Sandra Gustafson

I am a senior instructor with the Bowen Therapy Academy of Australia (BTAA)and Bowenwork Academy USA. I live in Northern California, USA, currently the third place on the planet I now call "home".

I grew up in South Africa, where I trained as a Registered Nurse. The travel bug bit me when I finished Nursing training and I embarked on travels that led me to exploring different countries and cultures, peaking my interest in holistic and traditional medicine. Instead of returning to South Africa, I decided to settle in Australia for 15 years, where I specialized in Intensive Care Nursing and also undertook a 4-year naturopathic course to become an accredited naturopathic practitioner.

In 1991, I opened my naturopathic practice in Cairns and the Atherton Tablelands (Far North Queensland). During this time, I was afflicted with a persistently painful right elbow that did not respond to natural therapy or conventional treatments. It became quite distressing, and I was unable to do the deep tissue massage and bodywork I learned in naturopathic school. Fortunately, one of my colleagues in the clinic (Manfred Zainzinger, who is now an instructor in Austria) had just taken Bowenwork courses, and was able to help me fully recover. I was so impressed with this unusual technique that I decided to learn from Ossie and Elaine Rentsch as soon as I could.
It was the beginning of another journey. I had never worked with a bodywork so simple, yet so profound and effective in helping people to heal, as with Bowenwork - I gave up practicing all other forms of bodywork, and have been doing it ever since. Bowenwork resonates with my understanding of homoeopathy and holistic healing. It has a profound effect on the Autonomic Nervous System, gently coaxing the vital force and innate power of the mind, body and spirit to find homoeostasis (natural balance) again, and thereby facilitating healing. 
In 1994, Ossie and Elaine invited me to join them in teaching this remarkable work and I became an instructor with BTAA. I have taught many students in Australia as well as in the States, presented at international Bowenwork conferences and had the pleasure of teaching Bowenwork to healthcare practitioners from both conventional and complementary health care professions. In recent years, I've held classes at Bastyr University and Swedish Medical Center in Seattle, WA. I also graduated from UNE (Australia) with a Master of Health Science degree in which my studies focused on herbal medicine and integrating complementary therapies into healthcare.