“ ...the body doesn't lie. Sometimes when we are asked a question and we answer with our thinking, we can influence our thinking, but the body the breath especially cannot be influenced. Something very spontaneous occurs which we can feel with our hands. We can gain access to experiences and feelings that otherwise are not accessible. ”
Marion Rosen in an interview with Joseph Roberts in "Common Ground," March 1998
Marion Rosen began developing her method in apprenticeship to a Jungian analyst and massage practitioner team who found that bodywork in conjunction with psychotherapy made the emotions more quickly accessible and healing work of shorter duration. After immigrating to the U.S. to escape the Nazi regime, she trained and worked as a physical therapist. Years later, as she approached retirement, she was asked to teach the method she'd developed over a period of time. Rosen is now well into her 90s and still teaches her method to therapists who want to learn to help people uncover emotions through the profound relaxation that results from this very specific kind of touch.
What happens in the course of a session with a client?Cameron Justam: Talking and touch during the same session. The person being treated lies on the massage table. I do a very soft, light, gliding touch to see where there's tension, all the while observing the person's breathing. Then I go back to the tight spots and meet the tension with the same kind of tension that's in the muscle--it's not a matter of breaking through the tightness as in deep tissue work. As I "meet" the tension the muscle begins to relax and the person I am working with goes into a very relaxed state. I might make comments about what I notice. I might ask questions. You take in words from a practitioner more easily when you're in a relaxed state. Most importantly, the body is holding the unconscious. This is a way to access it.
What is the experience like for you as a Rosen practitioner?
Cameron: I have to be in a state of self-awareness and relaxation myself and see what comes to me. The most challenging aspect of this work for me is to tell my truth in the moment about what I am noticing. I need to be an observer without judgment. The body always tells the truth but our culture doesn't encourage us to tell the truth.
Is there anything about experiencing the Rosen Method that might take some getting used to for a client new to the experience?
Cameron: Lying on a massage table. Surrender. It is a great privilege for a client to allow you to be with them in this way.
What results have you seen from this work?
Cameron: A series of incremental shifts that add up to somebody who is more present. The more of your unconscious that comes into consciousness, the more you know about yourself and the more present you are. A person might say, "There's more of me here now."
The above article expresses the opinions of the author and doesn't necessarily reflect the views of other members of the Women's Therapy Referral Service.