In my quest to relieve my chronic neck and general body pain, I have seen physiotherapists, osteopaths and chiropractors. They all help to some degree or less and I tend to chop and change between them but am always looking for a long-term solution. When I first heard about body stress release (BSR) from some hippieish swimming friends, I dismissed it as yet another new age form of quackery that they tend to recommend. But then my doctor recommended a BSR practitioner that she had seen to relieve her migraines and I was intrigued. Fortunately, an opportunity came up for me to try BSR from Meg Ringdal, a fellow blogger, who is also a qualified BSR practitioner. Co-incidentally (or as if the universe had preordained it if you believe in that sort of thing) Meg was the same BSR practitioner that my doctor had recommended.
What is BSR?
Body stress can be in the form of mechanical (poor posture, injuries from accidents), emotional or chemical stress which leads to pain, numbness and stiffness interfering with the bodies self-healing defence mechanism. BSR is a health technique developed in the 80s by South Africans which finds it roots in chiropractic treatment to address body stress built on the body’s feedback response to muscle and stress contraction. BSR practitioners train in an intensive 6-month course to be certified but it should be noted that it is not a medical qualification such as for a physiotherapist or chiropractor.
How does a BSR session work?
The practitioner will take your full medical history and general lifestyle noting any pain you may be experiencing. This helps them pinpoint the stress areas in the body. You will climb vertically onto the special BSR bed, fully clothed with your shoes on, and then be gently lowered into the horizontal position. This is an experience in itself acknowledging that those with severe or chronic pain may not be able to easily manoeuvre themselves onto and off a horizontal bed. The special BSR bed to me symbolises the underlying ethos in this treatment which is very gentle and non-invasive as possible. It does not rely on any form of manipulation but the BSR practitioner applies gentle pressure along the spine and other key points of the body to relieve the tension. The pressure makes a suggestion to the body and taps into its self-healing ability.
Meg recommends that you commit upfront to a series of 3 treatments over a set number of days to allow the body to adjust in between the sessions and for the sessions to have a long-term impact.
My experience of BSR
I have multiple problems with the neck, back, coccyx and ITB pain due to a number of different accidents and injuries over the years. My working life also means that I often have poor posture with computer shoulder and neck strain and additional stress. I went to Meg for 3 treatments at a time that co-incided with extreme personal stress in my life. The gentleness of her treatments was about all my body could handle. I noticed that her hands generated heat on my body like a hot towel was being applied and my body generated its own heat as the pressure was applied perhaps as a form of self-healing. After the treatments, I felt a sense of calmness and relaxation which was badly needed. I definitely felt improvement on my back, legs and coccyx area. But the real culprit in my life is my neck and the BSR opened a can of worms and actually brought up further pain issues for my neck. Meg did warn me that it might happen as my body is shifting to release previously stored away tension. She used the analogy of an onion where the treatments may be triggering previous pain as the treatment peels away at all of the complex layers of pain. At the end of the 3 sessions, with my neck still in pain, Meg and I agreed that further sessions on my neck would be required to heal my long-standing and complicated neck issues.
Why chose BSR?
A BSR practitioner is a viable solution for those who suffer from real chronic pain and cannot handle any form of manipulation. And unlike any of those other treatments, a BSR practitioner also really taps into and focuses on your parasympathetic nervous system which none of the traditional forms of treatment do addressing issues with digestion and urination for example. It should be noted that BSR treatment takes a long-term view and I don’t think it is well suited for those looking for short-term relief for neck, shoulders or back. But the goal is to actually heal the injury promoting long-term health which makes sense as the body stress has built up over a number of years and could never be resolved in a quick fix once-off session.
You can contact Megan Ringdal at:
Tel: 0828485515 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Use the discount code KERRY and only pay R900 when you book your first three sessions
Disclaimer: I was given these sessions in exchange for an honest review. My response and opinions are 100% my own. Please consult your medical practitioner or do your own research for more information.