Physical Treatments Past and PresentThe human body is so complex, with ten systems interconnected! One can only marvel at this unique organism and that through the ages man has attempted to find methods to relieve pain and discomfort.


Not having today’s knowledge of anatomy and physiology, some rather bizarre treatments came about as mentioned below :


Used in earlier times with a weird, complex concoction of products, people were almost addicted to having enemas and aristocratic hypochondriacs took several scented ones per day.


A well known poison in Chinese traditional medicine was used to cure malaria, syphilis, diabetes and arthritis.


Mouldy bread
This was placed over cuts and sores and as it happens, quite an intelligent choice ' as mould become the forerunner of Penicillin when Louie Pasteur found that certain fungi had the ability to destroy bacteria.


Snake oil
This is always associated with the brew of charlatans, but is in fact obtained from the Chinese water snake and still has its uses today.


A brew of red wine and coca leaves
Coca leaves actually contain cocaine and the drink was administered to delicate ladies and sickly children.
This drink was a favourite with many kings and queens and eventually became so popular in the USA that it was the forerunner for the manufacture of coca cola !


Paraffin wax
Heated wax still used in beauty treatments today, was pressed onto aching limbs and in a more experimental way injected into breasts. This being an early method of breast augmentation. The end result was hardly successful due to the formation of hard painful lumps, so was rapidly phased out.


Crystal meth
A synthetic chemical which morphed into methamphetamine, not a new drug, first manufactured in Germany in 1887 and later a more potent version in Japan in 1919 ' used to fight depression. Prior to their suicide missions, Kamikaze pilots were given doses of this drug.


Adolph Hitler, a known hypochondriac was regularly injected with this drug and many have thought that this influenced his rigid and disastrous tactics during world war two.


In present times, one has no need to resort to any primitive methods of the past, yet the very pain suffered previously can still drag one down. Impulses from the nervous system reaching muscles, skin and bone are a warning that all is not right.


Physical therapy is often carried out with the assistance of electrical appliances, which mimic the way in which the body allows for muscular contractions naturally and in some cases prevent muscular atrophy.


One often hears people talking of “being all knotted up” most likely referring to that knotted sensation beneath the rear of the skull, as a result of various muscle fibres sticking together, which can cause stubborn and strange aches and pains. This area is a most popular target for physical manipulation and no other patch of muscle gets such rave reviews offering dramatic relief to one of the most common of all human pains; the tension headache !


Many are of the perception that drugs are the one and only way to relieve pain, yet a good massage given by a certified therapist can offer enormous relief.


One need only be aware of the fact that the professional sports fraternity travel with physiotherapists to be in tip-top condition.


For the likes of those not quite so involved, a visit to a local spa or health centre is a real bonus incorporating soft tissue manipulations with special oils and / or body butters. Matsimela has the ideal massage mediums ensuring the perfect massage & treatment ...