Tom Bowen the man

A lot is written about Mr Tom Bowen, a remarkable massage therapist who practiced in Geelong. It is about 30 years since Tom Bowen died and like many things it is the legend that continues and sometimes the person is forgotten. Tom Bowen was an amazing therapist but little is passed on about the person. Around 15 years ago I worked in Geelong for around a decade. Here is some of what I discovered.

Although mostly a remedial massage therapist I also incorporated a version of Bowen therapy as one of my modalities. Many of the clients were past Tom Bowen clients with stories of their experiences.

Although it is claimed Tom Bowen had no formal teaching it was reported that he would travel to Ballarat for lessons with a Mr Saunders. Mr Saunders had a reputation as an amazing therapist in the Ballarat region but no-one I spoke to could add to this.

Tom Bowen offered two appointment times. Morning and afternoon. You arrived and then awaited your turn for an appointment. His turn over was very quick with up to 4 rooms going at once and he did not always do a full body treatment with some clients just getting specific treatment to the appropriate area.

Some people thought Tom Bowen to be psychic (though he never claimed to be) with one client reporting “just by looking at me he knew I had miscarriage and everything that was going on with me.” It actually frightened her and she never went back.

Tom Bowen was not infallible. In his early days he worked as a football trainer. My father was injured during a game and Mr Bowen told him it was a pec strain that his treatment would correct in several days. It turned out to be a broken clavicle and my father never let him treat him again.

The thing I noticed most about the previous clients of Tom Bowen was that although they felt his treatments were fantastic and gave relief for a while they were presenting with the same symptoms and problems 20 years on. It appears although it helped it was not a cure or permanent correction, but I wonder how many he may have cured completely because as a therapist they would not be coming to see me like the ones that weren’t.

All in all he was an amazing therapist who is still missed.

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