A pilot study of fascia Bowen therapy for 8-11 year-old boys with developmental coordination disorder

Melanie Morgan-Jones, Fiona Knott, Hannah Wilcox, Christopher Ashwin

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Developmental coordination disorder (DCD), also known as dyspraxia, is a disorder emerging in childhood characterised by motor skill impairments. The motor difficulties often produce negative effects in other areas of life, such as poor self-esteem and reduced social interactions. One treatment used for DCD is fascia Bowen therapy, which involves stimulating the fascia tissues of the body using finger and thumb rolling movements over the skin to improve overall muscle movement. However, no studies to date have been reported testing the effectiveness of fascia Bowen in DCD.


The present pilot study tested the effectiveness of 6 weeks of fascia Bowen in 10 boys aged 8–11 years with DCD. None of the boys had ever received treatment in any form before this study. Motor skills were assessed using the Movement Assessment Battery for Children-2 (MABC-2) and the DCD questionnaire, and psycho-social functioning was measured using the Self-Perception Profile, Spence Social Skills Questionnaire, and Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire. All measures of interest were assessed before and after the therapy.


Results showed significant improvement in motor function post-intervention, with 60% of the children no longer clinically being classified as having a movement difficulty on the MABC-2. However, no significant improvements were seen in psycho-social measures, at least within the short time-frame of the therapy in the current study.


The current pilot study revealed improvements in motor functioning after fascia Bowen therapy, across both performance and questionnaire measures, but that these improvements did not extend to wider areas of life. Further research in DCD is needed to test the effectiveness of fascia Bowen in larger studies with expanded ages and both genders over longer periods, including the generalisation of results of these longer interventions to different areas of life beyond motor ability.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)568-574
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies
Issue number3
Early online date2 Mar 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2019


  • Developmental coordination disorder
  • Dyspraxia
  • Fascia Bowen
  • Motor movement
  • Therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and Manual Therapy
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Complementary and alternative medicine


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