I recently began trading Rosen Method Bodywork sessions with a colleague. It’s been a while since I received this work and I am feeling grateful for the opportunity. I had forgotten how powerful it is, and how profound it is to be touched in this way. There’s something very special about the touch used in Rosen. We use the phrase “to meet the other” to describe its intention.

I think we all long to be met right where we are, as we are, and when I work with someone whether on the table or sitting and talking, I always make that my intention first and foremost. In Rosen we do this with touch. It’s challenging to describe what that means from the practitioner’s standpoint. We spend a minimum of three years to learn how to do it! But from the inside, as the one being touched, it feels like the other person sees you with their hands.

The effect of this amazing touch is to be invited to feel and know oneself from deep inside. There’s so many places inside our bodies where we’ve abandoned ourselves for various reasons. The invitation is to reclaim these places and parts of ourselves. In my last session I felt a place under my right lower rib cage where I had put away the feeling of awe and wonder. At some point in my childhood it had simply not been okay to have those feelings and so I closed off from them. It was incredibly moving to reconnect with them in the session. It felt like a portal had opened up inside me to other realms.

I think some people fear bodywork because it has this power. We usually imagine the worst, such as repressed traumatic memories coming to the surface. And this can certainly happen. But often it’s also positive feelings or memories we’ve had to repress in order to survive. We make decisions early on in life about what’s safe or real. What is cynicism but the repression of hope and optimism in the face of repeated and/or extreme disappointment.

The process of reclaiming the self from the insults and injuries of the past is only one aspect of healing. As we occupy more and more of our bodies, so much more of who we are is revealed. It is an awakening to new possibilities, new ways of being and moving through the world.