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Bowen Technique: The Latest in Quack

creed of reason

creed of reason

“In order to evaluate the efficacy of Bowenwork, it is recommended not to use magnets for 5–7 days after a session.”

What is the “Bowen Technique for Health”? Your usual quack & woo? No! It’s much more than that! [Note: sadly, the old Frontpage 4.0 site full of woo got replaced with a brand new website full of woo which is now geoblocked in Europe, where I live.] It’s the liberal use of an awesome font that transforms even the most repulsive collection of drivel into a treasure trove of poetic expressions; it’s a corporate hymn as a huge WAV file in <bgsound> tags that, depending on your connection speed, cheerfully surprises you with a charming delay; it’s an idea born under the baking Australian sun, which might explain a thing or two; and it’s located at 710-B Butternut in Abilene, Texas, which might explain even more.

There are Wikipedia entries in English and German and a piece of quality journalism in the German taz, of which the final paragraph is especially enlightening. Also, there’s a German language Website that illustrates the procedure quite vividly.

I’d never heard of this fabulous remedy before, until today, when I was browsing vinyl albums in my favorite record store. A man in his early thirties entered the store, and the shopkeeper, who apparently knew him, asked him how setting up his practice was coming along? Whereof the man answered, “Why, the practice is fine, all settled—my problem is getting clients! What I now need to do is advertise.”

So of course I asked him what kind of practice he was talking about. He showed me a flyer, and the following conversation ensued (in German language):

Er: Das ist eine ganz neue Methode aus Australien.
Ich: M-hm. Alt Med?
Er (leicht unsicher): … Alternative Medizin …?
Ich: M-hm.
Er: Genau, darum geht es. Das Problem ist, diese Methode kennt hier bislang kein Mensch.
Ich: Und dazu ist die Konkurrenz ja auch sehr groß.
Er: Ja, das stimmt. Aber diese Methode braucht sich neben Homöopathie und Akupunktur nicht zu verstecken!

Roughly: It’s a new alternative medicine treatment nobody’s heard of yet, but it can keep up with Homeopathy and Acupuncture anytime!


From the “Bowenwork FAQ,” a PDF document on the Website that jumps out at you when you click the link, I like this part best:

What about Bowenwork and homeopathy?
Bowenwork and homeopathy are very similar in principle and work very well together.
Bowen has been called the homeopathy of body therapy with its gentle application and dramatic results.

But not all that does nothing works together well. There are some warnings that other alternative treatments that don’t do anything might interfere with the Bowen treatment if applied too soon before or after a session. Also, in order to evaluate the efficacy, they recommend not to use magnets for 5-7 days after a session.

That should be kept in mind.

But what surprises me again and again, and you just have to browse the PDF document for that, is not what kinds of bizarre things people believe in but how these beliefs are positioned and integrated in a huge network of other bizarre beliefs. There is absolutely nothing that connects these beliefs; in the complete absence of facts, every possible statement about factual relations between these beliefs must, inevitably, be a non sequitur. There’s only one thing that these beliefs have in common, and that is another belief, a superordinate story that they tell themselves which, in the absence of fact or reason, belongs to a certain class of integrative systems that we call ideologies.


If you have something valuable to add or some interesting point to discuss, I’ll be looking forward to meeting you at Mastodon!

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