How Connective Tissue Exercises helped my neck and back pain

by Lieke Campbell, Student Dentist, Ghent, Belgium 

I am a dentistry student and in the course of my work, I started developing pain in my neck and back that stayed until the next day, even from working just short periods of time with patients. As a dentist, I have to work in an area that is small (and moving) which asks for precision and attention to detail whilst working with the instruments in the person’s mouth. To be able to see it all, I often find myself going out of the preferred ergonomic position – which is with back and neck only slightly bent – bending and turning my back and neck in all directions. This is the worst position to be in for your back and neck, as it puts a huge strain on the spine and the muscles around it. Even when knowing this fact, not wanting to cause harm to my patient can drive me into going into such a position anyway. Combine this with a little nervousness and tension about treating my first patients and this developed into neck pain.

For this pain in my neck, I felt I needed some support.

I was recommended an online session with an Esoteric Connective Tissue Therapist in Australia, and it was great. Esoteric Connective Tissue Therapy is a very gentle way of treating the body, honouring the fact that our connective tissue is what holds us all together and is the stuff through which the energy that moves our body flows. She was able to give me the connective tissue exercises I needed to support my back and neck. These consist of rhythmic gentle small movements of certain parts of my body in my thorax area. I got much more than just exercises though; as we talked about my body and the effect of the exercises during the session, I noticed how I felt I was dropping deeper into my body. Feeling my legs, arms, and neck more and from the inside out. From there I felt a level of settlement and contentedness I had not been feeling for a while. I also felt warmer and all the tension I had been feeling released, through doing these simple exercises.

One thing the practitioner said during my session stood out for me especially. She talked about appreciating my body for all the bending and turning it could do. I had never stopped to appreciate my body like that before. It was a real eye opener for me, as before I saw my body a bit as a nuisance, not able to let me easily do my job, but at that moment I could feel how willing my body was to do everything I needed. The only thing it was and is asking for was to be taken good care of and to be honoured in its limitations.

One of the ways I deeply care for it are these exercises now and I feel the benefit of them instantly. The exercises are easy to do in between patients or if I have to wait a moment during a treatment – because of their simplicity.

This one session with the Esoteric Connective Tissue Practitioner has already made something shift in my body, and I no longer have pain during or after doing my job.

By learning to appreciate and care for my body in this way, I feel I will become a much more caring practitioner, and more able to care for my patients throughout the course of my career.

Connective Tissue exercises are truly a gift from heaven that supports our body on many levels; they are applicable in many industries and dentistry is just one of them.


Read more:

  1. Dentistry IS Stressful
  2. The Body is Intelligent

603 thoughts on “How Connective Tissue Exercises helped my neck and back pain

  1. I did the Connective Tissue Level one course last weekend again and OMG! After only the first day I felt like a totally new man. I haven’t done any of the exercise yet but this blog has inspired me to do so as I have a job that has been taxing on my body over many years and the exercise I feel will truly support me as well.

  2. Connective Tissue work is a tremendously supporting technique that seeks to release ourselves where we are trapped (usually by our own making). That release only helps us to move along in the path of appreciation and confirmation of our natural beauty.

  3. Appreciating the body for all it offers us is huge but rarely practised, as it asks for us to be less abusive and deeply honouring of it.

  4. Appreciating the quality of our movements is an ever confirming process that provides a wonderful foundation of support for our bodies.

  5. What Connective Tissue Therapy and its exercises offer the body is nothing less than profound. From the simplest and tiniest of movements comes an opening and releasing of long held tension and trauma in the body which allows it to open up and connect back to its true expression. I have experienced some remarkable changes both in myself and in others from this extraordinary modality.

  6. I am constantly blown away by the power of the Connective Tissue sessions, for them to be so subtle in the actual technique yet have such a massive impact on my body. It has been a huge learning and an accepting process to understanding energy and that this is happening everywhere no matter what.

  7. Great to highlight how appreciation is key to deepening our connection and awareness with our body so that we are more tender with ourselves when we are moving rather than trying to push beyond our natural limit that separates us from being in rhythm with how our body wants to move.

  8. We expect and take for granted that everything just ‘works’, like it’s our natural birthright to be well. When you consider how illness cuts this arrogance down and helps us appreciate just being able to move around, then you can see that illness and disease is truly a massive healing for us all, to return to our natural state of grace. Thank you Lieke – I appreciate what you say and am inspired to appreciate me.

  9. I love the fact that you can look in to the longevity of your career with confidence, knowing that you have been given the techniques which can support you and thus your patients. This is so rare and beautiful, as many professions are intense and I know that many people experience burnout at one point or another, which perhaps could be avoided if we all knew how to deeply care for our bodies.

  10. “By learning to appreciate and care for my body in this way, I feel I will become a much more caring practitioner, and more able to care for my patients throughout the course of my career.”

    What you write here really is the foundation for medicine when we understand the above we become the best health professionals because the love we hold our body in is naturally shared with all.

  11. Our bodies are amazing and well worth appreciating, it’s a great point you share how we can miss this and just see it as a nuisance when we have aches or pains. And beautiful how the depth of care that you give to yourself will also support your patients.

  12. “but at that moment I could feel how willing my body was to do everything I needed.”

    A huge smile came across my face as I read this….how amazing are your bodies indeed. We are so lucky to have them 🙂

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