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by Cathy Eden
Published in Fair Lady magazine, 30 October 1996

Feeling bloated and grey?
Then it's time to bump up your biochemic tissue salts and give yourself a new lease on life. To find out what you need is as easy as looking in the mirror:
Facial Analysis consultant Alison Effting read the telltale signs on CATHERINE EDEN'S face...

‘She can tell what’s wrong with you by looking at your wrinkles and things’, someone said. ‘I think we should check it out.’ ‘Right,’ said the editor, ’Her eyes flicked over the assembled wrinkle-free, dewy-skinned features writers and came to rest on me.

‘Your face has been around for a bit Cath,’ she said cheerfully. ‘You’ll do.’ Which is how I came to be skulking up Alison Effting’s Hout Bay driveway one morning with nothing but a slick of lip-gloss and a wave of mascara between my naked crow’s feet and the world.

Alison doesn’t have crow’s feet. Neither does she have bags or blotches or smoky caverns below tired eyes. Her eyes are bright and clear her vibes serene. It’s hard to believe that this vision of good health once felt so ill and dispirited that she couldn’t even summon the energy to walk along the beach. It was an attack of hepatitis that left Alison, an active mother of two young children, sapped of all her strength. She had given up radiography to go back to college to study fashion design, and had then opened a successful shop, Simply The Best, in Claremont's trendy Vineyard Road. Her illness put paid to work for six weeks in mid-1993; her productivity plummeted and her sales slumped.

I felt I was being given a nudge to question the balance in my life, ‘she says. ‘I decided to close the shop and run the business from home, but even so I was only coping with a two-hour day. I was anaemic, exhausted and, to add to my problems, I was facing the prospect of endometrial laser surgery or a hysterectomy.’

Alison’s mother urged her not to do anything drastic until she’d tried mineral replacement. She sent her daughter a little book on the subject, written by ex-nursing sister and theatre matron Alice von Prevenhueber, who lectures and administers tissue salts to a growing clientele in Johannesburg. The book-Mineral Replacement: Re-establishment of the Homogeneous Electromagnetic Field- made sense to Alison. Trying tissue salts as a last resort couldn’t possibly do any harm, she reasoned, so she went to the pharmacy to pick up what she needed, and, as she was planning a trip to Johannesburg anyway, made an appointment to see Alice. Six to eight months later she was a different person.

Why? What on earth is in these ‘very interesting little chaps’, as Alison fondly calls her small army of rescuers? ‘Earth’ is, in fact, the answer. Biochemic tissue salts (also known as cell salts) are subatomic particles, small enough to pass through a cell membrane. Akin to plant food, they are produced by blending one gram of a particular mineral, extracted from the soil and cleansed for human use, with one ton of tablet powder-base. Regular mineral supplements are measured in terms of milli- and micrograms, but the tissue salt tablet contains a particle so minute that it cannot be measured in this way. ‘It’s just a mineral energy; nonaccumulative and non-toxic,’ explains Alison.

Tissue Salts are dissolved under the tongue and absorbed through the membranes of the mouth, and in this way they differ from minerals in coarse form that need to be broken down in the digestive tract. ‘The twelve main salts relate, individually and synergystically, to different organs in the body and to the symptoms the body displays when it is in a state of “dis-ease” or deficiency- symptoms that reveal themselves in the face. Anyone of any age or state of health can take them, either as a preventative measure or as an aid to healing. It’s a subtle, slow process, but by putting back what has been depleted from your system, balance is restored, batteries are recharged, and, as a bonus you bloom. It’s been said about tissue salts, ‘Take them for health; get the face-lift for free.’

It worked for Alison. Gradually, from feeling that her life was not worth living, she progressed to a state of such wellbeing that people started to comment on the change in her. ‘Have you done something to your hair?’ they asked, or, ‘What’s happened to you? You look as if you’ve got a lover!’ Quite simply, Alison felt better and looked better. Without realising it, she had begun to glow. Her friends sat up and took note. Alison was on to a good thing – a treatment that was absolutely natural, non-habit forming, with no side effects and that was compatible with conventional or homeopathic medicine – and then wanted some of it too. They began consulting her. Word spread and soon strangers were clamouring for her expertise. Alison urged Alice von Prevenhueber to come to Cape Town, but instead, given Alison’s paramedical background and interest in the subject, Alice offered to train her. She started seeing clients on a professional, full-time basis in April last year.

AlisonFLM 450x404‘You need Ferrum Phosphate,’ she told me. ‘Those dark rings under your eyes tell me that your body lacks oxygen.’ I’ll say. From nine to five I slave in a building notorious for it’s erratic air-conditioning, but I’d put my racoon eyes down to lack of sleep and heredity. ‘No’ said Alison, handing me a couple of little pills to suck right away. ‘In a couple of months those rings are going to go.’ Well! I couldn’t have been more pleased if she’d told me I was going to meet a Significant Stranger. My face is definitely not my fortune, but it is enormously encouraging to know that there is a glimmer of hope for it. ‘Anything else I asked eagerly. ‘As a matter of fact, lots,’ she replied very gently.

Oh dear. It turns out that this open, Currant-bunny exterior of mine tells a rather tragic story. Of the 12 tissue salts, I’m in dire need of 10. ‘This doesn’t mean you’re sick,’ Alison explained. ‘It just mean that you could do with some help.’ She took me to the mirror and asked me to wrinkle my nose. ‘See those tiny oblique lines at the inner corners of your eyes?’ Where? Where? Oh horrors, there! A matching row of nasty little grooves, like cracks in old plaster. ‘That indicates a lack of Calcium Fluoride, associated with elasticity problems around the bones and joints, cold-sensitive teeth, spastic colon…’ The sound of my jaw dropping stopped her halfway through the list of symptoms. These three were enough for me. Arthritis has robbed my toes of flexibility, I’ve bought enough Sensodyne toothpaste to have shares in the company, and there’s hardly a doctor in this town who doesn’t know about the contortionist goings-on of my colon.

Alison peered at me again and wrote busily on my card: Calcium Phosphate (I looked a bit pale all over, she said) for cell building and warding off osteoporosis; Kalium Phosphate (a greyness was noticeable around my mouth and chin) to combat stress and mental overload and to aid in concentration; Kalium Muriaticum to conquer hayfever – as evidenced by the whiteness under my lower eyelids; Kalium Sulphate to replenish the deficiency that’s responsible for dark pigment spots on my skin. Pinkish circles on either side of my nose indicate a need for Magnesium Phosphate, to counteract nervous tension and muscle cramps; and creases – not too deep mind you – from my nose to my mouth suggest a lack of Natrium Muriaticum, the tissue salt that does battle with water retention and that is a ‘must’ if you work in an air-conditioned office or are planning an international flight. To deal with T-bar type complexion, Alison added Natrium Phosphate, the acid neutraliser that balances skin and also controls heartburn and chocolate cravings.

‘You’re probably feeling you’re a bit of a wreck by now,’ she said sympathetically, lining up nine containers of pills on the table. ‘Don’t worry; you’re just going to be helping your system to cope. Stress is the big problem we all have to deal, with and for that you need this guy: Silicea.’ The tenth, bumper bottle joined the ranks. If it can do what Alison says it can, it should be compulsory for the masses to swallow by the handful: it’s anti-ageing, promotes glossy hair and clear skin, and best of all, it combats aggression. If your Silicea levels are balanced (and anyone who sits in front of a PC all day is having Silicea eaten up), you’ll cope more serenely with life. Chomping a few in the car next time you feel a bout of road rage coming on should theoretically make you more inclined to whistle a merry tune than to get out and slug the idiot in front of you.

Alison’s clients range from strong, athletic types who want to keep in peak physical condition to people who are suffering from chronic illnesses and who haven’t found anything that works. This is complementary rather than alternative medicine, and although some doctors are mildly sceptical of the treatment’s efficacy, others are convinced of the benefits and refer their patients to Alison.

Although tissue salts are immediately absorbed on a cellular level, it can take a few weeks for external changes to become noticeable. But to correct the underlying cause of disease requires a mind-shift, awareness and a realisation that there’s a lot you can do to help yourself. ‘If you believe that you are trapped by illness, then you will remain trapped,’ Alison says. ‘But you have the power to change that; you just have to know how to use it. Nothing happens by coincidence. When the time is right for you, you hold a lot of keys to your own wellbeing.’

Now this is where you might want to stop reading if you’re sceptical of anything that smacks of the paranormal. It would be a pity, because to me, what Alison told me about energy fields and Aura-Soma was the most interesting part of the morning. To assist the healing process, you need to be in a positive state of mind. That means ‘tuning in’ to your own energy and trying to enhance it by understanding where you are in your life, and what emotional and mental blocks lie in the way of achieving your potential.

First, Alison tested the extent of my energy field with rods similar to the ones used in water divining. My energy field was pathetically small. It is being drained, and I need to understand how and why this is happening so that I can find a way to replenish it. My eyes had been drawn to the rows of bottles containing gleaming, coloured oils that were arranged on a table in the corner. Some were solid, but most were bi-coloured, in every combination imaginable. Each colour is associated with an emotion, need or expression, and the theory is that you respond to the ones that the frequency of your particular energy field needs. When analysed, the colours provide a powerful diagnostic tool for self-awareness.

Alison told me to choose any four bottles that appealed to me. I selected them slowly, letting my eyes scan the rows until I came to the ones that held my attention momentarily. I’m not going to tell you what colours I picked, because that may influence your choice if you decide to try this; all I can tell you is that the bottles relate in turn to your potential in this life, the areas of conflict that are blocking achievement, the position you are in at present, and the resolution that lies ahead. When my four bottles were lined up, Alison told me what they meant. I found the exercise fascinating, revealing and uplifting. And after ‘washing’ my energy field (I know, I know. It sounds weird, but all it involves is waving a nice-smelling lotion around your body) she tested it again and it has grown. I’ve got a long way to go, but I’ve made a start. ‘You see,’ she smiled, ‘I told you nothing happens by coincidence. You were meant to come and see me today, and to have this experience.’

The members of my family are watching me with deep suspicion. Suddenly I care more about oxygen and energy fields than I do about laundry and lunch boxes. I’m going for long walks and doing the Makarena around the living room when I should be sewing on buttons. ‘Your mother’s on a roll,’ my long-suffering husband sighs to the children. He’s right, I am. It will take a couple of months for my tissue salts to really kick in, and although it’s unlikely that the smouldering Lolita that lurks within my sturdy frame will be instantly apparent to all who gaze on me, you never know. I feel happy and healthy. And that’s not because I’m suddenly getting more sleep or have just won the jackpot. Life is as stressful as ever, but I’m doing something different.

I’m taking it with a huge pinch of salt, and now, I think, The Force is with me. It can be with you too.