Case Study: Kate

Case Study: Kate

This 39 year old female teacher was brought in by her mom with spasms to left leg and intermittent loss of power to the leg. Her emotional status was very fragile, as this had been a 15 month journey of pain and lack of movement. She’d been in hospital the year prior  to coming for BSR.  She had been prescribed lots of pain medication to ease symptoms and had been stretched as one of the treatments. MRI scans had shown hairline fractures along L1 and L2 vertebrae. Heartburn and headaches had been the norm every day; she’d taken Gaviscon© and anti-inflammatory painkillers daily. When she stood, she’d rock constantly as a way of checking strength in her left leg.

1st Visit

On lying down on the bed, she couldn’t straighten her leg and the practitioner had to put a pillow under her legs due to discomfort. On the first visit the client experienced some discomfort and her leg twitched and was sensitive to touch.

2nd Visit

On the 3rd visit the practitioner noticed that her foot had relaxed more medial in position. After the 4th visit the client panicked as she experienced increase feeling and a return of symptoms  but the practitioner  explained how feeling may intensify as muscle adaptations  take place and encouraged her to continue. After 6 visits, daily secondary symptoms like headaches and heartburn had eased off and her consumption of up to 8 painkillers per day and heartburn tablets had ceased. The practitioner also noticed that during releases the left leg was more relaxed and the client no longer experienced  twitching and pain.  The client had no back pain after 8th visit even though her back was sensitive to touch. After the 9th visit she started driving short distances which served as good encouragement to her in this long journey.

6th Visit

9th Visit

Legs straight, feet flat on the ground and walking with confidence. The biggest challenge was to get her to trust her body and the BSR process and not to be hunched over and rocking while standing. I reminded her to walk slower, but to concentrate with heal-toe walking so that we could correct her gait, thus running in less stress on her back.

I asked her for her perspective on how BSR helped her, especially when you read what she went through medically, and it’s amazing how they forget how much they have achieved in the long run, that it’s good to have photos to show their progress

This is a picture of the client with legs straight, feet flat on the ground and walking with confidence. The biggest challenge was to get her to trust her body and the BSR process and not to be hunched over and rocking while standing. The practitioner reminded her to walk slower, but to concentrate with heal-toe walking so that we could correct her gait, thus running in less stress on her back.

The BSR process from Kate’s perspective

17 months ago I made the decision to visit a chiropractor due to a pain in my front right-hand side. I had been for a colonoscopy and scope, wherein the doctor found nothing out of sorts. His referral was to see a back surgeon or chiropractor, as the pain could be a referred pain stemming from the back. So off I went to the chiropractor, in the hope of sorting out my burning pain.

On my first visit I explained to the chiropractor what my problem was as well as what tests I had already undergone. He stated that he felt he could definitely help me as it could more than likely be a referred pain from my back. He proceeded to crack me. The week thereafter I had terrible cramps and muscle spasms in my legs. I didn’t think anything of it as I was an avid runner as well as gym goer at the time and I assumed it was from over training. The following week I went for my second visit to the chiropractor. I did inform him of my muscle spasms and cramps however he seemed positive that it was nothing and in no way related to what he has done. He proceeded to crack me again.

A week later, I got up from the couch and my legs seized. I couldn’t move. I had to phone an emergency ambulance. The paramedics gave me morphine, however still couldn’t get me on the stretcher to transport me. They had to administer strong muscle relaxants in order to be able to move me. I was thereafter admitted into hospital under the care of a neurologist. An MRI was done and it showed hair line cracks in the lower discs of my back. (L1 and L2)

I was in hospital on three different occasions having MRI‘s and x- rays and ultra sounds. They also tried to stretch me. I was on crutches for 3 months and bed ridden for 4 weeks prior to being on crutches. Extensive nerve damage to the left leg was one of the informal diagnoses as none of the tests showed anything barring the cracked discs. I attended water physiotherapist for 6 weeks and eventually was walking independent of the crutches and started driving again. I recovered about 60% when I experienced loss of power in the leg and was not confident to drive. In December 2017 I made the decision to start therapy again, but thought I’d try Body Stress Release and I so desperately wanted to be able to run again. After the 4th session my legs regressed to almost 95% bad again. My practitioner explained that muscle adaptation very often takes the muscles through a journey, which can be painful as life force returns. Through lots of encouragement and perseverance I continued with BSR and slowly started to improve again. It has been a 4 month journey and I would say I’m 90% better again now. I do believe that with continued BSR and time that I will recover fully. I still have really bad days where I feel I am unable to drive let alone walk, however I do have really good days where I feel 70% better again. My practitioner has explained that this will be a long journey as I had been struggling for 15 months prior. With her encouragement and “miracle working” hands, I remain hopeful and believe for 100% healing.

Case Study: Angela

Case Study: Angela

Angela experienced her first lower back spasm after writing an exam when she was a student in Cape Town. She was unable to walk for a few days due to the pain, but after a week or so her back settled down and she thought that was the end of it.

Unfortunately over the next number of years the back spasm would recur after seemingly harmless activities like dancing or bending over to put her jeans on.

This would become the new pattern for Angela. Every two to three months she would be laid flat by a back spasm that would be excruciatingly painful for three days and then it would take a further three to four days to ease up enough for her to get back to normal daily activities.

X-rays showed no structural damage so Angela managed her lower back problem with visits to therapeutic modalities, pain killers and anti-inflammatory pills.

To make matter worse she pulled the muscles on the right side of her neck, which would inevitably cause the lower back to tighten, and vice versa.

Angela decided to try Body Stress release in her early 30’s, initially coming in to try and get relief for her neck and shoulder. Due to the holistic nature of the technique, the practitioner would attend to the entire spine and as a result she started experiencing less and less lower back pain as well as relief in the neck.

Once the initial problems had settled down, Angela realized that regular Body Stress Release maintenance sessions would be an extremely effective way of managing her back problems. She is a busy working Mum, and cannot afford to be off work for days at a time recovering from back spasms. Over the last thirteen years she has not experienced a single back or neck spasm. A visit to her Body Stress Release practitioner once a month allows any additional muscle tension to be released before it gets deep enough to cause an irritation.

A while ago Angela mentioned that she had not realized how effective Body Stress Release was until she was trying to find a pain killer for her husband. Due to her lower back history, she was never without pain pills. When she could not find any in the house she realized that she had not renewed her script in months, as she had not experienced any pain!

Body Stress in the Arms and Legs

Body Stress in the Arms and Legs


The upper arm bone fits into a shallow socket on the side of the shoulder blade. As this allows a wide range of movement the shoulder joint is easily subject to body stress. Reaching above the head, stretching the arm backward, jarring effects in sport like tennis – these actions may strain the ligaments and muscles of the shoulder and tension becomes locked into the joint.


The shoulder may be stiff and painful. If there is a build-up of inflammation the pain may be intense. Most likely the release of the stored tension would have to be carried out several times over a period of time, to enable the joint to stabilise and healing to take place.

In a long-term case of body stress of the shoulder, the joint may become “frozen”, i.e. its mobility is severely restricted. In certain of such cases, full movement of the shoulder is restored immediately after the stress is released. In other cases this may occur only after several sessions of BSR. Therefore it is advisable to have the shoulder attended to as early as possible.


These joints may be stressed by jarring the arm, as in a fall, by twisting movements, such as using a screwdriver or opening a tight jar, or by vigorous actions such as scrubbing or using woodworking tools.

Tension becomes locked into the elbow joint, between the small wrist bones, or between the hand bones. Carrying heavy shopping bags with the handles looped around the fingers may induce body stress in the joints of the fingers or at the knuckles. 

This may result in pain or stiffness and possibly numbness or tingling. There may be weakness of the muscles when attempting to lift or grasp an object.


A pianist was aware of a sense of restriction in the palm of one hand. Body stress was located between the hand bones. A few days after the release, he reported that the reach of his hand had increased, enhancing his skill in playing the piano.

A woman in her sixties sought BSR care for relief from pain and stiffness in her neck. In the third session she reported that her neck was fully moveable and pain-free, but her left wrist had become painful. She explained that ever since a fall off a horse in her teens she had lost all movement in her wrist.

Body stress tests of the arm revealed tension stored between the bones of the forearm and between the wrist bones. A few days after the releases the pain withdrew and normal movement of the wrist was restored. The client reported that she was able to fulfil a lifelong ambition to take up golf.


As the nerve supply to the arms and hands originates from the spinal nerves of the neck, it is essential that any body stress in the neck is released. In many instances, pain, stiffness and numbness in the arm or hand is due to compression in the neck and not in the arm itself.





The ball-shaped structure at the upper end of the thigh bone fits into a deep, secure socket in the pelvis. However this joint may be stressed by movements such as mounting a bicycle, or a horse, or from a fall, or from sitting cross-legged when unaccustomed to this position.

As tension becomes locked into the hip joint there may be restricted mobility, a sharp jabbing pain deep in the joint, or a milder ache when walking or dancing.



This joint undergoes a great deal of daily strain, as not only does it bear the weight of the body, it is designed for the flexibility of a hinge joint. The cartilage pad in the knee joint and the ligaments supporting the joint may be stressed by twisting the knee, by jarring it in a fall or in a hard kick.

When there is body stress in the knee, besides being painful, the knee joint may be weakened to the point of collapsing when pressure is exerted on the leg, as in going up or down stairs.


Body stress may become locked into the joints if a person jars or twists the ankle, as in stepping off a pavement incorrectly, or as a result of a kicking action. Besides pain, there may be a sensation of the ankle collapsing when placing the weight of the body on that leg. The joints of the toes may also become stressed and this may in time contribute to the development of a bunion – a distortion in the area of the big toe.


A woman in her mid-fifties fractured an ankle bone. Two years later it was still swollen and stiff, although there was no pain. She was experiencing lower back pain and an ache in the back of her thigh. After body stress was released in the spine over several sessions, the back and leg pain withdrew. No stress was detectable in the ankle. A month later she returned and reported that her ankle had become painful. Body stress was released in the ankle and heel regions. By the following day the ankle swelling had subsided and the foot was fully flexible and free of pain. It is significant that the tension stored in the ankle could be located and dealt with only once efficient nerve supply to the area had been restored.

As the nerve supply to the legs and feet originates from the spinal nerves of the lower back, it is vital that any body stress in this area of the spine is released. Very commonly, any pain, stiffness or numbness in the legs or feet is a result of compression in the lower back.

How do We Acquire Body Stress?

How do We Acquire Body Stress?

In our daily lives we are subjected to various forms of stress: (1) mechanical stresses such as accidents, poor posture, incorrect lifting; (2) chemical stress, such as pollutants, or harmful substances which irritate the nervous system; (3) mental and emotional stresses cause us to tense our neck, shoulders and abdomen. Even if the stresses are mild, they tend to build up, causing the muscles to gradually lock up. Obviously it is preferable to have the body stress released before it accumulates to the level of causing pain and malfunction.


As the stresses become stored in the body a person will become aware of  some discomfort. This may manifest as a lack of energy or difficulty in thinking clearly. There may be some stiffness on rising in the morning, which eases as one moves about. Babies may become irritable and children may appear uncooperative or lack concentration.









It is therefore logical that to maintain health and happiness our bodies require release from stress overload We are all subjected to various stresses on a daily basis. A certain amount of stress is necessary, to provide us with challenges and to stimulate us to strive for survival and progress. Stress becomes a negative, destructive factor when it goes beyond the individual’s ability to adapt to it. The hurried pace of modern life and the competitive environment of both our work and leisure time creates stress. Once the body’s capacity to effectively deal with this has been reached, it becomes locked into the physical structure. It is like bending your finger backwards; it can only go so far before it breaks!


Most commonly people seek Body Stress Release for relief from pain, stiffness or other discomfort. Often it is because of lower back pain or leg pain, caused by stored tension in the lumbar spine; headaches, resulting from body stress in the neck; numb fingers due to compression in the lower neck affecting the nerve supply to the arms and hands.

Body Stress Release  has a greater purpose than merely the alleviation of symptoms – it is concerned with assisting the body in maintaining health.


The body’s natural ability to maintain health depends on the co-ordination of all functions – this is controlled by the brain and nervous system. If there is tension locked into the physical structures, the irritation to the nervous system undermines its efficiency. For example, pressure in the lower back may not only cause pain, but may also disturb the nerve supply to the internal organs, such as the digestive and reproductive systems. Compression in the neck means that there may have  an impact on the nerves, which have connections to the eyes, mouth, heart, and so forth. Therefore, to promote the efficiency of optimal body function we need to keep ourselves free of stored body stress.


Body Stress Release is for everyone, from infants to the elderly, whether sick or healthy. Everyone’s quality of life may be enhanced, by being assessed for body stress and having it released from time to time. Regular Body Stress Release sessions can effectively help the body to maintain its innate sense of balance.

It is impossible to overestimate the magnitude of the health benefits once locked in tension has been released from the body.

The body is capable of healing wounds and fractures, counteracting harmful chemicals, adapting to sudden changes in temperature, fighting off infection and more. While stress over-load or tension remains stored in the body, the normal tone of the body is disturbed, causing a reduction in its general efficiency. As its defence mechanisms become weakened, the body becomes less and less able to deal with further stresses to which it is subjected daily.


Making a conscious shift to empower change becomes a reality, once the life force flows freely again.

Releasing locked in tension may result in restoring all vital communication pathways between the brain and the nervous system.

Body Stress Release prompts the body’s natural homeostasis. In this way the individual moves increasingly towards the optimum state of health.

Perfect health and wellbeing is the result of a balanced and harmonious body. By enhancing the lines of communication Body Stress Release enables us to constructively adapt to the stresses of life, thereby assisting the body to heal and maintain itself.


It is essential that during pregnancy the lower back must be kept free from tension. If there is body stress present in the lumbar spine, additional tension is exerted on the ligaments connecting the uterus to the sacrum, causing severe discomfort in the lower back. This may also cause irritation to the nerve supply to the legs, resulting in leg pain.

Pioneering the Body-Wellness System known as Body Stress Release

Pioneering the Body-Wellness System known as Body Stress Release

Fear of becoming totally paralysed while still in his 30’s led Ewald Meggersee, together with his wife Gail, to pioneer the body-wellness system known as Body Stress Release (BSR).

“I had the distorted posture of a 120 year-old and would frequently wake up paralysed from the waist down,” says Ewald. “And all my life – from the age of five when I fell out of a tree and lay unconscious for a week – no one had been able to find the source of the continuous shooting pains and cramping I suffered in my lower back and legs.”

His school days were a nightmare; 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 – so Cadets was always a problem. Gym teachers ‘forced him to touch his toes until he collapsed in agony. When he was 15, he was told his pain and severe cramping were psychosomatic, because no one could find any physical cause for it.

Ewald qualified as an industrial chemist, and met and married Gail, a teacher. His body pain didn’t let up. “Sometimes,” says Gail, “Ewald would scream out in his sleep and leap out of bed in the grip of intense cramping in his calf muscles. Our blackest moment came the day he woke up feeling no sensation from the waist down. I watched in horror as he rolled out of bed onto the floor, pulling himself up via the wardrobe for support while he waited for sensation to return to his legs.”

The nightmare became a regular occurrence for Ewald. “You can imagine my fear of going to sleep at night when I didn’t know if I was going to wake up permanently paralysed,” he says. “Eventually it got so bad that I faced losing my job and spending the rest of my life in a wheelchair. We felt we had nothing to lose, so we decided to pack up everything and both train as chiropractors in America.” 

Over the years, Ewald had received temporary relief from regular chiropractic treatments, but the pain would always return. Now they hoped to discover something which perhaps others had missed and find a way to identify the source of Ewald’s pain and reverse his worsening condition.

“During our studies in America we had the good fortune to meet Dr Richard van Rumpt, a retired chiropractor who had researched an approach completely different to chiropractic manipulation,” says Ewald. “He talked about listening to the body and using it as a biofeedback mechanism that would be self-healing. When we returned to South Africa, we built on his method of reading the body’s feedback response to areas of muscle stress and contraction. The technique became known as body stress release.”

“What we discovered is that the body protects itself from stress in a highly organised way. Although it can normally adapt to the various stresses and strains of everyday life – falls, jerks, heavy lifting, bad posture – if the stress gets too severe, the body suffers overload and locks the stress into itself in lines of tension and contraction. This tension – or body stress – leads to pain, numbness or stiffness. It also interferes with the body’s self-healing defence mechanism. The body is less and less able to cope with or adapt to added stress, and begins to deteriorate further. This is why a person with long-term body stress may also feel tense, tired, and lacking in energy and enthusiasm for life. Headaches, backache and indigestion may follow.”

In some cases, a person suffering stress overload no longer feels stiff or sore – but just comes to accept as normal a sense of having less than 100% well-being. Thousands of South Africans beat a path to the Meggersee’s door as word spread when they started their BSR practice in Cape Town in the 1980s. Many of their clients, like Ewald himself, had tried other traditional avenues of medical and chiropractic treatment – without success. But now the couple had found a gentle, almost miraculous way of enhancing the body’s own healing powers by releasing long-held stress locked in the muscle system.

They knew it worked because their prime guinea pig, Ewald himself, had gone from being a near cripple to regaining his strength and the pain-free body he now describes as being as fit as a teenager’s., Ewald reported that his body continued to improve. ‘For the first time in my life I can feel the sensation of socks and shoes on my feet and have improved movement in my ankles,’.. Ironically, the BSR system which the Meggersee’s pioneered differs radically from its chiropractic roots. Most of their students come from fields unrelated to medicine – alternative or traditional. “BSR differs from chiropractic in that it uses information provided by the body itself to determine where abnormal muscle tension is under-mining the efficiency of the nervous system and disturbing its ability to co-ordinate its optimal function”.