Frozen shoulder also known as adhesive capsulitis occurs as a result of inflammation of the glenohumeral joint and its surrounding capsule. The pain results in marked limitations of all movements[i].

A lady 60 years old presented to my clinic with frozen shoulder (left shoulder). On testing her range of movement (ROM) she could not get it past 80O.  An ultrasound showed the client had a supraspinatus tendonisis (internal tendon degeneration) and full thickness supraspinatus tendon tear (meaning there is a hole in the tendon). She was also under the care of a physiotherapist, and was due to have a cortisone injection.

The supraspinatus muscle originates in the supraspinous fossa of the scapula and inserts into the superior aspect of greater tubercle of humerus. Its action is to abduct (move the arm away from the body) the shoulder and stabilize the head of humerus in glenoid cavity[ii].

First Bowen Therapy treatment and its results

During the first Bowen treatment I performed a whole body balance, which included her lower back, upper back and neck. Some of the sensations this client felt during the treatment were coldness through her left shoulder, arm, hand and fingers. I gave her home exercises to help with her shoulder.

Second Bowen Therapy treatment and its results

One week later she returned for her second visit and reported her shoulder felt fabulous days after treatment. Her ROM increased and for a couple days after the treatment her arm felt cold. Treatment included a whole body balance. Again, the client felt lots of coldness throughout her left arm, from the elbow, into the back of the shoulder, and occasionally she felt coldness in the right shoulder.

Third Bowen Therapy treatment and its results

One week later, she was able to abduct (move arm away from her body) her arm closes to 90o. However, she cannot get her arm behind her back when doing her bra up.

In today’s session, I added the shoulder moves and elbow/wrist moves. During this treatment, she once again got a lot of cold sensations throughout her left arm and shoulder. On assessment, after the shoulder moves she was able to get her arm to 110o and lift with her arm bent (which she couldn’t do in the first treatment).

Fourth Bowen Therapy treatment and its results

Treatment was 8 days later. Her shoulder felt a bit more achy but her ROM was > 150o.

Today’s treatment included a bit of work on the lower back, work on the upper back, and neck, and specific moves on the rhomboid muscle. Today she felt coldness through tops of shoulders, elbow and in the shoulder blade/rhomboids.

Part 2

[i] Brunker P. & Khan K. (2001) Clincal Sports Medicine

[ii] Biel A. (2010) Trail Guide to the Body


Elizabeth is a Bowen Therapist, Remedial, Pre and Post Natal Massage Therapist, and Aromatherapist. Elizabeth is passionate about women's health and wellness.In addition, Elizabeth is the creator of the Nurture Mumma, Nurture Bubba Gift Packs, Baby Products and has developed a range of Aromatic Mists.