Hello, I’m Kris. I’m glad to share my new web home with you! I believe we can heal our world by practicing our own inner healing and sharing with each other. I look forward to connecting with you.
In this post, read about Marion Rosen, discover why I am so passionate about Rosen Method Bodywork, and how I believe true health and healing must come from within.
I believe in empowering people to discover what is true for themselves while experiencing the support and comfort of skilled touch. With every client, I invite mind-body learning that contributes to a lifetime of vitality and well-being.
For almost four decades, I’ve sought ways to heal emotional and physical pain. Rosen Method Bodywork has been key to my own healing and to the success and happiness of my professional life. I am grateful for the work of Marion Rosen.
Marion Rosen (1914-2012), the founder of Rosen Method Bodywork, was born and raised in Germany. In the 1930’s, she studied relaxation and breath through bodywork. She worked with a massage therapist named Lucy Heyer and her husband, a psychoanalyst named Dr. Gustav Heyer, who was a colleague of Carl Jung’s. Marion and Lucy gave bodywork to Dr. Gustav’s patients, helping them relax and for greater access to their unconscious. Dr. Heyer observed that his patients who received the bodywork experienced accelerated psychotherapeutic benefit.
In 1940, Marion came to America, trained to be a physical therapist at the Mayo Clinic, then settled in Berkeley, California where she had a private practice and taught movement classes.
Over the years, Marion noticed that clients who talked about their inner lives during bodywork therapy sessions experienced more lasting recovery of their physical ailments. She helped clients discover the links between their physical and emotional experience. She understood that the body is a living metaphor of a person’s inner state.
“What we are working with is the tension in people’s bodies, the holdings. What I mean by that is a muscle that is contracted and has forgotten to release. A muscle can do two things. A muscle can contract and release. That’s all a muscle can do—work and not work. Strength is the potential between relaxing and contracting. A muscle that is already contracting to hold back cannot do anything else. If you want to be strong, you have to start with muscles in the relaxed state.
What makes strength is being vulnerable, being soft…and then having the possibility to put the muscle through its range and have full contraction. A normal body has that everywhere.” ~Marion Rosen
Marion understood that what makes us physically strong and have more range is our ability to fully relax. Our willingness to allow our vulnerability is what can build emotional resilience. Long-held muscle tension can release during deep relaxation when a person feels safe enough to allow vulnerability.
If you have ever lain down to rest your body and noticed that not all of your muscles fully relax, even during sleep, you know what it is to have muscles that have “forgotten” to release. These holding patterns not only diminish our potential strength, they also block the flow of breath and circulation throughout areas of our bodies, leaving us with less vitality and aliveness.
If you have ever struggled within or harshly judged yourself, or tried to stifle an emotion, you know it is hard to come to clarity or resolution of a problem. If you bring gentleness and compassion to whatever is within you, allowing your vulnerability, aliveness increases, tension discharges, new perspectives and greater ease are possible. Brene Brown, research professor at the University of Houston Graduate School of Social Work, says that the willingness to be vulnerable, to experience the core of emotions and feelings, emerged in her research as the single clearest value shared by successful, wholehearted people.
Marion‘s work invites clients to relax through touch and non-judgmental presence. When the nervous system feels more supported, or “safe enough”, the flight, fight and freeze mechanisms begin to shift toward rest and repair, allowing the body to re-organize and re-balance itself. Regular practice of this kind can build neural pathways between the mind-body, build a person’s inner understanding of themselves, greater self-trust and self-acceptance, and increased capacity and resilience for connecting with life in all its dynamics. Getting more comfortable with what dwells within us is the secret to authentic and resilient living.
Initially, studying Rosen Method was very difficult for me, even though it resonated with me like no other training. It does not impose on or push into the tissues of the body as in other modalities. Here was an approach where I did not have to “know” the answer for the person or “apply healing”. Rosen Method invites presence, inner awareness, meeting a body exactly as it is, and allowing and accepting what is there, instead of rushing to change or fix an unpleasant feeling.
Very slowly, with Rosen Method practitioners’ skilled guidance and touch, I learned to meet myself and the ways I judged, pushed and braced myself against my feelings and experiences. The amazing thing was, the more unpleasantness I met within myself without trying to make it go away or be explained, the more ease I eventually felt. My body’s core tension, held in for decades, began to unlock, allowing relaxation, flow and neurological regulation. I realized my chronic pain pattern was how my body dealt with buried emotions and experiences too overwhelming to integrate earlier in my life. I learned to more freely express myself in the moment and feel safe doing so.
Now that I am a Rosen Method practitioner, I watch others find healing for themselves too. Rosen Method is not about me healing anyone, nor is it about Rosen practitioners healing me. It cultivates embodied awareness, the way we experience ourselves and our environment as a whole organism through sensation, emotion, thought and meaning. Rosen Method empowers us to discover what is true and to heal ourselves, with acceptance and support from the practitioner. Reclaiming inner resources and opening to the possibilities of connecting more meaningfully with life are profound effects of Rosen Method Bodywork. It is an art form, a skill set, and an awareness that, once incorporated, becomes a way of life.