Vagus-Nerve & Breath


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


Interaction of Vagus Nerve, Breath, Body and Psyche


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


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

In the three-day, practice-oriented course, techniques are taught that reduce stress reactions and balance muscle tone. In this way, the space for our breath can be expanded and more options made available for regulating our emotion

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)

New ways of understanding the complex relationship between human cognition, the autonomic nervous system and social behaviour.

  • Deep insights into the respiratory system and its essential physiological functions.

  • Link between our breathing and our emotional state, health and well-being.

  • Influence of breathing rhythm on our autonomic nervous system and emotions.

  • Strengthening our immune function thanks to breath movement.

Especially in these times, it is helpful to increase our respiratory capacity and thereby stay strong and resilient.

In the practical part of the course:

  • Specific exercises and techniques developed by Stanley Rosenberg to regulate the state of the autonomic nervous system.

  • Reduction of stress reaction and tension in the muscle tissue.

  • Simple, highly effective techniques to stretch and mobilise the tissues surrounding the chest, reducing the neuromuscular defences that can arise from the suppression of emotional responses or traumatic experiences.


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 www.bildungspraemie.info