BodyTalk Outreachers in the Philippines On a Roll
— by Marilen Abesamis
I have just returned from travels in the Philippines and have witnessed the strong commitment of BodyTalk Outreachers. I am humbled and impressed by their efforts to bring BodyTalk Access to the neediest, amidst a challenging social and political situation. Thanks to the support of the IBA and the Be Healthy Foundation, the work expands!
Neither the scorching summer heat nor the sound of falling bombs deter the team of Outreachers. Yesterday (May 3rd) the team went on an Outreach mission to an under served community in Teresa, Rizal, a town about 60 miles outside Metro Manila.
Outreacher and BT Philippine President, Annie Lao writes: “It was a hot day! We had 30-33 people, mostly mothers with their children. We let them join, and the little ones we put in an area where they could be looked after. The pastor had to bring some of the community leaders using his motorcycle. We taught from 9:30 to 12 at the first meeting (April 26) and covered these topics: Cortices, Switching, Hydration and Body Chemistry. But since it was very hot, we had to stop and serve lunch, so people could go home. We told them to practice at home and prepare for a review. At next meeting, we plan to finish the lessons — begin with a review, then share testimonials, and continue with the rest — Reciprocals, Fast Aid, and hopefully hand them their certificates.
We picked one person to sponsor for a future Access workshop, and we also kept the option open to come back with the same group and hopefully with others from their sitios (villages).”
Outreachers Remar Soliza, Alan Along, and Gemma Bunag in makeshift tents administering Access and full BodyTalk sessions to refugees, a few from among some 2000 people who fled the city of Marawi to outlying tent cities.” We could hear bombs falling,” reports Remar. But they stayed on for 8 days and promised to return when things are more settled. Already, they have identified five men and women for the Fundamentals course, eager students who may eventually become Outreachers themselves.
At first, the men were shy about getting treatment, and only the women and children asked for a tapping. But at day’s end, the men too gathered under the trees for calming and de-stressing. One soldier afterwards reported, “This is the first time I’ve slept in weeks!”
The children took to Access “like ducks to water.” “Kids for Peace,” an NGO based in Mindanao, helped organize the workshop, and got children to help tap other children —Muslims and Christians alike. The sessions benefited from the Filipinos’ strong sense of community, openness and creativity.
Despite the hardships and horror of war, the refugees managed to pose for a group picture following the BodyTalk sessions. “Their eyes shone,” writes Remar, as they expressed gratitude for ELMO, local dialect for “Knowledge,” something that will never be lost, they said. ” This knowledge has no expiration date,” unlike the relief goods and drugs that they will be receiving from the government’s social welfare officials.
From 2009 – Present, Be Healthy Inc. has donated funds to support Access Trainers who go to the Philippines to teach the locals the 5 Access techniques. A health worker who learned the techniques said
“This BodyTalk therapy is so simple but comprehensive, it mends both body and spirit. Among the poor, there is no problem accepting such a plain modality. In our situation, we can not afford expensive medicine. Access techniques calls for no drugs, no doctor — it is very timely.”
The BodyTalk Access project in the Philippines is led by Dorothy Friesen and Marilen Abesamic who work with low income communities in Central Luzon where people are suffering serious health issues as a result of the toxic wastes left by the former US military bases.
As part of the project, Access trainers have also visited Manila and have presented the Access technique to selected health care and educational professional, media, and government representatives. And they have also taught Access classes in Southern Luzon and the southern island of Mindanao.