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The BodyTalk System
Was developed in the 1990s by Dr. John Veltheim, an Australian chiropractor, acupuncturist, and teacher. Contributing factors to the development of this treatment method include Veltheim’s postgraduate studies in kinesiology, bioenergetic psychology, sports medicine, and counseling, among others, and his search to meet his own healthcare needs while dealing with a life‑threatening illness. He traveled the world to find answers, exploring alternative remedies in both Eastern and Western medicine, and an osteopath in New Zealand introduced him to techniques that eventually became the foundation for the BodyTalk System.
In 1998, as his health began to improve, Veltheim moved to Sarasota, Florida to further establish his developing practice. In 2000, Dr. John Veltheim and his wife Esther Veltheim founded the International BodyTalk Association. Today, the BodyTalk System is practiced by over 200 instructors in over 50 countries around the world.
In addition to the classic form of the BodyTalk System, BodyTalk professionals have developed an adapted version called BodyTalk Access. The BodyTalk Access program teaches individuals, groups, and organizations a simple set of energy‑based techniques to promote self‑healing. These BodyTalk Access techniques, designed to help people manage daily challenges to well‑being and maintain whole‑body health, can be used at home, school, or work, by any individual.
The Three Brain Complex
The three brain complex, also known as the triune brain model, refers to the concept that the human brain is composed of three separate and interconnected parts: the head brain, the heart brain, and the enteric brain. Each of these “brains” are connected through a network of neurons and chemicals, and they work in concert to help us make sense of our experiences and respond appropriately.
Also known as the neocortex, is the part of the brain that’s responsible for conscious thought, decision-making, and rational thinking. It’s what we typically think of when we think of the brain, and it’s where many of our cognitive abilities reside, including language, spatial reasoning, and problem-solving.
The heart brain, or the cardiac plexus, is a collection of neurons located around the heart that communicate with the rest of the body and the head brain. It’s often referred to as the “emotional brain” because it’s involved in regulating emotions, moods, and even intuition. Recent research has suggested that the heart brain may be capable of learning and memory, and may even play a role in decision-making.
The enteric brain, also known as the “second brain,” is a complex network of neurons located in the gut that controls digestion and communicates with the rest of the body and the head brain. It’s involved in regulating gut motility, secretion, and blood flow, and it’s also responsible for the “gut feelings” or intuition that we sometimes experience. The enteric brain can operate independently of the head brain, and recent research has suggested that it may play a role in a wide range of conditions, including irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety, and depression.
This approach, which is sometimes described as acupuncture without needles, purports a person to listen to their body, engage its ability to heal itself, and enhance communication between bodily systems.
Based on the dynamic systems theory, BodyTalk considers emotional, physical, and environmental influences in order to address the underlying cause of conditions, and using various techniques to activate the brain, restructure the body’s energetic patterns, and promote healing from within.
Practitioners of the method, known as the 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.
The approach is based on the following principles:
BodyTalk Processes and Techniques
The process of BodyTalk can be broken down into these three steps, the “ABCs” of BodyTalk:
Techniques in the BodyTalk System
One of the most important techniques used in the BodyTalk System is the cortices technique. This technique, which is based on the premise that the brain functions electromagnetically and can sometimes “blow fuses,” is designed to bring balance to both halves of the brain by repairing these fuses. This process is believed to strengthen function in the brain and body and improve the “bodymind’s” response to stress. In this technique, the practitioner places one hand over the back of the head and, with the other hand, begins to gently tap parts of the head, sending signals to both sides of the brain. This is followed by gentle tapping of the chest.
This process is repeated for each part of the head, always moving up along the centerline of the brain. The tapping is believed to form a “bridge” between the hemispheres of the brain, creating a “standing wave” to allow the energy fields to interact with one another, reopening the electrical communication between both hemispheres. The goal of the process is to improve brain efficiency and overall health.
Issues Treated With BodyTalk
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. Systemic treatment tailored individually to each person seeking treatment is intended to promote balance and healing. 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.
The approach can also be used to address systems of posttraumatic stress, depression, anxiety, chronic pain, and insomnia.