New wellness retreat puts emphasis back on self-healing

Carole Morris-Underhill
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Body Talk offers visitors chance to mend emotional scars


Visitors to the Namaste Nova Integrated Wellness Retreat in Newport often leave feeling relieved, refreshed and rejuvenated.

That's because they are taking their healthcare into their own hands, using Body Talk to compliment traditional healing methods.

The retreat, located at 1212 Woodville Road, is owned by Don and Kelley Burry and opened in April 2011. The centre, a bed and breakfast that is in the process of becoming an inn, offers Body Talk — a method of healing that focuses on listening to what a person's body is telling them.

“We lost my dad at the same time we bought this property,” said Kelley Burry. “Through the experience of helping him through his journey, we ended up exploring a lot of alternative healing methods. Body Talk was not one of them. My dad passed away in November and we actually found Body Talk — or maybe it found us — in March of the next year.”

The Burrys initially bought the property five years ago and had plans to transform it into a riding/training centre for dressage riders. They shelved that idea but soon found they were drawn into the healing practise of Body Talk. The dream of running a fully-serviced retreat really took off last year.

“It changed our idea of the property. It changed what we thought we could do,” she said.

Namaste Nova Integrated Wellness Retreat is situated on 135 acres of mixed forest and cleared land. There are miles of tranquil hiking and horseback riding trails, as well as a 10-acre lake. Kelley Burry said when people come to the retreat, they often sit outside and just enjoy the peaceful, rural setting.

The Burrys, who have been together for 21 years, are both educators and professional Body Talk practitioners. They develop workshops and clinics for large groups and also offer individualized consultations and healing sessions.

“It's really like a healthy getaway,” she said.

The retreat can accommodate about 30 people. The rooms, which are designed to accommodate up to six people per suite, are themed earth, air, fire, water, metal and wood and feature large windows and individual beds.

The rural environment, the Burrys say, is perfect for corporate retreats, workshops, conferences or team building clinics.

Kelley Burry says Body Talk “is almost like a missing link” that Western medicine forgets about.

“It's about people healing their deep, deep pain that comes from deep belief systems and perhaps some conditioning that's old conditioning,” she said.

Sometimes with the assistance of their animals, the Burrys help people come to terms with what's plaguing them — sometimes it's a belief system that's causing the problem, or sometimes it's a horrible trauma that they've suffered that they just can't let go of.

“So, if we can help that person understand why they're sick then that person's body will actually heal itself,” Kelley Burry said.

Don Burry likens it to consciousness-based healing, totally non-diagnostic.

“The body knows how to heal itself, it's just forgotten how,” he said.

As an example, Kelley Burry draws the parallel to someone whose ankle is sore. She said that may represent being afraid to move forward, to take the next step in life's journey.

“It's the consciousness of that person trying to help them sort something out, and that's what physical pain is all about. Something inside of us, our body's consciousness, is trying to talk to us,” said Kelley Burry.

“The body knows how to heal itself, it's just forgotten how.” Don Burry

What the Burrys do is listen.

“When we can understand the reasons why we're ill, that goes a long way to healing us.”

Anyone taking a Body Talk session is completely in charge of what happens, Kelley Burry explained.

“Their innate wisdom — the very essence of them — is what directs the healing. So, if we can tap into how that particular person's body wants to heal, it will actually do it by itself,” she said.

The Burrys say their role is to be the “knowledgeable, present, observer” and help each client on their road to wellness.

But visitors don't need to come for a Body Talk session to enjoy the retreat. The Burrys say people can come for relaxation, for self-reflection, for team-building exercises.

The visits can be for a few hours or a few days — whatever the client requires.

The retreat has regularly seen visitors come from Yarmouth and Halifax, and even has seen students from Singapore and Hong Kong. They have a range of clientele, including nurses, psychologists and massage therapists.

“I think people are a little bit frustrated right now with the medical system we have... we know that that system has some shortcomings,” she said.

“Dr. (John) Veltheim, who founded this practice, says that if we only try to heal ourselves on the physical level, we're leaving out 99 per cent of that healing equation.”

Body Talk has instructors worldwide. The healing process offers a non-invasive approach that compliments other modules of healthcare.

Body Talk has just been accepted as a diploma program at Mount Royal College in Calgary, with the program officially starting in September of 2012.

The Burrys offer courses through the Body Talk association that teach people how to take care of themselves.

“We really put that ownership of their health back into their own hands, and I think that's important,” Kelley Burry said.

Don Burry says holding the courses on site helps people keep the momentum going — the course participants stay in the same area, eat together, and enjoy nature together.

“The energy just keeps building through the whole course,” he said.

The retreat also welcomes other groups, such as those that practise yoga or tai chi, to hold sessions in their workshop space.

They also offer space for weddings, anniversaries or other special celebrations.

“I think the people who are drawn here, the people who seek us out, the people who are searching and happen to find us are exactly the folks that need to find us... that are meant to find us,” Kelley Burry said.

For more details, visit or call (902) 409-BTNS.



Organizations: Mount Royal College, Namaste Nova Integrated Wellness Retreat, Body Talk association Body Talk

Geographic location: Newport, 1212 Woodville Road, Yarmouth Halifax Singapore Hong Kong Calgary

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