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The Healing Power of the Vagus Nerve


3-day course in Berlin, led by Thor Philipsen, long-time student and companion of Stanley Rosenberg


This course will provide an in debt insight into the Polyvagal Theory developed and researched by neuroscientist and Psychiatrist professor Stephen Porges. Studies have shown that human relationships are the most important factor for health and happiness. The Polyvagal theory is an easy model for any health practitioner towards a new understanding of the complex relationship between human perception, the autonomic nervous system and social behavior including states of stress, depression and our inherited nature of love. The focus on this course will be a practical hands-on application of the polyvagal theory with techniques developed by Stanley Rosenberg and Thor Philipsen.


The course is held in English and will be translated into German. 

We comply with the venue’s current health/hygiene regulations!

Start: 20.08.2021, 09:00 

End: 22.08.2021, 17:00 

Venue: Berlin School for Zen Shiatsu, Wittelsbacherstr. 16, 10707 Berlin - Wilmersdorf 

Cost: 620,- EUR

Note: The number of places is limited due to the intensive supervision of the practical work.



The Polyvagal Theory

The polyvagal theory was developed and investigated by neuroscientist and psychiatrist Stephen Porges. When Porges explored the complex interaction of the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems in the 1990s, he found that the vagus nerve consists of two parts: the ventral and the dorsal branches. Only when both are in balance do we feel safe. In this state of social affinity, we are open to touch, contact and communication.


The polyvagal theory offers the chance to understand the multi-layered connections between our perception, the autonomic nervous system and our social behaviour.


Stanley Rosenberg


Stanley Rosenberg, born in America, has lived in Denmark for many years; he has been a body therapist for 50 years and is the author of 5 books. Stanley Rosenberg first met Stephen Porges in 2001 and they became friends, holding four seminars together in the USA and Denmark.


Stanley Rosenberg has extracted the primary principles of Polyvagal Theory and developed a “hands-on” method with specific exercises and techniques that help people enter a state of safety, bringing the nervous system into a balanced state and promoting a physiologically healthy equilibrium.


His book “Accessing the Healing Power of the Vagus Nerve” became a bestseller and has been translated into 13 languages.


Course content


The theoretical part of the course:

Teaching the basics of Stephen Porges’ polyvagal theory: hierarchically organised subsystems of the autonomic nervous system that influence our neurobiological reactions:


  • The ventral parasympathetic branch of the vagus nerve: for the social engagement system

  • The sympathetic system: mobilisation (fight-flight behaviour)

  • The dorsal parasympathetic branch of the vagus: immobilisation (rigidity)

In the practical part of the course:

The specific exercises and hands on techniques developed by Stanley Rosenberg and Thor Philipsen to regulate the state of the autonomic nervous system.


  • Recognise different neural circuits that initiate certain behaviours.

  • Techniques aimed at reducing the stress response

  • Techniques aimed at reducing the tone of tension and muscles in the body

Teacher: Thor Philipsen


“I have had the honour of having Stanley as my personal mentor for almost half my life, and the blessing of continuing his fantastic legacy.”

Thor Philipsen, born and raised in Denmark, studied with Stephen Porges. He has a BA in psychomotor therapy and wrote his thesis on polyvagal theory and its practical application in the treatment of autism.Thor Philipsen met Stanley Rosenberg 20 years ago and has worked closely with him ever since. This has enabled him to study, adopt and develop in depth Stanley’s methods and ways of working.In addition to working with Stanley Rosenberg for many years, he studied at the European School of Osteopathy and the Wernham Institute of Classical Osteopathy in Maidstone, UK.Thor Philipsen is a lecturer at Kirchzarten “IAK Forum International” as well as at Sri Sri University in Cuttac, India, where he leads the MSc programme in Osteopathy.Over the last five years Stanley Rosenberg has travelled and taught exclusively with Thor Philipsen. Together they have spread the “The Healing Power of the Vagus Nerve” method throughout the world.Thor Philipsen is enthusiastically continuing Stanley’s life’s work, spreading and teaching the methods they have developed together in numerous courses all over the world.

Advice to participants


This course is for anyone with experience of working with the body.

Previous “hands-on” work with clients is an advantage, but not required.

For the theoretical part we recommend the book

Accessing the Healing Power of the Vagus Nerve by Stanley Rosenberg .

Bildungsprämie (training bonus)

In Germany, you can apply for a bonus of up to EUR 500 per year for continuing education.

One of the conditions is a taxable annual income of max. EUR 20,000 (EUR 40,000 for jointly-taxed couples).


More Information at

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