BodyTalk & Quantum Quackery

The latest episode of Carte Blanche (29 July 2007) reminded me of an experience I had a few years ago. For those who missed the episode, it focused on the Gert Van Rooyen scandal of the late 1980’s and 1990’s. Danie Krugel, claims to have the ability to track down certain items like humans, diamonds and oil by using a small sample of the object or a DNA sample of the person and introducing it to his GPS/Quantum Wonder Box. It was not made clear exactly how the machine finds a “signal” to the subject. If it really works, I’ll be one of the first in line once they begin full scale production! Honestly, I’m disappointed in Carte Blanche, who has lost any respect I might have had for them as a result of their lack of journalistic integrity. I would have resigned if I was one of the leading presenters. ;D

Back to the subject: BodyTalk

I found this on their official website:

BodyTalk is an astonishingly simple and effective form of therapy that allows the body's energy systems to be re-synchronized so they can operate as nature intended. Each system, cell and atom is in constant communication with each other at all times. Through exposure to the stresses of day-to-day life, however, these lines of communication can become compromised, which then leads to a decline in physical, emotional and/or mental well-being. Reconnecting these lines of communication enables the body's mechanisms to function at optimal levels, thus preventing disease and rapidly accelerating the healing process. In this way, BodyTalk stimulates the body's innate ability to balance and heal itself.

My experience on this subject is due to a period in my life when I was looking for alternatives to popular belief systems and medical practises.

At the BodyTalk specialist’s office, one completes a form with questions related to your medical history. You have to remove all your jewellery and shoes and lie down on an examination table. The specialist holds your arm and hand in one hand, and asks your body a number of questions, shifting the free hands (yours and the examiner’s) to different parts of your body. Your body then “talks” or responds to the examiner and the examiner in turn gives your body certain instructions to function properly or to correct certain malfunctions. :o

Apparently, the specialist is able to continue the treatment, even if you are on the other side of the world and not physically present. The specialist I spoke to claimed to have done work for a well known conspiracy theorist, living on an island off the coast of the UK and mentioned that she planned on doing a session for him that evening. ???

I would admit that I am neither a medical doctor nor a quantum physicist, but this does not seem to make any sense to me. Are the cells in one’s body intelligent? Are they able to follow some sort of protocol and communicate with the brain? If so, can the brain or specialist instruct the cells to repair itself, remotely no less, similar to the “Kruge Wonder Box”? I don’t think I would be wrong in guessing that this is quackery. I hope for humanity’s sake that I am wrong, but I am not holding my breath

Do these “specialists” really believe in what they are doing? This must be the case, for the alternative would be that they are psychopaths. Nothing less than tarring and feathering would suffice, or maybe the sheep deserve it for being so gullible. Million-Dollar Industry! Baaah!

The warning label should probably stay off this one!

Is this BodyTalk something that was investigated by Carte Blanche? Because if so, there should be a transcript on their website. Otherwise, do you perhaps have a link to their website?

The quote you have given reads like the quintessential pseudoscience: full of science-y words and prose like “energy systems,” “re-synchronized,” “optimal levels,” “innate ability,” etc. One wonders why they left out “quantum” and “vibrations.” The sad (and dangerous) part is that many people are so naïve about science that they can’t see through this kind of tripe, which is mostly the result of poor schooling and also the broad ignorance of journalists concerning matters of science. Both of these deficiencies are especially rife in South Africa, despite the government’s promise many years ago to make Science & Technology literacy a national priority.


Thank you for your insightful reply.

Is this BodyTalk something that was investigated by Carte Blanche? Because if so, there should be a transcript on their website. Otherwise, do you perhaps have a link to their website?

To my knowledge, this subject has not been covered by Carte Blanche.

Their website is (International) and (South Africa)

I first came across BodyTalk when my fiancee was looking into cancer treatment alternatives for a family member. We were all worried about the fact that she was being so badly affected by chemo. Being both skeptical and open-minded, as I normally am with things I don’t know anything about, I investigated the subject right down to subjecting myself to one of these sessions. (In the name of Science!)

I could find no scientific proof that it works, nor could I comprehend how it could actually work. I fully understood what the vast amount of literature and videos claimed, but as far as I am concerned, one would have to believe in the supernatural in order to believe that one person’s brain can communicate to another person right down to cell level and give it instructions to heal itself - AND via quantum mechanics. They could claim that one needs to possess certain supernatural powers in order to do this, but for hefty continuous fees, anyone can learn how to do this. Right… Sounds like another Xenu trip to me.

Quite interesting that you mentioned:

One wonders why they left out “quantum” and “vibrations.”

Quote from the website:

WHAT IS BODYTALK? BodyTalk is a revolutionary form of alternative healthcare encompassing:

western medical expertise
the energy dynamics of acupuncture
osteopathic and chiropractic philosophy
the clinical findings of Applied Kinesiology
the insights of quantum physics and mathematics

In other words, they have medical expertise, but do not necessarily apply it. These people are Medical Experts and who knows; Medical Doctors! (How can such an authority be incorrect then, and how do I dare question it?)

I have also found some BodyTalk Specialists offering additional services like Reiki and cleansing of “negative vibrations”, although I cannot connect this directly to BodyTalk (yet). This provides me with an indication as to the type of practitioner they might attract to perform BodyTalk services.

You also mentioned that:

The sad (and dangerous) part is that many people are so naive about science that they can’t see through this kind of tripe…
and cannot agree more.

It is amazing that science can disprove an irrational belief system on so many levels and fail to convince people to even investigate it for themselves. Other claims made under the guise of science (if not contrary to one’s own belief system) is lapped up without scrutiny. I think that once a person believes anything without reason, (s)he will do so no matter how much evidence is provided to the contrary.

Tarring and feathering for those who spread deceitful lies in the name of science and morality, I say! (OK, I must refrain from making reference to tarring and feathering, it’s getting old, but at least the lie stops there. Nobody will believe someone dressed in a permanent chicken suit!)

Kind Regards
Sentinel - Watching over others who cannot do so for themselves

You’re welcome.

Okay, thanks for the info ― I’ll have a closer gander at it soon.

Yes, that really cuts to the heart of the matter: there are too many unproven assumptions in this, so it’s safe to conclude that it’s a load of cobblers. And when people start talking about Quantum Mechanics in reference to living cells, they’re obviously unaware of the huge differences in scale between a cell and where quantum effects start being significant. BTW, thanks for pointing out BodyTalk’s reference to “quantum” ― it would have been incomplete woo without it. ;D

The National Health Service (NHS) in the UK pays for homoeopathic and reflexology treatments, among several other woo-woo arts that fall under the heading of “Complementary and Alternative Medicine” (CAM). Allopaths often include some CAM or even cross over to it completely because it’s lucrative and you don’t have to do any actual work other than make the patient feel a bit happier than when s/he arrived.

That’s the thing: there seems to be a fear that you would lose something or give something important up if you re-evaluate your beliefs against new or discordant evidence. None of us likes it when we are shown to be wrong.

Well, personally I’ve entertained a fondness for public floggings, but you do have a point about the chicken suit. Perhaps we could combine the two: flog 'em publicly with a tarred chicken.


Are we not headed in the same direction with Traditional Healers / Sangomas in South Africa becoming a recognised medical practise? I don’t know of any medical aids who might me contracted to Sangomas or traditional healers, but apparently they can provide the patient with a valid sick note. Whether this is in our Employment act yet, I’m not sure. I admit that I cannot find any credible reports on this topic, and cannot validate the source of that rumour.

No there’s a thought. Stinging, bleeding, burning and feathered… Definitely won’t sell WooWoo’s again!

Sentinel - Keeping WooWoo’s off the shelf

Why, yes. Yes, we are, and it illustrates the grave dangers of putting a misplaced “cultural respect” ahead of hard facts and a strict requirement for credible evidence. Another real danger is that we may soon witness the establishment of some kinds of “Institutes of Traditional Healers” (with accreditation) that will be indistinguishable from diploma mills and whose “graduates” will receive the title “doctor.” In fact, some sangomas already refer to themselves by that title.

I think I’ll just start calling myself “The Right Honourable 'Luthon64.” Maybe then more people will pay attention. :wink:

T.R.H. 'Luthon64

To The Right Honourable Luthon64,

Surely, if anyone qualifies, you deserve this title.

You can judge them and I’ll flog them with a tarred frozen turkey.

Thenk yew, thenk yew! I graciously accept your generous accolade.

As my first act of office, I appoint you – Sentinel – to the enviable position of Tarred Turkey Flogger. Since the position has little heritage, the bounds are a little obscure and from my side you mostly have carte blanche to set the limit on just how hard, frequently and vigorously, and to whom, you or your duly selected delegates apply the tarred turkey treatment. ;D

T.R.H. :wink: 'Luthon64

A fairly recent addition to South African woo-woo medicine, this “QXCI/SCIO Biofeedback Therapy” is nothing short of miraculous – to the extent that one wonders how the vast majority of medical practitioners managed to overlook it. It is a device that allegedly combines diagnosis, treatment and instant feedback, all through harnessing a modern understanding of the marvels of quantum capabilities. At least, that is what SA’s foremost exponent, Dr Yvette de Villiers, a self-confessed “Doctor of Metaphysics … born with the gift of healing hands” would have us believe. Writes she:

Voltage, amperage and resistance are all measurable macroscopic emergent phenomena that predate quantum theory, which adds little to our abilities of manipulating them at the scale of the human body. Dr de Villiers continues:

The only thing it seems to misdiagnose is the truth. Inevitably, there’s the expected disclaimer:

At the “Your Body & Soul” website, we learn that–

One should wonder whether “homeopathic frequencies” relieve fatal cases of queasiness, brought on by an overexcited sense of awe compounded by too much holism, since large-amplitude oscillations tend to induce nausea.

Similarly edifying is the description found at the “Pink Pepper” website, run by Pretoria therapists Yvonne Human and Elri Nel:

Here the explanation is of a “stress-reducing device,” capable of the following sensational, but presumably wholly incidental wonder:


Just for information: Dr. John Veltheim, the founder of The BodyTalk System ™ is visiting South Africa later this month (July 2008) in order to give sceptics a better UNDERSTANDING of Energy Medicine and BodyTalk in general. Just do a google search and you will find the info. I am a full time BodyTalk practitioner and if it did not work, believe me, I would go back to a lucrative career in law. BodyTalk has sound medical, scientific and (yes you guessed it) quantum physic principles, reasons, research, etc. to actually prove that it works. I have been turned from a sceptic to a “believer” if that is what you want to call it. There are various levels of practitioners who have different levels of training - from the most basic to advanced. If other therapies like Reiki or anything like that was mixed in with the treatment and called “BodyTalk”, it was because the body’s wisdom indicated that it would be useful in some way or another. Personally (although trained as a Reiki Master) I have only once in four years had to do any kind of Reiki in a session, but again, because the body needed to do that. Usually BodyTalk is a stand alone health care system which is quite unique because it actually uses that part of your body that knows how to fix a cut, to fix whatever else needs to be fixed. That is why the logo says “Communicate, Synchronize, Balance”. BodyTalk works - if you don’t believe it, it will still work. Just go and read all the case studies and then try and stay sceptic. I bet it will be difficult! But like anything else in this world, a healthy scepticism is necessary and I do agree that things should not just be taken on face value but actually explored to see if it works. What have you to loose by going for a BodyTalk session?

Please give citations of scientific journal articles that substantiate your claims. I am particularly keen to view those that deal with the Quantum Theory, but also other scientific aspects of this modality.

I have no doubt that BodyTalk is more lucrative than a law practice. Anyone with a basic knowledge of how suggestible people generally are cannot help but notice that people want to believe in miraculous fixes – the more outlandish, the more easily swallowed. It’s the deception and shady ethics of dishing up misplaced hope that I find highly objectionable.

And I have read both case studies and the so-called “theory” that this stuff is based on. It reads like a mediocre Douglas Adams joke. The wrong Douglas Adams, that is.


Why do these woo peddlers always end with:

They all must have read the same self help book or something…
So let me answer again;
Nothing, except the fee I have to pay to try it, but if you can arrange for me to do it for free, I promise I will truthfully and honestly report what I find.

PS. I love it when quantum physics are mentioned in these “therapies”. Its a dead giveaway that they have absolutely no idea what they are talking about. They think they sound intelligent and mysterious, but the very mention of “quantum” just reveals their deep ignorance of the subject.

A few more thoughts: Your post suggests that you have experience in matters of law. If so, then you’ll undoubtedly be aware that in legal disputes, physical evidence such as DNA, fingerprints, documents, video footage, etc. almost always trumps eyewitness accounts – so much so that a single bit of such physical evidence can invalidate the testimony of several witnesses, and frequently does. Please think about why this should be so. It is an obviously reasonable approach if we remember that people’s accounts are subjective and often misleading because they have, for whatever reason, been embellished or some details have been left out. In questions of science, this evidentiary prioritisation is even more important – it is, in fact, paramount – because science is an attempt to give the most accurate and coherent account possible of reality, and therefore reality and objectivity are science’s ultimate arbiters.

Furthermore, there is both a vanity aspect and a selection bias to these claims that this BodyTalk hooey “works.” The vanity aspect is simply that few people are sufficiently straightforward to say that they think it’s a monumental waste of time and money. I can think of three reasons for this. First, they want it to succeed because a success is far easier to digest than a failure. Second, they do not wish to appear foolish to others for having wasted their time and money, so there’s a further incentive to assert success. And third, they might think that telling the truth is impolite and they don’t wish to offend the practitioner.

The selection bias occurs because only those who believe that the system works for them will usually come back for more, perhaps regularly so. On the other hand, people who are unconvinced won’t return and their voices therefore aren’t heard, never mind asked to be heard. For those who do return, it won’t take long before they’ve convinced themselves fully of the truth of their claims.

As for the usual reply that is often heard and that is supposed to clinch the argument – the one that goes, “Well, it works for me.” – a little thought will reveal its ultimate bankruptcy, namely subjective appraisal. A heroin junkie will very genuinely assert that “it works for me” if asked whether heroin alleviates all manner of ill feeling, yet we would be foolish to say that heroin “works” as a pick-me-up. The analogy can even be extended to suggest that people, at least those with obsessive-compulsive tendencies, become in a sense addicted to a particular modality and a positive feedback loop is set up in this way.

These are just some of the effects exploited by all of these harebrained quackeries.


Firstly, I am not here to defend myself or the BodyTalk System. I do not need to. Clients do not return because they are forced, they return because they are getting healthier. More lucrative than law? I think not!

The BodyTalk system was developed in 1995 by Dr John Veltheim based on his background in traditional Chinese Medicine, Western Medicine, applied Kinesiology, modern Physics, Mathematics, Advaita Philosophy and Yoga, unifying a large number of highly recognized health methods and principles of knowledge in one all-encompassing system. This makes The BodyTalk System, a comprehensive and dynamically designed system of energy medicine that is constantly evolving.

Dr James Oschman PhD has advocated the BodyTalk System widely.

“The consciousness of the observer most likely creates the effect in the first place. Without the observer, nothing exists. What the observer wants to see, is seen”. See this link for further details

Dr Deepak Chopra:

BodyTalk is a fast growing approach to healthcare and personal development. Evidence of this includes an invitation by the ISSSEEM (International Society for the Studies of Subtle Energies and Energy Medicine) to Dr Veltheim to speak at their conference last June.

Further credence has been given to The BodyTalk System by The World Peace Centre in India, with its generous invitation to Dr Veltheim to the centre, offering the use of its facilities and state-of-the-art equipment. The centre owns instrumentation that can photograph and document changes in the body’s energy fields.

In South Africa 2,000 nurses are about to add the BodyTalk Access techniques to their skills.

For further references see:
Lipton B PhD. The Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter and Miracles. Mountain of Love. Elite Books. Santa Rosa. CA. 95404.ISBN 0-9759914-7-7. 2005.

Oschman JL PhD. Energy Medicine The Scientific Basis. Churchill Livingstone. An imprint of Elsevier Limited. USA. ISBN 0-443-06261-7. 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004.

Why is the scientific community sitting up and taking note of BodyTalk?

Lastly, please note that BodyTalk is not a therapy - it is a system and is used by practitioners as such.

Again: see the video by Dr Deepak Chopra

A free introductory session can be arranged provided that you will give your honest opinion afterwards.

Well, when you barge in here, making bold averments about this bunkum, it very much looks like you’re on a promotional mission. This being a sceptic’s forum, you can expect to be challenged to substantiate your claims, an obligation you now want to dodge.

But I see that nothing I or anyone else wrote here has actually registered, let alone given you pause to think. Maybe you’ll accord a little more respect to the views of other scientific authorities, but probably not, seeing as you already know that this bumph does work, no matter how infantile the “science” behind it is.

James Oschman’s Energy Medicine: The Scientific Basis.
Deepak Chopra’s “medical” wisdom.
BodyTalk, SCIO and “Energy” Medicine; (Also here.)

Please read the above links if for no other reason than to be better informed on the substance of the scientific objections to all of the stuff you hold so dear. Then ask yourself which is more likely: that (1) all those mainstream scientists are dumb, or (2) these few lone voices that you rely on are misled, if not deceitful.


the sceptics also said the world is flat - i wonder if they still hold that view …

Great! I’m in the Stellenbosch area. PM me the details and I promise I will give you my honest opinion.

I’m sure they did. If you look around you now, the world certainly looks flat. It is an extraordinary claim to say it is round - won’t people fall off? But then certain facts came to light that they were unable to ignore. It made it unreasonable to still believe in a flat world. And they were convinced. Because the evidence agreed with the theory.

Now you are making bold statements and we are asking again for you to provide the evidence. Which until now consists mostly of pseudoscience.

Actually, at the time that the world was commonly thought to be flat, the reigning sceptical school said that one cannot truly know anything, so they wouldn’t have made any firm claims about the Earth’s geometry – or anything else for that matter. In contrast, the modern and much more practical version of scientific scepticism requires that one questions the truth of any proposition for which there is scant or no compelling evidence. The BodyTalk System is very much in that category. In any case, the wholly unrelated beliefs, even if they are erroneous, of others concerning Earth’s form have no bearing at all on the truth or otherwise of your claims. As someone who supposedly has legal experience, you should be acutely aware of this issue of relevance.

All of the above is quite apart from, and in addition to, the historical and evidentiary facts about our home planet’s shape that bluegray V has brought to your attention in broad strokes.