A typical Bowen session
A typical Bowen session lasts from 15 to 45 to over an hour depending on reactions taking place in the body and also time taken for in-depth consultation. Clients usually lie on a massage/bodywork table or bed, or may be seated in a chair if required, for comfort.
A 'session' involves one or more 'procedures', each of which consists of several sets of 'moves'. The moves are gentle, but purposeful, and can be done through light clothing. Between each set of moves, the practitioner pauses for as many minutes as are needed for the client's body to begin responding. As the nervous system begins to adjust the tension level in the muscles, the practitioner senses when the client is ready for the next set of moves.
A common approach in a session is to balance the entire body by addressing the lower back, then the upper back, and then the neck. To minimize the need for disturbing the client's rest, all procedures that address the back of the client are completed before turning over for procedures that are done with the client lying on his/her back.
In contrast to other hands-on modalities, where the practitioner imposes correction on the client through manipulation, Bowen Technique facilitates the body in healing itself, with minimal intervention. Because of the subtle nature of Bowen Technique, and the body's continuing response to it over several days thereafter, other forms of manipulative therapy are discouraged for up to five days after a session, as they may interfere with the efficacy of the work.