In this short interview Annabelle Apsion, well-known television actress featuring in many much-loved programmes such as Call the Midwife and Shameless and co-founder of Rosen Method training and personal development workshops in the UK, discusses the unique benefits the Rosen Method can bring through touch and verbal input.
What is the Rosen Method?
It’s a specific style of soft ‘listening’ touch and verbal input which helps people connect with themselves at a deeper level. It’s aim is to invite tension that is persistent or feels ‘stuck’ in their body to let go, once the unconscious part of us’ realises we don’t need that tension to be, or feel, safe any more. Because Rosen contact is both physical and verbal, client and practitioner voice observations about feelings, sensations or memories that may surface as the client relaxes. Some people describe Rosen Bodywork as mindfulness for the body because you experience a different state of being which we call ‘embodied awareness’. In normal life we have our gut feelings and our thoughts, but they are often disconnected and give us conflicting and therefore confusing messages. By relaxing deeply, body and mind feel more integrated and attuned to each other. We can listen inwards and often find simple answers to the questions that bother us in our lives.
Our outer being, our body, can influence our inner world of feeling and our feelings can cause us to tense up, for example by hunching our shoulders. Over time our bodies alter as a response to our inner state. However, that can also keep us ’stuck’ in a tense body posture that actually makes it more difficult to relax and feel open and at ease. Physical tension can suppress feelings, so as the physical tensions start to soften through Rosen, the feelings the tensions were masking can surface and be felt and integrated. That way the body no longer needs to hold in, hold back or hold down in the way it did; allowing a sense of more ease that can feel very liberating. People often feel lighter as though a weight has been lifted from their shoulders.
Some stress we may be aware of, we know about it, but we can’t ’stop’ it. So working with the body and the unconscious is a different approach to finding ways of being in our lives, that feel healthy and natural. Some stress, the kind that might show up in symptoms or disconnection – ie being too busy to notice how we feel – that kind of stress responds very well to gentleness and time too. So there is a partnership between the client and the practitioner, an exploration into what’s showing up in the body.
Physical and emotional tension as we know all too well can be reflected in so many different ways: headaches, digestive issues, feeling exhausted, short temper, loss of libido or anxiousness. Scientific research shows how important touch and connection is for our well being, and all the health benefits and hormonal changes in our body chemistry when we slow down, relax, feel met, heard, accepted and at ease.
Rosen is really something for any time in your life because it gives you a chance to slow down and listen inward by becoming aware of your body mind relationship. It’s exciting actually.
How did you get involved with it?
I went on a weekend course thinking it was a massage course, and I was amazed by the experience.
What are the benefits?
People describe a range of benefits such as less aches and pains, greater well being and sense of peace and ease in their body, improved mood and outlook, better sleep, healthier relationships. People also often comment that they find it easier to reset their priorities giving a greater sense of self respect and self appreciation. It’s about allowing yourself to unwind and enjoy being you! Rosen Method is quite a bespoke experience in that everyone is an individual and responds slightly differently so for example someone with low mood may find they feel more positive and happier, and someone running on adrenaline may find they slow down and start to make time for activities and relationships that nurture them rather than feeling wound up all the time. We also run workshops giving people a taster of some of these principles, and people can take elements of what they learn into every day life.
How do you juggle your work as a therapist and actress?
I teach more than give private sessions because I can block that time off more easily, filming schedules are notoriously unreliable!
You can find out more at www.rosenmethod.co.uk or meet the team at the Mindful Living Show on 6th – 7th March 2020 at the Business Design Centre in Islington, where you can hear Annabelle’s talk and experience a Rosen treatment.