The BodyTalk System was developed in the 1990s by Dr. John Veltheim, an Australian chiropractor, acupuncturist, and teacher. He drew from many of his postgraduate studies including kinesiology, bioenergetic psychology, sports medicine, and counseling, while attempting to treat his own serious illness. As his reputation grew, his medical practice flourished so much that long patient hours added stress, and he became overworked. He contracted the Epstein Barr virus, which damaged his liver so badly he was reportedly given less than a week to live. At that juncture, Dr. Veltheim checked himself out of the hospital; he went home and put in practice everything he knew about alternative therapy. With the help of one of his former students, who was a practicing osteopath and acupuncturist, he tried a new treatment technique, and within a few days was cured of his years-long fever and Epstein Barr symptoms. Dr. Veltheim and his wife, Esther, founded the International BodyTalk Association in 2000. Today, the BodyTalk System is practiced by over 200 instructors in over 50 countries worldwide.
“BodyTalk System, a holistic therapy grounded in the belief that living organisms have the capability to heal themselves more effectively than any technology used today, combines elements of both Eastern and Western medicine to facilitate personal healing and growth.” It is a relatively new treatment and has received criticism due to insufficient evidence, but BodyTalk is a non-invasive, non-pharmacological, and very low-risk treatment protocol. BodyTalk sessions take place in a safe and comfortable setting. The patient is fully clothed and lies on a massage table, in a relaxed position, with a pillow under the head and another under the knees.
BodyTalk combines components of orthodox, traditional, and alternative medicine. The crux of the BodyTalk system is that all disease found within the body is reflected in the brain. According to BodyTalk KC, “The term 'innate intelligence' refers to the inner consciousness in the body, the force that keeps your body healthy and harmonious.” People who tap into this innate intelligence seem to have a greater propensity to heal faster, likely because they use the knowledge they have and their intuition regarding what is best for their bodies. Further, “Modern research has shown us that the bodymind is a holistic, interrelated system that involves hundreds of physical and bio-energetic systems that interact continuously to sustain life.” Maintaining balanced communications between these systems is vital to good health.
The BodyTalk Approach
The BodyTalk approach is based on several principles:
Mental health professionals who would like to become certified in BodyTalk System therapy have to pursue training through the International BodyTalk Association. “Practitioners of the method, known as BodyTalkers, seek to discover which parts of the body’s ‘electrical system’ are malfunctioning. They then make contact with specific points across the body, using their hands to ‘make repairs.’ Tapping, breathing, and other forms of touch are used to stimulate the brain to employ natural healing procedures. The resulting effect is believed to improve the energy balance within the body.” BodyTalkers may use additional non-invasive techniques such as the Cortices technique (which involves tapping into improved communication between the left and right hemispheres of the brain) and hydration to help those in treatment channel the body’s natural healing system.
The Three Steps of BodyTalk
BodyTalk is divided into three steps:
BodyTalk is a cumulative process, in that every energy circuit that is corrected in a session builds on those regenerated previously; therefore, the healing continues after a session ends, in the form of brain rewiring and, consequently, improved mental and physical health.
BodyTalk As Treatment
Though BodyTalk is not a substitute for traditional medical care, many conditions have responded positively to BodyTalk because it utilizes and focuses the body’s natural healing efforts, leading to quicker recovery. At goodtherapy.org, they believe, “The BodyTalk System can treat a number of physical and mental health issues, but it is designed to improve the body and mind as a whole…BodyTalkers believe when the 36 surface energy points are balanced, people will experience improvement in all areas, including mood, energy level, muscle tension, and overall bodily function.” Some of the issues BodyTalk has been successful in addressing include digestive disorders, hormone imbalance, neurological disorders, asthma, chronic infection, allergies, sports- and trauma-related muscle and joint stiffness, depression, anxiety, chronic pain, insomnia, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), migraines, and learning disabilities, among others.
Dr. Veltheim’s BodyTalk System is a popular holistic therapy. Not only does it offer a low-risk, medically complimentary, non-invasive, and pharmaceutical-free treatment alternative, BodyTalk focuses on both physical, mental, and emotional well-being.