Stress release let's body do the talking

STIMULATING the nervous system can help to release pain and stiffness in joints.

This is the word from Nelson Mandela Bay-based body stress release practitioner Armand van Gend.

With October being World Arthritis Awareness month, Van Gend will be speaking at the Eastern Cape Branch of Arthritis South Africa's awareness talk on Thursday at St John the Baptist Anglican Church hall in Walmer.

He said the technique, which has been practised in South Africa for more than 30 years, stimulates the nervous system of the body to release tension.

"It is done by the practitioner on a fully clothed client by also using the body as a biofeedback system to accurately test for stored tension which may be disrupting the nervous system.

"Body stress release is a gentle yet effective complementary health technique whereby the practitioner assist in stimulating the nervous system of the body to unlock and release stored tension in order to restore the self-healing process of the body," Van Gend said.

During a body stress release consultation, the patient lies down and 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 of the patient. In this way, the body acts as a biofeedback mechanism, supplying the information required. Jeanette Bradfield of Arthritis South Africa's Eastern Cape branch said practices such as body stress release show help is available for people with arthritis.

"Unless you or someone in your family has arthritis, you probably don't know that one in five South Africans – that's more than 10 million people – have or will have one of the more than 150 diseases which are grouped under the term arthritis.

"Children even younger than two, teens and adults can develop any of the auto-immune forms of arthritis, while osteoarthritis is more widespread among older people. There's plenty of help available however, and this is the message [we want to] get across," she said.

Van Gend said the practice emphasises teaching the patient about their body.

"The pros of the practice is that it is a non-invasive and gentle approach to pain relief. Emphasis is put on educating the client on his or her health connected to their posture, exercises and so forth".

The talk will be held from 9.30am and entrance is free.

For more information, contact Jeanette Bradfield at (041)365-1419 or send an e-mail to