Complementary Practitioner In Focus: Ralph Maliphant
Many of our clients are familiar with Ralph and The Rosen Method, because they have benefited greatly from the wonderful work he does. Many have commented that The Rosen Method works really well alongside the work that we do as Hypnotherapists
To contact Ralph you can call him directly. Tel: 07967 285 203
At the tender age of fourteen, I knew I would become a Research Scientist immersed in the wonders of ionospheric radio-wave propagation. I didn’t know about research then but wanted to be involved in the ‘nitty-gritty’ (I discovered the magic of long-distance radio communication through learning to build short-wave radios at a local workshop). The wonders of the unseen world occupy me just as much now as they did then, but my concern has moved to the inner life of the individual.
I’d always had an interest in the body as well as the mind, and retiring in 2003 gave me the opportunity to change my focus of concern. I’d nearly died some years earlier when a torn Achilles Tendon resulted in blood clots invading my lungs, and I felt that in my remaining time I should be involved in the care and rehabilitation of human beings.
I spent one year training in therapeutic massage and another year training in advanced methods of dynamic massage, working efficiently with the body to the benefit of practitioner and client. I’d become very involved in studying the intimate relationship between mind and body and, during my massage training, submitted a 50-page research report entitled ‘Not All In The Mind: The Somatic Counterpart of Emotional Disturbance.’ My studies paved the way to recognising the significance of Rosen Method Bodywork when introduced to it a few years later. I discovered the power of this gentle approach and, after nearly three years in training, qualified as an Intern in February 2012.
Marion Rosen became part of an extraordinary therapeutic community in Munich during the 1930s using touch and breath techniques to relax patients before they received their psychotherapy sessions: relaxation and somatic awareness was found to facilitate the emergence of non-conscious material. During her two year training, Marion joined her brother who was a psychiatrist at the Tavistock Clinic in the UK, and she worked with psychiatric patients there before travelling to Sweden where she studied physical therapy. Marion had a great love of movement and absorbed information about how bodies move freely and expressively during her massage work with dancers. At the age of 24, she emigrated to the USA and completed her physical training at the Mayo Clinic before settling in California where she developed a flourishing private practice.
Marion Rosen described her method as a way to access feelings and experiences through the body; a way to access the unconscious through touch. Her favourite quote came from the Gnostic Gospels: “If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is in you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.” She believed that the body does not lie and when we bring our compassionate awareness to our sensations and feelings we come to the truth of who we are.
Our bodies develop protective postural and muscular patterns that contain and control forbidden impulses, needs, and memories. We started hiding ourselves away in childhood, unconsciously burying our feelings when adapting to the demands of those around us. This creates a pattern in which we lose contact with our true self with all its richness. The Rosen bodyworker acts as a catalyst by being there with you, using soft hands that connect, and the organism responds, unravelling the tensions to reconnect with the hidden self. Over time, as the body changes, the self emerges anew.
Just as traumatic experience forces the nervous system to respond in ways that are outside normal functioning, traumatic events are encoded differently, not processed by the higher centres of the brain that make sense of emotional experience. Rosen Method Bodywork is especially suited to working with the long-term psychophysiological effects of traumatic experience as well as the many tensions resulting from unresolved childhood distress: as Mark Epstein said in ‘The Trauma of Everyday Life’: “We are all traumatised by life, by its unpredictability, its randomness, its lack of regard for our feelings and the losses it brings.”
Marion Rosen said: “This work is about transformation – from the person we think we are to the person we really are.”
By Ralph Maliphant