What is Rosen Method Bodywork?

Rosen Method Bodywork Practitioners combine sensory input through direct touch and verbal dialogue to deepen awareness of our clients inner experience and explore the connections between the body, mind, and emotions.

Rosen Method Practitioners engage the stopped movement (habitual tension) in our clients, and a  conversation between our client’s body and our hands develops. We listen with our hands to our client”s body. and it assists our clients to bypass the conscious mind and drop into pure awareness. It allows our client’s unconscious and unfelt feelings to arise.

Added to this conversation between our client’s body and our “listening hands”, the verbal dialogue between practitioner and client can deepen awareness of the mind/body connection in the client. The dialogue can also respectfully question the (once very useful) unconscious strategies for protection in the muscle tension, bring awareness to the potential cost (to the lives of our clients) of the tension, and investigate the possibilities of other choices.


People use their musculature to express their emotions, but when emotions are not accepted or feelings are not allowed, we also use our musculature to repress or contain the feelings.

Muscular holding over time becomes an unconscious habit that can cause chronic pain. The muscles have “forgotten” how to relax.

As a Rosen Method Practitioner, I work to “enliven” the muscles rather than to manipulate the muscles or “make” my clients relax. We all put the tension into our bodies at one time for a very good reason and it is not up to me to decide if it is still necessary for my clients.

The idea is to invite relaxation and to bring consciousness to my clients so that they can make a choice about whether or not it is safe to let go.


To deepen awareness in my client, I may talk to him/her about how their body is responding under my hands, about the statement that their body is making through the tension, or about their holding. When we work in this way, sometimes memories and/or long held beliefs arise.

We often get in touch with what has been contained by the habitual muscle tension in the client’s body and what happened that the tension was necessary.

When feelings are allowed, the muscle softens, because the tension is no longer needed to hold the feeling down. This frees energy, previously used in holding the muscle, to be used for other purposes.

Often, too, the circumstances in our lives have changed and the reason we originally needed contain our feelings is no longer present.

Awareness and insights gained in a session often lead to new possibilities and clarity in our lives.

As a Rosen worker, I am also very focused on the diaphragm and what happens to the breath although I don’t often talk about it in a session (because I don’t want to draw attention to the breath – I am interested in the”unperformed” breath).

Marion Rosen, Founder of Rosen Method Bodywork, saw that when the diaphragm lets go something would happen to the body.

When the diaphragm lets go, then that feeling of trust very often comes in. At that point worries, considerations and insecurities no longer matter; another space is opening up. The diaphragm swings and we are at peace with our aliveness,” said Marion Rosen in an interview with Mara Lynn Keller, Ph.D.

And when the trust comes to the body then surrender can also come. “This surrendering could be to God’ or to that sense of connection to the larger whole; to something beyond self. It means surrendering the feeling that it is all up to me, that I have to do it all myself,” said Gloria Hessellund in the same interview.

To facilitate this kind of experience, Marion Rosen taught me as a student not to have an agenda, not to have an answer, but to sit in stillness, patience and acceptance of another’s suffering.

I attempt to just be present with myself, with the client, and to sense the authentic self beneath the holding.

To learn more and for Rosen Method: the Berkeley Center class offerings connect to:

Rosen Method

“This work is about transformation–from the person we think we are to the person we really are.”
–Marion Rosen PT, Founder of Rosen Method Bodywork and Rosen Method Movement

What’s a session like?

In a private Rosen Method session with Meg, gentle touch and verbal dialogue follow the breath to invite relaxation and awareness.

As this process unfolds, truths held in the body surface and a deeper self emerges.

While many come to Rosen Method for support with physical injury, others are drawn to the work as a tool for healing and personal growth.

I generally begin sessions with my clients lying (draped and in their underwear) prone on a massage table, but I am always sensitive to my clients needs for comfort – around clothing and position on the table.  I don’t typically use a face cradle, because I am watching for changes on the face and in tone of voice, and too much information is lost when clients are face down in a face cradle. As the session progresses, I will have you turn over.

I get a sense of where my clients hold tension, where they allow movement (or not), and where my curiosity about my client begins. I “listen” with my hands to the subtle changes in muscular tension and breathing.

My client and I may talk about what they are aware of, how their body is responding under my hands, or what happened that they needed the tension in their life.

This is not something that I do to a client, but is a journey that we take together as my client’s truth unfolds.

What happens in each session is individual and will change from session to session.

Sessions last a full hour on the table. Expect to be in my office for about an hour and 15 minutes to allow for time to get on and off the table.

Rosen Method Bodywork is beneficial in single sessions and in a short series of sessions. It is most effective, and goes deepest as an ongoing process.

Rosen Method Bodywork is contraindicated for some individuals, so please call Meg at 805.684.0356 to find out if this work is right for you.
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