Melissa was born in Middelburg, Mpumalanga and matriculated at St Mary’s School for girls in Waverley, Johannesburg. Since she can remember, she has wanted to heal.
After finishing school she studied for a national diploma in radiography at Wits Technikon in
After completing her studies, Melissa practised as a radiographer at Sandton Clinic and was also involved in the medical schemes and insurance industry for a couple of years.
She met her husband, pilot André Joubert, in 2010 and, according to her, it was love at first sight. The couple made a lifestyle decision to relocate from Johannesburg to White River in 2016 and they have never looked back.
“We absolutely love the bushveld and White River is close enough to Limpopo to enjoy a weekend in Hoedspruit, where my parents have a place,” Melissa says.
“Of course the traffic is a breeze after Joburg and the people and discussions are just more ‘real’ than those in the city.” André flies international long-haul flights for SAA and so is away for a couple of nights every week.
When he is out of town Melissa looks after daughter Lexi, who is in grade one, and son Andrew (5). Despite the fact that the couple do not have family support in the area, Melissa copes quite well.
She has a brilliant nanny, Emmah, and since moving here she has built up a strong support system of wonderful friends who are more than willing to lend a hand when necessary.
Melissa practises as a flexitime practitioner at the White River Macadamia Care and enjoys it thoroughly. But why body stress release (BSR), which entails a more natural approach to healing than modern medicine?
“In 2002 I suffered from an excruciating pain in my shoulder and a locked jaw,” Melissa explains.
“Nothing helped and I was quite discouraged. A friend suggested BSR and I was ready to try anything that could possibly bring relief.”
The technique did wonders. In 2004 she decided to enrol for training at the BSR Academy situated near Sedgefield on the picturesque Western Cape Garden Route.
What does BSR entail?
Modern society is a minefield of demanding situations and many times the body struggles to adapt to inevitable stressful situations.
We are exposed every single day to mechanical, chemical and mental or emotional stress.
Mechanical stress can occur due to injury, strain or bad posture while chemical stress can be brought on by pollution, additives and food colourants.
Because of these factors, muscles tighten and the body finds it hard to naturally relax again. Layer upon layer of unaddressed muscle tension builds up and before long negative symptoms, which inhibit quality of life, start appearing.
Accumulated muscle tightness leads to a point of overload and the tension may become locked in the body’s physical structures.
“This exerts pressure on the spinal nerves and could result in pain, numbness, muscle weakness and stiffness, bad posture and impaired functioning,” she explains.
“This body stress needs to be effectively released to encourage and restore normal functioning and to stop the cycle of stress overload and compensation.”
This is where the practice of BSR comes in – it gently utilises the body’s natural yearning to be stress-free to help the body to release stored muscle tension.
While lying down fully clothed, Melissa tests the client’s body for stress.
She then applies a gentle and localised pressure to the affected areas, encouraging the body to naturally release the tension.
She does not only apply the technique, but also gives advice on posture, suggests simple self-help techniques and discusses further follow-up sessions.
The technique really is powerful, non-invasive and not too expensive and we recommend trying it, even if it is only to promote relaxation.
As Melissa points out: it can benefit people of all ages, even those who are not acutely aware of persistent muscle stress.
It is suitable for all ages and levels of health, including infants.
BSR has an interesting history and not many people know that it is a proudly South African technique.
It was researched and developed in 1980s, by Gail and Ewald Meggersee, and is nowpractised worldwide.
Although BSR is not a diagnosis or treatment, it could assist in the improvement of the following conditions by locating and releasing stored muscle tension
• Musculoskeletal complaints
including, among many others, whiplash, hip pain, arthritis and scoliosis
• Gynaecological disorders such as fertility and period problems and menopausal side effects
• Emotional problems including insomnia, anxiety and stress
• Gastrointestinal complaints such as heartburn, IBS and many more
• Childhood complaints including colic, growing pains and bed-wetting.
Melissa on 082-337-3893 or at [email protected]
Text: LIEZEL LUNEBURG
Photographer: TANYA ERASMUS