For ten years and longer I was continuously suffering from pain in my joints – hips, knees, shoulders and spine. When sitting for longer periods, the pain would become almost unbearable, longer car rides became torture. Alternative medicine like Osteopathie and Chinese medicine did not help. Rheuma, allergies and finally fibromyalgia where considered as diagnosis and then ruled out by my doctors.
With 56 I had made peace with the idea that a few painkillers a week would not do too much damage. And that I would no longer be able to go hiking or running. Then I read an ad by Jochen Stechmann, dancer and bodyworker. Maybe someone who was familiar with movement, he might be able to help me more that a physiotherapist or an osteopath.
We started to explore my body in sessions- its posture and its flexibility. Suddenly, pains in my left knee increased. A arthroscopic surgery helped remove that issue. A spot at on the right side of the base at my skull that had always been sensitive to pressure came into focus. Jochen worked on it again and again, and I started to remember that this was where my mother used to grab me, forcefully directing my movements when I was a boy.
I shed a lot of tears in those sessions. While being soothed by an open, empathetic therapist. Slowly I learned how to let go of extra muscular tension. Yes, it appeared to be possible to cycle while relaxing my buttocks!
I learned to breath into every corner of my body. Then I came to notice that I had much more flexibility than other people of my age. And that my body was following me full of dedication. But that I myself had to listen to this body as well.
Jochen massaged and kneeded, he worked on reflex point at my feet, he caressed and stroked the same places over and over. Through reminding me of breathing he taught me to listen to my physical sensation and to learn how to read them. Sometimes in a trance-like state.
My pains were the result of years of bad posture and extra tension. Thanks to Jochen, I became able to balance those tensions, to find the ways of moving and holding myself that my body needed and wanted. And in this way, it suddenly felt easy and without any effort, as if things happened by itself.
Yes, I went for treatment for an hour each week. Yes, the period lasted a whole summer and autumn. And yes, it took another six months after to be completely without pain.
When we started, I decided to accept this hypothesis: That chronic pain is more an issue of my brain than of my joints. That this brain of mine needed to work out new connections to process physical sensation without giving alarm signals. Without Jochen I would have never managed to do so. He is a magician who knows his profession very well.