Author Topic: Energy healing is a predatory lie.  (Read 14372 times)

Offline Asclepius

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Energy healing is a predatory lie.
« on: March 05, 2011, 02:58:42 AM »
So I was invited to my girlfriend's office party yesterday and somehow wound up the victim of something called Himalayan Bowls. Basically, the practitioner of this form of energy healing places a brass bowl upside down on your head and plays you like a drum. The sound the bowl makes, very pleasing as it is, is said to correlate with different chakras and energy levels to promote health. The practitioner even went so far as to identify specific organs that would receive healing energies when she banged on my head like a set of symbols. Why did I put up with this? Free beer.

After I got home I looked up Himalayan Bowls on Pubmed.gov, which yielded one legit medical study. It turns out that putting cookware on your head while someone beats you is no more theraputic than placebo. It also turns out that the sound of the Himalayan Bowls can, in some cases, cause seizures. So let me get this straight... Himalayan bowls don't do anything more beneficial than sugar pills, and in fact can cause harm? Something stinks here...

I am not a fan of energy healing. Study after study has shown that "energy" as described by these pseudo scientific healers does not exist, and that humans do not posses any power to sense, manipulate or direct any form of this mythical healing energy. Most notably, this was proven by a 9 year old girl named Emily Rosa (who became the youngest person to have a study published in a peer reviewed journal) who crafted a study to measure the energy sensing abilities of practitioners of so called "therapeutic touch." Surprise! Energy healing does not exist.

If you are a practitioner of Energy Healing, I am calling you a liar right here and now.. for this simple reason: you are not a millionaire. That's right! The James Randi Educational Foundation (www.randi.org) has had a long standing challenge to anyone who claims to have supernatural powers: if you can prove in a controlled environment that your supernatural powers exist, you get a million dollars. Check out their website. They even have a bank ledger proving that they have the million dollars to give you.

Claiming that "it would be wrong to accept the money" is bullcrap. Know any charities that couldn't use a million dollars? Didn't think so.

A person who convinces a sick person to buy energy healing in lieu of legitimate, evidence-based medicine is a predator. A person who takes the money of a desperate person in exchange for a non-product is a monster. I will use education to combat your misinformation down to my last breath.

Of course, you could always prove me wrong and become very rich in the process.

Offline AtADeadRun

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Re: Energy healing is a predatory lie.
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2011, 05:15:53 AM »
Amen and preach on, brother.  Or maybe this one is more appropriate.  Either way, evidence is one of my favorite things.

Offline mash

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Re: Energy healing is a predatory lie.
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2011, 09:24:24 AM »
Heck Ascleplus, free brew is free brew after all.  ;D

We have some family friends down the street, nice couple, kids the same age, but the lady has just started a business doing "crystal healing" and I have to admit I had a hard time holding my tongue at the last BBQ get together...

Offline Asclepius

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Re: Energy healing is a predatory lie.
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2011, 12:39:40 PM »
Haha! I love the patches. I'm trying to see if they let you purchase them.

It would be hard to keep quiet about the crystal healing. I like to ask "how do you measure the energy from the crystals?" and watch them squirm.

Here's the thing - I don't care what anyone believes so long as they are not a predator. If you truly believe in energy healing, and you are not using your beliefs to hurt, scare or take money from anyone else, then I have no problem with that. But damn you, who scare cancer patients into buying quartz instead of chemotherapy. Damn you.

Offline Scotty2Hotty

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Re: Energy healing is a predatory lie.
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2011, 01:49:37 PM »
Dude trust me I have done way more silly things for some free beer.

-Scotty

Offline AtADeadRun

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Re: Energy healing is a predatory lie.
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2011, 04:54:18 PM »
They're just image files, but if you can find someone willing to make them, the Science Scout people specifically say that it's OK to make them/have them made.  Some chick made 'em for her Etsy store a while back, but long since sold out.  In fact, they ask that people who make badges/have badges made get hold of them to let 'em know and help the makers pimp their wares.

Offline joeinwv

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Re: Energy healing is a predatory lie.
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2011, 05:09:13 PM »
Billions of people worldwide believe and give money to organizations which cannot measure or scientifically prove their claims are accurate. This has resulted in several millions deaths over the past few thousand years.

Makes crystal healing and brass bowls seem kinda benign by comparison.

This is making me feel anxious - think I'll go take a Xanax.




Offline Slomad

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Re: Energy healing is a predatory lie.
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2011, 07:33:59 PM »
Billions of people worldwide believe and give money to organizations which cannot measure or scientifically prove their claims are accurate. This has resulted in several millions deaths over the past few thousand years.

Makes crystal healing and brass bowls seem kinda benign by comparison.

This is making me feel anxious - think I'll go take a Xanax.


Yeah. I view them just like I do other matters of faith. One man's crystal is another man's rosary. To each his own.

Offline surfrescue

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Re: Energy healing is a predatory lie.
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2011, 10:03:15 PM »
I think you might enjoy "Storm" by Tim Minchin

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ujUQn0HhGEk#

Offline Thanson_V

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Re: Energy healing is a predatory lie.
« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2011, 03:23:14 PM »
Went to school for Massage therapy. We HAD to learn energy work. Dumbest hoopajoo class I ever took. "Sent the energy out through your hand and into their chakra." "What energy?" "Healing energy." "What kind of energy is healing energy?" "It's energy from you. Life energy." "Which of the primary types of energy is it?" "What?" "Electromagnetic, thermal, kinetic, strong nuclear, or weak nuclear?" "None of those." "Why do we have to take this class?"

Hippies are dumb.

Offline Slomad

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Re: Energy healing is a predatory lie.
« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2011, 04:20:59 PM »
done
« Last Edit: March 11, 2011, 04:37:09 PM by Slomad »

Offline archer

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Re: Energy healing is a predatory lie.
« Reply #11 on: March 11, 2011, 04:30:28 PM »
Change the tone for this thread so it is not insulting to other people's beliefs. If this cannot be done, this thread goes away.

Offline Asclepius

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Re: Energy healing is a predatory lie.
« Reply #12 on: March 12, 2011, 12:37:06 AM »
Change the tone for this thread so it is not insulting to other people's beliefs. If this cannot be done, this thread goes away.

With the highest respect, I just don't think anyone here is insulting anyone's beliefs. Thanson described that he was trying to go to school for massage therapy, which legit, and was forced to pay for a class incorporating pseudoscience into his practice.

It's not the people with these beliefs that are bad. It is the evil people who prey upon the weak and the ill, promising a cure for an exorbitant fee, and giving them a non-product. Let me clarify, this predatory behavior is deplorable regardless of the belief. I am a Christian, and I believe in the Christian God for personal reasons, but I will take to task any other Christian who attempts to sell our belief to a sick person as a cure in place of a science based cure or treatment.

There are predatory pseudoscience practices not involving really any religious aspect, like reflexology, which are just as bad. The woman who put bowls on my head and hit me with a hammer wasn't pushing a religion... she was actually claiming to be giving me a scientifically proven cure for cancer and heart disease.

We HAVE to talk about this stuff now, because it is infiltrating our healthcare system in a way that should alarm you. There are entities pushing RN's, and even nursing students in some places, to become practitioners of something called theraputic touch. This is a non-religious practice which has been proven to be fake, I think by JAMA. Our healthcare premiums are rising partly because many insurance companies are being pushed to pay for fake alternative medicine treatments (you better believe, if this Obamacare thing ever goes through, that it will strongly support alternative medicine). This summer, our local hospital gave energy healing treatments and was teaching people about energy healing at a community health fair. Is this what really the way we should be educating the public about health?? If you are ill or injured, you do NOT have the time and money to waste on bullcrap like somebody waving their hands over you and pretending to be able to scan for internal injuries. If you have a heart attack, you should call 911, not have someone smack a pretty sounding bowl on your head.

Offline archer

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Re: Energy healing is a predatory lie.
« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2011, 10:46:14 AM »
I agree that taking advantage of the ill and injured is deplorable.
But we humans do not know every bit of information about everything in the universe. There are still mysteries out there. Discounting all alternative medical practices upon a small subset of all human experience is rather short sighted. No offense meant.

And as Jack says, if you are injured or seriously ill, get to the hospital.

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Energy healing is a predatory lie.
« Reply #14 on: March 12, 2011, 12:29:27 PM »
Quote
With the highest respect, I just don't think anyone here is insulting anyone's beliefs
I do not believe that your intent was to insult anyone's beliefs.  However, the tone of the original post and of several follow up posts came across as very insulting to anyone that does believe this.  With this type of tone, there can never be any honest discussion on the subject.

Personally, I do not believe in this type of thing.  However, if I did believe in it I would certainly not feel welcome to join in the discussion.  Even the title of the thread is matter of fact and not open for discussion.

As Archer said, change the tone.

Online FreeLancer

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Re: Energy healing is a predatory lie.
« Reply #15 on: March 12, 2011, 12:51:18 PM »
I agree with Asclepius 110%, his arguments are reasonable and justify his bold tone. 

Unfortunately, rationality is not the default setting of the human mind.  It takes constant effort and education to develop and maintain critical thinking skills, without which, we tend to remain stuck in "true believer" mode, easily swayed by emotion and circumstance.

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Re: Energy healing is a predatory lie.
« Reply #16 on: March 12, 2011, 01:09:13 PM »
The point the Mods are making is about the tone not the substance. And its not one person, its the tone of the thread.
Not to just pick on one person, but statements like "Hippies are dumb." can only produce hate.
Define hippie. No one can.
This is the same as saying rednecks are dumb or hillbillies are dumb or teachers are dumb or cops are dumb or people who post on forums are dumb.
And this is the direction these threads almost always go.

So, argue or force our hand and see what happens.
The Mods are not debating. They are stating what is about to happen to this thread if it remains derogatory.

Offline Dawgus

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Re: Energy healing is a predatory lie.
« Reply #17 on: March 12, 2011, 07:23:52 PM »
Hello everyone, this is Mrs. D.  I have never posted here before but I wanted to put my two cents in.

First let me state that a to a point ,I completely agree with the original statement of anyone giving false hope to those who should be seeking medical treatment are wrong. Keep in mind it isnt just those of us who arent Christian doing this. What about the tv evangelists who lay their hands on you and suddenly your hearing is back! Can I get an AMEN!!! So there are crooks and liars everywhere, in all beliefs. People who pray on those with minimal hope and looking for a miracle are just low life scum.

For the past 3+ years I have been reading and studying everything I can get my hands in regards to energies, chakra's, and healing. (I use the word healing lightly here) I am not a healer. I can not cure an appendicitis, I can not make a broken bone mend by touching it. Those need medical treatment, that's just common sense. I can not cure cancer, nor would I ever ever claim to.  But I do believe there are energies in the body that can be directed. Again, I am not a scientist, I am not going to go into the bodies chemical reactions and the fact it produces heat which is an energy and blah blah blah...I am just simply stating what I believe, what I have felt.  I have helped those with headaches, sinus pressure, and minor stomach issues. 

Have you ever just had a time where you felt completely out of sorts? Nothing was really wrong, but you just didnt feel right? Some of us believe that could be the bodies energies just being off. Whether from a poor diet, stress, environmental, a lot of reasons.  So you feel this way and you decide, you just need to go clear your head and get your shit together.  So you go somewhere and relax for a bit, just sit and let your mind clear. (I wont say meditate - lets just say relax) And low and behold you start to feel a little more like yourself. Could it be because you allowed your body time to re-energize itself?

Some say people say energy therapy is just a matter of suggestion. If I tell you you will feel better, you will.  Well maybe this is true. I honestly cant say one way or the other. The mind is a very powerful thing. Again I dont think ANYONE should claim to be able to CURE people. But if by the power of suggestion you feel better about yourself, or your situation is that wrong? What about the power of "prayer"? What is prayer? A concentration of personal energy being sent towards a goal.  Well if there is a prayer circle is it not producing positive energies that are being directed to the person being prayed for?Will that person not receive those energies? Will knowing that all their family and friends are sending prayers and positive energy their way not make that person feel better? Not cure him, but help him. That's all I ever ask, "Can I try to help you?"

Offline Thanson_V

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Re: Energy healing is a predatory lie.
« Reply #18 on: March 12, 2011, 09:17:15 PM »
Not to call too much attention to the long haired gentleman wearing fake fur and a loincloth in my picture WHO IS ME, but I wasn't talking about beliefs. I was talking about energy work not being anything an educated person would understand as real. If you BELIEVE in energy work, then you have taken a leap of faith in the vacuum of logical explanation, and CHOSEN to believe it's true. This does not make it so. I have learned this from experience, and no doubt anyone in my class who believes in energy work would say that I'm doing it wrong. I still say the class had no value, and that's an honest assessment of my personal experience. It's harsh, but you didn't waste a week doing something that you thought had no value so that you could get a certificate that you thought you shouldn't have needed. Unless you're a teacher.

I amend my post, however.
SOME hippies are dumb. Regardless of anyone's beliefs.

Offline Sister Wolf

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Re: Energy healing is a predatory lie.
« Reply #19 on: March 14, 2011, 07:00:21 PM »
Mrs. Dawgus:

PLUS FRIGGING ONE!!!!!!!!!  ;)

That is all.

Offline Cooter Brown

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Re: Energy healing is a predatory lie.
« Reply #20 on: March 15, 2011, 04:31:11 AM »
Having been in the therapy biz in the 90's I have seen more than my share of silly fads and desperate people. That said, of all the frequencies in the electro-magnetic spectrum, we can directly detect only two very narrow bands; our machines can detect a few more. To conclude on that basis that "SCIENCE" knows all on this subject is the height of arrogance.


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Re: Energy healing is a predatory lie.
« Reply #21 on: March 15, 2011, 05:57:02 AM »
...For the past 3+ years I have been reading and studying everything I can get my hands in regards to energies, chakra's, and healing. ...
I've really enjoyed the work of Dr. Len Horowitz over the years and his co-authored "Healing Codes of the Biological Apocalypse" was a great read.  I have "resonated" with his work concerning the solfeggio frequencies and yes, even own and use a set of solfeggio tuning forks on myself and my dog.  His newest effort is love528.com

Offline Docwatmo

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Re: Energy healing is a predatory lie.
« Reply #22 on: March 15, 2011, 06:24:24 AM »
We know so little.  From a purely psychological standpoint, if someone believes in something and that belief helps them deal with it, or even gives them a small respite, then it is a benefit.  Unfortunately there are many out there that pray on exactly that point.   The human mind is a powerful, powerful thing. 

Knowing how little we know is the first step in understanding that although we lack the "Science" to know or understand 100% of what is possible, that there are things we do not know or understand.  Maybe tomorrow we will develop a machine that can read a particular electro-magnetic or elector-chemical signature and we could actually see energy flowing from one point to another or one person to another. (When we hold a loved one who is upset, are we not helping them to feel better without any "Real" medicinal value?) Until then, I tend to keep an open, yet guarded mind.

I've seen the results when they bring animals into hospices and nursing homes.  No physical science necessary.  The good feelings people get from those animals are beneficial and totally holistic.  If something as simple as petting a dog can have that much benefit, imagine what the forced application of physical contact (massage) with positive "vibes" from the therapist could bring?  Would you rather be massaged by someone who just goes through the mechanical motions, or someone who believes they are helping you and giving you something special?  All things being equal, i'd prefer the second therapist.  Even if they don't really transfer anything special, their belief sure wont hurt the massage any.

Online Morning Sunshine

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Re: Energy healing is a predatory lie.
« Reply #23 on: March 15, 2011, 08:32:51 AM »
my brother trained as a massage therapist (not that he shared often, but when he did, he would explain what muscles he was working, etc.  at the end, if he did not "drain the bad energies" from my arms through my finger tips, my arms felt it.  And they felt this BEFORE he mentioned what exactly he was doing there. 
now, I am not a mystical "aura is everything" type of person, but, as Hamlet said:

"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy." (act I, scene 5)

Offline TwoBluesMama

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Re: Energy healing is a predatory lie.
« Reply #24 on: March 15, 2011, 08:36:20 AM »
(splash..plop) The sound of me jumping in with both feet.

I have been following this thread but not adding anything. I don't want to stir the pot but I just want to say to all who are against any "outside of the box" healing you just don't know what may work.  I got West Nile in '02 (on top of having Systemic Lupus) and was beyond ill.  The drs. had no ideas and no answers.  The only thing they could do was give me pain meds.  I spend weeks in a drug induced haze just so I could not scream in pain. The nerves in my arm and neck burned with fire.  I have a very high tolerance to pain but nothing could have prepared me for this.  My husband was seeing a chiropractor (who also did acupuncture) and he suggested giving acupuncture a try. I thought it was nuts but at that point was willing to try.  I went three times a week and it was the only thing that tamed the pain. The drs. were sure I would have paralysis in my arm and neck but I don't.

I still go to acupuncture (and am going today) as it really works on taming the lupus and keeping me functioning.  Some would say why does sticking a needle in your arm make you feel better?  It's all based on reconnecting the electrical fields in the body.

And Thanson_V, dear didn't your mama ever teach you not to call people names?  Just sign me then, One Old Dumb Hippie

Offline Mr. Bill

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Re: Energy healing is a predatory lie.
« Reply #25 on: March 15, 2011, 12:09:29 PM »
I think what messes people up with alternative therapies is the urge to find an explanation of why they work (presuming they work).

Many traditional therapies (and some modern ones) were discovered by chance and improved by trial-and-error.  They may work well on some people, and differently (or not at all) on others.  If you acquire this knowledge, you may be able to do some good with the techniques, even if you have no clue how or why they work.

But most of us won't try a therapy if the practitioner just says "Try this, it works, but I have no idea why."  Honest practitioners want to be able to give their patients an explanation.  (So do dishonest practitioners, unfortunately.)  On top of that, everyone wants to find the hidden explanation so that they can improve the treatment or find new treatments.

Well, the real explanation may be insanely complex.  (Try going back 500 years and telling an herbalist how willow bark really works.)  So the explanations that do arise are often a little short on evidence and logical rigor.

That doesn't mean the explanations aren't useful.  For example, in massage therapy, I can imagine an honest instructor saying "All this 'energy' stuff might be a load of crap, but, if you visualize the energy flow while you're performing a massage, you'll end up giving your customer a more beneficial massage."

(I'm not saying that's actually true, because I don't know.  I'm just giving an example of how a possibly-bogus explanation can be benign and even helpful.)

It becomes a problem, though, when people believe these poorly-substantiated explanations and get led astray, inventing or using treatments that are worthless or even harmful.

I think one of the warning signs of a bad explanation is that it's given in terms of the "arcane knowledge" of its time.  500 years ago, a therapy might be said to drive out "demons", at a time when the detailed knowledge of demons was reserved to the most educated members of the church, plus some mystics who had gained access to the secret knowledge.  Nowadays we are much more scientific, so we drive out "negative energies".  The detailed knowledge of energy is reserved to the highest ranks of physicists, plus some people who know all about fields and quantum and resonance because they read it somewhere.

Offline TwoBluesMama

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Re: Energy healing is a predatory lie.
« Reply #26 on: March 15, 2011, 12:46:20 PM »
+1 Mr. Bill.  Excellent post.

Offline Greywolf27

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Re: Energy healing is a predatory lie.
« Reply #27 on: March 15, 2011, 03:43:24 PM »
Wow... I'm exhausted...  Looooooong good thread. 

I am someone in between, maybe it's my love for sci-fi, but I would like to believe that someone would be able to "exert" energy in a non physical manner.  Using the mind's eye to pull sickness from someone, could very well be a noble endeavor, though scientifically there has been zero proof that any human has ever been able to do so.

Is it true... well... as Mr. Bill stated, it is extremely difficult to quantify.

It is possible that some result simply come from the belief that said treatment works.  If someone "heals" themself (which is a large tenent of many meditations) it is possible that someone "exerting" energy upon you allows you to believe that you are being healed, thus healing you.

As was stated before (sorry not sure who specifically) preying on others is bad juju.

Offline AtADeadRun

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Re: Energy healing is a predatory lie.
« Reply #28 on: March 15, 2011, 04:48:23 PM »
Many traditional therapies (and some modern ones) were discovered by chance and improved by trial-and-error.  They may work well on some people, and differently (or not at all) on others.  If you acquire this knowledge, you may be able to do some good with the techniques, even if you have no clue how or why they work.

The problem, Mr. Bill, is that most traditional therapies have been shown to be no better than placebo in treating whateveritis (and I'm just tired enough to find the fact that that works as both whatever-it-is and whatever-itis funny).  I don't care whether someone can or can't explain the theory behind their sugar-pill-equivalent if it doesn't do any better than the sugar pill.  I'm all for letting people choose their own form of placebo -- though some research into placebos suggests that the more intrusive the intervention, the bigger the effect, such that saline injections are actually more effective than sugar pills -- but that should be clearly presented:  "This is no more effective than me giving you a sugar pill and telling you it works."  If Himalayan bowls or homeopathy or acupuncture is the most effective form of placebo for you, hit it up.

If you want to call tricking the patient into feeling better "harnessing their healing energy," go ahead.

Offline surfrescue

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Re: Energy healing is a predatory lie.
« Reply #29 on: March 15, 2011, 08:16:52 PM »
Deadrun is dead on.  +1
Energy therapies have been disproven.  It is not a matter of gaps in scientific knowledge.  Belief in these therapies is contrary to knowledge.

Are there gaps?  Of course, that is why we conduct experiments.  But alternative medicines fail in rigorous studies.  Alternative medicine that passes rigorous testing is called "medicine."

Quick point on acupuncture: there have been recent experiments showing that it activates the inflammatory response, including an analgesic affect localized to the needle sight.  This explains why it works at treating minor aches.  It has nothing to do with manipulating energy, and it doesn't matter whether an acupuncturist or a football player places the needles.