With a name like the muscle whisperer Sophia Kulpse needs no introduction.
Author of three books, Desperately seeking a Pain free you, The Keys to unlocking your back pain, Pain-free: and Easier steps to a healthier, happier you. In addition to her clinics in both Harley Street, London and Leeds, Yorkshire where she carries out weekly appointments using her holistic ‘Langellotti Tri-Therapy’ to those suffering back, neck and shoulder aches. In between travelling the world to speak at universities and conferences on the subject.
When I was invited to experience her unique technique it was like a call from the Gods. I have and have been suffering with severe neck and shoulder pain for as long as I can remember but I would say it’s at least 2 years since I last had a day without it. I’ve blamed everything from my lack of exercise, to my mattress to my diet for this. All of which are a contributing factor, more of which later, but I never considered for a moment that this might actually be being caused by past emotional trauma and unresolved relationship issues. But that’s exactly what Sophia has made her living from after it having a massive positive effect on her own personal life making her so passionate about its life changing benifits that she is about to embark on a masters degree dedicated to the research into the link between emotional and physical pain.
On my arrival we sit and have a consultation. She doesn’t ask me anything overly personal in terms of relationships but she does ask me about diet, exercise, whether I smoke and drink and so on. She then goes on to explain her ‘LT Therapy’ a unique massage technic that uses an advanced three-way system to heal acute and chronic Back and Body Pain. By resetting muscle memory using the Tri- method, physical pain is instantly reduced, allowing deep-rooted emotional stress, the cause of pain, to be dissolved specifically held in the neck, shoulder and back muscles.
She also explains anatomical facts such as how acidic influences (such as alcohol ) are significant factors in muscular pain, owing to the fact these release lactic acid, which if not naturally dispelled will result in knots building within the muscle. Makes sense to me so far. She then goes on to say that emotional stress has the same effect, as the stress hormone Cortisol releases lactic acids and so family feuds, issues within the workplace and so on can also have a detrimental effect on the body.
She explains that she will be performing her Tri-method starting with an advanced muscle release technic which starts with a massage using hot volcanic stone and ice marble to reduce the swelling and then draw out the toxins in order to re-set the muscles but that I should not expect it to be a particularly relaxing experience and states that not only can it be physically uncomfortable but that for some clients it can be emotionally painful too as she will be talking through the process and literally hitting on raw nerves in every sense of the word. As such there’s no candles or soothing music and the room and experience have a very medical feel to it with anatomical drawings decorating the room.
With that she invites me to lay on the bed face front to begin. She starts by explaining that the back is separated into sections, which is taken from Eastern medicine theory. Like reflexology, each part of the back refer to a particular piece of the individuals past, with the left side being tied to masculine relationships and the right to female relationships.When you build up emotional stress with a male partner/parent/sibling, pain is held on the left side of the neck, female partners/parents/siblings are held on the right side of the neck. Ex-male partners are held on the left shoulder and female ex-partners on the right shoulder. The back acts as a timeline with the lower back as the early years moving upwards towards the shoulders.
As such the back represents the conscious and unconscious mind and it’s thinking pattern, through the muscle memory system. This ‘Mind Map’ of the back, allows Sophia to pinpoint the who, what and why, back pain exists in the individual.
We start at the beginning. She senses there is something on the male side of my back in the lower section. She asks me about my relationship with my father. Good as a kid but we don’t speak or see each other very much anymore as I have become a grown up and he doesn’t spend any time at all with my kids. She says that this pain might be reflected later up. However, I chose not share at that moment that I was actually subjected to sexual abuse as a child from a male family friend. It feels too early to open up to her about something I’ve rarely spoken about. It something I’ve never had therapy for and I wasn’t really aware of at the time such was my innocence, with the realisation hitting me much later in life about what had happened to me. On the right side there’s not much pain or discomfort and she explains this is often the case as these are our naive years. As she moves into my middle back on the left side she touches me and I’m in agony. She pinpoints that there is something from my late teens/early twenties, she guesses at a pregnancy termination. Right on the money, I share with her the fact I had an abortion that I have never really got over which came with a broken heart also. Now she has my attention. As does her LT Technique.
As we move up I discover over and over her pinpointing painful memory with physical pain. But she’s no fortune teller asking me probing questions and second guessing the answer, and I find her to be blunt and to the point, which is something I personally prefer. For example she pinpoints that my relationship with my mother starts to break down around the same time as my termination. I tell her that my mother didn’t want me to terminate and wanted instead to help me bring the child up as her and my father were separating and I feel she wanted the baby as a band aid to fix her own marriage. She states that she thinks my mother has never forgiven me and is unlikely to at this point and that I must instead find my own peace with this. Her words are like a sledge hammer to me but surprisingly I find comfort in her frank advice.
Unsurprisingly she finds most of my physical pain to be located in the past few years, right at the top of my shoulders and mostly to the right hand (female) side where we carry emotion. To say we’ve had a difficult few years would be an massive understatement.
My career has had massive highs and massive lows, especially since having the kids as taking care of 4 kids obviously comes first, but I’ve also needed to juggle working with minimal support as my family are not local so it’s been tough to make it all work at times. This has also been hindered with bouts of depression which had tested my relationship massively. Inevitably we’ve also faced financial struggles along the way. While these are all challenges we’ve now come through the other end (I’m thankful to say) and life is finally feeling stable and content these issues it seems are still there in my neck and back and I realise I have to put these behind me now and move forward in order to release myself from the physical daily pain. The past is the past as they say and me worrying about past mistakes is literally preventing me being able to move forward.
As we continue she locates muscle after muscle and tells me what it relates to. I simply confirm her findings, astounded each time that she could be so aware of this just from where the pain in located in my body.
By this point I am struggling to cope with the physically pain and I can feel myself welling up also as she finds lots of pain which relates to the fact that my father and I no longer have much of a relationship left and I’m no longer the ‘Daddys girl’ I once was to him. She comforts me by saying that I am dealing with it really well, breathing through the pain and says that she is working at a medium pressure and that she could work deeper but she thinks this might be too much for our first session. She tells me that the issues with my father are causing me great emotional pain and that I need to let go of this and accept he no longer has the capacity to love me the way I want him to if I am to ever release my body of this toxin causing me such physical pain.
Again it’s true. I keep trying to hope one day he will change, but having lost his mother at 9 years old and discovering his father dead at 11 I realise he has his own unresolved emotional traumas causing him to be closed emotionally.
We finish our session. Sophia explains that she will follow up with an email within 48 hours which will contain a number of suggestions as to how I can reduce the physical pain as well as the emotional. She suggests that I should look to take 2 of these recommendations onboard and stick to them as this will be manageable and this is a long term commitment to fight the pain once and for all. She says that her clients usually revisit 4-6 weeks later for a physical appointment to reset the muscles as the emotional journey takes place also.
I leave and head home and feel that night quite sore, which is to be expected but also way more mobile then usual with increased movement in my neck, which is usually restricted with pain upon movement.
I spend the evening talking with my partner and also with my mum which is unusual as I never talk to my mum about anything emotional. She explains that she feels I push her away when she tries to connect to me, which I realise for the first time is true. I blame her all the time for not being there but the truth is I do force her away when she tries. It’s a lightbulb moment.
Following my appointment my physical pain relents a little and I have more movement in my neck and shoulders then I’ve had for a long while but I’ve found over the past few weeks it’s built back up again. I’ve noticed also a direct correlation between what’s been going on at home, ie the daily stresses take place and the level of pain.
In addition I notice if I drink too much alcohol I seem to have a few days feeling worse in my muscles which I believe is for two reasons. The first because of the science, lactic acid build up, but the second is that once I drink I become emotional. As such I’ve drastically reduced my alcohol intake to reduce the emotion reaction as well as to help lead a healthier life.
However, I’ve also felt at the most ease about my relationship with my parents. I feel less angry towards them. I feel like I need less from them emotionally and I feel like I want to pick up the phone more often then normal which I definitely feel is a result of my session with Sophia. In terms of her other suggestions I don’t feel I’ve managed to commit to these fully yet but I am planning to revisit her soon for a muscle reset and pick up one of her books also for emotional growth. I’ll be sharing how these have worked in the next month or so as a follow up piece so do make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss it!
Finally, I have to say that speaking about this so publicly and sharing things Ive seldom spoken about I feel is a further step to living without neck and shoulder pain long term as I confront these past emotional traumas once and for all.