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

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

  1. Esoteric Connective Tissue Therapy is truly a gift from Heaven that supports our body on many levels and the exercises offer a way to care for our own body.

    1. All true therapies ultimately act in the same way and that is to encourage the body to return to its naturally divine nature. These therapies never add anything they always promote a sort of a re-grouping, a reorganising of the body so that it re-assembles itself into a more harmonious way. A way that is basically in harmony with Life itself. It’s a very nuts and bolts thing, there is nothing airy fairy about any true therapy.

  2. “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” – this really stood out for me. The body is so accommodating and supporting in our movement and asks so little when in fact it deserves far greater care and attention. It feels like whether we end up developing a chronic pain that we feel like we have to learn to live with for the rest of our life lies in a very simple choice of awareness.

  3. I never heard of connective tissue until I was on a Universal Medicine course and I got to understand and appreciate what an important aspect of the body it is. So deep within yet so deeply important. So to have the Connective Tissue Therapies and exercise to work with is seriously supportive.

  4. I love the way Esoteric Connective Tissue therapy reconnects the body and anything that felt disjointed or not aligned falls back into place and not only that it also makes me feel far more expanded than my physical body itself.

  5. Appreciation for our wonderful body working alongside the Connective Tissue Therapy exercises; what an awesome combination for healing any issues in our body. Like you Lieke, I have had such incredible results from this beautiful union and deeply appreciate the healing it offers me every single day.

  6. We easily do we forget to appreciate everything our body does for us. Recently with bending I could hear and feel my heart beat and I was just in awe about it. That was my heart beating in my body and how beautiful was that!

  7. “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.” Amongst a myriad of other things that our body can do, this is just one example of how we can and do so easily take our bodies for granted. If we stopped to appreciate everything that our bodies do in every moment of every day, with that deepened awareness we would undoubtedly and willingly take more care of ourselves.

  8. It has been through building a deeper connection and relationship with my body that I now appreciate it far more and am more willing to not push it out of rhythm.

  9. Shoulder, neck and wrist pain are all the things we have been discussing at work due to working on computers all day, so it’s great to be reminded of the connective tissue exercises and having an appreciation for what the body can do, and is willing to do.

    1. Especially when your body needs to do several tasks over and over again it is crucial to build a foundation within you, that is a fitness how to hold your body to handle everything that it is asked to do.

      1. Yes, that is true. I worked in a motorway services grocery department and we would get 500 customers on one shift and I found lifting the bags a strain due to having a constant stream of customers. Then I took up the advice of an Esoteric Practitioner who told me to do some light weights as a support for the job and very quickly I found that my body could cope and the job became easier.

      2. Yes very much so. And I found that our fitness not only includes our physical fitness but also our way of being in life, emotionally, psychologically and so on as it all matters and has a huge impact. For instance thinking badly about ourselves all the time wears us out too.

      3. It has a huge effect how we “hold” ourselves in life – I realised I do not have to do weights, as how I hold my upper body in life and whilst working as a photographer is exercising me enough now.

  10. It is amazing to have modalities, such as the Universal Medicine modalities, available to us that work in honor of and with the intelligence of the body and Soul, supporting the body and being to return to a state of harmony and union along with the understanding of what energy was behind the ill-momentum. This is what offers true healing and empowerment, supporting us to live with greater responsibility of taking care of our own health and well-being as much as possible.

    1. I agree. Dentists, Hairdressers, Carers, Nurses….the list is endless. Anyone in fact who works in a way that involves putting any kind of repetitve strain on their body would benefit from Connective Tissue Therapy training.

      1. And just imagine what it will be like going to the hairdresser who knew this… How amazing it would feel as they did your hair…Well I can imagine 🙂

      2. We all put our bodies under strain constantly regardless of what we do for a living or what our personal circumstances are. The very fact that we’re not living the truth of who we all are is a massive strain on our bodies because our bodies are having to live in a way that is not natural to them. We are the divine order of the universe, and as such should be living as an integrated part of the whole but we’re not, we’re living like teeny tiny parts that are constantly trying to pull away from The Mother Ship.

  11. I have noticed this too as a physio – that we tend to compromise our own bodies in order to support someone elses! How does this make sense that to help someone else we need to wreck our own bodies? And yet this is the reality for many health care professionals.

  12. Recently Universal Medicine practitioner Kate Greenaway presented the Connective Tissue Movements to three different kinds of audiences – one of students, one of healthcare workers and one with general public. All three instantly could feel the benefits of these exercises and how they can be so easily used in everyday life. It is super supportive for all but even more so for those who have physical jobs.

  13. When we feel discomfort we can be quick to complain, yet do we appreciate the time when we are able to move freely, to bend and twist, to dance and play and just enjoy our own body?

  14. Connective Tissue Therapy can sometimes allow us to feel what has been suppressed in the body for example someone who has had a severe accident and lost feeling in their legs can begin to feel again. This can be disconcerting but actually may be a sign that the connective tissue is coming alive again and a flow is being restored.

  15. Building our awareness of what’s going on in our bodies gives us more awareness of our reactions, thoughts, feelings and emotions- and then the clarity to see some of our behaviours and patterns more clearly. In my experience, building a relationship with my body has started to bring more appreciation of all that it does and carries me through; a foundation that makes me want to look after it more carefully, treasure it more deeply.

  16. What I love about Esoteric Connective Tissue is that it asks me to surrender, so as soon as I think about doing any of the super gentle stretches or exercises I have already started to put my body into a more gentle state of being and this in itself supports the body and any pain I may have begins to disappear.

  17. I love how this session supported you to realise that your body is actually working with you and all it is asking is for you to work with it too. A two way street that has amazing benefits and results.

  18. Connective tissue therapy will one day be an essential part of healthcare for humanity.… It really is inevitable considering the incredible quality of this modality.

  19. ” She talked about appreciating my body for all the bending and turning it could do.’
    I had never seen it this way and I was thinking of all the turning and bending and twisting my body has done over my whole life.

  20. It is astonishing to learn that a physical pain can be dealt with via an online session, with no hands on treatment from a practitioner. Sure, you get given the exercise, but there must be an amazing level of alignment and communication between you and the practitioner for this to happen.

  21. We often take our body for granted, yet when we truly appreciate the support and wisdom it offers us, I have found through Esoteric Connective Tissue we learn to move in a different way.

  22. I have been suffering from some lower back pain recently and was wondering if Connective Tissue Exercises might help, so it’s very interesting to read that some simple exercises were such a great support, as not only did they help on a physical level but in a way that taught you to appreciate the amazing body you are in rather than be annoyed at its failings. I can feel how I have gotten irritated with my body and the pain it is causing rather than appreciating what it’s telling me and all it does for me throughout the day.

  23. Connective Tissue Exercises feel as if they would be extremely gentle movements to the body that even those who have long term pain or injury could do as it’s moving the body from the inside with absolute body awareness rather than from the head. I have never done Connective Tissue Exercises but I’m interested in how it may support people in a far more gentle way than other forms of therapy.

  24. Reading this reminds me of the importance of taking care of our whole body, not ignoring aches or pains and what they may be communicating to us. And by caring for our body we give ourselves a sound foundation from which we can more deeply care for others.

    1. Very true Fiona, just the other day I caught myself ignoring a gentle communication from my lower back and pushing through, resulting in major back ache the next day. I realise my body had nudged me to look at something I was not feeling or was not taking care of in my way of living but as I ignored the nudge, it had to become quite loud to get my attention. It was a great reminder to deepen the level of care with myself, not just for me, but because I have a responsibility in how I care for others.

  25. For me too, “Connective Tissue exercises are truly a gift from heaven” as making a commitment to doing them at least once a day has been the difference between a body that was once full of pain and stiffness to a body that is relatively pain-free and much more supple. It is such a joy to now move in this new version of me and I often wonder how I managed to move in the very uncomfortable way that I did, for so long.

  26. When we treat our body as something more than a thing that we need to function in life, we can start to appreciate how important it is to move in a quality of tenderness and gentleness.

  27. We make life about push and pull, right and wrong, fight or flight when it’s all about flow. Connective Tissue exercises show us our true strength lives in appreciating how connected we are. Thank you Lieke.

  28. The profound effectiveness of these simple exercises cannot be underestimated. By bringing our full attention and focus to our bodies when making even the smallest movements, we are supporting our bodies in ways that go far beyond just the physical movements. A daily routine of Connective Tissue exercises can literally be life changing.

  29. We give so much attention to our ‘attractiveness’ and the makeup of our face and body shape, but you’ve brought up a great topic Lieke which is that our body is made up of cells, connective tissue, muscle, skeleton and thousands of other structures which have a huge impact on our everyday, but do we value these or appreciate them at all? Or pretend they don’t exist until we get the news that something has gone wrong?

  30. ‘our connective tissue is what holds us all together and is the stuff through which the energy that moves our body flows.’ I love how you describe our connective tissue, just very simple and after reading this everybody will and is able to understand the importance of its role in the body.

  31. “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 🙂

  32. 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.

  33. “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.

  34. 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.

  35. 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.

  36. 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.

  37. 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.

  38. 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.

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

  40. 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.

  41. 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.

  42. 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.

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s