The Canine Bowen Technique is a gentle, non-invasive, complementary therapy that promotes body and energy rebalancing, healing and pain relief. It also aims to support and boost the natural healing capabilities of the body.

Dogs themselves are great observers. They have a sensitivity and awareness much greater than humans. If the dog realises, they are being “listened” to, they will feel more inclined to relax and absorb the treatment more easily. When the session is done in the right way, such as, that the dog feels in control, they tend to respond more quickly to Bowen than humans. As a result, they often require less treatment.

When the dog has become accustomed to and knows it can trust the practitioner, many dogs will even help in their treatment by presenting the practitioner with the area of its body they would like some work done on. As the technique isn’t forced on dogs; an important part of CBT is for practitioners to recognise and respect when the dog indicates they has received what it needs. If the dog wishes to walk away, they are allowed to do so.

Dogs cannot use speech to tell us their problems and how they are feeling in the way humans do. However, dogs do use various subtle body language and postural signals to try and show this information. Working with animals therefore requires an increased level of observational skill on the part of the practitioner in order to enable them to recognise and react appropriately to such signs, changing preconceived treatment plans as a result. The relationship that develops between dog and practitioner can affect the outcome of the treatment.

The CBTA believe that treatments must be conducted as a “partnership” rather than as a “doctor-patient” relationship; treatment must never be forced on a dog or against its wishes. Different dogs prefer the treatments to progress at different speeds; depending on the healing resources available in their body, different dogs will accept different amounts of treatment.

All qualified CBT practitioners are existing (human) Bowen Technique therapists, which ensures they have a thorough grounding in the principles and workings of the Bowen Technique, providing a credible and respected standard of professional in the Canine Bowen Technique.

Common conditions which are often seen at Canine Bowen Technique sessions include:

• Allergies and Skin conditions

• Arthritis, Muscular Sprains and Strains

• Back problems

• Lameness and other Gait problems

• Hip & Elbow Dysplasia

• Working or Competition dogs

• Dogs that pull on the lead

• Aggression and other Behavioural problems

• Stress & Anxiety disorders

• Cystitis & Urinary disorders

• Sciatica

The Canine Bowen Technique (CBT) is based on the principles of human Bowen therapy developed by Australian Tom Bowen (1916-1982). In 1993 Julian Baker introduced the therapy to the UK as the Bowen Technique. Between the introduction and 2001, Bowen therapists Sally and Ron Askew adapted the therapy for use on dogs in 2001. They integrated it into their dog behavioural and rehabilitation work. In 2003 they founded the European Guild of Canine Bowen Therapists which has since been renamed as Canine Bowen Technique Association (CBTA). This canine therapy is regarded as a manipulative therapy covered by the Veterinary Surgery (Exemptions) Order 2015 of the 1966 Veterinary Surgeons Act, allowing non-veterinarians to work on the animal, with the veterinarian’s consent and in conjunction with the appropriate veterinary care.

For those interested in training in Canine Bowen please contact Beth@thebowentechnique.com

Image: https://www.friendsofbaxter.org.uk/canine-bowen/