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5 top alternative therapies

Body pampering is beautiful. But going beyond skin depth and exploring yourself wholistically can be life-changing! Alternative therapies abound and choosing can be confusing. Each treating various aspects of self, my favourites are TRE, Ozone, Nia, Kahuna and Sound healing.

Sound Healing

“I want to use the element of water specifically for you,” said Vanessa Holliday.

Vanessa Holliday
Vanessa Holliday

We’re done discussing my healing objective: to let go at the deepest levels. Comfortably ensconced on large floor cushions and under blankets, I’m overlooking Scarborough’s beach.

Empowerment coach Holliday’s gift is vibrational voice medicine. Tuning her instruments to 528 Hertz – the frequency of love, cell repair and DNA – she helps clients dissolve blockages.

A one-time DJ and sacred sound healer at the famed Pyramids of Chi in Bali, Holliday has sung therapeutically to thousands. She undoubtedly has music built into her blueprint.

Holliday’s moving copper tuning forks around my third eye, instantly activating a buzz in my base chakra.

Playing the gong, crystal bowls and monochord as she is ‘led’, it is her voice that is played for each client. “The archangels assist me with everything. I’m like a hollow flute for the sound to move through; my being becomes light.”

Before Holliday’s even finished her prayerful preamble, I’ve unashamedly already sunk into the theta [hypnotherapy] state.

Being a ‘sensitive’, I was aware of a wave-like sound and feeling etherically caressed by a celestial choir. Yet all occurred through one human voice alone. Hitting otherworldly high notes, Holliday’s voice – and my now-stimulated cells – ensured my healing hobnob with the heavenly realm. Sublime!

The transmission surprised Holliday as she’d never heard certain tones in herself before. For me? Something potent shifted at the deepest levels that day-and continues.


As rhythmic as the sea’s ebb and flow, the Hawaiian Kahuna massage is the dramatic production of massage.

Also known as temple-style Lomi Lomi, Kahuna is punctuated by plenty heavy breathing and much movement by your therapist to effect better body flow.

Its creative delivery is variously vigorous and gentle, deep and light. Like life, it’s filled with contrasts.

I’m privileged to be receiving my Kahuna from the well-experienced ‘mamma of a massage therapist’, Natalie Wittwen in Constantia. “I love the long sweeping movements. This is energy sharing and I don’t do it daily. I want to keep the passion,” expresses Wittwen about Kahuna.

She’s doing a sacred little jig at the top of my heated massage bed, in time to the soft drumming of indigenous music. Necessary for both grounding and movement of energy.

I’m dipping in and out of consciousness while the kneading, rubbing, stroking, soothing and tickling movements are executed via nurturing Wittwen’s hands, wrists, forearms and even elbows.

It astounds me that such strength and power can spring from such a petite person.

Worth noting is the ‘curtain fall’ ending: Wittwen covers you theatrically with cotton fabric, absorbing the oil for a few minutes. Then slowly, she pulls it down your body from your feet –sensually tickling you en route.

Wittwen exudes grace, integrity and client focus. As one reviewer said: “Having been burnt by… so-called spiritual people… I hold my ability to sniff out BS high and Natalie is… authentic… truly powerful… with a pure heart… she taps in deeply.”

Ozone Therapy

Somewhere between horses and the Hout Bay mountains, there’s a haven housing a huge, oval-shaped acrylic pod. I’m inside this ozone steam sauna, literally feeling the swirling heat.

Deliciously warming on this cool day, a mixture of carbonic acid [invokes calmness] and ozone [targeting diseased cells; the healthy thrive] is penetrating every pore of my naked body. Like a tortoise, my head alone is exposed. I feel like a character in a sci-fi movie being prepped for a journey across dimensions, complete with hissing sound effects.

Ozone detoxes the body through the liver, skin and kidneys and alkalises it simultaneously.

Jill Campbell is glowing, walking, talking testimony to her health crisis. After nearly dying due to a botched lung operation and with subsequent blindness in an eye, ozone therapy saved her.

Now she treats everyone from ‘the super sick to the super fit’. Additionally, people with auto-immune diseases, concentration problems, allergies, candida and eczema, amongst many.

Campbell’s ozone is special in that you’re experiencing five treatments in one. Infrared streams into your body via the capsule’s metal footplates – which tightens connective tissue and decreases joint stiffness, amongst others. Simultaneously colour/photon light therapy is delivered via the steam to soothe, relax, balance and energise.

Inside the pod, your hands grip Rife frequency copper rods. Rife emanates frequencies – which de-activates disease.

From an electrotherapy menu of nearly 120 ailments, I’ve selected ‘lymph’.

Others include parasites, pain, diabetes, Aids and even frequencies for consciousness expansion.

Finally, the tiny pipe at my nostrils provides pure humidified oxygen to ensure saturation in the blood. You’re drowning in life-enhancing gases!

Which all accounts for just how many clients visit Ozoned. “I don’t need any publicity,” laughs Campbell quietly, “but I would like to raise public awareness of the benefits of ozone.”


You don’t have to have gone ‘bossies’ on the border to experience trauma. Almost all of us are traumatised in some way. Trauma specialist Dr David Berceli found a way out of this with TRE or Tension and Trauma Releasing Exercises.

He created six easy stretch exercises to access and release the trauma after discovering the body’s stress reaction and the natural release of stress via self-induced tremoring.

I’m about to get into floor mat action with a local TRE practitioner and trainer, Ingrid Regenass. Her questionnaire has assessed my trauma. Some of TRE’s benefits include an increased sense of calm, better productivity and improved emotional resilience. Some feel these after one session.

I raise and open my thighs as instructed and the quivering automatically begins, as per Regenass’s explanation. It doesn’t feel uncomfortable as much as weird, being an unfamiliar body sensation.

Tremoring’s growing on me. It’s kind of addictive. Later at home, I discovered a TRE-trustworthy Frenchman on Youtube to guide me. You need a hard floor. TRE-ing on the bed didn’t get me nearly tremor-happy enough.


Nia Movement teacher Maggie Joubert ‘whoops’, ‘aahs' and giggles frequently into her mic, moving mesmerisingly with the music; her back turned to us. Her exhilaration and palpable pleasure would be the same, I’m guessing, without a class presence.

An integrative movement for self-healing and growth, the five stages of Nia [neuromuscular integrative action] are standing, walking, creeping, crawling and the embryonic. Working with these for five minutes will produce visible changes in re-integrating our mental, emotional, physical and spiritual aspects.

Around 10 of us at the Kommetjie studio are keeping an eye on Joubert’s behind, prancing and dancing as we try to keep up. Or rather, I am.

I joined the class with some trepidation due to my two left feet. Fine motor development skill issues as a child meant brain-body coordination challenges unto eternity.

There are 52 moves in Nia – done barefoot – and which blends martial arts, yoga and tai chi with dance.

I’m bent, twisted and stretched to capacity as I curl up contentedly in the Embryonic stage [my favourite] at the class end.

Joubert asks how I found the class. I complain I struggled to keep up with her. But she puts me straight: “The whole point of Nia is not to get the sequence right, but to find the joy of movement in your own body.”

Fact is, there’s no one-size-fits-all prescription for enhancing emotional well-being.

About Shellee-Kim Gold

A long-time globetrotter, Shellee-Kim spent seven years travelling through 43 countries.

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