Bowen Therapy applies a limited number of gentle rolling moves across specific muscles as opposed to along muscles (as typically performed with a conventional massage).
Think of the two erector spinae muscles http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erector_spinae_muscles) ,which run either side of the backbone, as 2 guitar strings. In a typical Bowen Session a selected number of gentle 'moves' are made across these muscles, at various locations.
Very little effort is required to set up a vibration in guitar strings – similarly with 'Bowen Moves' - very little pressure is required to effectively transmit a signal to the brain.
But what is a 'Bowen Move'?
The Bowen Move has 3 components.
Initially, with the fingers on the centre of the muscle, slack skin is stretched back over the muscle. Then slight pressure, or a ‘challenge’, is made to the muscle (typically the degree of pressure is “eye-ball pressure” i.e. the same amount that you could apply to your eye without causing discomfort (with your eye closed) i.e. very gentle. Finally a rolling move is made over the muscle with either tips of the fingers or thumbs, to disturb the underlying connective tissue, termed fascia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fascia .
The move, stimulates nerve receptors in the fascia and the brain is able to undertake a self-checking procedure and if necessary commence rebalancing the body stresses, over the week following treatment.
The interconnecting nature of the bodies fascia (akin to a spiders web) means that changes can occur throughout the body not just on the precise areas treated. Research in to properties of the bodies Fascia are being undertaken at the University of Ulm (Germany )– see http://www.fasciaresearch.com/