Az’s story

16th June 2023

BSR changes the life of a young man unable to live life to the full due to ongoing challenges caused by gut and stomach problems.

Az is a 32-year-old Founder and Director of a PR Agency working with luxury brands based in Reigate, Surrey. Born in the Midlands, Az describes himself as constantly on the go. In addition to running his PR business, he also makes wedding and birthday cakes and is a keen gardener, growing vegetables and flowers at his allotment in his spare time. However, until he discovered Body Stress Release (BSR), Az’s life had been ruled by the health of his gut. 

Az’s gut problems go back to his teenage years

The story of Az’s gut health starts in his teenage years. At about the age of fifteen, Az was diagnosed as lactose intolerant. He cut out dairy completely and then slowly re-introduced it. For about five years he did not have any issues and was able to live his life normally. He went to university and in his second year, when visiting his parents, his mum made him a meal spicier than he had become accustomed to. His stomach flipped and he had to make repeated visits to the toilet. Unknown to Az at the time, this meal had triggered what would be years of gastrointestinal and gut problems.

Many tests over many years, no answers

He spent the next five years visiting a series of doctors, consultants, dieticians, and other specialists, and underwent numerous medical tests, each of which came back negative. A low FODMAP diet, designed to restrict certain food types known to cause digestive issues, made no difference. He kept a detailed food diary, but the dietician said his symptoms did not make sense. He was discharged with a diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and with the dietician telling him that he knew his body better than anyone, and that only he would know what worked for him. Effectively, he just had to get on with his life without any support or relief from his symptoms.

A very restrictive lifestyle affecting Az in many aspects of his life

The effect of this was dramatic. A bad flare up could mean visiting the toilet up to fifteen times in a day. Az had very low energy levels. The diet which worked for him was very restrictive, so he struggled to gain weight. His social life was affected. At times Az felt house bound and, when he did go out, he had to plan it very carefully, eating two hours before leaving the house. He became used to having to leave his friends and dash home to use the bathroom, as the thought of using public toilets was inconceivable. For a young man, this was embarrassing and something that he did not really talk about. His way of coping was to try and control what was happening, but food was going straight through him. He was not absorbing the necessary nutrients and, consequently, he had no energy and was constantly tired. Another side effect was extreme bloating – at times, Az’s stomach would stretch as if he were pregnant. This was extremely uncomfortable and could last for days on end. 

Az and James MacDonald in Dorking

A recommendation leading to a normal life again

Like many people, Az found BSR through a recommendation. His neighbour, and many of her friends, had been seeing James MacDonald, who is based in Dorking, and she recommended him to Az. Az was sceptical; everything else had failed to work. One glimmer of hope was that James had found BSR as a client when seeking a solution for his own stomach issues. Az booked his first appointment with little expectation. His body was so numb that he could not even feel the pressure James was applying in his first session.

However, Az was amazed with the results. His problems did not go away immediately, but he could feel a change. After a month, he realised his bloating had gone down. His energy levels were increasing, and, after the first sessions, they just kept on getting better. The reduction in pain and discomfort and increase in energy means Az has been able to completely change his lifestyle. He no longer has to plan his life around his gut. He can live a normal life visiting friends, going out, and working. For the first time in his life, he has also been able to join a gym.