Johannesburg - Aton Neethling’s claims that he healed former rugby champ Joost van der Westhuizen’s motor neurone disease should be viewed with caution, experts have said.
Van der Westhuizen has told various media outlets that he has been healed and will live for a long time.
But medical practitioners have slammed Neethling, who is not registered with the alternative medicine health body, the Allied Health Professions Council.
Neethling, who runs a health and wellness centre in Pretoria, also claims on his website that he can cure cancer and multiple sclerosis, cholesterol problems, diabetes 1 and 2, lupus, sinus and allergies, migraines, arthritis and even Aids.
Beeld has reported that Neethling claims he has a doctorate in theology.
He kept the former rugby player for a month at his Pretoria detox clinic – the Biological Human Ionisation Clinic – where it is claimed that his body was detoxed both with medication and electromagnetic treatment, which is an alternative therapy that uses magnetic waves of low frequency to “restore the body’s equilibrium”.
Van der Westhuizen was put on a liquid diet, which included daily carrot juice, and had all his dental fillings containing mercury removed because of its claimed toxicity.
“I’m going to live for a long time,” Van der Westhuizen told You magazine. “My life is normal; my nervous system is normal; everything is normal. Now we’re trying to repair the damage.”
According to Neethling's website, this programme is new to South Africa. But medical authorities caution that electromagnetic treatment is not regulated here.
Neethling claims that his programme is the result of concepts tested and patented after many years of research where it was discovered that “the human body functions similarly to everything else on mother earth… that is with energy; that is live energy/fuel from plants and various protein sources, which in turn provides our much-needed minerals, vitamins, amino acids and omega sources”.
The website goes on to claim: “The bacteria and enzymes in the various parts of this machine aid in this wonderful energy-producing machine to change these sources into ions, which in turn can be absorbed into the cells of the body producing ‘body electricity’. That is energy to function – nerves are a classic example of this process.
“Disease is the lack of functionality of one or many of the systems in the body and can be measured individually with these new techniques to get to the root cause of the disease or the symptom and thereby prevent body breakdown…
“Medicine and the sciences only address the symptoms resulting from the disease or its onset in the body. No disease can be cured by nursing the symptom and not treating the route (sic) cause of the disease itself,” he claims on the website.
A Pretoria neurologist, who asked not to be identified, said: “Assuming the motor neurone disease diagnosis is correct, it is invariably fatal. On the mainstream medical level – not alternative medicine – we are not aware of any treatment, and the patient will die. Having said this, there are sometimes cases where the patient can have years of remission and remain stable. But, inevitably, he will deteriorate again and will die.”
Fellow Pretoria neurologist Dr Manesh Pillay concurs, saying of MND: “It is widely and commonly accepted as terminal and incurable.”
Free State neurologist Dr Liesl Smit said: “It is very definitely incurable. I wish it wasn’t, but there really is nothing that we can do for it.”
Neethling told Beeld newspaper that he was a pastor who “walked away from the church in search of answers about why people get so sick and die”.
Allied Health Professions Council registrar Dr Louis Mullinder told Beeld they had never used or approved any of the devices Neethling uses for either his “frequency” or “bio-electromagnetic” treatments.