I don’t know about you, but my body has certainly been screaming for some stress release. The last few months, I would get debilitating headaches out of nowhere, and at night I my fingers would go numb, pins and needles that would wake me up with discomfort. My psoriasis started flaring up, and I could just feel my body clearing communicating it’s message of “I’m done!” In stepped Meg from Body Stress Release!
Any time our body experiences more stress than it is able to cope with, it becomes locked into our muscles. This overload of stress can occur from things like accidents or falls, too much pressure at work or home, emotional shock or trauma, or even exposure to chemicals, amongst a huge variety of things. Tension locked into the muscles causes the muscles to inflame and brace, which in turn puts pressure on the nerves, disrupting the proper communication, and leading to pain and discomfort.
I met Meg on a beautiful Cape Town morning, at her practice in Woodstock. She has this absolute gentleness about her, and welcomed me like an old friend instead of just another client. As she took a thorough case history, it felt more like two friends talking, and throughout our few weeks together, she took a real interest in my life, my family, and my general well-being.
Meg is a licensed member of the Body Stress Release Association of South Africa, and completed her studies at the Body Stress Release Academy in Wilderness, South Africa, which is also the home of BSR Founders, Ewald and Gail Meggersee. I had so many questions throughout our time together, and Meg was patient as ever to answer them all.
What is Body Stress Release and who is it for?
Body Stress Release is a complementary health technique that uses muscle testing to indicate the precise locations of stored tension in the body. Once the tension – or body stress – has been located, a gentle but precise impulse is applied to encourage the muscles to release the tension, and allow nerve communication to be restored.
Body Stress Release is for everyone. From infants to the elderly. Because it is so gentle, and effective, it really can be for anybody who is experiencing any type of pain or discomfort in their body.
Is it safe for babies? And how to you work on them?
Absolutely! We get the mom to lie down, and the baby lie on their mom’s chest. The youngest baby I’ve ever worked on was three months old, and babies tend to go into a wonderful sleep after the session. It can be great for the digestive system, and what most parents tend come for, is things like colic, even problems latching, or constipational tummy issues, and sleeping issues.
Things to watch for if you are a parent of a baby or infant, is when changing nappies, and you lift up their legs, and they cry or show signs of discomfort. Even though they have not been around for that long, the birthing process itself can be stressful for both mom and baby, and this may be a sign that something is sitting in the spine, or lower back etc.
Explain To Us The Different Types of Stress
Being exposed to different types of stresses each day, we believe that there are kinds. Mechanical, emotional and chemical.
Mechanical stress, which is things like bumps, falls, car accidents, sporting injuries, twisted ankles etc. Also in this category is our posture. It’s a physical force that is on our body every single day.
Mental and Emotional stress – the one people usually associate with the word stress – are things like work pressure, relationship stress, deadlines, money worries etc. Also within this category are things like shock, bereavement, and divorce. Things that can really stay with a person for a while.
Lastly, chemical stress is the one we tend to think of the least. It can include things like food intolerance, allergies, exposure to chemicals, like pesticide, or the hormones/steroids in our food, or even exposure to things in the products we use. For some, it won’t be a problem at all, but for others, they might be constantly walking around with headaches, nausea, or even skin irritations, which are signs that something is aggravating their system.
After the first session, my back pain increased. Why is that?
That can seem so counterintuitive. I know you come to feel better, and somehow you now feel worse! It’s a bit like a detox where the stuff has to come out before it can get better. But what is actually happening on the inside, is that the process is starting to work. The nerves and the communication is being restored there. And your body is becoming aware of things that has been there the whole time, but you haven’t necessarily been aware of them. So now things are starting to wake up, and your brain registering the healing that needs to take place.
Why is there no such thing as normal pain?
Pain is your body’s warning sign that something is not right.
Usually it starts speaking quite nicely, you get a funny tingle, a tightness, and something does not feel right. And if you don’t listen, it will get worse and worse, because it wants you to go in and do whatever needs to be done to take care of an injury. So no amount of pain is normal.
We especially see this a people get older and talk about aches and pains of age. Being old does not hurt! Stored stress causes pain.
Also, your body itself can produce things that are stressful to it. Think of things like hormonal headaches. Your own body is releasing the hormones, but there is a stress reaction that gets stored into the body.
What are BSR session costs and is it covered by medical aid?
Unfortunately not at this time in South Africa, but they are working on it. Practitioner fees range from R350 to about R450, depending on your area.
How long are BSR sessions and how many to I need?
The first session is always a bit longer to take a really thorough case history of anything that has happened to you, and get a picture of what to look for in your body. This takes about an hour. Thereafter, follow-up sessions are between 30-45mins.
Asking how many sessions is like asking “How long is a piece of string?” 🙂 Because each body is different, the stress that each body has been exposed to and the duration that the stress has been there, is different, there is going to be a huge variety of how the body will respond, and what the body needs in order to get through it.
Some people feel better after just one session and feel they don’t require any more. Others might only feel things after a few sessions. Some things might really cling in there, and people might also continue to lead very stressful lives, so they actually just wound up tighter and tighter. So it really depends on the person, the type of lifestyle they lead, and so many other factors.
My Experience With BSR
I had initially come to Meg mainly because of the debilitating headaches I was experiencing, as well as the almost daily numbness and pins & needles that woke me up in the night. During our first session, we also found great tension in my lower back.
It was with great surprise that the whole treatment was so incredibly gentle. Meg would press and feel across my body, and then return to my feet to see and feel the feedback my body was giving. And even with intense focus, I could not feel my feet give any feedback whatsoever. Meg is greatly trained to see the slightest movement and knows what they mean.
One of the things I loved about the sessions, is the table they use. Firstly, you don’t have to undress. In fact, you don’t even have to take off your shoes for her to see your feet’s feedback. I also appreciated that I don’t have to climb onto a table. Some people will have too much pain/discomfort to do that, or are literally unable to get onto the table by themselves.
The table is created for you start in a standing position, and then the table is slowly reclined until you are laying down perfectly horizontal. And unlike most massage tables, my face was absolutely comfortable when I was face-down on the table, and I could breathe perfectly.
Getting up after each session was complete, I did not feel dizzy or disorientated. In fact, I felt alert and so much more aware of what my body was doing.
I did not like…
Even though I knew it was to be expected, the rest of the day (after the first session) I had a bad dull headache, and felt very tired. (As the muscles lock up in layers, like a protective corset, the body’s energy is diverted into holding the muscles in the defensive mode, often resulting in constant tiredness.)
The evening of my first session my lower back was absolutely killing me. I knew my body was just becoming aware of an area it needed to heal – one that I had become so used to, and completely overcompensating for – but it was so uncomfortable! It had trouble sleeping for about three days. (Apparently the bad sleeping is very uncommon, and most of the time people say they sleep better!)
The areas of tension on my back almost felt bruised and sore to the touch. The ironic thing was, the area I felt most pain was on my right side, but Meg could feel the stress was definitely more defined and coming from my left side. I carry my babies generally on my left, and my body has been overcompensating for the stress on the left by referring it to the right.
Did BSR work for me?
Yes. A thousand times yes!
After all my sessions were complete, my headaches were gone. I have not had one more debilitating headaches. In fact, not even a slight or dull headache. The pins and needles in my fingers that I would wake up from every night, has only come back twice during the weeks I had my sessions, but none since I received the last. My back still has some discomfort on and off, and only becomes acute when my posture is unhealthy (slouching on our comfy couch!) , and I’ve been carrying my youngest too much.
This experience has absolute made me aware of my posture more, and the way my spine curves. (#PreserveTheCurve) I realise I am no longer a subtle 20-something, and can’t expect my body to store all the stress it has done in the past. I am also aware that much of my body stress has been present for a long time, and it might be necessary for a number of consecutive releases to be carried out to allow the layers of tightened muscles to progressively relax back to their normal tone.
Ready To Book Your BSR Session?
Meg comes highly recommended and will gladly assist you to help your body release the locked in body stress that can often have a variety of effects from stiff and tight muscles, to aches and pains, postural distortion, numbness, heartburn, bladder control issues, infertility, and even hyperactivity. If you are affected by headaches and migraines, neck and backache, or joint pain, BSR will be right for you. Tingling or numb fingers and toes, or restless legs? Book your Body Stress Release session with Meg today.
<< Use the discount code MAMA4 and only pay R900 when you book your first three sessions. >>
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(If Meg is not in your area, please feel free to find a practitioner in your area here.)
Disclaimer – I was given these sessions for free, in exchange for an honest review. My response and opinions are 100% my own, and truly recommended Body Stress Release.