The Arnica oil felt wonderful

Lees dit in het Nederlands

Door Redactie - In: diversen, therapie - 17 January 2012

Stroom gives the floor to... Ineke Bootsma (50) from Zutphen, who was treated by anthroposophic physiotherapist Bert de Brouwer  By Petra Essink

The Arnica oil felt wonderful

'At some point about two years ago, I suddenly developed a severe pain in my right shoulder. At the time, I was in England, attending a course on social threefolding. The pain was unbearable. One of my fellow course participants happened to be a practitioner of anthroposophic medicine. She found that I had dislocated my shoulder. She asked me to lie down on a table, resting the joint on the table and dangling my arm. This allowed her to put my shoulder back in place. This relieved the worst of the pain, however, the area continued to feel sore. Over the two years that followed, the pain did not let up, I experienced quite the reverse. More and more frequently, I had to ask for assistance, for example when putting on my coat. This was a new experience, as I am used to being able to do everything for myself. After a while, I could only sleep on my right side, so that I could dangle my arm from the bed to relieve the pain. Looking back, I waited too long to do something about it, but I am not one who is quick to see a doctor. I just assumed the pain would eventually go away.

In the end, it was my neighbour who suggested, several times: "Why don't you go see Bert de Brouwer, the anthroposophic physiotherapist. I think his approach would suit you." I looked at his website and within three days, I had an appointment with him. The introduction and conversation itself was brief; he more or less started the treatment right away. What I liked about Bert was the fact that he was a man of few words - while he was treating me. He simply treated the problem I had presented with. I immediately felt that I was in the hands of someone who knew what he was doing. Not only did he treat my painful shoulder; my back and legs were given a massage, too. The treatment itself was very rhythmical, I noticed he used lemniscate movements, too. For the massage, he used Weleda Arnica oil, which felt wonderful and smelled lovely. The treatment lasted for about thirty minutes, after which I was wrapped in woollen blankets and told to lie back and rest quietly for another half hour. I didn't like that much, because I don't usually rest during the day. Sleeping is something I do in bed at night.

After my second treatment, again I was told to rest, this time with a beeswax pack - a warm slab of beeswax - between my shoulders. It gave off a wonderful scent and felt very warm. I understood that the time of rest and the heat were necessary for the treatment to settle.  I surrendered to it as best I could. After the third treatment, which took place within three months of the first, my pain had disappeared completely. I thought that was very special. Without psychologizing, Bert de Brouwer also provided me with some pieces of advice. "Try and be a little nicer to yourself and try and let go more. And keep that shoulder warm." He didn't elaborate on what it was exactly that I should 'let go', he left that to my own creativity. But that was all I needed, because I understood what he meant.

Now, three months since the treatments and after a backpacking holiday in Ireland, my shoulder is holding up remarkably well. It's only very rarely that I feel 'something' coming on. When that happens, I take a good look at the responsibilities I've been taking on, and when I find that there are things that don't belong with me, I place them elsewhere. As a result, my shoulders remain 'free and unburdened'. Physically, I don't spare my shoulder - I understand now that that is not my pitfall. By setting boundaries and only agreeing to things I can take on without having to wriggle, I am being ‘nicer’ to myself. It's less often now that I say: "Here, let me do that." '


s I Bert de Brouwer is an anthroposophic physiotherapist, craniosacral therapist and Bowen therapist. He practices in De Stroom in Zutphen and the therapeutic centre in Arnhem.