He's always been considered one of the more unusual All Blacks but Ali Williams has outdone himself this time.

The man once referred to by Kiwi media as 'Comical Ali' has revealed that he once sought the help of a spiritual healer to overcome injury problems during his 77-test All Blacks career.

And it seems he is deadly serious.

Williams, now based in the United Kingdom after retiring at the end of last year, told the BBC that he once tried to fix his battered body via an ancient Japanese practice of spiritual healing. He added he had also experimented with shock treatment and acupuncture as other unconventional means of injury remedies.


The 2011 World Cup winner often seemed like he was cursed with an injury jinx over a lengthy 15-season first class playing career.

He has suffered stress fractures, a series of Achilles injuries and a broken jaw as well as being plagued by shoulder problems. He told the BBC that he had used alternative methods to try to speed up his rehabilitations, including a Japanese healing method known as reiki which involves a hands-on healing method where practitioners believe they are transferring "universal energy" through their palms to encourage healing.

"It's like an overpaid lady who comes and says 'look I'm going to touch your forehead and touch your injured part and the spirits are going to come down and heal you'. You give your 300 quid or whatever it is and say, 'I've just been done!'" he joked with the BBC.

"I was injury-prone to say the least ... I even knocked my brain a few times. It's the power of the mind, the power of the brain that you accept that you are not going to be 100 per cent.

"First and foremost, you show the coach on Thursday that you are alright, even if you hobble through it. And then once you get to game day it just vanishes. People play with broken feet and the likes .. there's just something in us that releases and we just go for it."

Williams explained that the shock treatment involved "banging the zone to try to stimulate blood flow to the area to increase the healing", adding that he also undertook the more traditional method of endless icing. He said ice treatment didn't suit him and that was why he had looked at non-conventional alternative methods.

11 Feb, 2016 5:30am
3 minutes to read