A SHORT HISTORY OF BOWEN THERAPY
Thomas Ambrose Bowen (Tom) was born in Melbourne, Australia on April 18, 1916. His family was “working class” as his father was a rather stern carpenter. When grown, Tom worked at the Geelong Cement Works and was never educated in any medical or therapeutic school.
During the 1940’s and 50’s Tom became friends with an older man named Ernie Saunders who was a “Body manipulator” and was regarded by Tom and others at that time as a “legendary healer”. Ernie reportedly learned his methods in China and passed this on to Tom who was an eager student. As with any other learned skill, Tom added his own intuition and ideas to this education and opened his own therapy clinic in 1959 calling himself an “Osteopath”.
In October of 1973 the Osteopathy Chiropractic and Naturopathy Committee made Tom the subject of an inquiry as to his legal right to use the term “Osteopath”. Due to the fact that he had no official standing or education, the committee denied him the right to charge fees as an Osteopath. From that time on he could only accept donations. This changed his treatment style from a “treatment” to a “procedure”. The “procedure” only took a few minutes time. At the height of his career he was “treating” an average of 45 people a day. Tom died from Diabetes in 1982.
Tom Bowen only “trained” six men. These men were all trained after the 1973 hearings and were taught “procedures”. Others were allowed to briefly observe his work but he only “trained” six men: Kevin Ryan, Romney Smeeton, Keith Davis, Nigel Love (deceased), Kevin Neave, and Oswald Rentsch. Each had a different therapeutic background. Each took Bowen Therapy in a different direction.