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Moving Toward Recovery: Rosen Method Bodywork

No licensed and certified counselor believes that an addict can achieve recovery based on individual, group, and family therapy alone. While they are essential components of any treatment program, it’s also important to engage a person’s emotional and behavioral self and teach him how to be comfortable, once again, in his or her own skin. The Rosen Method of bodywork is one way to do that.

Meet Marion Rosen

The Rosen Method of movement was initially developed by a physical therapist named Marion Rosen, who lived in Germany up until 1940. At that time she was forced to emigrate because of her religion, and she came to California. With her she brought her knowledge of bodywork and relaxation techniques, trained to make a connection between a person’s physicality and emotional state. She loved dance, and she incorporated music into her therapeutic regimens.  Her main focus was the development of bodywork that anybody could do, without stressing joints or hurting muscles.

Rosen worked at the Kaiser Medical Center in California and then started her own private practice, and the Rosen Institute opened up in the 1970s. Gradually, Rosen Method became an accepted form of treatment to help people reach inner peace through expression of the outer body. Marion Rosen passed away in 2012, but the bodywork techniques that help a person rediscover his body are her legacy.

Why Rosen Method Works

Unlike typical exercise routines that can actually cause pain, the movements are simple and basic, and they are a great way to keep the body moving and flexible.  A typical Rosen Method class utilizes movement routines set to music, taking patients through motions that stretch every muscle and move every joint, but slowly and without any pain.

Focusing on breathing is an essential part of Rosen Method bodywork. People who are stressed out from the challenges of life often forget to take those long, slow, deep breaths that relax us. They have lost the ability to express their true emotions.

The techniques that retrain people to taking those revitalizing breaths are so important because deep breathing carries many benefits. It triggers the release of endorphins into the brain. Deep exhalations rid the body of toxins. Improved blood flow means boosted energy levels.

Breathe In, Breathe Out

Breathing exercises also help the person to respond to the right-side of his brain, the emotional and artistic part. Some studies indicate that addicts struggle with the more creative right side of the brain: Normal right-brain function occluded by norepinephrine and serotonin levels mixed in with the experiences of pleasure can stymie the addict’s recovery efforts. When breathing exercises take a person into that deep, quiet part of himself that recognize his emotions, he can regain a sense of rediscovering or renewing himself.

Looking inward and reaching a point of renewal is so important to recovery from substance abuse or addiction. A person loses a sense of who he is when he’s struggling to regain a sober balance in his life. Besides the physical and mental effects of his substance of choice, there are the conflicts with family members and the battle to maintain his position in society, with his career and his social network.

Therapeutic experiences such as equine therapy, massage, art or music therapy, acupuncture, and bodywork like the Rosen Method take the patient to the right side of the brain, so that he can explore and relate to his inner self without the conflict that comes with addiction. It’s a real way to regain the essence of one’s own personality. For more information on the Rosen Method at Vista Taos Renewal Center, call 1.800.245.8267


Sober Recovery.com. What Side of Your Brain Are You Using? Left or Right? http://www.soberrecovery.com/alcoholdrugtreatment/article/drug-treatment/what-side-of-brain-you-are-using-left-or-right-brain.html

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