Thomas A. Bowen (1916-1982) developed this technique in Geelong, Victoria. After serving in World War II, Bowen became interested in ways to alleviate human suffering. He began to notice that when he made certain moves on the body, it had particular effects. The technique is unique in that it was developed without Bowen having any previous training in any modality or discipline; in fact, he frequently stated that his work was, Simply a gift from God. Over a period of several years he developed the system as it is used today.
Bowen was extremely busy in his clinic, as was verified by the 1975 Victorian government inquiry into alternative health care professionals. The study documented Bowen seeing some 13,000 patients per year as assessed over a 27-week period. Considering treatments were seven days apart and most people needed only two or three treatments, that was an amazing number of clients per year.
In 1974, while attending a National Health Conference in Adelaide, Australia, he was introduced to massage therapist Oswald Rentsch. Although Rentsch knew nothing of Bowen's work, he spontaneously asked if he could train with Bowen. Bowen subsequently invited Rentsch to Geelong to study with him and over the next two and a half years he studied Bowen's technique, watching and learning from him.
Ultimately, Bowen authorized Oswald and Elaine Rentsch to document his work, as he had no notes, charts or manual the Rentschs could copy. With the help of Bowen's receptionist, Rene Horwood, they produced a true representation of Bowen s original technique.
The Rentschs began utilizing Bowen's methods in their own clinic in Hamilton, Victoria, Australia. At his request, it was not until Bowen's death that the Rentschs began teaching his technique.
The first seminar was held in Perth, Australia, in 1986, and by 1990, the Rentschs were teaching full time. Since that time, they have introduced the Bowen Technique throughout Australia, New Zealand, North America and the United Kingdom, and practitioners use this amazing healing modality world wide.
Because this technique is so effective, it has been widely embraced by a broad spectrum of people. Healing professionals have been impressed by the capabilities of a Bowen treatment and the diversity of problems addressed. It has been so successful that in 1994, the Rentschs implemented a Teacher Training Program, with seminars being held regularly.