How Rolfing helped to free me from back, shoulder and jaw pain

In this conversation, Certified Rolfer® and Rolf Movement™ Practitioner, Claudia Kroczek reconnects with her client, Natasha B (33 years), 18 months after she completed her Rolfing ‘Ten Series’ to check up on her progress. A Sales Manager in a Fitness Centre, Natasha saw Claudia every two to three weeks from June to October 2016.

Claudia KroczekClaudia qualified in Rolfing in 2007 at The European Rolfing® Association in Munich. She lives in Hamburg and practices from two clinics in Volksdorf and Rümpel.

Claudia: Thank you so much for taking the time for this! It is lovely to catch up with you and thank you so much for also agreeing to share your experience of Rolfing with others. If we scroll back in time, just for the benefit of others, what was it that made you come to see me? What complaints did you have?

Natasha: “For as long as I can remember, I had a stabbing pain in my upper back, near my right shoulder blade. When stressed, I would also get recurrent tension in my jaw, as well as pains around the back of my neck that were probably brought on by that”.

Claudia: How did you come upon Rolfing as a treatment method?

Natasha: I work in the fitness industry and so I am naturally in a position to keep up with what my clients’ needs are and what types of therapy are available. For some time now, the subject of connective tissue work – or ‘fascia’ – has been very much in the headlines. If you google ‘fascia work’ in the therapy manuals, you inevitably come across Rolfing

Claudia: And how did you come across me? 

Natasha: You were recommended to me by a girl friend. She always used to suffer from back and shoulder complaints but she is now free of all that after you treated her. 

Claudia: Had you tried any therapies before coming to me? 

Natasha: Yes, I tried a variety of things but none of them helped. I’d actually come to the conclusion that I might just have to live with the pain. I had already consulted a doctor and he prescribed painkillers but they didn’t help. In addition, I had seen an acupuncturist, a physiotherapist several times, an osteopath, as well as tried working out with different machines in the gym.   

Claudia: What were your impressions after your first Rolfing session? 

Natasha: After the treatment I felt somehow lighter and the stabbing pain near my shoulder blade was no longer constantly there.

Claudia: Yes the point between the shoulder blades was as if someone had stuck a knife into it. And how did it go for you then with the subsequent course of sessions?

Natasha: From session to session, I enjoyed longer periods without pain. After the sixth session, the pain suddenly went altogether. That was like a miracle for me. 

Claudia: What about the seventh session, when we worked a lot on your head and around your mouth? You told me that you used to bite on a mouth guard to stop you grinding your teeth at night, and you suffered recurrent jaw pain. 

Natasha: After the treatment I could not believe what had happened. I no longer had any tension at all in my jaw. It was as if someone had given me a ‘new half face’. It was a really good feeling. Two days after the treatment though my neck began to feel painful and I got headaches.   I think that was a reaction to the treatment and I have heard that symptoms can in many cases intensify before they fade away. That was certainly the case with me. Sometimes one dare not be happy, out of fear that the pain will come back. However my jaw is much better and so is the back of my neck. I gave up or changed various habits which were detrimental to my posture – as you explained to me and as we also practiced together, both sitting down and moving around. 

Claudia: Yes, I recall also telling you not to think about pulling your shoulders back but to focus more on your pelvis. While, we don’t know what brought on the pain between your shoulder blades, we know that this flared up at times of stress and so I also showed you breathing techniques to help you stay calmer. I also recommended you wear a sport bra with thicker straps for added support.

Claudia: And now after completing the tenth session and a few months having elapsed, how do you feel? 

Natasha: I could hardly believe it to begin with but I am now pain-free. I am just so happy that I discovered you and Rolfing!

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