Faculty, Michelle Patterson

Michelle Patterson
Clearwater, MN

I learned an equine version of Bowen in 2004 when, as a Certified Recreation Therapist, I was the director of an equine-assisted therapy program for 50+ adolescents in a residential mental health facility. Our overworked, aging therapy horses were already benefiting from the botanical medicines I had been trained to use, and the outcomes improved with the addition of Bowen. The horses were not only more receptive to herbs and Bowen than to more invasive interventions and pharmaceuticals, but I also had new options in my toolkit that were a great complement to traditional veterinary care. In my free time, I developed a busy private practice working with world-class performance horses with herbs and Bowen. In 2007 I was invited to train to become an Equine Touch instructor and also became certified in equine craniosacral therapy through the Vluggen Institute of Equine Osteopathy.

Two years later, when that equine Bowen was fading in the U.S., I sought additional Bowen training with the American Bowen Academy. Learning to apply Bowen to the human body expanded my understanding of the equine work — and vice versa. In 2012 I began working as an inpatient rehabilitation therapist for the Minneapolis V.A. Health Care System Polytrauma Rehabilitation Center. The profound responses to Bowenwork there — in veterans and active duty servicemembers rehabilitating after traumatic brain injury, stroke, multiple amputations, burns, PTSD, etc. — changed my focus from horses to humans. Even though Bowenwork is only a small fraction of my role as a recreation therapist, the results have impressed medical providers on our multidisciplinary rehab team, with positive outcomes not seen from previous interventions. Some patients even tell their physicians that Bowenwork is the most important therapy they get all week!

The reputation of Bowenwork is growing in the VA Health Care System. Through my membership on the Minneapolis VA Integrative Health Committee and as an educator for the National VA Whole Health Initiative, Bowenwork is now on the radar for other providers interested in incorporating integrative modalities into their work with veterans. My goals are to facilitate Bowenwork training throughout the entire national VA Health Care System while also building referral networks of Bowenwork practitioners for outpatients in their own communities upon discharge.

Helping animals was what brought me to Bowenwork initially. Helping wounded warriors to regain their quality of life is where I am today. I look forward to combining my two passions by teaching others to help both animals and humans to heal through the beautiful elegance of Bowenwork.

American Bowen Academy Faculty 2018
American Bowen Academy Associate Instructor 2015
Bowenwork Practitioner 2010
Cranio-Sacral Therapy 2018
Reiki 2012
Equine/Canine Touch (Bowen) Instructor 2007
Equine/Canine Touch (Bowen) Practitioner 2004
Equine Cranio-Sacral Therapy 2007
Certificate in Clinical Herbalism 2002