Frequently Asked Questions
What is Rosen Method Bodywork and Movement?
How is Rosen Method different from other kinds of bodywork?
How is Rosen Method different from psychotherapy?
What does a Rosen session feel like?
How many session does it take to receive benefits?
What kinds of problems does Rosen Method help
What's the science behind how Rosen works?
According to its founder, Marion Rosen, Rosen Method is “a way to access feelings and experiences through the body.” Clients can receive either “table work” (on a massage table) or attend movement classes. Both aspects of Rosen Method free the body of tension patterns and allow self-awareness to emerge. Rosen Method integrates the use of touch with verbal interaction; words are always grounded in actual experience.
There is nothing like it! The Rosen practitioner's hands do not manipulate muscles, connective tissue, bones, energy or anything else to “fix” the client. We use the “sensing” or “listening” hand to create safety and reflect what is happening in the body. Most people have never experienced this kind of unconditional contact. It invites and allows them to let go, embody themselves, and become aware.
I have not found any other mind/body process that actually integrates awareness of the two in each moment of the session.
Rosen practitioners do not diagnose and treat mental illness. Although Rosen, like psychotherapy, elicits and works through unconscious material, the Rosen practitioner is not primarily interested in the client's “story,” in mental understanding, or in changing the client's thinking or behavior. Our work is to create safety through touch, words, and presence so that the client's unconscious muscle tension and breathing patterns can relax and open to more freedom. This allows clients to experience what is happening in their bodies, emotions, and psyches. When deep relaxation of the diaphragm is achieved, the client is able to experience his or her true being. The result is an unforced change in the person's functioning in the world. For many people, Rosen is a beneficial adjunct to psychotherapy.
The usual format is a 50-60 minute session with the client lying covered on a massage table, having removed as many outer layers of clothing as is comfortable. No oils are used. The touch is gentle, seeking to make contact and support relaxation. Sometimes buried feelings emerge, insights occur, physical pain eases. Clients often use words such as “grounded,” “expanded,” or “oceanic” to describe their experience. They say, “I feel as if I've come home.”
Sometimes, off the table, people are amazed at postural changes that occurred without effort. Later, they report changes in their reactions and behavior in daily life, and even changes in how others treat them.
For some clients, even one session can bring about a major shift or address a particular problem. Some have taken advantage of three introductory-rate sessions to successfully resolve issues such as overcoming fear (of an upcoming surgery or test or other event), making a major life decision, or healing physical pain. Others use Rosen on a longer-term basis to work on chronic issues or childhood traumas. For those who have been divorced from their bodies for a long time, there will be a period of learning how to sense and find themselves.
Rosen Method is uniquely helpful when other modalities have not addressed how physical, emotional, and even spiritual issues are intertwined. To a Rosen practitioner, there is no difference between a tense muscle, a hidden feeling, and a loss of self. The body and the mind are one. That's why healing happens on the physical, emotional, and psychological levels at once. That's why Rosen can make your back pain go away at the same time as you find out who you really are.
Clients come for different reasons: 1.) physical problems, 2.) emotional problems, 3.) destructive behavioral patterns, and 4.) searching for identity and a more authentic life. In my practice, clients have benefited in each of these areas:
➢ relief from physical ailments such as backaches, headaches, neck aches, insomnia, asthma, chronic intestinal difficulties, distorted postures, and limps. Marion Rosen reports additional success with heart problems, Parkinson's disease, and infertility;
➢ relief from emotional problems such as anxiety, depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, dissociation, eating disorders, and chronic, habitual feelings such as sadness, anger, fear;
➢ freedom from destructive behaviors, which people often confuse with their “personality.” These include the inability to be intimate, to reach out for what you want, to think flexibly or creatively, to have appropriate boundaries. When we access and open the places in our bodies where these behaviors are locked in, life changes.
➢ support for what I call spiritual inquiry, or wanting to connect to a deeper, truer self beneath one's personality or roles. Marion Rosen says this work helps you “become the person you are, not the person you think you are.” This opens you to a connection to something larger than the self, allowing deep healing and transformation to take place.
Scientists have discovered that the brain and nervous system are “plastic”--they change with new experiences. Rosen Method practitioners create the conditions that allow the client's nervous system to “rewire” itself. To nourish the growth of new neural pathways, humans need to sense safety and support from another. This is achieved by what scientists call “limbic resonance,” or what Rosen practitioners call “somatic resonance:” a sense of being known by an attuned other person. Rosen Method's integrated way of using touch and talk together is unique among body/mind approaches in creating this attunement. We use a kind of gentle, receptive touch that helps us resonate with the client's internal state. We use reflective and evocative words that help the client become aware of their own felt experience. As a result, many neurobiological responses return the body to homeostasis—the state of balanced health. Read more about this.