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Canine Bowen Technique Association

COVID-19 UPDATE: Please feel free to browse for information about Canine Bowen Technique. However, please note that all our courses are currently suspended. 

During this latest lockdown period, our Practitioners in England are allowed to continue working should they choose to do so. However, only with EXISTING clients and only if CBT sessions are considered ESSENTIAL for the welfare of the dog.

Practitioners in Scotland may be following different guidelines.

In all cases, STRINGENT safety precautions will be taken and RISK ASSESSMENTS considered.

Please contact the Practitioner in your area for more information.

Click HERE for the directory.

The Canine Bowen Technique Association was formed at the end of 2017 by a small group of Canine Bowen Technique Practitioners who had been trained by and accredited with the European Guild of Canine Bowen Therapists (EGCBT). The founders of EGCBT (Sally and Ron Askew) retired in December 2017 and have given their permission and support for the CBTA to continue their pioneering work with dogs.

Canine Bowen Technique (CBT) is a form of soft-tissue body-work involving ‘light-touch’ moves of fingers or thumbs over muscle, ligament, tendon and/or fascia at specific points of the dog’s body. The work is very subtle and involves no hard or prolonged pressure. This gentle, non-invasive hands-on technique aims to promote healing, pain-relief and body/energy rebalancing.


Our philosophy

  • To listen to and work in partnership with the dog

  • To create a relationship of trust to maximise the effect of the  technique

  • Never to force the Technique on the dog against its wishes

  • To use

    an holistic approach when working with the dog

  • To work collaboratively with the vet in the best interest of the dog

  • To recognise that dogs are a separate species and have their own needs and requirements 

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Canine Bowen Technique

Important Notes

  • Canine Bowen Technique is not a substitute for proper veterinary care, and should be used in conjunction with orthodox veterinary treatment. CBTA members will only work on veterinary referral or with veterinary consent. Please contact your practitioner for the appropriate referral / consent form.

  • CBTA practitioners do not diagnose (we leave that to the experts in the veterinary profession who have the proper training and qualifications to do so).

  • Under no circumstances will CBTA practitioners prescribe medication or alter any medication already prescribed for the dog.

  • There is no hard manipulation, no pulling or cracking of joints, no insertion of needles, no massaging with oils.

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About Canine Bowen Technique


What happens in a Canine Bowen Technique session?

Using fingers and thumbs on precise points on the dog’s body, a CBTA practitioner applies gentle rolling movements over soft tissue (muscles, ligaments, fascia, and skin). The moves are done slowly and with very gentle pressure so as to just disturb the underlying tissue and create a focus for the brain to work on.

A typical consultation will last up to about an hour. This allows time for the practitioner to get to know more about you and your dog, and your dog to get accustomed to and relaxed with the practitioner. The actual hands-on part of the session will usually last no more than about 20 minutes. Over the following 3-4 days the dog may experience reactions as its body continues to assimilate the effects of the Canine Bowen Technique moves and realigns/rebalances itself. On average, noticeable change  can  be obtained in two to three sessions.

During the session, there are short breaks - determined either by the dog or by the practitioner. These allow the dog to absorb the information given by the gentle moves and allow fine adjustments to take place within its body. We believe dogs are much more in tune with their bodies than humans, and generally know for themselves when to “take a break”, and when to come back for more. Often, after just a few moves, they will wander off and just stare blankly into space, or go somewhere for a short lie-down.

Canine Bowen Technique is never forced on the dog - this will only serve to make the dog less receptive and will be counter-productive to the outcome. So an important part of Canine Bowen Technique is recognising and respecting when the dog indicates it has received what it needs.

At the start of a Canine Bowen Technique session, there will need to be time to allow the dog to accept and trust the practitioner. For very nervous dogs, most of the time on a first Canine Bowen Technique session may well be spent solely on developing this relationship and very little Bowen work may be done. However, after getting accustomed to Canine Bowen Technique, most dogs will want it more and more, and many will come over and position themselves to indicate where they’d like the work doing.


Some  Case Histories

B., a fourteen year old Collie, had jumped up for a ball some years ago, landed awkwardly and had been walking sideways ever since. He had tried acupuncture and various anti-inflammatory/painkilling drugs from his vet with little success. After two Canine Bowen Technique sessions B. was a much happier and livelier dog, walks much straighter and in his mistresses words “now runs freely and moves like a puppy again”.

D., a three year old German Spitz, woke each morning with fluid on her neck and shoulder causing her to walk with an abnormal gait until it drained with movement during the day. D. was unable to sit or lie down comfortably because of the excess fluid. A spinal X-ray had revealed nothing particularly untoward. D. was a very nervous dog aggressive to visitors to the home and to people and other dogs met whilst out walking. Canine Bowen Technique enabled D. to relax. After two sessions D. was able to sit and lie down normally. The swelling on her neck and shoulder disappeared and she was more relaxed with people and other dogs.

T., a three year old Golden Retriever, went suddenly lame on his right rear leg and was unable to put any weight on the leg. Twenty-fours hours after a Canine Bowen Technique session T. was running around normally again.