Tom Bowen developed the Bowen Technique in Geelong, Victoria. After serving in World War II, he became interested in ways of alleviating human suffering. His inspiration and original insights into the body he claimed were a gift from God. He developed the system as it is today through relentless self-study and refinement of the technique. The 1975 Victorian Government inquiry into alternative health care professionals cited Mr. Bowen as seeing some 13,000 patients per year.
In 1974 Tom invited Ossie Rentsch to study with him for the next two and a half years. Mr. Bowen had no notes, charts or manuals but under his guidance Ossie observed and documented his technique.
By agreement Ossie and his wife Elaine did not start to teach the technique until after Tom's death in 1982. The first seminar was in Perth, Western Australia. Four years later the Rentschs were teaching full time in Australia, New Zealand, North America, the United Kingdom and Europe. Dedicated to preserving the technique and ensuring it was taught in its original form, the Rentschs founded the Bowen Therapy Academy of Australia in 1987.
In 2005 the first government accredited Bowen courses became available - a Certificate IV in Bowen Therapy and a Diploma in Bowen Therapy. The Certificate IV in Bowen Therapy is now the minimum requirement to be a full member of the Bowen Association of Australia. Members are required to undergo regular continuing education and refresher courses, maintain a current first aid certificate and professional indemnity insurance.