BodyTalk is based on the belief that the body knows how to heal itself but, like a computer, can get overloaded, leading to malfunction. A BodyTalk practitioner offers no diagnosis or prescription, just a "rewiring" session using muscle testing and light tapping on the head and sternum to re‑establish channels of communication within the body. Then the body will start functioning optimally again.
Words like "innate", "healing" and "wisdom" set off alarm bells for me, especially when used together. But look past the jargon – and past the fact that this is a booming Florida business whose founder, Dr John Veltheim, resembles an outsize elf with bushy beard and evangelical smile – and there is sense in recognising the body as a "whole" with interconnecting systems. After all, we know that when one thing goes wrong, diverse other symptoms can crop up.
Veltheim, an Australian, once ran a busy clinic for Chinese medicine, acupuncture, chiropractic and naturopathy. He became exhausted, got ill and couldn't recover. The long search for a cure led him to experiment with blending these and other alternative therapies, creating "acupuncture without needles".
His eureka moment came in 1995 with the discovery that you can literally tap into the body's energy circuits by using simple muscle testing to discover areas of sluggish communication. Tapping on the head then tells the brain to "fix" the faulty circuit, followed by tapping on the heart to "store" the fix, just like a computer downloading a programme.