At age of 27, I was a fit, sporty individual. I was working in a high pressure sales environment which I did not enjoy at all. To blow off steam I would play rugby, social football and run. Unfortunately I was neglecting my body and did not take note of the signs of overload. One day after work, I joined some friends for a game of football, and did not warm up. Not long after that I was writhing in agony, bent over double on the ground. My lower back had gone into a severe spasm and I was pulled forward like a question mark. No amount of stretching would ease the spasm and i eventually crawled to my car and drove home in a desperate state. At that stage my rugby coach was a chiropractor, so the first thing I did the next morning was crawl into his rooms for a manipulation. Three sessions and three days later I was able to straighten up. A week later I was back to "normal" and assumed the episode was over. Three months later I started to experience a really strange stiffness in my achilles tendons which made walking uphill very uncomfortable. That developed into acute pain in the achilles tendons, as well as the balls of my feet, and the outside border of my feet. Walking become difficult and exercise was out of the question. Driving became painful as sitting in that particular position made the pain worse. A visit to a physician later and I was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis. He warned me that the vertebrae in my spine would start fusing together and I would end up with what is known as "bamboo spine" and there was a chance I would be wheelchair bound. I would have to be on chronic mediacation to try and slow the process but there was no cure, I was told. A short term solution was to have cortisone injections directly into my achilles tendons, which was excruciating. I was advised to go for a second opinion and was referred to a Rheumotoligist, who diagnosed me with having Rheumatoid Arthritis in my ankles. The solution: chronic mediaction to control the discomfort, but there was no cure. At this point I was at my wits end and rapidly entering a depressive state. This was the point at which I was told to try Body Stress Release. I made an appointment to see John Beck in Pinelands, Cape Town, and was immediately cheered by his enthusiasm and love for the work he did. After my initial session I thought there was no way that the gentle approach that he used could make any difference to how I was feeling. What did make alot of sense though, was his explanation of how the original lower back spasm may have put such pressure on the spinal nerves that innervate the lower legs, that it may have been causing the pain. Fortunately he convinced me to go for the follow up sessions, as I could feel changes begin to happen. It took a number of sessions, but eventaully all my symptoms of stiffness and pain dissappeared until the stage that I felt completely pain free agaan. i was so impressed by this gentle, yet extremely effective technique that I appplied to do the cousre and was accepted for the 2004 intake. Once qualified I set up a practice in George and I love the fact that I am able to help people on a daily basis, that just like me had often given up hope. Tapping in to the bodys' incredible powers of self healing can truly produce "miracles" !