My name is Romana Netzberger, I am a Rolfer, a biologist, a yoga teacher, and I work and live on a small farm in the beautiful Mostviertel in Austria.
What was your original career before Rolfing®?
Already as a child I was very interested in natural sciences I always loved to be outdoors. After school I started studying biology and I finished my studies with a master’s degree in zoology.
I explored the biodiversity of different habitats of all corners of Austria, from Lake Neusiedl to Vorarlberg, the rainforests of Costa Rica and the barren yet lively landscapes of the beautiful volcanic island of Iceland. I was particularly fascinated by the inconspicuous world of insects and arachnids, because the more I learned about them, the more I became aware of how important these beautiful animals are for the functioning of our ecosystems and consequently also for us humans.
I also experienced how endangered the ecosystems and so many of the animal and plant species of our planet are and my desire to take action grew bigger and bigger. As a result, my family and I decided to move to the countryside, to grow our own food and at the same time to create a habitat for animals and plants according to the principles of permaculture. In addition to growing fruit and vegetables, I have a particular passion for culinary and medicinal herbs, beekeeping, and composting, because fertile soil and a diverse soil life are the basis for healthy food.
Why did you decide to pursue Rolfing as a career?
During my time at university, all of a sudden the first symptoms of fibromyalgia appeared and intensified over the course of the following months. After searching in vain for a way to relieve my pain, I finally found Rolfing. Already after the first session I felt a lasting improvement. During the 10 Rolfing sessions, I learned how to deal with my pain and to be aware of the healing process.
During the next 3 years, Rolfing and my daily yoga practice helped me to get back to a pain-free life. As a result, I was able to enormously increase my performance in everyday life and sports. At the same time, my self-awareness grew, which was the basis to strengthen my self-confidence and to feel good in my own body again.
This formative experience was ultimately the reason why I decided to change directions in my life.
I completed my training as a Certified Rolfer® at the European Rolfing® Association in Munich. From this time on, my fascination for the human being and for the work together with my clients has been growing.
I enjoy improving my skills at continuing education workshops that allow me to learn from different teachers and develop my personal Rolfing style.
What I love about being a Rolfer is the variety that comes with this kind of work.
Each client comes with their own story which has shaped them. Rolfing helps you perceive your own strengths, overcome entrenched patterns, and enable changes. I am very happy to be able to accompany each and every one of my clients in this process.
How do you find working in two professions?
The instructive work as a biologist, the demanding physical farmwork in the fresh air together with my family, the mindful work during the Rolfing sessions and the regenerative yoga practice complement each other in my everyday life to a very fulfilling and holistic lifestyle.
My work as a biologist gives me a deeper understanding of our environment and of all the living beings inhabiting it. It is very important for me to share my passion for nature and to create awareness for the threats to our ecosystems. As the zoologist Konrad Lorenz (1903-1989) already said: "You only protect what you love and you only love what you know".
The physical work on the farm gives me great pleasure and me and my family are amply rewarded with delicious food and an incomparable quality of life.
In Rolfing I have found another very meaningful job, in which I can help my fellow human beings to regain their balance in gravity.
In the course of the Rolfing sessions, I am always happy to see how my clients find back to an upright posture, how their movements become more effortless and fluid and how chronic complaints gradually disappear. I am fascinated by how great the potential in each of us is. Sometimes it just takes a gentle impulse to unfold this potential.
Author: Certified Rolfer®, Romana Netzberger - Austria
Photos : Matthias Amon, Heinz Binder and Wild Europe e.V.