With BodyTalk Instructor, Taryn Edge
It’s August 2003; 6 months after Beverly Lutz, the flamboyant Canadian BodyTalk Instructor brought the incredible healthcare System of BodyTalk to Durban & Johannesburg. She left our shores a week after class, and ever since, we’ve been mastering the techniques in my clinic every weekend. I’m responsible for marketing & growing the awareness of this new modality in the province, & for recruiting fourteen new students for her next course that October. No one knows what BodyTalk is, so I’ve attended every wellness fair, and placed articles in the newspaper. The phone rings. The woman sounds desperate. “The flyer says that BodyTalk has proven successful in addressing back pain,” she says. “Yes, that’s right, how can I help you?” I reply. “I’ve had MRI scans and my neurologist suggested I first try physiotherapy; failing which he’ll have no choice but to operate. My body isn’t responding to the physiotherapy, and I really want to avoid this operation. Can you help? I’ve spent six weeks in bed, living on pain killers for excruciating pain. I cannot work, go for walks or drive.”
And so, my first paying client, Dhana, slowly shuffles into my clinic. Through the yes-no muscle checking, some ‘general plumbing and wiring’ links come up in the session, and her body advises another BodyTalk balance the very next day!
There is no change, and I help her to lie down on my treatment bed a second time. I breathe and center myself. I can only trust and respect the innate intelligence of the body; it’s responsible for knowing and indicating what the underlying causes are, and for initiating the relevant healing responses. I remind myself that I am merely the facilitator; here to hold space and believe in the abundant possibilities and potential healing power of the body and BodyTalk.
The General Environment technique tests positive as an underlying cause and priority. This technique requires that the practitioner put on their “Private Investigator Cap” as Beverly calls it, and use the ‘yes-no muscle checking’ and procedure chart, to investigate what exactly in the client’s environment, is causing the stress. We then need to identify where the stress is entering the body, and thirdly, what organ, endocrine or body part the stress is affecting. “Is there anything going on at work that’s possibly causing you stress?” I ask, as “work” had tested as a priority underlying cause. Out pours “the issue from her tissue.” She works for her in-laws, and every day she dreads going into work, as she knows that they don’t want her there. She feels rejected and unwanted. That was it! Nothing more to the story needed. This ‘stress factor’ had entered her pelvis, and she was blown away when I mentioned that it was affecting her 4th lumbar vertebrae. “But that’s the exact vertebrae the neurologist said was an issue.” I smiled; the body had guided me; it had spoken her unique body story, and I “tapped it out.”
Five hours later, my cell phone beeps; “Taryn, you won’t believe it, but I’m walking along the beachfront right now. I have no trace of pain whatsoever. Thank you so very much! Dhana.”
Eight years later it was a delight to bump into her again. She smiled at me, “I said I would come back if I ever had any more pain. I’ve been pain free.”
My favorite clinic sign reads, “We are not troubled by things, but by the opinion which we have of things,” by Epictetus. We train practitioners to understand that it’s not the environment that causes dis-ease, but the client’s point of view. Once the emotional charge and attachment is taken off of the ‘environmental stress factor,’ the client’s perspective shifts, and harmony restores to the mind and body.
According to the 2017 Profmed Stress Index, work remains one of the leading drivers of stress-related illnesses among South African professionals. “Finding effective ways to manage stress is what will make the difference in the quality of life for hard-working professionals and is the only way to avoid falling ill to stress-related illnesses,” said Graham Anderson, chief executive officer of Profmed.
Studies conducted by the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) revealed that more than 40 percent of all work-related illness is due to work-related stress, major depression, burnout and anxiety disorders.
Renata Schoeman, leadership lecturer at the University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB) and psychiatrist states that, “undiagnosed and untreated mental health conditions directly impact a workplace through increased absenteeism and presenteeism (attending work while unwell), reducing productivity and increasing costs. Most employers tend to completely underestimate the financial impact of mental illness on their bottom line.”
Certified BodyTalk Practitioners and members of The International and South African BodyTalk Associations, are committed to filling this gap, and helping to support both corporate companies and their employees in this battle of work-related stress and illness. We also effectively take care of stress in pregnant women, their fetuses, growing children, spouses and grandparents. Give us a call. We can’t wait to make a difference in your life.