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.