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 ...


Body odours, then and now

Body OudorOdours provide a richness to our perception of the world, the reason why a mere exposure to a stimulus can trigger strong memories of the past.  Body odours have strong genetic bases both in animals and humans, which can be influenced by disease and psychological conditions. In many human cultures, these odours were considered unpleasant. Take for example prehistoric cavemen, who literally stank so horribly which might have helped to keep them from being consumed by predators who recoiled in horror from such odours!


Throughout time, man has been aware of and attempted to reduce bad body odours sometimes in the most bizarre ways.
Egyptian women [yes we are back to that civilization!] would place blobs of scented wax on their heads which would melt in the heat and trickle downwards. Apparently this was effective but very messy.

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An Approach to halting animal cruelty


Throughout the civilized world, great thinkers have put forward ideas and theories,  many of which have been revised, criticized, accepted or been downright rejected. One must bear in mind that the great philosophers like Plato, Aristotle and many others lived in the 1800’s.


Much time has passed since then and as life is not static, rather ever evolving, our relationships with nature and all living creatures will hopefully be advantageous to creating a better and more comassionate world.


A current philosopher by the name of Peter Singer focuses on what might be mans arrogance and  I quote “all the arguments to prove man’s superiority cannot shatter the hard fact that animals suffer as much as humans and many of the more advanced species enjoy pleasure as much as do we”.


However, discrimination exists and always will be common place in society. For example, we discriminate between adults and children,  the mentally able or those disadvantaged and the list goes on and on … but why should humans discriminate to such a degree between other species?


Justification no doubt exists due to the fact that we are far more mentally sophisticated. However, should an accident occur causing brain damage, such a human may be rendered less sophisticated than that of an advanced form of primate.


With regards to our culinary habits, readers who are vegetarians or vegans having moral issues with the killing of animals for food will be horrified to know that each year about five billion animals are slaughtered in the United States, much of the population having a near obsessive for meat.


Another contentious issue exists which involves the testing of animals causing great pain and even death.


The testing of cosmetics and toiletries gave rise to the organization “Beauty without Cruelty” shortened to BWC, a South African animal rights organization with a mission to promote non-animal testing with alternative methods to abolish cruelty.  This organization lobbies national, provincial and local and government in this regard.


Since December 2014,  legal action may be taken against any company irregularly using their logo, the bunny, or claiming to be endorsed as a non-testing entity.


It is very uplifting to know that the European Union, India and Israel have banned testing on animals, Brazil now working towards this.


MATSIMELA is proud to announce that none of their products are tested in this outdated and cruel manner & fully support cruelty free in every aspect of their production.



The Colour Spectrum

colourIn viewing a rainbow, one is exposed to the wonders of the colour spectrum revealed to the eye as red, orange, yellow, green,  blue, indigo and violet. 


May one then ask where white and black feature? White is in fact a reflection of all colours,  black on the other hand being the absorption of all colours. Whether having biblical connotations or not, a rainbow is a sight to behold and many other varying velocities of light contain all the splendours of the universe.


Colour becomes apparent due to different frequencies of light from an untold number of objects.

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All about Oxygen

Covering HeadIt is perhaps relevant to begin this week’s article by mentioning that the American President, Donald Trump has just withdrawn from the Paris treaty on climate change, the signatories being those in countries who are fighting for less pollution and cleaner air, being a major consideration.


3.5 billion years ago there was no oxygen in the air, yet the first life began to evolve on our planet. Our species later became much smarter due to a rush of blood to the head, this liquid tissue containing oxygen. Should this be halted, one would pass out in seconds.


The air that we breathe in changes from day to day ` even hour to hour, especially in highly urbanized and industrial areas. According to research, the deadliest pollutants are mobile sources like trains, planes and automobiles with factories not far behind.


Ozone is worth a mention being a type of oxygen, a deep layer of which encircles the earth and shields the planet from harmful ultra violet rays.


Much discussion has been around of late regarding holes in the planet’s ozone layer.


Readers have no doubt heard of ions in the air which are relative to the stability of oxygen, being of a positive or negative nature.


These are all around us and even impact on our health and the way we feel.


Positive ions, strangely are detrimental and can affect the lungs and respiratory tract. When these are excessive we may lack energy, feel tense, irritable and out of sorts. They are dominant when using hair dryers,  illumination from fluorescent lights, radiation from televisions and other electrical gadgets.


On the other hand, negative ions have a more wholesome affect. These have the ability to attract dust, moulds and certain allergens thereby acting as purifiers. For the best inhalation, one may ask where are these dominant?  Well near to the ocean, waterfalls and mountainous areas where negative ions exist.  One can also experience negative ions on the palate after a thunderstorm !


A home device called an Ionizer uses electricity to clear toxins by releasing negatively charged particles that attach to airborne impurities.


However, there are apparently negative effects of which to be aware.


Ever wondered in which part of South Africa one would hope to find the purest air?


Well, take a deep breath because the most polluted air which comes as quite a shock is found in Hartebeespoort, probably due to proximity to large cities like Pretoria and Johannesburg! Think about this when next planning a “healthy” day out of doors !!


One cannot choose the air one breathes, but a regular visit to a wellness centre or spa can induce relaxation, better breathing and elimination of toxins within the body.


Or why don’t you choose a selection of your favourite Matsimela products through one of our stores or online and experience your own home spa !