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What is Body Stress Release?

Unlocking tension - Restoring self-healing


Body Stress Release is a safe, natural technique that is suitable for everyone, from infants to the elderly. It prompts the body to naturally heal itself by releasing accumulated body stress.


Body Stress Release is a health profession concerned with unlocking the tension stored in physical structures, thereby assisting the body in restoring its maximum efficiency.

This gentle technique assists the body in its own healing process and brings effective relief from many forms of tension, pain and discomfort caused by the build-up of stress in the body. When the stresses of life, whether mechanical, chemical or mental/emotional, reach the level of overload, the body is no longer able to adapt constructively. The stress becomes locked into the physical structures, causing pain, stiffness, numbness or postural distortions. This stored tension has an impact on the nervous system and undermines the body’s natural ability to co-ordinate its functions and heal and maintain itself.

Body Stress Release brings effective relief from pain and discomfort from many different causes, including back pain, various types of stress and even sporting injuries.

Body Stress Release does not use medication or machines, nor does it involve massage, manipulation, pressure points or energy meridians. It is practical and logical. Body Stress Release uses information provided by the body to determine where stored tension may be undermining the efficiency of the nervous system, disturbing the body’s ability to co-ordinate its functions and perform at its full potential.

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The History of BSR

Body Stress Release was developed by South Africans, Gail and Ewald Meggersee in the early 1980s, in response to Ewald’s own crippling adversity. After falling from a tree at the age of five, he experienced continuous lower back pain and shooting pains in his legs. His school days were unbearable and because of intense pain he couldn’t sit still at a desk and was shouted at for fidgeting. He would often collapse from a deep ache in his knees if asked to stand for any period of time. At 15, he was told his pain and severe cramps were psychosomatic because no-one could find any physical cause for his problems.
Ewald qualified as an industrial chemist and met and married Gail, a teacher. His pain did not ease. He would scream out in his sleep and leap out of bed in the grip of intense cramps in his calf muscles. On occasions he would wake up without feeling any sensation from the waist down and would be forced to roll out of bed onto the floor, pulling himself up via the wardrobe for support while waiting for the sensation to return to his legs. Ewald’s nightmare became a regular occurrence. He feared going to sleep at night, not knowing if he was going to wake up permanently paralysed. It became so bad that he faced losing his job and spending the rest of his life in a wheelchair.
Over the years Ewald had received temporary relief from regular chiropractic adjustments, but the pain would always return. He and Gail felt they had nothing to lose by going to America to train as chiropractors. They hoped to discover something that had been missed and find a way to identify the source of Ewald’s pain and reverse his worsening condition. During their studies in America, they met a retired chiropractor, Dr Richard van Rumpt, who had researched an approach completely different to chiropractic manipulation. He talked about listening to the body and using it as a bio-feedback mechanism. When the Meggersees returned to South Africa they built on his method of reading the body’s responses to tests. They began working together on clients and this enabled them to discover how the body automatically reacts to stress in a highly organised way. The stored stress occurs as lines of tension in specific directions. They also discovered how the sites of body stress are interconnected. This research led to the creation of the technique which they named Body Stress Release.
BSR and the health care spectrum

BSR stands squarely under the title ‘complementary’. It is a health-care profession that works alongside medicine, in co-operation, not in competition.  A BSR practitioner does not in any way diagnose or treat conditions, nor give advice on the process of a disease, as this is the field of medicine. Over the years many medical doctors have recommended their patients to the Body Stress Release technique. BSR practitioners enjoy reciprocal relationships with GPs, surgeons and paediatricians, as well as physiotherapists, fitness trainers and even psychologists.

Body Stress Release does not use medication or machines, nor does it involve massage, manipulation or energy meridians. Body Stress Release uses information provided by the body to determine where stored tension may be undermining the efficiency of the nervous system, disturbing the body’s ability to co-ordinate its functions and perform at its full potential.

The BSR Technique

The Body Stress Release Consultation

The BSR Technique is designed to help the body release its stored tensions. With the person fully clothed and lying down, the practitioner carries out a series of tests to locate the exact sites of body stress, and determines the precise directions in which the lines of tension exist. This is done by applying light pressure to various points on the body, and observing the response. In this way, the body acts as a biofeedback mechanism, supplying the information required.


The practitioner then applies stimuli, by means of light but definite pressure, in the exact directions necessary to encourage the body to release the stored tension.


If the body stress has occurred recently, the process of releasing it is usually very rapid. However, if the stress has been stored for a long time, the stress releases may have to be carried out a number of times, over a period. This is because the tight, protective layers of the muscles tend to relax by degrees back to their normal tone.


The first session typically lasts between 30 and 45 minutes, while follow-up sessions are between 20 minutes and half an hour.


NOTE: Body Stress Release is not a diagnosis or treatment of any condition or disease. It is concerned only with locating and releasing stored tension, so that the body is assisted in its in-built ability to maintain and heal itself.

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Maintenance Appointments

Most people who seek BSR are looking for relief from pain, stiffness or other discomfort. BSR has a broader objective- it is concerned with assisting the body in maintaining health. To promote efficiency of body function we need to keep ourselves free from stored tension. To prevent body stress from accumulating, it makes sense to be assessed regularly, before problems arise. Clients experiencing relief from long term pain or discomfort are highly motivated to continue with maintenance to prevent the problem recurring.

The Body Stress Release Process

This is a 3 phase process of unlocking tension to restore self-healing. This process obviously depends on the individuals responses and level of care the person takes in “looking after” themselves during the process. As the body adapts to the returning nerve communication, individuals will recover at different rates.


Intensive Phase

Day 1, day 4, ( possibly day 7) and day 11. This is to address the immediate reason for attending BSR.

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Rehabilitation Phase

Once every week or second week ( depending on individual case requirements)

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Maintenance Phase
(Your commitment to your health)

Once every 3 weeks, or monthly or every 6 weeks.

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