Bowen Therapy in Bulgaria by Susan Hagan MBTPA, MIFPA Director and Principal Tutor

 International Bowen Therapy Foundation

At the age of 60 I was free of immediate commitments. I loved what I was doing, seeing clients for Bowen therapy and teaching it to new people. I could see that it would be easy for me to continue into the next decade and use the momentum that success with this marvelous therapy  had created. But I wanted more. My daughter had recently married and instead of indulging in the empty nest syndrome I decided to fly out of it and go to Bulgaria to begin a new life. 

For a long time I had wanted to build my own home from natural materials. I had been on training courses in the USA and Ireland and wanted to match my experiences to reality.  Also I had missed the 2007/2008 Banking disaster by a hair’s breadth. There was even some equity that gave me a few years’ break from earning a living and the chance to buy a property in Bulgaria and to test my new building skills. 

Susan Hagan in her hand built house

I worked for 2 years without a Bowen treatment, building, plastering and decorating! I was badly in need of  Bowen treatments but there were no Bowen therapists in Bulgaria at that time.  In a desperate measure I had secured some pieces of wood into my cob walls at the correct spaces and managed to do almost a full treatment by maneuvering myself against the sticks. However, though helpful, it was not enough, and  something had to be done. Eventually, giving treatments to friends and family, I gathered sufficient people to teach a Diploma course, under the auspices of a school for whom I had been teaching in the UK, and finally I was able to enjoy an actual Bowen Treatment from my students.  

Bowen students in Hong Kong

Soon it became necessary to have my own school and so after a year of writing, drawing, studying and producing all the requisite documents for the Accreditation process, I submitted my documents to BTPA.  I decided to call my school, The International Bowen Therapy Foundation, and I received the welcome letter of accreditation from the BTPA with joy. 

I am an Independent Bowen tutor and teach in Bulgaria, Finland and Hong Kong, searching always to advance and spread the news of this remarkable therapy. I have colleagues here in the locality that exchange treatments with me and who are all practicing Bowen Therapy.

One such person, Audrey Cameron Zaharieva, Scottish born, who came to live in this country when she married her Bulgarian ski instructor in 1991, is one of my closest therapists, both physically and emotionally.  Once she had qualified she set up a small clinic attached to the local bar in her village and began to treat local the local Babas, Bulgarian for Grandmas.  These ladies, indomitable, hard working and living on very small pensions are only charged a very small amount of money for the session and sometimes even pay with tomatoes or preserves if they have no spare cash. She treats clients 3 days a week and is beginning to gather a following of very satisfied clients.  She also sings with the local Choir, shown below with some visitors. Village Choir

I love my life here. I love the village and the climate and the challenge of introducing Bowen therapy to a new country.  

More trips were scheduled and October 2017 saw the first cohort of students being examined by my External examiner, David Howells from the United Kingdom, a very experienced Chiropractor and Bowen Therapist, with high pass marks for all.

In 2018 I am also going back to Nepal, where I lived for 15 years in my youth, to teach Bowen Therapy to a group of women who live at Maiti Nepal. This NGO was started by the remarkable Anuradha KoiralaAnuradha Koirala, who became aware of the numbers of women and girls that were abducted into the sex trade across the border into India. She began the NGO by taking one girl into her home and giving her a small loan to begin a small vegetable stall. She asked only for 1 rupee back every day. Then the project grew. Now there are many such girls and women. Once I had heard the programme about her on the radio, I decided to offer my services free of charge so that some of the girls could learn a skill and a profession.  I contacted them and asked if they would be open to me going to teach Bowen therapy to a number of the girls. They agreed and so Audrey and I are arranging to go in January or February 2108 to begin their training. 

April 2018 is my next teaching commitment in Hong Kong when I will teach my 4 Diploma Courses.  Also I will host, for the first time in Hong Kong, the exciting CPD courses for all Qualified Bowen Therapists from any School,  in October 2018, with John Garfield , the international  Expert on many aspects of Bowen therapy.  Please look under the CPD heading on the home page for details and dates.  Alastair McCloughlin,  author of The Art of Bowen will be our visiting Expert in April 2018 and I hope, Graham Pennington will be our visiting CPD tutor in October 2019. Places will be limited so once they are advertised please let us know if you are interested.

Bowen Therapy relieves pain.  Let us learn to help people and animals through this marvellous therapy bequeathed to us by the wonderful Tom Bowen.

Susan Hagan MBTPA, MIFPA, Cert ED


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