Body Stress Release Association

Marlon Street, Hunters Estate Medical Centre
Knysna, Western Cape
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Body Stress Release is a unique complementary health technique that was researched and developed in South Africa in the 1980s by Gail and Ewald Meggersee and is now practiced worldwide. The need to develop this technique arose from Ewald Meggersee’s debilitating pain he suffered from, after he fell out of a tree at the age of five.

Body Stress Release offers a gentle and effective way to release stored tension from the body, thereby activating a process that restores and enhances the body’s natural ability to heal itself.This stored tension may be the cause of the discomfort or other symptoms you may be experiencing including; backache, neck pain, headaches, sciatica, fibromyalgia, cramps, constipation, anxiety, stiffness when getting out of bed, dizziness while reading, a child fidgeting, unable to sit still - to name but a few.

Professional Affiliations

  • The South African Body Stress Release Association

This Association, which was founded in 1987, is a member of COCHASA, the Confederation of Complementary Health Associations of South Africa. It holds a three day annual conference which is attended by practitioners from all over the world. The members of the executive committee are elected at the annual general meeting which forms part of the three-day conference. The Association controls the mode of practice of practitioners in South Africa, and is governed by its constitution, a legal document by which all practitioners are bound. The purpose of the constitution is to maintain high professional standards of practice which ensure public safety. It provides a code of ethics, a framework to keep practitioners functioning within the scope of practice and disciplinary powers to deal with misconduct.

  • The Body Stress Release Association United Kingdom

The United Kingdom Association is affiliated to the International Body Stress Release Association and is a full member of the British Complementary Medicine Association (BCMA) and is recognised by the Guild of Complementary Practitioners. Regular workshops and an annual AGM are held in the UK. Every practitioner who successfully completes the training course and intends to practice in the UK is required to join the Association and automatically becomes a member of the BCMA.

  • The Body Stress Release Association Netherlands

This Association in the Netherlands is recognised by a number of Dutch health insurance companies and has a close relationship with both the South African Body Stress Release Association and the Body Stress Release Association (UK). It represents practitioners based in the Netherlands (including Curaçao and Bonaire). The Netherlands Body Stress Release Association (BSRAN) is the official Professional Association of all established BSR-practitioners in Netherland. (including Curaçao and Bonaire) The Mission of the BSRAN is to guarantee the quality, professionalism and continuity of Body Stress Release as a preventive and complementary health technique, to promote optimal health (self recovery) of every human being, in order to be able to live up to full potential. The BSRAN is registered at the Chamber of Commerce North-Netherlands under number 02072079.

  • The International Body Stress Release Association

The International Body Stress Release Association (IBSRA) was founded in 2008 in response to the expanding number of BSR practitioners worldwide. Its constitution provides the guidelines, standards of conduct, practice and ethics for all practitioners who are not members of specific National BSR Associations. The National BSR Associations are affiliated to the IBSRA which is domiciled in the United Kingdom.


What Is Body Stress Release?

Body Stress Release is a health profession concerned with unlocking the tensions 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 buildup 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 coordinate 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 coordinate its functions and perform at its full potential.

“To benefit fully from the body’s capabilities we need to accept responsibility for our lifestyle choices and realise that we do influence our state of health. To deny this responsibility would be to see yourself as a victim of your circumstances. This would lead you to seek an external solution and to believe that someone else will heal you. Of course, outside assistance may help, but it is your own body that does the healing. When we accept responsibility we access the power that lies within us.”

Gail Meggersee - Self-Healing with Body Stress Release.

The BSR Technique & Assessment

The client, fully clothed, lies face down on a couch. The practitioner activates the biofeedback mechanism of the body by moving the feet in a very specific way - in BSR this is known as the monitor.

The practitioner carries out a series of body stress tests, pressing lightly on various points in specific directions. If there is body stress present this stimulus will trigger a tiny withdrawal reflex from the nervous system, indicating a site of stress.

Once a site of stress has been located the practitioner performs the releases. This is done with a thumb or finger with a slight pressure or impulse, in the specific direction indicated by the monitor. This has an effect of initiating an organised sequence of messages to the brain, alerting it to the stored tension. The brain can then send commands to the structures concerned to release it. As the process is so precise, it does not require a forceful stimulus to relay this message of a stressed area to the brain. The pressure the practitioner uses is very light.

As BSR is a process, initially three appointments are made for a new client. Then, depending on the body's responses to the releases, the client is advised regarding follow-up appointments. During a consultation the practitioner takes the case history details, making notes on past accidents, fractures and operations, as well as establishing what the client is experiencing at present.

Most people consult a BSR practitioner when seeking pain relief, especially for lower-back, leg, shoulder and neck pain and headaches. These symptoms are all noted, as they provide insights as to where the tension may be stored in the body. After attending to the client the practitioner explains the relevance of the sites of body stress, using charts to link possible cause and effect, e.g. a person with numb hands can see on the nerve chart the connections from the painful lower neck to the hands.

Body Stress Release does not involve the diagnosis or treatment of any condition, thus it does not in any way replace medical care.

BSR and The Healthcare System

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 - that is the field of medicine. Over the years medical doctors have recommended their patients to BSR. BSR practitioners enjoy reciprocal relationships with GPs, surgeons and paediatricians, as well as physiotherapists, fitness coaches and psychologists.

There have been cases of patients who were scheduled for back surgery who responded so positively to BSR that the surgery was cancelled. In instances when medical tests have been negative, releasing body stress has proved beneficial.