Testimonials Pain Relief Chronic Pain Issues

Gayle Martinchick, RN –
“I would highly recommend Rachel Katz as a physical therapist without any reservation. ”

“When somebody you love has pain or disability, the first thing that comes to most peoples’ minds is “what can I do to help this person the best way I know how?” It is especially true when it is your own child. My youngest daughter has cerebral palsy and left hemiplegia caused by a stroke she had while I was pregnant with her. Nightmares occurred making me wonder how this child will fare in this world with such a disability. My prayers were answered when we were led to Rachel Katz, PT. I was first referred to Rachel when I was seeking somebody trained in Pediatric Cranio Sacral Therapy, then we got to experience all of gifts.

Rachel has been working with my daughter for approximately two years, and the progress she has helped my daughter achieve is beyond words. Rachel subtly integrates her training, experience, and knowledge so my daughter (age 3) integrates the therapy into activities of daily living and play so she does not get frustrated and nonproductive with the therapy. Rachel not only gives plenty of TLC to Xeska but also to my over-zealous older daughter and to their bedraggled, exhausted mother. It is the true epitome of holistic, caring, family care and integration vs. just working with the disability itself as many therapists tend to do.

Colleague –  Comments on a shared client

“Your work , I think, has been brilliant with Nancy.  It just shows not only in her body but in all her being.  Whatever you’re doing has just really helped her open up in her body, which has helped her ground and stay more stable.  It’s just absolutely beautiful.  I want to give you that feedback.  She loves working with you.”

J. Gundersen –
“I am a patient of Dr. Paul Berger and have been treated by Rachel Katz for back pains with next to miraculous results. I was operated for a herniated disc in 2003, after years (most of my adult life) of on-again off-again back pains. The operation was quite successful. Had months of physical therapy and regular acupuncture ever since, which helped. But the back pains never quite left me.

In the fall of 2006 pains became very intense and debilitating, and I went to Dr. Berger to start the process of back surgery again. Had been told the hernia might come back. However to make a long story short, Dr. Berger suggested I try some physical therapy first and sent me to Rachel Katz. Remembering all the physical therapy after the surgery and how painful and boring that was, I was not too thrilled.

However, Rachel Katz turned out to be a miracle worker. With a very soft and gentle approach to the therapy; I hardly felt anything and was almost pain-free after the first session, (although I thought this is not going to do anything). Two more sessions and I was pain-free!

Half a year later, the pain started to come back. I went back to Rachel Katz, and after another three sessions, I was again pain-free. I do not know how it is possible, with some very gentle pushing on the muscles along the spine, called Neuromuscular Re-Education, my hernia prone discs take a real vacation.”

J. S. –
“I have endured back issues for decades, assuming that it is just a fact of my stressful life. Fortunately, Rachel was recommended to me. She has given me amazingly clear and empowering insights about how my body works. She has helped me identify the methods with which my body supports itself, and has shown me how certain posture patterns can be gently guided back to balance. Rachel works with precision and subtlety to help reawaken my body-awareness. I now realize is the most crucial aspect of healing. Her techniques are simple, practical and effective. In the past, other practitioners have attempted to force a change in posture or habits, but I have never been helped by that approach. Rachel’s technique produces gradual changes that my body accepts and enjoys.”

Tyler Thompson –
I had an injury with severe compartment syndrome that damaged my arm and hand severely. I had stretching and ultrasound for my arm and hand for six months with a different therapist and I had no progress in being able to move my fingers, after I saw Rachel one visit my mobility went up drastically, maybe by twice as much and she worked with gentle touch, energy and body awareness, “Thanks Rachel”

John Palmer –

Seeing Rachel for massage and physical therapy is a nicety and I look forward to throughout the week. Because when I walk out, it’s just a feeling of relief — all the tension is released from my body. It’s just a wonderful feeling. It’s something I really look forward to.

It’s also, I might add, if I don’t get my massage when I’m working, my body really lets me know. I’m tight and stiff and my attitude is bad. I’m not as much fun to be around. It helps me mentally. I sleep better at night. It gives me peace of mind.

Rachel helps keep me put back together. After seven years I can honestly say I’ve benefited from Rachel’s therapy. Regular sessions with Rachel have enabled me to continue to work in a very physically challenging environment, bus I’ve been able to overcome overwhelming odds with essentially a broken back.

Jenny Russell –
I began experiencing lower-back pain in the fall of 2003. At the time, I was 27 years old and led an active lifestyle. I was jogging, biking, and lifting light weights regularly, snowboarding and hiking when in season, and as a college professor spent many hours each day standing and walking.

My back pain started out as an ache in my lower back. At first, I attributed it to muscle pain due to overuse. By early spring, I was still experiencing pain, though it had escalated to the point where I would try laying on the floor to alleviate the pain (this really worked). I went to my doctor, who prescribed no more running and Motrin.

I took my doctor’s advice, but my pain continued to worsen. I started running again, because it seemed to help the pain. I no longer was able to ride a bicycle or lift weights, because five minutes of either activity triggered back pain. By July of 2004 I was experiencing pain daily, so my doctor ordered an X-Ray. I was taking 800 mg of Motrin daily.

The X-Ray results showed my spine was in excellent shape. My doctor was still baffled by my pain, so he referred me to a chiropractor. I visited the chiropractor several times, each time my back pain worsened after the session. The last time I went for an adjustment, I walked out of the office feeling okay, but five minutes later I had to stop my car because I was in too much discomfort to drive. So my doctor referred me to a physical therapist. By this point I had several pain medicines in my cabinet – all more powerful than Motrin, most of which cause drowsiness or nausea. My pain had spread, so I had pain shooting down my right leg, all the way to my foot. So it appeared that my back pain had triggered sciatica.

A physical therapist taught me a few stretches, and took me to the gym to teach me how to “properly” lift weights. The weights made my back even worse, and the stretching did nothing to alleviate my pain. A physical therapist also recommended that I stop running, because that was probably causing my pain. I ignored her device, since the running seemed to be the only thing I could do to help my back pain go away!

In August of 2004 I finally had an MRI. The results showed I have degeneration in my L5 – S1 disk space. Finally I knew what was causing my pain! The doctor told me that if I gained any more weight (i.e. pregnancy), it would aggravate my pain (I am 5”8” and weighed 155 lbs). I was told I was “disabled”. I was sent to another physical therapist. He recommended a couple of other stretches and sent me on my way.

Over the course of the next year, I began managing my pain differently. I stopped taking the drugs, and started running even more. I lost 25 pounds and started using a fitness ball instead of an office chair, and tried not to sit for more than 30 minutes before getting up and walking around.

These activities and changes to my lifestyle did reduce my back pain. I still couldn’t ride a bicycle, and snowboarding triggered pain. In addition, I couldn’t drive my car for more than 30 minutes without experiencing discomfort. I stopped doing anything requiring twisting, because that seemed to trigger pain as well. I still had sciatica in my right leg on occasion, but the frequency had lessened.

In the fall of 2006, I went back to school, which forced me to sit for long stretches of time. I was running 40 to 50 miles each week, plus taking my dog for walks. My back wasn’t bothering me as much, but my sciatica started acting up again. This time I was referred to Rachel Katz for physical therapy.

I will admit that I almost didn’t go to physical therapy. My past experiences had taught me that physical therapy didn’t work for me. And the previous physical therapists only told me to stop doing what I love doing. But Rachel has a different approach to physical therapy, focusing on retraining muscles to work together the way they should. After my first session I cried because I finally felt that there was someone who could actually help me get better.

She started working on my back in late fall of 2006, and in the course of two months I went from fairly intense daily pain to moderate pain occurring only once or twice each week. Over the winter she continued to work on my back, teaching me several “stretches” of minor muscles. These muscles, such as those in the bottom of my feet and in my hips, are so tight that stretching my hamstrings (as the physical therapists) had me doing wasn’t having any effect. Rachel also taught me several exercises I could easily do while sitting or walking that would help strengthen and retrain my body to function properly.

Today it is March of 2007, and I can’t remember the last time I had sciatica. My back will ache occasionally — not even every week — but only when I sit for too long (several hours) or snowboard too hard. And on those rare occasions I have simply used the skills Rachel taught me and stretch a little, and the pain is typically gone into short amount of time.

I’m so grateful to Rachel for all of her help – without her I would still be in daily intense pain, and with no end in sight. Instead, I now feel much healthier, I can ride a bike again, I can snowboard without pain, and I can sit in one place without starting to hurt.

Elaine Calenda, Academic Dean, Boulder College of Massage Therapy, Boulder, Colorado –
For six years I had debilitating lower back pain. Twice I had surgery for a herniated disk. The surgeries help relieve the sciatic pain, but my back still hurt every day. I tried acupuncture, dry needling, epidural injections, chiropractic, and all types of soft tissue manipulation. As a massage therapist, I knew and went to the best practitioners in the field. Finally, I began to work with Rachel Katz. She addressed my pain with a unique approach which gave me almost immediate relief, and I have been pain-free for over three years now. Rachel uses techniques which are painless and powerful. My body and brain were so disconnected, that I couldn’t heal. The gentle stimulation of the Sensory-Motor System helped “put me back together” by leading out of the trauma cycle. I am able to be active again without fear of recurring pain. I highly recommend sensory-motor manual therapy to anyone who suffers from chronic pain.

Robert Scaer, M.D. –
Rachel Katz has developed an accurate and informative guide for the auto accident victim, addressing the way the brain works in trauma in an easily understood format. In her Consumer Guide for Recovery from Car Accidents she presents an effective model for treatment and healing that encompasses many new and exciting modalities. I wholeheartedly endorse this booklet for any patient facing recovery from an auto accident.

Lisa Prosch
October 7, 1996

My son, Andrew was born April 1995 with a suction-assisted delivery. Just after delivery, his rather misshapen head was “kneaded” back into shape by the attending pediatric nurse. However, a large hematoma remained on the back -left side of his head. For the first eight weeks of his life, Andrew slept very little during the day, fussed incessantly while he was awake, and literally screamed in pain from six to nine o’clock at night when he finally fell into an exhausted, but light, slumber. Our pediatrician was at a loss to help us and casually shrugged whenever the subject was discussed. My husband, Kent, and I concluded that this is what infants were supposed to be like and we were just spoiled because our first child was so easy. Through observation, Kent and I had also determined that the left side of Andrew’s head must be sore (by evening, he could not stand being cradled with the left side of his head touching our arms and would literally try to sit bolt upright.)

By the time Andrew was six weeks old, he was only sleeping half an hour during the day and his incessant fussing continued to turn to full-fledged screaming by evening. My husband and I were exhausted and frantic to determine how to help Andrew. The pediatrician suggested Pediacare and prescribed Levsin drops, neither remedied the situation. It was at that time I met Rachel Katz by chance in a coffee shop. After listening to my anguished story, Rachel briefly examined Andrew and concluded that she thought she could help him with craniosacral therapy. I had no idea what she meant and called a neighbor who was a physical therapist, and who had previously worked with Rachel. She immediately responded “Trust Rachel’s opinion; she is very good at what she does. You should try it”.

For the next two weeks we tried to convince our pediatrician to prescribe physical therapy for Andrew’s “colic”. On the third attempt, the pediatrician agreed, but was at a loss to identify a diagnosis. After a particularly miserable day with Andrew (he screamed non-stop from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.), I called Rachel in desperation. She came to our house on her way home from work and performed cranialsacral therapy on Andrew for 20 minutes. that night, Andrew slept through the night for the first time and awoke a good -tempered, happy baby who slept two hours in the morning and three in the afternoon (as would be normal for an eight week old baby). Andrew was a new baby and a joy to be around! Andrew had three additional therapy sessions with Rachel and continued to be a very agreeable baby. We are very grateful to Rachel for relieving Andrew’s head pain and allowing him to be such a wonderful baby.

I was so impressed with Rachel’s skill that I did not hesitate to consult her last summer when i over-taxed my right arm, shoulder and neck through intensive gardening. My pain extended from my right index and thumb, up my arm to the right side of my shoulder and neck. I suspected that I had inflamed the nerves because the pain persisted for over a month, and I had numbness and tingling in my finger tips and hand if I gripped a gardening tool, pencil, or raised my right hand back from my wrist. After four physical therapy sessions with Rachel, my nerves had “unwound”, and my neck felt looser than it had in years. I also noticed that I stopped clenching my jaws, which i had been doing frequently because I was in constant pain.

Rachel has been a God-send and I highly recommend her for her ability to pinpoint the source of physical discomfort, and skillfully treat and eliminate the discomfort.

William Russell
on Rachel Katz
A.K.A Miracle worker,
A.K.A. Back Whisperer.

I met Rachel about a year ago. I was then in constant, crippling pain from a herniated disk in my lower back. At that time I was a Katrina Refuge from New Orleans. I was unable to work full time, walk more than a short distance, lay down to sleep, or even just the simplest of every tasks to take care of myself. I often thought maybe it just wasn’t worth living with this much pain. I had seen chiropractors, Physical therapists, massage therapists, and all the homeopathic witchdoctors in Boulder but no help was in sight. Then Rachel mentioned she thought she had some ideas we could try.

In the beginning I was skeptical, she didn’t seem to be doing very much. Other specialist where having me do strenuous stretching and exercises but Rachel would poke around a little, up and down my spine and tell me about my bodies inability to communicate with itself and having to reprogram my bodies usage of its muscles. I think it was her wonderful disposition and positive energy that got me to not quit and give it a chance.

At first the changes came slow. Rachel would start to look at how I used my body and start tot design precise exercises to retrain my muscles to do everyday activities in a style harmonious to my natural body, how to appreciate every muscle and its role in my life.

It’s now been just short of a year. I’m pain free, I’m sleeping, exercising, and feeling happy again. I can ride a bike, hike with friends and just live a normal life again.

And this year I’m seeing a 10 year dream of mine come true. A dream I thought was long out of the possibility of happening. I am moving to Asia and am going to be ordained as a Buddhist monk. I feel I have been given my life back, along with my dreams.

I shall be saying some very long prayers of praise and thanks to Rachel and her family from my mountain top dwelling in Tibet.

With prayers and love.
William Russell
Pearl Street’s Piano Ma