In the 1930s, Marion Rosen (1914 – 2012) studied breath and relaxation in Munich, Germany, with Lucy Heyer. Heyer worked with Dr. Gustav Heyer, who was her husband and a student and colleague of Carl Jung’s. Lucy Heyer and Marion did “breath massage” on patients who then saw Dr. Heyer for psychoanalysis. The Heyers found that with the bodywork, the patients could access their unconscious material more easily and the analysis was accelerated.
Because of her Jewish origins, Marion had to flee Germany at the beginning of World War II. She came to America in 1940 and settled in Berkeley, California. For many years she worked as a physical therapist, first at Kaiser Medical Center and then in private practice.
While working as a physical therapist in Oakland, Marion was asked by several patients how they could prevent aches and pains and avoid physical therapy treatments. This question inspired Marion to begin teaching movement classes in 1956.
Rosen Method developed over the years that Marion practiced physical therapy and taught her movement classes. Marion observed that clients who talked about their lives recovered more quickly and did not come back as often with the same problems. She watched for the interconnections between the physical posture and the emotional state of the person, and noticed how the body is a living metaphor of a person’s inner state.
In the mid-seventies Marion began to teach and draw more specifically on her early training in breath massage and bodywork. As the body/mind renaissance flourished in California, students were drawn to Marion and her gentle, powerful work. Eventually, the Rosen Institute was formed and Rosen Method training centers were established in many countries around the world. Rosen Method is now a recognized modality for somatic exploration and personal growth, as well as a powerful complementary healing therapy.
Marion’s purpose was to realize a vision of health and well-being by making the benefits of the Rosen Method widely available to the general public. Through her unique approach to bodywork and movement, she gained recognition as a leader and originator in the field of body-oriented therapies.
Marion passed away on January 18, 2012. The legacy of her lifetime has planted seeds for the future. Her enduring gift to humanity lives on through many hands. Today Rosen practitioners and teachers all over the world help awaken the aliveness in each of us through simple touch and movement.