minimum amount of intervention to get results. It was this minimal intervention aspect that interested me. Sports Massage generally  involves working quite deeply into the muscles and joints, similarly Shiatsu is generally used as a whole body therapy and involves quite deep pressure. Bowen on the other hand is delivered relatively lightly. That’s not to say Bowen doesn’t involve some pressure and can on occasions result in some discomfort, but it is minimal and never long lasting. Anyone who has had a sports massage will know that you can feel pretty sore for a day or two afterwards. While some people enjoy deeper pressure, others really don’t and Bowen is a great alternative type of bodywork, especially for those experiencing high levels of pain.

I was lucky to undertake my initial study of Bowen Technique with Jo Lunn in Great Malvern, Jo delivered the training with great clarity and skill and no little amount of good humour. Later I was fortunate to develop my training with Graham Pennington a highly skilled practitioner from Australia, Graham is also an Acupuncturist and that knowledge has influenced his interpretation of Bowen. In hindsight it was inevitable that the early Asian medical theory that  influenced Tom Bowen would come to light.

When I started to study Bowen, I was unaware that Tom Bowen had studied Shiatsu, but nevertheless, I immediately recognised some of the similarities, however I just put it down to coincidence at the time.

Shiatsu, is a Japanese  style of bodywork that was derived from an earlier Chinese bodywork method called AnMo. You can find some pages dedicated to my AnMo practice here.

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