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Holistic Health - On the Synergy of Bowen Therapy, Holotropic Breathwork and SoulCollage

I am here because of my chronic pain and would like a Bowen session. Looking at your website I was wondering what do Holotropic Breathwork, SoulCollage and guided trance journeys have to do with pain management and health? And how do they relate to the Bowen treatments?

It's not the first time I've been asked today's question from a client. And the surprise is often great when I combine the different methods and, for example, do trance work instead of a pure Bowen body treatment, have a SoulCollage card designed or recommend Holotropic Breathwork. Therefore, in this article, I would like to briefly describe how these methods harmonize with each other and why it can make sense to combine them.

Graphic by Sonja Busch, which describes where and how Holotropic Breathwork, Bowen Therapy and SoulCollage support a process-oriented understanding of health in a therapeutic transformation process on the physical and psychological level: pain relief, trauma healing, regulation of the nervous system, creative expression and flow

Process-oriented and multi-modal understanding of health

I have a process-oriented understanding of health and a multi-modal view of pain or, as the saying goes, body-mind-soul represent a unit and I can't separate one level from the other when I'm working with pain . Numerous scientific studies have shown that psychological and emotional factors have a direct impact on physical health and often physical discomfort is not solely due to physical injury or dysfunction. Pain can occur as a complex interaction of physical, emotional, and energetic factors. It has also been known for a long time from trauma research that everything we experience, starting with conception and the perinatal and birth experience is stored in our body.

Studies from transgenerational trauma research show that this is not only the case for biographical and perinatal experiences, but also for transgenerational trauma, i.e. experiences of our parents and grandparents and probably beyond, which influence our (mental) health, our relationship and our genetics. (Sotero de Menezes et al. 2016).

An integrative approach that takes into account both physical and psychosocial aspects is crucial to promote long-term health and well-being.

Health is a dynamic and ongoing process based on the realization that health is not just the absence of disease, but a state of balance and harmony on a physical, emotional and spiritual level. Within the framework of a process-oriented understanding of health, the emphasis is placed on promoting self-healing powers and supporting the individual health process. It's about strengthening and activating the body's natural abilities for regeneration and self-regulation.

Not only the interactions between body, mind and soul are taken into account, but also the influences of the environment and the social context on health. Finding the cause and promoting holistic well-being are the focus. It is recognized that each person is unique and has different needs, resources and circumstances. Therefore, the treatment and support is individually addressed to the respective process and the goals of the individual.

The focus on a process-oriented approach to health enables change and transformation at all levels.

My methods: Bowen Therapy, Holotropic Breathwork and SoulCollage

Bowen Body Therapy - A gentle approach to pain relief

The Bowen Body Therapy is a gentle, fascia-oriented method , which aims to activate the body's own regulatory system and to mobilize the self-healing powers. Scientific research has shown that Bowen therapy has positive effects on pain relief, stress reduction and quality of life improvement in various diseases (Rapidis et al., 2005; Godfrey et al., 2011).

Gentle touches and targeted movements release tension and blockages in the body, which leads to an improvement in all of the body's systems (e.g. cardiovascular system, digestive system, endocrine system, lymphatic system) and promotes well-being. At the same time, every Bowen treatment starts with the nervous system and helps self-regulation and relaxation. With the special approach of the Body-Mind Bowen, traumata can also be made conscious here and solved on a physical, emotional and energetic level.

Bowen is also helpful with mental tension, stress, burnout, panic attacks and mild depression.

Holotropic Breathwork - The Gateway to Consciousness

The Holotropic Breathwork is a method from the transpersonal Psychology that allows you to reach an expanded state of consciousness with the help of breathing, music and a safe set & setting. In this state, deep self-knowledge, the dissolution of old patterns and access to unconscious material and traumatic experiences is possible. People can gain new perspectives, let go of obstructive patterns and experience a profound and self-empowering transformation process. Physical or emotional tension and pain are relieved here through a specific form of bodywork (Focused Energy Release), which is determined by the client himself.

Studies have shown that Holotropic Breathwork can lead to an increased sense of well-being, improved mental health, and increased life satisfaction (Ravenscroft et al., 2019; Ramaekers et al., 2020). Self-discovery, more authenticity, and a deep connection and trust in life develop as part of the process. For more information see also the Glossary on Holotropic Breathwork (currently only in German).

SoulCollage - Creative Self-Reflection for Holistic Health

SoulCollage®, developed by Seena Frost, in a wider frame also belongs to Transpersonal Psychology since it is based on the principles of Carl Gustav Jung's analytical psychology and Roberto Assagioli's psychosynthesis.

SoulCollage® uses creative forms of expression such as creating personal collage cards and writing for a resource-oriented approach to well-being and one's own existence. It is possible to gain access to inner personality parts and archetypes. This method can be used to support the integration of Holotropic Breathwork experiences, to deal with emotional challenges and conflicts in private and professional contexts and to promote decision-making processes. I

t is also possible to get in touch with the body and, for example, symptoms of illness via the collage cards and to gain a deeper understanding of the causes and possible healing paths. Studies show that expressive art therapy such as SoulCollage can have a positive impact on well-being and mental health (Lusebrink, 2012; Reynolds et al., 2019). Through the creative process of design, new connections are made and so-called "freeze states" can be broken.

To create your first SoulCollage card, follow this easy 5 step guide.

The synergy of methods

The combination of Bowen Body Therapy, Holotropic Breathwork and SoulCollage creates a powerful synergy that makes it possible to harmonize body, mind and soul. They go well with with each other because they are based on the same principles and on a process-oriented understanding of health:

  • An inner healing wisdom is accessible to every human being when they embark on the inner journey and the adventure of self-discovery.

  • The answers are already hidden in people, which means that the therapist is not an expert, but in a supporting role, a source of inspiration and a companion.

  • The self-healing powers can be activated on the physical, psychological and energetic level and the individual levels are mutually dependent and correspond to each other.

  • Every person is unique and on a very individual life path which needs to be honored.

  • The therapeutic setting, namely the creation of a safe space inside and outside and a stable, safe therapeutic relationship are crucial in order to be able to embark on the inner path.

  • Working on the body, the felt sense and the nervous system is essential to creating a safe inner space.

  • A group in which one can feel safe offers another space for self-discovery. To experience that suffering can be shared, to be seen in one's own vulnerability and to experience selfless support from others, offers the opportunity to overwrite and change old fears and behavioral patterns on the relationship level as well. Such groups are created in Holotropic Breathwork or SoulCollage®.

  • A sustainable transformation process requires personal responsibility and initiative.


  • Godfrey, CM, Morgan, P., & Smith, CM (2011). Bowen technique for fibromyalgia: a systematic review. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, 17(4), 249-253.

  • Lusebrink, V.B. (2012). Art Therapy and the Brain: An Attempt to Understand the Underlying Processes of Art Expression in Therapy. Art Therapy, 29(3), 125-133.

  • Rapidis, A.D., Kokkalis, Z.T., & Antonopoulou, M.D. (2005). A case series on the efficacy of the Bowen technique for frozen shoulder. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, 9(3), 236-241.

  • Ramaekers, B.L.T., Timmerman, M.E., Weggelaar, L.W., van Asseldonk, E.J., & Hutschemaekers, G.J.M. (2020). Effects of Holotropic Breathwork on Mental Health: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Frontiers in Psychology, 11, 564399.

  • Ravenscroft, N., Barone, M., & Rachman, A. (2019). The impact of Holotropic Breathwork on mental health and everyday functioning. European Journal of Integrative Medicine, 29, 100927.

  • Reynolds, K.C., Haeyen, S., & Lomas, T. (2019). The Effectiveness of Art Therapy for Anxiety in Adults: A Systematic Review of Randomized and Non-Randomized Controlled Trials. PLOS ONE, 14(8), e0220109.

  • Sotero de Menezes, L., Seganfredo, A.C., & Volchan, E. (2016). Intergenerational transmission of trauma and resilience: A literature review. Frontiers in Psychology, 7, 1163.

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