August 2008 Ageless herbal newsletter
This month we look at a very interesting and “new” type of alternative treatment (although it has been around since 1981) to help find release from our everyday stressors – although I was brought to it by severe back pain.
Although I normally try all and any therapies, I never got to try this one out, but when my sister Susan Taljaard was permanently leaving for New Zealand she nagged me and made me promise to see a Body Stress Release (BSR) therapist – as I had increasing and debilitating back pains – mostly brought on by acute stress.
With this in mind, and my promise I duly went in search and found the most wonderful therapist, and after a couple of treatments can attest to some wonderful results.
It may not work equally for everybody, but it is a very interesting alternative therapy to take note of.
We hope you enjoy this month’s newsletter – and remember, we like to receive feedback from our readers.
for Sallamander Concepts (Pty) Ltd
Stress is an ever-present factor in the lives of most people today. In Europe the economic cost of work-related stress has been estimated at twenty billion Euros each year.
In addition to finding their jobs stressful many people experience mental and emotional stresses in their personal lives. For some the physical nature of their work or even of the sports they play, can lead to high levels of stress.
And the types of stress encountered may be considered in three categories: mechanical, mental/emotional and chemical stress.
In the information age, desktop computers and laptops are ubiquitous. Most office workers spend many hours a day at their computers.
While computers have boosted productivity in many fields there has been a human cost. The human body is not adapted to such a sedentary existence.
Many people are inclined to lean forward in front of their computer screens as they get absorbed in what they are dong. This collapses the natural lordotic curve of the
lower back and if repeated over a long enough period can lead to accumulation of tension in the back, which if left uncorrected results in stress overload,
pain and discomfort.
Many people end up experiencing lower back pain,
neck tensions and headaches as a consequence. Other examples of mechanical stress include the shocks and jolts of severe falls, sporting injuries and motor accidents, including whiplash injuries.
The fast pace of life today and high expectations placed on many people, not only in their work situations but also in their
personal relationships and family situations, can place mental and emotional demands on them that exceed their natural ability to cope.
Under such psychological pressure some people are unable to maintain emotional equanimity and the strain may result in an unconscious defensive 'armoring' of muscles - hunching the shoulders and
tightening the neck.
Certain people are chemically sensitive and may have an adverse reaction to substances that are consumed (e.g. food additives, insecticides on fruit), or inhaled (air pollutants, solvents, paints, etc) or absorbed through the skin (such as cosmetics and cleaning products).
The typical sign of chemical stress is intense
tightening of muscles at the base of the
skull, often causing a severe headache, possibly the
migraine type with shooting pain in the face, along with dizziness and nausea.
A certain amount of stress may be beneficial if it stimulates one to an optimal level of functioning and our bodies are designed to
deal with a degree of stress, whether mechanical, mental/emotional or chemical.
Muscles may tighten in a protective way, causing temporary stiffness or
aches, then they relax back to normal
However, if the stress factor is severe enough, repeated or prolonged, the point of stress overload is reached, and the tension becomes stored in physical structures.
This may manifest as pain, stiffness, numbness or postural
distortions. In addition, the pressure on nerves causes a disturbance of the body's communication system, thereby undermining function, and reducing its natural ability to heal and maintain itself. As a result, the person's state of health will progressively decline.
- The lower back - if severe, the muscle spasm may
pull the spine into a forwards or sideways
distortion. The impact on the nerve supply from this area may cause pain in the groin or
hips, down the back of the thighs, tight hamstrings, calf cramps and
- The upper back: body stress here may lead to diaphragm spasm, indigestion or
heartburn, and rib stress may cause a knife-like pain in the back or the chest, and
- The neck: tension may result in headaches,
sinus problems, jaw pain, etc. There may be pressure on the nerve supply to the shoulder, arms and hands.
- Body stress may occur in structures of the arms or legs, causing pain, weakness or numbness.
This health care technique focuses on locating and releasing the areas of stored
tension, in order to assist the body in restoring the efficiency of the nervous system, and therefore its normal functioning.
BSR was developed and researched in South Africa by Drs Ewald and Gail Meggersee, and has been practiced here since 1981. In working with the body as a biofeedback mechanism they discovered that it stores stress in an organized way.
Since a fall at the age of five, Ewald suffered from debilitating lower back pain, calf cramps and 'collapsing' knees. In his early thirties he began having bouts of
temporary paralysis from the waist down. Gail applied their findings to his situation and after many months the years of locked-in pressure was fully released, and he was completely
restored to health.
The Meggersees (Ewald has a B.Sc. and a chiropractic degree, and Gail has a B.A. degree, a teaching diploma and a
chiropractic degree) train BSR practitioners at their academy on the Garden Route in the Western Province in South Africa.
After the practitioner has taken a case history, the client lies face down, fully clothed, on the BSR couch. A series of
gentle pressure tests is carried out, and the practitioner observes the muscular responses. These indicate the precise sites of stored stress, and also the exact directions of the lines of tension.
Light but definite pressure is then applied on these areas, in the correct directions, to enable the body to release the locked-in stress. It may also be necessary to carry out certain checks and releases while the client is lying on the back.
The procedures are gentle as it is not necessary to force the body to respond. The process takes about twenty minutes.
There may be a dramatic response, with immediate straightening of posture and withdrawal of pain. More usually, this occurs over a period of several sessions.
The client is scheduled for three appointments with a few days between, to allow the body to adapt to the changes that are occurring. If the body stress has been present for years, it may take further sessions in order for deeper layers of muscles to release the stored tension.
Certain clients may temporarily experience an increase in
sensitivity, as pressure is released from nerves and sensation is restored. This signals return of communication and that the
healing process is underway.
BSR clients report a wide range of beneficial effects, besides pain relief
and improved mobility.
Some examples of conditions that cleared up or improved dramatically:
Clients often feel calmer, more positive, and clearer in their
This does not imply that BSR is a diagnosis or treatment of any disease,
illness, deficiency or medical
condition, as that is the realm of medicine. The focus of BSR is on wellness, not on illness. The practice of
BSR is focused on the location and release of body
The improvements in health which occur happen because the technique assists the body to restore the efficiency of its communication system, so that the body can proceed with its natural function of self-healing.
BSR is a complementary, non-therapeutic health technique, and not an alternative to medicine. Thus it works in cooperation with medical doctors and other health professionals, with mutual referrals of clients taking place.
The BSR practitioner advises the client on ways to help the process of releasing the years of stored
tension, and to avoid the recurrence of body stress as far as possible.
Posture is extremely important, and the natural curve of the lower back should always be maintained. Bend using the knees, rather than from the waist, and avoid twisting movements, especially when lifting.
When seated, the hips should be level with or slightly higher than the knees - avoid couches or chairs which reverse this. Do not half-lie slumped with the normal hollow of the
lower spine rounded out, as this builds up abnormal pressure on the discs between the vertebrae.
Sit up straight with a cushion supporting the hollow of the back. Do not put your feet up while sitting, as this automatically flattens the curve and stresses the spine.
When reading, try to hold or prop up the book at eye
level, rather than stressing the neck by keeping it bent forward.
The practitioner teaches clients simple exercises to strengthen the back and abdominal muscles and self-help procedures to minimize the build-up of
neck stress from daily activities.
Life is stressful, and it is impossible to avoid being subjected to stress in its various forms in our everyday lives, therefore it is advisable to have a BSR session from time to time.
This varies with individuals - for one person, once a month may be preferable, for another, every three months or less. In this way the
accumulating body stress can be dealt with before it locks deeply into physical structures and undermines the body's functioning.
If stress overload should occur
suddenly, as in the case of a fall, a car
accident, or severe chemical exposure, etc., it is best to have it dealt with as soon as possible.
Body Stress Release can benefit most people in dealing with the many stresses in their lives, helping them to give of their best in their
work situations, personal lives and sporting and recreational activities. By stimulating the body’s ability to self-heal, BSR facilitates a
higher level of functioning.
Besides South Africa, there are BSR practitioners in
England, Scotland, Holland,
Iceland, New Zealand, Canada,
Belgium, Germany, Australia,
Ireland, Namibia, Sweden and the
For further information or to locate a practitioner near you consult the websites below:
- Healing cream
- To assist in wound healing while soothing skin complaints – such as eczema and psoriasis, acne and piles and moisturizing and protecting the skin. This product has shown its effectiveness over a wide range of problems and judging from sales over more than a decade – it is the trusted healing cream to help with all mishaps, allergic reactions, irritated, burning, itchy and uncomfortable skin conditions.
- Face wash
- This face wash will properly clean your face and remove all impurities and environmental pollutants, without drying the skin. It contains eight herbal extracts to help promote a clear, vital and healthy complexion and a younger looking skin.
- Moisturizing day cream
- This day cream is formulated to help fight the signs of aging on various fronts. It helps to reduce free radical damage which, if left unchecked, leads to premature aging. The herbal extracts help to promote cell rejuvenation and regeneration and provide moisture and hydration to the skin.
- Nourishing night cream
- This nourishing night cream penetrates the skin extremely well and does not make the skin feel oily. It contains a host of herbal extracts to help in the fight against premature aging and has added vitamin E as well. Apart from the moisturizing effect and the anti-aging properties it also softens and smoothes the skin.
- Eye gel
- An effective refreshing eye gel to help reduce puffiness and dark rings around the eyes, while fighting wrinkles and lines. This is a very clever combination of herbal extracts and the base formula has its roots in a clinically proven formula.
- Mud face mask
- With this skin treatment product we combined a special selection of herbs in a base of thermal mud with oligoelements. This recommended weekly treatment will boost circulation to the skin, help to fight wrinkles and lines, improve firmness while at the same time improving suppleness and elasticity of the skin.
- Shampoo with rosemary extract + 7 other herbals
- Our shampoo is in a class of its own – and granted – it is far more expensive than cheap supermarket shampoos, but no other shampoo has the active ingredients we have in our shampoo. The rosemary will boost the health of the hair and scalp, while the other seven herbal extracts will help strengthen the hair and make it shine, increase the volume and make it manageable.
- Rosemary hair treatment conditioner
- We have found that this hair conditioner should really be used as a conditioning treatment. This then removes the need to condition the hair every time you wash – and can be used once a month. It is a superb hair tonic and helps in the control of sebum secretion of the scalp. Although not formulated for dandruff – the ingredients will assist with this as well, while supporting the health of the scalp.
- Hand and body lotion
- When formulating this hand and body lotion we created a rich nourishing, protecting and reviving lotion, which will not leave the skin oily or tacky, but will create a well moisturized, hydrated and supple skin. After applying this lotion it will quickly be absorbed by the skin, leaving it silky soft, smooth and well moisturized.
- Stretch mark gel
- Although nothing can remove already formed stretch marks (only surgery can do that) – thousands of satisfied clients confirm that this gel improves the appearance of old stretch marks. The gel will help in PREVENTING stretch marks (a 92% success rate) and is used with great success by expectant mothers and body builders who may form marks when bulking-up. The formula of this gel is based on clinical studies done in France, to which we added other herbal extracts.
- Cellulite gel
- Fighting cellulite is easy with this herbal cellulite gel. It contains a patented extract of Bayberry (Myriceline) and nine other plant extracts and essential oils. The gel will help to get rid of cellulite (which has been clinically proven) and will also help to prevent cellulite from forming. So now it is easy to get your soft body contours back again.
- Apple cider vinegar (liquid) with Centella asiatica
- The health benefits of apple cider vinegar are combined with the therapeutic properties of Centella asiatica. This old folk remedy is still used with great effect by thousands of people daily.
- Digest capsules
- If your digestive system is under-par and you struggle with constipation or you simply need to boost the health of your digestive system then this capsule is for you. Fenugreek is a general digestive tonic and psyllium is a magical bulking agent that will help proper bowel movements, without using a laxative.
- Detox capsules
- Our modern day lifestyle exposes us to many unwanted additive and our diet also places stress on the body. To help the body get rid of toxins and waste materials naturally we combined fennel, basil, celery and parsley to help the body remove these toxins. It peps-up your metabolism and helps the bladder, kidneys and liver to do their work more effectively.
- Urinary and bladder health capsules
- Using an all natural approach, our capsules will help the discomfort and burning urine sensation of urinary tract infection and help clear up foul smelling urine. We combined cranberry, dandelion, uva ursi and vitamin C in a single capsule to effectively fight bladder infections and to stop the burning sensation when urinating.
- Tri- Mushroom blend capsules
- If you need an immune system boost then have a look at our combination of maitake, reishi and shiitake mushrooms. These mushrooms have showed to be a great help in boosting the immune system – and form a good nutritional supplement support for HIV/Aids patients and people receiving chemotherapy. Any person with even a slightly compromised immune system may benefit from this supplement.
- Olive leaf extract capsules
- This natural detoxifier helps with a variety of ailments and people with chronic fatigue syndrome, infections, glandular fever (Epstein Barr), and even candida and herpes have found it of value. Olive leaf extract helps to fight bacteria, viruses, retroviruses, and protozoa and yeast strains. Apart from fighting all of these problems it also helps to improve kidney function and fights free radicals.
- Sexual supplement (previously known as Vuka Nkuzi)
- Men normally don’t admit when they have a declining libido although it is a most common problem. We combine in this supplement seven different natural ingredients to boost sexual health – without any side effects often experienced with such medication. After more than a decade, and thousands of regular Vuka Nkuzi clients we still offer this well priced supplement to boost the libido.
- Jojoba oil
- This liquid golden ester not only moisturizes and penetrates the skin but also helps to fight wrinkles and lines while promoting a clear and unblemished skin. Jojoba does not clog the pores but helps to restore skin elasticity and smoothness. It will leave the skin supple and velvety soft without any oiliness and can be used neat on the skin.
- Lavender oil
- This is the most popular essential oil and with good reason. Lavender oil is a superb product to use on burns, insect bites, sunburn, wounds and other skin complaints and irritations. Lavender oil is one of the few essential oils that can be used neat (not diluted) on the skin, and is great to help with regeneration and rejuvenation of skin cells. Emotionally it has a calming and soothing effect and is an exceptionally pleasant smelling oil.
- Tea tree oil
- Once used, you will always have a bottle of tea tree essential oil handy. It deals effectively with bacteria, fungi and viruses. Our oil surpasses the “Australian Standard” by having less than 15% 1,8 cineole and more than 30% of Terpinen-4-ol. This powerful essential oil is effective in various ways to fight infections and skin problems.
- Almond oil
- This light and deeply moisturizing oil has a softening effect on the skin and can be used on the face and body. Almond oil has excellent emollient properties and helps to balance water and moisture loss in the skin. It can be used neat on the skin and also makes an excellent massage base.