Transformational BodyTalk

Interview with Pete Hanfileti, M.D.

by Suzanne LaGrande, Portland BodyTalk Association

Pete Hanfileti, M.D

Pete Hanfileti, M.D

How did you get interested in BodyTalk?

I was very fortunate to have found out about BodyTalk several years ago. That’s when I met Gilly Adkins and the other Portland BodyTalk people, including Sandra Weinrich who wrote me a hand written letter inviting me to come and listen to John Veltheim’s public talk introducing BodyTalk in 2002. At that tim e I had quit my job as a primary care pediatrician and branc hed out on m y own with a practice with my wife, Lisa, who is an acupuncturist. We had decided to do our own thing and practice in an alternative fashion which at that time meant acupuncture, essential oils, herbs and suppleme nts. After hearing John’s talk, I was hooked and I enrolled right away in Gilly’s Module 1 and 2 class. I continue to learn and grow as a practitioner and I have come to realize that participating in the BodyTalk matrix is a process of evolution for all of us.

What initially attracted you to the BodyTalk System?

I was fascinated by the all-encompassing philosophy and I continue to be intrigued by the dynamic willingness of the system itself to adapt and grow. To me, it resonated with what our experience is like in real life, in contrast to the mechanical, static way medical conditions are diagnosed and treatments are prescribed. That was the way I used to practice as a doctor. Now, I believe we must adopt systems that are flexible and able to change, not try to conform people and their patterns into some pre-made template. This is unrealistic and cumbersome. The organic growth and differentiation of the BodyTalk system we have witnessed over the past several years is a testament to this flexibility, and I think it will contribute greatly to the ongoing success of the BodyTalk system for years to come.

How do you use BodyTalk in your pediatric practice?

I use BodyTalk with every child (and parent) I see in my practice. It is such a wonderful way of treating the child and educating the parent at the same time. From prenatal visits with mothers, to babies and toddlers, to school age and teenagers; each age group offers us an opportunity to participate in the child’s development and learning, while at the same time trying to help alleviate conditions or situations as they come up. Since BodyTalk is working with energetic systems and consciousness, the hands on tapping and navigating through the protocol can be done on the mother, the child, or a combination of the two, and this works quite well in almost all circumstances.

What advantages are there to combining conventional medicine with alternative approaches such as BodyTalk?

In my particular practice, I provide alternative approaches like BodyTalk in conjunction with my background pediatric medical knowledge, but to offer all aspects of both conventional pediatrics and alternatives at the same time is a difficult and daunting task. I generally recommend that parents have a conventionally trained doctor who can take care of situations like fractures, lacerations that need stitches, hospitalizations and surgeries and emergency room visits. These are areas where conventional medicine does a good job of taking care of conditions that require immediate or urgent care. Fortunately for most kids, the need for these emergent interventions is a rare event. For all the other categories like growth and development, social and academic learning, family history influences, emotional and behavioral problems, relationship issues, stresses in all of its many forms; these are all areas where I think BodyTalk and the alternative approach does a much better job at addressing and leading to understanding on the child and the parent’s part. In my opinion, understanding is a requirement for true resolution of any condition to happen, and there is no better way to arrive at those markers of understanding than with BodyTalk.

How do children respond to BodyTalk? Do you do BodyTalk differently with children than with adults? If so, what differences do you see?

In general, I have found that children respond extremely well to BodyTalk, and typically much faster than adults. To me it is such a useful way to address problems as a practitioner and in addition, I highly recommend that all parents learn at least the BodyTalk Access protocol. I would say the only difference with BodyTalk with kids is the fact that I spend time explaining more to the parent than I would with an adult. In other words, I think the parent’s understanding is a key component for the child, as they receive most of their cues from their own parent, rather than outside influences.

One of the areas I have found to be quite valuable in the treatment of kids is the concept of prevention and anticipation of the energetic influences a child may be subject to that are not obvious to them or their parent. For example, a negative experience at school may continue to be an energy draining influence many months or even years after the initial event. If an intervention like BodyTalk can be instituted right away, this can alleviate the energy imbalance and save the parent and the child from having to experience the long term ramifications. This is an area I want to actively promote and make known so that parents at least know that they have this option available to them.

What has been the response from parents?

I think that when parents have an understanding of what we are trying to accomplish with BodyTalk, it resonates with them. My perspective is that parents occupy the living space which holds the energetic context or the consciousness framework for their kids. What this means is that the parents’ level of understanding provides the foundation upon which the child’s current and subsequent understanding is built. Parents understand their unique energetic position in their child’s life, and if we can help them to work with this concept, the results can truly be outstanding. This process requires time and effort on the practitioner’s part, and this is one of the main reasons I am offering the new Pediatrics for BodyTalkers course. The more BodyTalk practitioners there are who can spread these concepts, the more parents will be reached and the more kids will be in turn affected for the better.

How has your understanding and or practice evolved since you incorporated BodyTalk into your practice?

BodyTalk addresses the main question that all parents and all of us ask from the time we’re around 5 years old: “Why?” As a pediatrician, I have been asked the “Why” question over and over again. Before I learned about BodyTalk it was difficult and rare to come up with an answer to this question. Now with BodyTalk, I am able to give a rational, understandable narrative that describes the why or at least a likely causative explanation for a child’s current situation. Since the protocol has so many possibilities, the chances of a particular child’s unique experience coming to light is very great and I have learned to trust the innate direction of the child’s system, rather than impose my own thought processes. This has been difficult because as physicians we are taught to do the direct opposite! Nevertheless, with time and practice I have become comfortable with this technique that is so foreign to most doctors and the outcome has been a situation where learning happens everyday for me and my patients.

Can you tell us about the new course you have developed? What will be covered? Why did you decide to create this course?

My new course, called Pediatrics for BodyTalkers, is for practitioners who are looking to expand their knowledge base and to become more comfortable treating kids. This two day course will cover such topics as: preparation for the practitioner, ages and stages and arcs of development, proactive information to give to parents while discussing their child’s BodyTalk session, case studies, family history influences, and age reciprocal resonance as a dynamic concept, just to name a few. I decided to create this course because I believe BodyTalk practitioners are uniquely positioned to have a dramatic effect on parents and their understanding which will directly influence kids. Time is also an issue, as most parents and families are unwilling to wait several decades for the conventional establishment to catch up. If more BodyTalk practitioners develop the skills to treat kids effectively, the process of improving our overall healthcare situation on behalf of children can be accelerated and improved. Practitioners can find more information here:

Is there anything else you’d like us to know, or any question I haven’t asked you’d like to address?

I am also developing an introductory course for the public called BodyTalk Principles for Parents which will be a follow up to my book called Energy Medicine Principles for Parents. I am excited to be able to make more parents aware of just what BodyTalk can do for the health and well-being of their kids and families.