Welcome to the history and celebration of

 Thomas Ambrose Bowen (1916-1982)

renowned healer and osteopath of Geelong.


The "Healing Hands" Monument at West Park, Geelong, Australia commemorates the work of Thomas Ambrose Bowen 1916-1982.

Tom Bowen was the developer of the unique bodywork therapy now practiced internationally in his name.

This  bronze sculpture1 beautifully designed and crafted by Moongate Studios features hands holding a sphere. The hands represent Tom Bowen's healing hands, open and giving. The open sphere symbolises the resting head of the client and the worldwide acceptance and practice of the technique.  

The six shapes created within the half sphere represent the six students of the 1970s period that Tom Bowen affectionately called his "Boys".


The plaque on the Monument leads with the following quotation2  that Tom Bowen had framed at his practice and printed on his calendars:


"I expect to pass through this world but once;

any good thing therefore I can do,

or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature,

let me do it now;

let me not defer or neglect it,

for I shall not pass this way again"


The plaque is also inscribed:

"This was the guiding belief of Tom Bowen, a humble man who worked tirelessly to help others.

Beginning in Autumn Street in the late 1950's, Bowen developed an innovative manual therapy for the treatment of musculoskeletal and neurological disorders.  

Through his 26 years of service to the community, Bowen regularly performed around 250 treatments per week.

Together with his good friend Irene (Rene) Horwood (1908-2001) Bowen helped improve the quality of life for many thousands of people.  

Tom and Rene had a special affinity towards children with disabilities whom they always treated free of charge at the regular Saturday morning clinics.

Bowen's technique has been passed down through his students; it is now taught throughout the world.  The legacy of Tom Bowen lives on through the gift that he gave to us all."

2016 centennial

2016 is the centennial of Tom Bowen's birth.  To mark the occasion the Healing Hands, Unsung Voices Anthology was launched in April with Dr Romney Smeeton as MC.  The product of twelve months of research, it captures over 50 stories from Bowen's former patients, clinic associates and family.  Collated by Shirley Strachan, it includes contributions by Ron Phelan (Ron interviewed Rene Horwood, Bowen's clinic manager in 1998 and Agnes Shaw his youngest sister in 2003) and Bob Ryder. Bob visited Australia in 2003 and interviewed others who knew Bowen and kindly made the interviews available for the Anthology.  Three of Bowen's former apprentices contributed - Romney Smeeton who is still in full time practice, Kevin Ryan and Kevin Neave (dec. 4th June, 2016). 

The link to the Facebook Page is below. Work is continuing to develop a biography of Bowen as part of a PhD project, and further stories about Tom Bowen are welcome. 

1.  Monument project:  Ron Phelan and others [October 2002],  Photo credit Shirley Strachan July 2011

2. Often attributed to Stephen Grellet (Étienne de Grellet du Mabillier) 1773-1855 son of a counsellor to King Louis XVI and a nember if the King's personal guard  who escaped to America during the French Revolution. Grellet was impressed by the writings of famous quaker William Penn and the attribution to Grellet is not confirmed http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Stephen_Grellet.