It started with a loss of feeling in my feet and subsequently a pair of shoes causing a blister on my big toe. What I did not realise at that time, was that poor blood circulation in that big toe would lead to bone infection.

Unaware of the dark clouds gathering in my life I made an appointment with Dr Arnuld Engelbrecht, my homeopath and guide when it comes to matters of healing. Yes, he gave me appropriate medication but also urged me to visit someone in the medical world to get an opinion about my chances to overcome this threat. Having been used to always choose the alternative route when it comes to medical matters, I settled for an appointment with a podiatrist.

Off to the x-ray department, she commanded. An hour later I had the verdict: bone infection caused by poor blood circulation in my feet (not because of diabetics, but the same result). A surgeon was called to have a look and the second verdict was spoken: amputation of half my foot. I had to go home to decide how I would get hold of the R50 000-00 the operation would cost.

What? I later thought. How was amputation going to solve the problem of poor blood circulation? Many years experience with alternative healing methods had taught me that the responsibility for my own health was mine, not someone else’s. The idea of amputation did not make logical sense to me.

Off to homeopath Dr Engelbrecht. I refuse, said I. He promised to do some research to come up with an answer. My homework was to prepare myself spiritually, particularly around the decision to either take up the opportunity to die shortly when the infection had spread through my body or, on the other hand, to fight this infection with a very clear and serious decision to stay alive without contemplating the possibility of failure.  This took me a few days.

Then I started a period during which I had to swallow about fifty capsules every day as well as a substantial quantity of fluid medication. And take in a daily dose of garlic, flushed down with lots of vegetable juice.

The infection eventually subsided, my big toe returned to its normal shape and the swelling began to disappear.

After such a long time of being physically inactive, it was time to try to repair the damage through another alternative practice, namely stretch therapy. At first I did not believe that they would be able to help me, but I was desperate and I went to Ryno van den Berg at Stretching SA. During my first session with him, I was wondering out loud whether stretch therapy could help me with my poor blood circulation in my feet. He responded “Yes!”, as if it was the most logical thing to do.

And here I am, already feeling sensation back in my feet, experiencing a glorious tingling in my toes, being aware of a healthy pain in my big toe. Yes, I will have to give special attention to my feet for the rest of my life. But my feet are there at the end of my legs, they send me messages of the cold floor, the water in the shower, the socks I pull on. They are alive, and they are mine!! Thank you StretchingSA for giving me back the sensation in my feet.

Dr Breytie Breytenbach

Educational Consultant