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Like so many people, I periodically suffer from lower back pain – a symptom of our desk-bound lives spent hunched over a keyboard. Popping pain pills isn’t always the answer, so I’m off to try Body Stress Release (BSR). I make an appointment with Kathy Heapy, a qualified BSR practitioner, who I’m sure can release stress merely with her calm, kind presence. “BSR releases tension stored in the body,” Kathy explains. “It doesn’t diagnose or treat specific conditions, but it helps the body heal itself by locating and releasing locked-in tension.” She tells me the story of the founder of BSR, Ewald Meggersee, who suffered from serious back pain and temporary paralysis after falling out of a tree as a child. After training as a chemist and a chiropractor, Meggersee and his wife developed BSR by learning to read the body’s response to muscle stress. The release is done, to my relief, fully clothed – I lie down on the treatment table and Kathy gently prods and feels various tension points on my spine, shoulders and hips. It doesn’t hurt at all (it’s not a massage where knots get pummelled out by brute force!) and only takes about half an hour. By targeting these pressure points, Kathy can read my reflexes and pinpoint exactly where stress is located, in order for her to release it. Afterwards, I feel very relaxed and, in the following days, my body does feel less tense and pulled in on itself. BSR can be helpful for chronic headaches (which Kathy herself suffered from before getting into BSR) and pain and is so gentle that even babies and the very old may benefit from it. It’s recommended that you have at least three appointments to ensure proper stress release.

Christine van Deemter, Copy Editor, Destiny Magazine (January 2011)

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