The Rosen Method is a gentle and profound form of somatic therapy. The Rosen practioner uses words and touch to support a deepening of physical and emotional awareness. By contacting places of muscle tension and restricted breathing in the clients body, with hands that listen rather than manipulate, the practitioner invites unconscious emotions and memories to emerge. This process leads to the release of habitual tension and old patterns, freeing the client to experience more aliveness, new choices in life, and a greater sense of well-being.
- re-wires your nervous system so it can respond with flexibility to stress
- deepens your ability to stay present and grounded
- allows for increased joy and ease
- improves relationships by creating emotional openness and awareness of unnecessary patterns
- relaxes muscle tension and chronic holding - diminishes physical pain
- enhances other processes like talk therapy by providing access to unconscious material
How does Rosen Method work?
The body never lies. It holds acces to the truth of all that has shaped us in this life. As children we breathe and move freely from head to toe. When we experience a feeling that is too much to handle, that seems to threaten our very survival, we learn that we can stop the feeling by tightening our muscles and controlling our breath. But when we do this we cut off the flow of energy to this place and our life force can not go there. In essence, we create a numbness, a disconnection to ourselves. When the body is not listened to it can only get our attention through pain. By listening to our bodies, we find relief from pain and begin to feel more and more fully alive. Rosen Method helps to develop this listening, re-establishing a balance of equality between mind and body, so that the body's truth and wisdom can be heard. Through this process we become more authentic in our relationship with ourselves and begin to live the life that reflects who we really are.
What does the Rosen Practitioner do?
Using hands that listen rather than manipulate, the Rosen Practitioner simply is with the client, supporting and holding places of tension and allowing the client to really feel what is there. As the client begins to pay attention, the body begins to communicate. Some of the ways it speaks are through shifts in breathing patterns and changes in body structure. There may be a tightening or softening of the muscle, or a changing in shape or texture of the skin. Or there may be a quality (i.e., heat, density or pressure from within). There may be unconscious movement. The practitioner also listens for metaphor (i.e., a stab in the back) and imagery (i.e., a black box in my heart). The practitioner responds to these body cues with touch and words which reflect and deepen the client's experience. This creates a container for the client's own truth to emerge. Often there are memories, feelings, insights, new possibilities, and unique resolutions which come from this very personal truth. In Rosen Method there is no fixing or changing, only noticing, witnessing, allowing, unfolding. The Rosen session is cooperative, a journey that practitioner and client take together into the heart of authentic experience. The result is a greater sense of empowerment, vitality, wholeness, integrity, self-knowledge, well-being, joy and peace.
What do I have to do?
As the client you do nothing. Simply be with yourself and notice. There is no right or wrong and every session is different.
A Rosen session takes place on a massage table. As in massage, you are draped and wearing underwear. You may wear as much additional clothing as is needed for your individual sense of safety and comfort. Unlike massage, no oil is used. The Rosen touch can be deep or light, depending on what will match and meet the tension in your body. Because of the presence in the Rosen touch, a light touch can often feel very penetrating.
How might I feel?
You may leave a session feeling comfortable in your body, more at peace, stronger, centered in yourself, in touch with your emotions. The world may look and feel a little different and you may find yourself acting, speaking, moving, and thinking in a way that feels brand new. You may have more vivid dreams or feel more creative. You may have clear longings from your soul, giving you impetus and direction. At times however, you may leave a session feeling some discomfort. This is because things that have been numb are waking up. You may be starting to feel how hard your muscles have been working to support you and how tiring that is. This is a good sign. It means you are coming to life. You can be assured that your unconscious will never bring up more than you can handle. The discomfort will generally go away within a short time and you will feel a greater sense of well-being as you integrate your experience and come to a new point of balance.
What is a Rosen Practitioner's Training?
A Rosen Practitioner's training is rigorous and highly supervised. It takes a minumum of 4 years. The Rosen student attends six 10 day intensives, sees 375 clients, receives 33 personal sessions, has 33 supervisions in the presence of a qualified teacher, and has 7 client reviews to discuss issues that arise with clients during the course of the work. The process involves personal growth and exploration and students do not graduate until they have shown themselves able to provide a safe container for their clients. Qualities developed are sensitivity and presence, the ability to be vulnerable, and the capacity to be with others in places of pain. The Rosen student learns the skill of recognizing body cues, including shifts in breathing, changes in musculature, and attention to metaphor and imagery. The student also learns how to dialogue with a client using a client's own words and staying with what is happening in the body and being of the client in the moment.
Rosen Method Resources
Marion Rosen on Rosen: Marion embodies the simplicity and depth of Rosen Method.
More Marion: A beautiful piece of Marion working and explaining the work.
The Rosen Institute is the official Rosen Institute website with descriptions of the method and links.
The Rosen Method International Journal is a great source for articles on Rosen Method
The Berkeley Center Links, Videos, Articles.
The Open Center Links, Articles.
Rosen Method Bodywork: Practice and Science by Alan Fogel, P.H.D.
The Brain and Bodywork: Exploring pain through body sense by Alan Fogel
Rosen Living and Dying by Kato Wittich. Article from the Rosen Method Professional magazine.
The Healing Touch of Rosen Work by Bevalyn Crawford Yoga Journal
A Light Touch by Michael Schwartz