Canine Bowen Therapy

Gentle and relaxing therapy for dogs


What is it?

Canine Bowen Therapy is a gentle physical therapy for dogs. Rolling moves are made over precise points on the body and are performed in a slow and controlled way to subtly disturb the underlying muscles and soft tissue.

A brief history

Canine Bowen Therapy is based on the principles of human Bowen Therapy, developed by an Australian, Tom Bowen (1916-1982). Its adaptation for use on dogs was started in 2001 by Bowen therapists Sally & Ron Askew, who integrated it into their dog behavioural and rehabilitation work; founding the European Guild of Canine Bowen Therapists in 2003.

The holistic approach

Canine Bowen Therapy is a holistic therapy - this means that practitioners do not set out to treat specific conditions or ailments. Instead the body is treated as a whole - the emotional state of the dog and lifestyle issues that may affect its health are taken into account, along with observation of movement and other physical symptoms. A holistic view of illness or disease is not about isolating problems or symptoms, but rather about seeing them as ways the body shows imbalances of some kind. The treatment helps dogs to relax and the moves are thought to release tension and bring about natural re-balancing adjustments over the whole body. The dog is given the opportunity to dictate the pace and duration of treatment, and even which areas are worked over.

treatment pictures

Bowen works with the soft tissues of the body

Soft tissue is everything in the body that is not bone. With Bowen, the particular soft tissues we work over are connective tissue, muscles, tendons, fascia, ligaments, and nerves. There are no hard or forceful moves, no cracking or crunching, no manipulations, no oils or creams are used. It is simple, gentle and pain-free.

When can it help?

Because Bowen influences the body as a whole it can bring about improvement to many aspects of a dog's health. Working with veterinary consent, I have used Canine Bowen Therapy on dogs with conditions such as stiff joints, mobility problems, urinary incontinence, obsessive behaviours, noise sensitivity, arthritis, muscular pain and digestive problems. I have a particular interest in working with dogs for whom stress might be a factor in health or behaviour problems, especially rescue dogs who have unknown (and possibly traumatic) pasts.


Special note

Canine Bowen Therapy is not a substitute for veterinary treatment. Bowen practitioners do not diagnose conditions, nor do they prescribe or alter medication. I will contact your veterinary surgeon for their consent prior to commencing treatment.