Marion Rosen was born June 24, 1914 in Nuremberg, Germany. Her family lived in the country, and she enjoyed their gardens and being outdoors. As a young woman in the 1930s she met and trained with Lucy Heyer, whose form of touch therapy included relaxation techniques and breath awareness. Dr.Gustav Heyer, Lucy Heyer’s husband, was a psychoanalyst and colleague of Carl Jung. Clients would see Dr. Heyer for talk therapy and then see Lucy Heyer for the bodywork therapy. They were exploring combining work with the mind and body in the treatment of patients long before this approach was generally embraced by practitioners.
In the 1930s Marion began to encounter the adversity and persecution that Jewish individuals were experiencing during the rise of Hitler. Marion left Germany and stayed in Sweden with her sister waiting until she could travel to the United States. During her time in Sweden she studied physical therapy. She met a dance teacher, and since Marion was fascinated by how our bodies move, the teacher let her watch the dancers as a way to see the body in motion. Several years later Marion was able to travel to the United States. She landed in California and settled in Berkeley where she remained throughout her life.
In the United States she studied at the Mayo Clinic and became licensed to practice in California as a physical therapist. For many years she worked as a physical therapist, first at Kaiser Medical Center and then in private practice. During this time Marion began to incorporate ideas from her earlier training in relaxation techniques and breath awareness. Over the years of practicing physical therapy, Marion began to notice that when clients shared their life experiences, their aches and pains would begin to disappear and their joy of life would return.
In 1980 Marion began her first training program in Rosen Method Bodywork with 10 students completing this first class. Later, Marion developed a Rosen Method Movement training program. Now there are training centers in many countries which include trainings in both bodywork and movement.
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Marion Rosen’s unique approach to both bodywork and movement modalities has earned her recognition as a leader and originator in the field of body oriented therapies. Marion continued working until the last several months of her life. She died January 18, 2012.