Location: Halifax NS, at the Rosaria Student Centre at Mount St. Vincent University
Time: 7:00 pm
Dr. John Veltheim’s biggest obstacle is time as he travels the world promoting holistic medicine. In the 1990s, he set out to create a system that allows practitioners to tap into the body’s innate ability to heal itself. He called it BodyTalk, and it has spread throughout the world.
Recently I spoke with Dr. Veltheim by phone as he travelled across the United States on a speaking tour. He launched into a quick synopsis of how the human body is a field of energy and information that is now being recognized by biophysicists.
The body relies on a complex set of signaling processes to monitor and repair itself, but the stresses of daily life, from toxins in the environment and our unhealthy lifestyles to the ravages of emotional stress, disrupt these signals.
Originally a chiropractor and doctor of Chinese medicine and acupuncture in Australia, Velteim will address the underlying reasons for disease and why we need to embrace an integrated approach to health and healing.
As an example of the body’s inner guidance system, he gives the example of the jaw, which is moving all the time. It has 3,000 nerve receptors linked to the brain, both to control movement of this complex piece of anatomy and also to ensure the brain always has the background stimulation which it needs to stay active. When the jaw is wired shut for treatment, patients have been shown to lose brain cells.
By the time you are aware of being ill, many things have probably been going wrong in your body for some time. Eventually you become aware of symptoms. With luck, and good medical care, you are diagnosed and treated and make a full recovery. This is the standard model of health care in the west. While it can be effective, it is a limited view of the complex interactions between ourselves and our environments.
“We encourage practitioners to understand the body at the levels of physical function and also consciousness,” he says. “We train our practitioners to develop their intuition so the patients’ bodies can tell them what to do.”
A diagnosis of a disease, like an ulcer, is a label that doctors try to match with a treatment, he says, but an illness can come from 8 or 9 causes including allergies, stress, local infections and back problems. The question is: What are the feeder mechanisms, including memories of trauma, that contribute to the condition?
“No human being can know all that but the body does. By asking the right questions you get the answers. By asking simple questions of the body using kinesiology the information starts to flow to the practitioner.”
Veltheim described how the stressful environment of modern society triggers the brain to produce the fight or flight response that floods the body with cortisol and other stress hormones. The problem is that the brain does not get time to relax and reset this mechanism, a problem now being recognized even in children. When entire cultures become like this, it creates rage, gang wars and religious extremism. At high levels of collective fear, it leads to war between nations.
Speaking at a conference on global conflict representing 90 countries, he proposed a program to teach people simple techniques that alter their stress response at an individual level. His “cortices” technique only takes minutes a day.
“We can use these techniques on each other to reduce stress and reset the circuits. This can take care of 60% of health problems in these remote villages. It is now getting the backing of the United Nations and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Now we are putting our attention on America which is not a happy place. There is so much stress and tension.”
There is no disease that is not increased by stress, he said. With the inflammatory type we get a 50% improvement in serious diseases.
Veltheim has been practicing Zen and other meditation styles since he was a boy. With his father he studied marshal arts with a Japanese teacher who was a Zen master. “That got me interested in Eastern philosophy which I have been studying for 50 years. In more recent years I have been studying quantum physics with scientists from NASA and Russia.”
The highest principle in nature is the paradox such as light and dark, health and disease, yin and yang, peace and war, he says. “In nature we see that wars are going on all the time. And now we are more aware of this. Conflict is what leads to change. The big challenge is to transform the accumulation of knowledge into wisdom. We all want meaning in life. Conflict can be the catalyst to do this. Even bad health can lead to good health if it’s treated properly. There is always conflict in nature and we can use this to gain wisdom.