Palliative Care: The Role of the Bowen Therapist

February 28, 2017by Helen Perkins

AS Bowen therapists, I’m sure we are all in tune with the concept of a natural approach to health and wellness. Very often, an holistic approach through complementary therapy can secure impressive improvements to a variety of ailments.

There is growing awareness, also, of the benefits of complementary therapy for those living with a life-limiting condition, such as cancer, neurological or auto-immune diseases.

In my experience, having worked in a hospice environment for many years, the role of Bowen in palliative care can have a noticeable impact not only on the patient but for carers and relatives struggling with tiredness and worry.

When it comes to supporting or supplementing conventional medical treatment, Bowen can have a positive effect on physical, psychological and emotional stress, which in turn helps to balance spiritual, emotional and mental health… that sometimes intangible, sense of ‘wellness’ that improves quality of life for the patient and those around them.

The gentle Bowen therapy has been shown to ease many of the symptoms and side effects such as breathlessness, headaches, muscular aches and pains, nausea, vomiting, fatigue and constipation.

Specialist training is required to ensure therapists feel confident in these sensitive circumstances where protocols and procedures are even more important that in normal clinical practice. As team leader for a group of volunteer complementary therapists (Bowen and others) at the Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice in Peterborough I have seen the positive effects and the satisfaction that comes from working with dedicated staff to ensure patients and those who care for them have the best possible experience.

It is a hugely rewarding role for any Bowen therapist with a high degree of empathy and a desire to make a small difference to a person’s wellbeing. One of my stroke patients confined to a wheelchair can now stand with a frame and has remarked that he can feel sensations in his not-so-good leg since having Bowen.

The role will not suit everyone as the nature of palliative care, be it in a hospice or at home, means some patients may only live a few years, or even weeks. In-house or CPD training will give you the insight and understanding to help you decide if this worthwhile role is one you might like to explore further.

If you have any questions, please drop me a note via email at

Helen Perkins

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Copyright by Helen Mary Perkins 2023. All rights reserved.

Copyright by Helen Mary Perkins 2023. All rights reserved.