The Bowen Technique National Migraine Research Program

October 2001 to April 2002
Organised by Nikke Ariff (Tel: 079811 54321)


The National Research program was launched by Nikke Ariff in response to results obtained in an earlier Pilot Scheme conducted by her between February – April 2001.

The National Research program was launched to determine the efficacy of The Bowen Technique in the treatment of the Migraine condition.

Selection of candidates: The Volunteer Group

No parameters were set before the research program to attract a certain 'profile' of Migraine sufferer. This was deliberate to ensure that the Volunteer Group was random but united by the fact that they were willing to try something new in the treatment of their Migraine condition.

The Research Group was recruited from the members of the Migraine Action Association and based on a considered selection of participants on the basis:

  • They were diagnosed as a migraine sufferer by a GP or hospital specialist
  • The women were well represented at different stages of their menstrual life ie. Regular periods, pre-menopausal, menopausal with / without hormone therapy, post-menopausal, hysterectomy.
  • The Volunteer Group: Profile

    Total of 39 volunteers: 37 women, 2 men

    Length of time participant had been a Migraine sufferer:
    1 to 15 years : 13 volunteers
    16 to 30 years: 17 volunteers
    over 30 years: 9 volunteers

    The Therapists

    All were fully qualified in the Bowen Technique and fulfilled the qualifications set out by the governing body, the Bowen Therapists' European Register – now the Bowen Therapy Professional Association (BTPA).

    The Research Program:

    The Program was carried out over a 6 week period. This was comprised of a two week treatment period during which the Volunteer received three Bowen treatments in the first two weeks of the program, followed by a four week observational period. The Migraine Volunteer kept a migraine diary throughout the 6 week period, which was completed after every Migraine attack experienced during the Research Period.

    The Results of the Bowen Technique National Migraine Research Program

    Of the 39 participants:

  • 7 registered no change in their Migraine condition
  • 11 experienced a decrease in frequency of attacks
  • 9 experienced a decrease in severity of their Migraine
  • 11 experienced a decrease in severity and frequency of attacks
  • 1 participant experienced an increase in frequency
  • In all, 31 case studies experienced a positive result, yielding a response rate of 79.5%.

    The Bowen technique:

    Bowen is a gentle, non-invasive, 'hands-on' therapy. It treats the body as a single integrated system and is therefore suitable for all ages from new born babies to the very elderly, from the fit and active to the critically ill. The practitioner uses thumbs and fingers on precise points around the body to make rolling type movements. The pressure used is light, never more than what your eyeball could comfortably bear. It is a distinctive feature of Bowen that after a sequence of moves, the practitioner leaves the room for a minimum of two minutes to allow your body to respond to and process the moves.

    Mind Body Positive Ltd.

    Following the results, Nikke Ariff of Mind Body Positive concluded:
    "I decided to use the Migraine condition as a research project (although it could have been one of many other conditions), because of the distress I saw it causing the sufferer.
    My experience with Migraine proved that the Bowen Technique was very effective because it treated the person as a whole where the Migraine condition can be caused by one or a combination of several trigger factors - none of which are easily identifiable.
    I am very pleased and not at all surprised at the success rate of the National Research Programme, which has recorded positive results for 31 of the 39 Migraine Volunteers. I trust that more people will be encouraged to approach complementary therapies with an open mind for the maintenance of their health and well being."