BodyTalk: What are the limits?

Jul 19, 2013

By James L. Oschman, Ph.D.

BodyTalk: What are the limits? James L. Oschman, Ph.D

What you believe to be true is true,
within certain limits, which are themselves beliefs.
In the province of the mind, there are no real limits.
~John Lilly, The Center of the Cyclone (1979)

I would like to discuss the limits of what can be accomplished with BodyTalk. All of us have ideas about what is possible and what is impossible, but these are just ideas. 15 years ago it was impossible for the heart or the brain to regenerate. Now we know that they can. Our ideas about limits are not real limits, they are just ideas.
Practitioners of BodyTalk see remarkable transformations in their patients; they witness the power of this approach; but there may be the question, "what, if any, are the limits of this method." Let's ask this question of John Veltheim and Jim Oschman at the Malta conference. As you will soon see, I am ready for this question.
Everyone hopes for and longs for a medicine that can resolve any medical issue, so that a sick or seriously injured person can get on with their life, free from pain and impairment, their life restored, so that they can fulfill their destiny, so that they can make the contributions they were brought here to make. The Sufis refer to this as kismet, a word meaning fate or destiny, a predetermined course of purposeful events. Of Arabic origin, the word spread to Persia and Turkey, where it commonly means "luck". In my mind, this is the true contribution of complementary and alternative medicine: freeing people from their aches and pains and injuries and diseases and mental confusions so that they can fulfill their destiny, so their birthright, their "good luck" can prevail in all that they do. This is about our individual evolution and our collective evolution as a species. From my perspective, when you are on purpose, when you are fulfilling your destiny, "the wind will fill your sails." Your progress toward your life goals will be effortless, the resources you need will appear, seemingly as if by magic. R. Buckminster Fuller (1895 – 1983) said it this way:
If I need materials or personnel to accomplish evolution's ends, events will arrange themselves in the appropriate pattern.
Politicians grumble about the national debt, but nobody is talking about the biggest contributor to this debt, which is a healthcare system that is inefficient, ineffective and tremendously expensive. For example, more and more cancer centers are being constructed around the country, and more and more people are being trained to perform surgery, chemotherapy and radiation treatments, but nobody asks why we have a raging cancer epidemic.
I am grateful to John Veltheim for bringing me into the discussion of the quantum aspects of BodyTalk. I have learned a great deal from our discussions, and from the articles and insights he has obtained because of his relationships with some of the top quantum physicists, neuroscientists, and philosophers in the world. Quantum physics has given me a number of valuable perspectives on how the human body works, the real meaning of health and optimal physiological functioning, the nature of consciousness, and how BodyTalk produces such remarkable results.
The following is a brief summary of what I have learned. Most of this will seem unfamiliar, as I discuss phenomena that are well established but that cannot be found in conventional textbooks. I look forward to discussing all of this in more detail at the gathering in Malta at the end of October, especially at the 3 day post-conference session October 31-November 2 during which we will go deeply into the subject of The Biophysical Mind.


The basic discovery of quantum physics is that no particles exist anywhere in the universe except in relationship to all of the other particles in the universe. Fritjof Capra's book, The Tao of Physics, described it this way:

Gradually, physicists began to realize that nature, at the atomic level, does not appear as a mechanical universe composed of fundamental building blocks, but rather is a network of relations, and that, ultimately, there are no parts at all in this interconnected web. Whatever we call a part is merely a pattern that has some sustainability and therefore captures our attention.
~ 25th anniversary edition of The Tao of physics.

Erwin Schrödinger coined the term entanglement and he was convinced that this was the characteristic of quantum systems that shows how completely different they are from classical Newtonian systems. The story of entanglement is the story of quantum physics itself. And quantum physics is regarded as the most successful theory in the history of science.

Schrödinger concluded that an entangled state could be used to steer a distant particle into a particular quantum state. You could say that in the entangled state between you and your BodyTalk client, entanglement makes it possible to allow a biological process move towards a natural state of balance or health. Entanglement is effortlessly present whether you know it or not, and BodyTalk appears to be a method for taking advantage of the phenomenon as a means of enhancing well-being.

The theme of The Tao of Physics is that the idea of entanglement or the interconnectedness of things is actually an ancient principle from the Eastern mystical world view. This is the Vedantic philosophy that has fascinated Dr. Veltheim since his youth, and that has been part of the inspiration for BodyTalk.
Some people don't like the ideas of entanglement and other interpretations of quantum physics. Two English quantum physicists, Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw wrote a book entitled The Quantum Universe. The advertisement for the book says, "The subatomic realm has a reputation for weirdness, spawning any number of profound misunderstandings, journeys into Eastern mysticism, and woolly pronouncements on the interconnectedness of all things." I was curious to find out why these scientists thought the connection between quantum physics and Eastern mysticism was a profound misunderstanding. I wanted to find out what was "woolly" about the interconnectedness of all things, the fundamental principle of quantum physics. So I bought the book. If I'm confused about these things, I want to know about it, and I am willing to buy a book to learn more.

On page 139, the authors state, "...and so, every electron in the universe knows about the state of every other electron. We need not stop there – protons and neutrons are fermions too, and so every proton knows about every other proton and every neutron knows about every other neutron. There is an intimacy between the particles that make up our universe that extends across the entire universe..." (No contradiction of Schrödinger's entanglement or ancient spiritual insights so far!)

Cox and Forshaw continue, "Saying that every atom in the universe is connected to every other atom might seem like an orifice through which all sorts of holistic drivel can seep." Using the term "holistic drivel" is a way of negating and demeaning and disrespecting the totally respectable and vitally important term "holism" without really explaining precisely what their objections really are. This is typical of the way skeptics cast doubt on a topic without explaining themselves. I looked through the book very carefully, and could find no comments on why they think the connection with Eastern mysticism is out of place, or why entanglement is wrong. From the above quote, it would seem that these authors are in agreement that entanglement exists. They just do not like the idea that the ancient mystics described it a long time ago. Of course, they are entitled to their opinion, and they are entitled to live their lives on the basis of that belief.

Another physicist, Joy Christian, is convinced that he has disproven entanglement and that he should get a Nobel Prize immediately. His book, Disproof of Bell's Theorem, Illuminating the illusion of entanglement, is expensive, in part because he is trying to raise money for his imagined trip to Stockholm to receive his Nobel Prize. He is too late, though, for entanglement is successfully engrained in our technological revolution. For example, quantum computers make direct use of quantum-mechanical phenomena, such as superposition and entanglement, to solve equations thousands of times faster than conventional computers. And new technologies are enabling scientists to follow quantum processes taking place in living systems. One third of our economy involves products based on quantum physics. Technologies where the quantum aspects are essential are the laser, the transistor, charge coupled devices (modern cameras), and the MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) found in many hospitals.
Water: the missing link

My recent inquiries have enabled me to understand what has prevented academic medicine from discovering the true nature of life. Water is the most important missing link.

In March of this year I attended a gathering in London entitled Colours of Water, a festival of art, science, and music inspired by water, sponsored by the Institute of Science in Society. I heard lectures from some of the top water scientists in the world, including Mae-Wan Ho, Emilio Del Giudice, Gerald Pollack, Peter Fisher and Martin Chaplin. Gerald Pollack has just published a remarkable book on his revolutionary discoveries about water, The Fourth Phase of Water: Beyond Solid, Liquid, and Vapor. The fourth phase is interfacial water – the water adjacent to membranes and molecules. This interfacial water is the water that will be discussed below. And if you want to learn more details about water, Martin Chaplin of London South Bank University has developed and continuously refines and updates a web site that brings together the best information available. It is a precious resource:

Water is the most studied material on Earth but it is remarkable to find that the science behind its behavior and function are so poorly understood (or even ignored), not only by people in general, but also by scientists working with it every day. The small size of its molecule belies the complexity of its actions and its singular capabilities. Liquid water's unique properties and chameleonic nature seem to fit ideally into the requirements for life as can no other molecule. ~Martin Chaplin

Our modern biomedicine is based on biochemistry and molecular biology. While much has been learned from these approaches, there has been an enormous gap in our understanding because water has been left out of the biochemical and molecular pictures. This has created a lot of confusion. This is my first point worthy of emphasis. Leaving water out of biochemistry and molecular biology has created a lot of confusion.

I will describe two areas of confusion. The first has to do with semiconduction. I have presented the idea of the living matrix at several BodyTalk conferences. The living matrix concept provides a sound basis for a holistic perspective on the body. The reason for this is that the living matrix is a system that extends throughout the body and physically connects all of the parts together. It is the one system that touches all of the other systems. The living matrix began as an anatomical description of the fibrous systems within the cell that include the cytoskeleton, the nuclear matrix, and a variety of interconnected fibers such as the microtubules, microfilaments, intermediate filaments, chromatin and DNA in the nucleus.
The big quantum leap in understanding came from the discovery that the fibrous systems inside the cell link across the cell surface with the extracellular fibrous systems of the connective tissue and fascia that extend throughout the body. At a recent Fascia Research Congress, fascia was defined broadly as: "the soft tissue component of the connective tissue system that permeates the human body, forming a continuous, whole-body, three-dimensional matrix of structural support. It interpenetrates and surrounds all organs, muscles, bones, and nerve fibers, creating a unique environment for body systems functioning."

The excitement about this system arises because most of its components have been carefully studied and much is known about them. What brings the living matrix to life is the realization that the components of this matrix are electronic semiconductors. This means that the electrons in the proteins and other molecules are not confined to the chemical bonds that hold the system together, but are free to move around, conveying energy and information throughout the organism. The quantum physics description is that the electrons are delocalized.

Semiconductors are the remarkable materials that make possible our current electronic age. My descriptions of the semiconducting living matrix have been a hit with the various schools of complementary and alternative medicine that teach about energy flows in the body. Practitioners were happy to hear that there was a possible scientific basis for the energies they experience and work with every day in their clinical practices.

The idea that the proteins in the body are semiconductors dates to a famous lecture given by the Hungarian Nobel Laureate, Albert Szent-Györgyi, in Budapest in 1940. Biochemists immediately set out to prove that the great scientist was wrong, that proteins cannot conduct electrons. To do this they extracted proteins from living tissues, purified them, dehydrated them, compressed them into pellets, put them between electrodes and tried to pass currents through them. These pellets would not conduct electricity - they were insulators. Szent-Györgyi was obviously mistaken.

The problem was that the researchers had removed the water. This was a time when biochemists regarded water as a sort of filler, an inert medium in which molecules floated about. They therefore thought that the best way to study proteins was to separate and purify them.

When hydrated or wet proteins were tested, they were semiconductors. Moreover, the protons in the water layers can also move about. But various biochemists repeated studies on pure crystalline proteins again and again and found that they were insulators.

Eventually Albert Szent-Györgyi went on to use the theories and methods of quantum physics to document semiconduction in proteins. But there were enough reports of the failure of protein crystals to act as semiconductors that biologists more or less gave up on the idea and regarded Szent-Györgyi as a bit of a maverick. The quantum approach to semiconduction in proteins fell largely on deaf ears, because few biologists had any understanding of quantum physics. In spite of the relevance of semiconductor physics to biology and medicine, thinking about life is superficially much easier without quantum effects and without biological semiconduction. The biochemists were more comfortable if electrons and protons minded their own business and remained localized to individual chemical bonds and hydration layers, respectively. In this way one of the most important discoveries in biophysics and quantum chemistry, a discovery that could explain how many of the complementary and alternative therapies have their effects, was left behind, hidden in the archives of important but unrecognized discoveries.

However, by 1969 it could be stated that representative molecules of every class of biochemicals and even complex cellular organelles have semiconductor properties. Eventually these discoveries led to a flourishing global molecular electronics industry that is actually founded on semiconduction in organic molecules. All of Szent-Györgyi's work has now been vindicated and acknowledged by a new industry that uses atoms and molecules to make very tiny electronic circuits. Quantum physics and semiconduction are at the foundation of this industry.

Quantum coherence, spin waves, torsion waves, spintronics

The second place where leaving water out of the picture has created chaos and confusion is in our understanding of quantum coherence. As a consequence quantum coherence is not a term that you will find discussed in any physiology or medical textbooks. As I will now summarize, I believe quantum coherence is the key to understanding how BodyTalk and many other therapies can have such remarkable effects on human functioning. The reason for stating this is that quantum coherence is intimately involved in consciousness, and is also involved in the way the body handles and utilizes energy and information present in its internal and external environment.

At the water conference in London I suggested that optimal physiological functioning and health are "down-stream" from quantum coherence. A second point worthy of emphasis: Optimal physiological functioning and health are "down-stream" from quantum coherence.

The concept of quantum coherence arose from the work of a very distinguished theoretical physicist, Herbert Fröhlich, who was a leader in the study of superconduction. Fröhlich belonged to the generation of the founding-fathers of quantum physics, all of whom he knew well. Wolfgang Pauli said of him, "In Fröhlich we have a physicist who can not only calculate but can think!"

In the late 1930's Fröhlich began applying theoretical physics to biological problems. War intervened and he could not further develop these ideas until in 1967. A colleague told him about cell membranes and the enormous voltages that exist between the inside and outside of every cell. This turns out to be on the order of millions of volts per meter. With this huge voltage, sparks should fly across the very thin cell membranes. This does not happen because membranes are made of phospholipids, which are very good insulators (technically referred to as dielectrics). Looking at this situation Fröhlich realized that the closely packed arrays of phospholipid molecules in cell membranes, under the influence of such enormous voltages, should vibrate intensely and coherently (like a laser) and emit coherent electromagnetic fields (like laser beams).
As with Szent-György's pioneering ideas about semiconduction, Fröhlich's ideas about quantum coherence were immediately rejected. However, we now have excellent evidence for quantum coherence. Not only is the phenomenon real, it is profoundly important. For example, it helps explain how living systems are so incredibly sensitive to electromagnetic fields in the environment. It also fits in with the emerging concepts of consciousness, as we shall soon see.

What Fröhlich apparently did not realize is that there are other systems in the body besides cell membranes that are made of highly ordered arrays of molecules. For example, the all-pervasive connective tissue and fascia are made of virtually crystalline arrays of collagen molecules. These are referred to as liquid crystals, a state of matter that lies between solid and liquid. And these arrays of collagen molecules organize extended arrays of water molecules. These arrays are enormous and pervasive. Some 99% of the molecules in the human body are water molecules. And very little of this water is ordinary liquid water. Nearly all of the water in our bodies is adjacent to surfaces of molecules. This is why Pollack's new work on interfacial water, mentioned above, is so important.

To get an idea of the significance of the crystals within us, we know that there are close to a billion miles of semiconducting microtubules in the brain. This is an incredible fact. But there must be trillions of miles of the long and thin collagen molecules in the connective tissue, incredible as this may seem. Stacked end to end, these molecules would probably be long enough to reach the nearest star in our galaxy! And these collagen molecules organize a mind-boggling number of water molecules. The water molecules in this arrangement must also be in the special state of matter known as liquid crystals.

These concepts of semiconduction and quantum coherence and liquid crystallinity fit together to give us a much clearer understanding of living processes and biological regulations than we have ever had before. This is another point worthy of emphasis. The quantum perspective is giving us a much clearer understanding of living processes and biological regulations than we have ever had before.

The part of this that excites me the most, and that I'm looking forward to discussing with the BodyTalk community at the Malta conference, is that our new understandings provide a simple mechanism by which the BodyTalk practitioner can interact with any molecule or set of molecules or biochemical pathways or physiological functions or even genes in the body. The "language" of these interactions is identical to the language of the morphogenic fields that give rise to and maintain all structures in the body. This is yet another point worthy of emphasis: The "language" of these interactions is identical to the language of the morphogenic fields that give rise to and maintain all structures in the body. I believe that as we look at this we will see that there is no theoretical limit to the living processes BodyTalk can influence. This is a final point worthy of emphasis: There is no theoretical limit to the living processes BodyTalk can influence.
What links together semiconduction in the living matrix and quantum coherence and consciousness is the spin of water molecules. Spin is an important aspect of quantum physics. Briefly, in 1925 two Dutch physicists suggested that electrons have a property they called spin that could account for a small secondary wave or line in the emission spectrum of the hydrogen atom. It was a spectral line that should not be there according to the Bohr model of the atom. It was called the "forbidden line." Electron spin explained it. Subsequently spin became a part of quantum theory.

Quantum physicists caution us from taking the term "spin" too literally. Spin has some analogies with classical spinning motion, however, it is a purely quantum mechanical phenomenon without a true classical analogue. Picturing it as spinning motion can be very misleading if the analogy is taken too far.

For an interesting and somewhat humorous and philosophical account of the discovery of electron spin look up on the web "the discovery of the electron spin" written by Samuel Goudsmit who, along with George Uhlenbeck, discovered the phenomenon.

When electron spins are aligned or organized (as in iron), a magnetic field is produced. When the spins of the thousands of miles of arrays of water molecules in the body are aligned, a coherent or laser-like spin field is created. This spin field can spread from system to system within the body, conducting energy and information from place to place. This is a profound concept that originated with British biophysicist, Mae-Wan Ho. She calls it Quantum Jazz.

The spin field and can also spread away from the body as torsion waves. These terms, spin field and torsion waves, will probably be unfamiliar. When we get together in Malta, we can go into more detail about them.

The final piece of the puzzle is that space is filled with torsion waves coming from other people and other things throughout the universe. The body as a whole and every component of the body is extremely sensitive to these torsion waves. It is through this mechanism, with water at the focus, that we exchange information and energy with our surroundings.

This is a very brief overview of the ideas and discoveries we will be discussing in Malta. I hope I have given you enough information to entice you to join us in what could well be a historic discussion.

James L. Oschman, Ph.D.

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